Top 5 Foods To Eat Every Day For Glowing Skin

Byline: Jill Therese

I’ve always been obsessed with beautiful skin.farmers market loot

I had pretty bad acne growing up and was never very happy about it so “skin stuff” was always on my mind.

I tried every pill, every cream, every random “new fad”, saw countless dermatologists, took hormones… you name it, I tried it.

Until one day, when I was 24 years old (I had been struggling with my skin since I was 9, so a full 15 years ) I had a particularly awful dermatologist appointment and decided that something needed to change.

I finally figured out how to clear my skin through food and have learned so much.

Thankfully, now that I have clear skin, I get to focus more on eating foods that help me *glow* a bit more. While there are many different types of foods you can eat for glowing skin, I wanted to share my 5 favorites with you so that you can glow a bit brighter today too!

My Top 5 Raw Foods For Glowing Skin

1. Avocados

Often referred to as “mother nature’s skin moisturizer”, avocados contain a large amount of vitamin E, which is a strong antioxidant that prevents aging.

Quick tip: I take my avocados, mash them up with lemons, pepper, add a dash of salt and then dip some carrots in. Healthy guacamole = best guacamole.

(You can also use avocado as a mask which is totally fun and leaves your skin oh-so-soft.)

2. Green Juice

Full disclosure here: I basically feel that green juices are the holy grail of glowing skin. They’re super anti-inflammatory, have a ton of vitamins, help tremendously with digestion, and lower the overall acidity in your body.

Make sure that any green juice you grab has at least a 2:2 ratio of veggies to fruits, so that you’re not taking in too much sugar (which can wreak havoc on your skin.

3. Pomegranates

This fruit is super fun to eat (kinda weird too?) and can have an amazing effect on your skin. The antioxidants in the fruit help to lower overall inflammation and fight free radicals.

Pomegranates also have two powerful ingredients; hydrolysable tannins and anthocyanins – which are pretty powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds.

4. Pumpkin seeds

One of the biggest reasons pumpkin seeds are so good for your skin is because of the crazy high amounts of zinc they have. Zinc protects cell membranes, helps to maintain high amounts of collagen and can really help if you have acne (acne sufferers often have chronically low levels of zinc in their systems) because of its anti-inflammatory properties.

5. Blueberries

Many of the vitamins in blueberries may calm/neutralize the levels of oil in your skin and help to maintain collagen and elastin, which can help keep fine lines and wrinkles at bay (#bestever- right?).

I try to have a serving (handful) of each of these raw foods daily for maximum skin glowy-ness- give them a try today!

Jill Therese is the founder of Heal Your Face With Food and is dedicated to helping you heal your acne naturally, from the inside out. If you’re interested in acne clearing recipes, please click here to take her 14 Day Acne Clearing Jumpstart challenge!

7 Storage Tips to Keep Fruits and Veggies Fresh Longer

storage tipsByline: Alicia Lawrence

Summer is here and with it tons of delicious, fresh, sweet fruits and veggies. From the first strawberries in the spring to the last sweet corn and cauliflower in the fall, we love our fresh foods. They taste better when they are fresh and are more nutritious, so going to the local farmers market and stocking up sounds like a great idea, right?

The great prices and sumptuous flavors of fresh fruits and vegetables at the farmers market make it tempting to fill your shopping cart. But what happens when you get it home? How much do you end up throwing away because it goes bad before you can eat it? Try some of these seven weird and brilliant storage tips to keep your produce fresh for as long as it takes you to eat it!

1. Abandon The Crisper

Believe it or not, some things will store better on the counter than in the vegetable drawer! Learning which foods should stay cold and which don’t need refrigeration to stay fresh is a big step towards maximizing your enjoyment of fresh fruits and veggies this summer. Melons like cantaloupe, watermelon and honeydew should remain on the counter for maximum sweetness. Chilling before eating is okay, but they should be stored on the counter, as should many other fruits like cucumbers, lemons and pomegranates.

2. Green Bag Bananas

You know those little green bags that the vendor at the farmers market packs your bananas in? When you get the fruit home, store the bananas in that type of bag at room temperature to keep them from going brown before you have a chance to eat them. These bags slow down the ripening process so that your slightly green bananas may take a week to get ripe rather than just a few days.

3. The Sweeter Peach

There is nothing sweeter than a peach that is at the perfect stage of ripeness. But how do you store peaches so that they will get ripe without rotting? Keep them on the countertop at room temperature if you buy them a little green.

After that, if you don’t eat them right away, store them on a shelf in your refrigerator where they won’t get bruised. After all, no one likes mushy fruit. If you find yourself with too many peaches to eat right away and they are going soft in your refrigerator, slice them up and store them in quart bags in your freezer. Take some out and put them on your cereal, bake them into pies or use them however you would use other frozen fruit.

4. Berries

Berries are one of the hardest fruits to keep fresh since they have such a short shelf life. Blueberries should be eaten within 14 days after harvesting if they are to be eaten fresh. The best way to store berries for fresh eating is to wash them gently, remove all crushed, soft or moldy berries from the container and store the good ones in a plastic, glass or ceramic dish. Make sure to place a paper towel in the bottom to draw away excess moisture and keep berries from getting moldy. This goes for most berries, though raspberries should not be washed until ready for use to prevent mold growth.

5. Banish Brown Cauliflower

This flower vegetable is packed full of nutrients, but it does tend to develop unappetizing brown spots when it is stored too long. To prevent that, keep the cauliflower dry and store it in a perforated, plastic bag with the stem up in the vegetable drawer of your refrigerator.

6. Paper Towel Dehumidifier

Ever notice how spinach develops a slimy texture when stored too long? Try gently storing it in a plastic bag with a folded paper towel to absorb extra moisture.

7. Onions vs. Potatoes

Storing onions is a skill that has been pictured in every western movie made in the early television days. Strings of braided onions hung from the rafters in any ranch house. Now, most people just toss them in the vegetable drawer. When stored this way, onions tend to hold onto their moisture, creating an unappetizing texture.

Storing onions in a cool, dry place like a paper bag in the pantry or a basket in the cupboard is a better solution because their skins dry out and they keep longer. Just keep them away from potatoes, which can soak up the moisture given off by the onions. No one likes the stench of rotting potatoes.

This summer, feel free to stock up on fresh produce at the market. Now you know how to store some of the most common fruits and vegetables so that they will last longer and save you from throwing away what you can’t eat.

Ali Lawrencethumbnail_Ali is a freelance content creator and blogs about DIY and home advice over at Homey Improvements. Find her on Twitter @DIYfolks.

Diet Smiet: Listen to Your Body + Smoothie Recipe

Diet Smiet Listen To Your Body(1)Byline: Rachael Alexander

Have you tried a gazillion and one diets only to find that you never stick with anything? I certainly have, and I’ve even made myself feel guilty about the whole ordeal. I’ve been a strict vegetarian, a strict vegan, and even a strict raw vegan, and each time  I’ve “fallen off the wagon”.

Now I personally don’t believe that there is a wagon that you can fall off of, and that life is more like a flowing river. And like the river that has many twists and turns so to will your diet or what you choose to put into your body. I’ve learned to let go of the strictness of it all, and ditch the religion of any one diet (which is a continual journey) and learn to do one thing: listen to my body. Another thing I’ve also found is that it doesn’t matter which diet you choose, every diet should include fruits and veggies.

In the process I’ve educated myself  and as a health coach know a lot about different diets and ways of eating. But even before I became a health coach the one thing that stayed consistent and has kept me at optimum health is listening to my body.

Here are some things I learned to help you do the same.

Diets Low in Processed Foods, Dairy, and Gluten

What makes me feel awesome no matter the diet, is consuming lots of fruits and vegetables. I’ve learned that whether I call myself a vegan, vegetarian, raw foodist etc., what makes me feel freaking amazing are whole fruits and vegetables. I’ve also learned by listening to my body that consuming a lot of processed foods that are high in dairy, gluten, sugar, high fructose corn syrup, and all the other no-no’s as it concerns a raw vegan diet makes me feel less than awesome.

I’m not strict, and of course living in American society, I do sometimes consume processed foods if I’m in a sticky situation or feel like “cheating”, but for the most part it’s whole fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts & seeds, and other non-animal protein like tofu or tempeh. I don’t want to tell you what diet you should choose, but I’d like to give you some brief information on a few diets that are low in processed foods and high in whole foods.

The following diets are taken from Integrative Nutrition by Joshua Rosenthal from Chapter 4 on Dietary Theory (a great book and read).

Vegan

A vegan diet is one that is consisting of fruits, vegetables, lots of leafy greens, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and legumes. This diet also abstains and restricts all animal products and by-products including dairy, eggs, and honey. Veganism rejects the commodity status of sentient animals, followers often extend this principle into all areas of their lives and oppose the use of animals or animal products in any way.

5 Element Theory

A 5 element theory diet is one that originates from the ancient Chinese belief system that says that we are surrounded by five energy fields: wood, fire, earth, metal, and water. Keeping these elements in balance promotes harmony in our surroundings, and in ourselves. This theory promotes eating foods from the five phases including grains, tubers, beans, vegetables, and fruits. It restricts meat, sugar, overly processed chemical foods, deep-fried foods, liquor, beer, and wine.

Raw Food

A raw food diet is one that consists of fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, nuts, sees, sprouted grains, and seaweed. It encourages that 75 percent of the diet must be raw and also that raw foods are foods that when cooked are cooked under heat no higher that 116 degree Fahrenheit. It restricts meats and dairy products.

Paleo Diet

The paleo diet derives from the philosophy that our bodies are designed to thrive on foods that were available to our early paleolithic ancestors from 10,000 years ago. It encourages foods that are grass-fed, pasture-raised meats, fish, eggs, vegetables, fruit, roots, and nuts. It restricts grains (flour), beans, dairy products, potatoes, refined sugar, salt, and processed oils.

Ayurveda

This diet is an ancient healing system from India that emphasizes eating in accordance with your individual body type and the seasons. The system promotes health and disease prevention through balancing the mind-body types (also known as doshas). This diet encourages that a basic meal should have something warm, something with protein, a salad and/or vegetables with good oil, spices and flavorings, a small sweet for dessert, walk, and rest. Each meal aims to cover all six tastes: sweet, sour, salty, pungent, astringent, and bitter. It restricts foods that are heavily processed, have excess sugar and caffeine, and that have large amounts of animal protein.

Macrobiotics

Macrobiotic means “great life”, and is based on the philosophy that it is best to eat only natural foods, and balancing the yin and yang in the body is important. It encourages whole grains, fresh vegetables, beans, soups, sea vegetables, and fish. It restricts dairy, meat, eggs, refined sugar products, chocolate, tropical fruits, coffee, hot spices, and nightshade vegetables.

There are so many more diets that exist out their and if you are interested you should definitely do some research, but I want to stress the importance of not adopting a diet over what your body is telling you. Your body knows best, and no dietary theory can replace its intelligence.

Listen To Your Body

Did you know that you have an internal healing and intelligence system within you? Your body knows exactly what makes it thrive and gives you the best energy, better moods, and allows you to live with vitality and abundance, all you have to do is listen to it. I discovered this when I started experimenting with different foods from all the diets I was trying. I would try a food and then pay attention to how it would make me feel after I consumed it. I concluded that if I didn’t feel awesome, more clear, more alert, or whatever ‘feel-good’ feeling I was going for then I didn’t need to consume it. It was really that simple.

Here are some clues to help you understand how to listen to your body. Experiment with some of the diets or foods mentioned above. Try different breakfasts, lunches, snacks, and dinners. Keep a food diary for however long you plan on doing the experiment, I’d say at least 3-4 weeks. That way you can have a week dedicated to each of the experiments. Every time you consume a food item write down or take a mental note of how you feel after eating that food, then wait 2-3 hours and write down how you feel again. Do this for every meal.

Start to notice whether a food gives you gas, makes you feel bloated, gives you a boost that lasts, gives you a boost then a crash, makes you feel sleepy, makes you feel grouchy, or makes you feel moody. Now after the experiment is done circle all the foods that made you feel awesome, energetic, alive, and clear and aim to eat more of those foods. Simple.

Here’s a great smoothie recipe you can try for one of your experiments.

Glorious Green Smoothie Recipe

Serves 1-2 Depending on Your Appetite :)Glorious Green Smoothie

Ingredients

  • 1-2 pears
  • 2 bananas
  • 1 cup of compassionate milk (I’m using almond milk)
  • 1 cup of kale
  • 1 cup of pineapple

Directions

Add the kale and compassionate milk into your blender and blend until smooth. Then add the remaining fruits to the blender + some ice if you want it cold and blend until smooth. Then take a moment of gratitude and give thanks for this awesome delicious smoothie and enjoy!

 

Social Media Pic2Rachael Alexander is an Artist, Author, Health Coach, & Mosaic Soul. She is the creator of ENDIGO RAE, Home for Mosaic Souls: Individuals that are using their multifaceted nature to make their lives their art and masterpiece. ENDIGO RAE is a multi-platform lifestyle brand, online blog, and entertainment company that represents Rich Artistic Expression. It chronicles Rachael’s creations on how to be bold, be fearless, and be her most authentic self while helping others at the same time. On the journey to becoming our authentic selves, she focuses on life, health, creativity, and spirituality. Follow Rachael on Facebook, Instagram, and her Blog.

Make Any Vegetable Taste Irresistible

Simple Broccoli Garlic HazelnutsByline: Heather Pierce

You already know vegetables are good for you.

But there’s only so many times you can massage a bowl of kale before your tummy shouts “BO-RING!

Our mouths (and digestive systems) want to be entertained.

And if we don’t get that entertainment in our meals, we’ll look for it in half a box of gluten-free chocolate chip cookies. Yikes.

The best way to bring delight to every health meal? Throw a party for all of your senses.

Sight

Yes, how beautiful your dish looks affects how much you’ll enjoy it. Having a bowl of rice or just plain greens? Grate some carrot, sprinkle some pepper flakes, or toss some thinly sliced yellow bell peppers into your meal to give it an eye-pleasing pop of color.

Smell

Well, this one’s pretty obvious. Anyone who has walked into a home draped in the aroma of sauteed onions and said “oooh, what are you making?” knows just how the smell of food with make us salivate.

Touch and Sound

The most satisfying fare plays with a variety of textures. You don’t want a dish to be all crunchy or all creamy – how boring! That’s why guacamole is more gratifying with chips than with mashed potatoes. Or a bowl of oatmeal is more exciting with the tender crunch of a few walnuts sprinkled on top.

Taste

Think about your favorite dishes – they don’t normally have one flavor. That’s why we love a little sea salt on our dark chocolate. Or a kick of spice in a creamy soup.

And superfood leafy greens like kale or Swiss chard? They tend to be a little bitter. How can we sass them up?

Let’s add some sweetness with caramelized shallots or dried fruit like raisins or cherries.
…and some saltiness with, well, salt. Or tamari soy sauce.
…or a hint of sour flavor with vinegar or lemon juice.
…and to add more depth, the pungent flavor of garlic or ginger.
Then, to pack a punch we’ll add some lemon zest for a pop of color and some toasted nuts for an interesting crunch.

Just a few simple ingredients and you’ve instantly elevated a food from a healthy-but-obligatory side dish to “can we please have this every day this week?!

Try it yourself!

My two favorite veggie dishes use this exact formula. Check out some of my videos for inspiration on creating your own indulgent vegetable dish.

Or try you own twist!

HPG Profile Pic SmallerHeather is the healthy cooking YouTube show host and creator of the Go Feed Yourself Method: a 5-step online course for creating fast meals that keep you focused.  For more ideas, check out Heather’s free virtual cooking lesson or check out more of her recipe formulas and healthy cooking tricks at heatherpierceinc.com. Enjoy!

The Wonders of Healthy Fats: A Simple Guide

Byline: Lynn Louise Wonders

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All the science around the different kinds of fats in your diet might leave your head spinning! Never fear!

I am going to simplify all that science so we can get you on your way to greater health and well-being. Let’s chew the fat on fat, shall we?

You’ve probably heard a lot about good fats and bad fats right?

Let’s talk in terms of healthy vs. unhealthy instead.

And, while we’re at it, let’s also consider something called ratio and, of course, moderation.

The only really unhealthy fat to always avoid is hydrogenated fat or trans fat.

I must warn you, we just can’t trust the labels on commercial foods that claim “no trans fats.”

Sadly, companies are allowed to make that statement if the levels are below a certain number. The truth is if the ingredients label lists the words “hydrogenated” or “partially hydrogenated”,  trans fats are likely lurking in that food item. Best to skip that one.

Omega 3s, 6s and 9s…oh my!

Both omega-3 and omega-6 are considered essential fatty acids (EFA). They are essential to the health of our bodies BUT we have to get these healthy fats through foods or supplements. And in the right RATIO.

Let’s begin with Omega 3

Some of the benefits science tells us we get from consuming Omega 3s are:

  • Lower elevated triglyceride levels
  • Decreased inflammation for arthritis or other autoimmune disorders
  • Helps with ADHD
  • May help prevent dementia or Alzheimer’s disease

Fish has the most easily absorbable source of healthy Omega 3s.

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But hold on…

It is really important we get our fish and/or our fish oil supplements from clean, non-toxic fish sources. 

Access a list of fish healthy to eat and those to avoid by clicking HERE. 

There are other kinds of Omega 3s we can derive from walnuts, flax seeds, expeller pressed canola oil, wheat germ and soybeans.

But before you run out and gnosh on a whole lot of nuts and edamame, make sure your walnuts are raw and fresh. If they have an odor… bad news…the oil in them has gone rancid.  As for soybeans, well, only eat them in moderation, make sure they are certified organic and check with your doctor because too much soy (or sometimes any at all) can affect hormone levels.

What about Omega 6?

Omega 6 essential fatty acids are easily and readily found in a variety of foods. In fact, the typical American diet is far too heavy on Omega 6s causing health problems including obesity. You’ll find omega 6s in all sources of animal protein, most nuts, and eggs. The key here is ratio. Americans are typically way out of balance. You can fix your ratio though!

And Omega 9s?

Omega-9 fatty acids are monounsaturated fats. Omega 9s also offer a lot of health benefits. They are important for heart health and blood sugar control and can be obtained in the diet through foods such as expeller pressed canola oil, nuts and avocados.

So how do we find balance? The right ratio.

The easiest  way to be sure your healthy fats ratio is a good one is to eat the following foods regularly:

  • Raw (preferably organic) nuts and seeds, such as fresh organic flax seeds, chia seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, almonds, walnuts
  • Fish that are sourced from clean waters and found on the list of sustainable seafood
  • Organic grass-fed or pasture-fed butter
  • Organic eggs from pastured, free-range hens are rich in beneficial omega-3s
  • Meat from animals that are free ranging and/or grass fed, which are higher in beneficial omega-6s
  • Unprocessed organic oils such as extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, avocados and avocado oil
  • Coconut oil, (though not an omega-3 or omega-6 fat)- is a MOST beneficial dietary fat with benefits for heart health, metabolism, immune system, skin and thyroid
  • Avocados are a source of omega 9 and they have special properties in their fat content that have been shown to have all kinds of health benefits

The gifts of healthy fats

Healthy fats derived from clean, healthy sources in combination with your whole foods diet rich in phytonutrients from veggies and high fiber fruits help your body to run like a well-oiled machine. Healthy fats in the right ratio aid in reducing inflammation, improve brain functioning, assist in having healthy skin, provide lasting energy and much more.

Eating healthy fats will NOT make you fat!

Let’s dispel myths and get the facts straight here.

Dietary fat IS high in calories whether it’s unhealthy or healthy fat, yes. Too many calories consumed with not enough activity can results in weight gain, absolutely.

But the quality of the fats you are consuming in moderation, proper ratio and in addition to your healthy whole foods diet makes all the difference in how your body assimilates and utilizes those nutrients.

Eating just the right ratio of healthy fats will help your metabolism to operate more efficiently! The key is to consider portions and moderation when adding healthy fats to your larger portions of vegetables throughout the day.

What’s the buzz about leptin and leptin resistance?iStock_000033431782Large

Leptin is a special hormone. Its job is to communicate to your brain how much fat your body has and how much your body needs.

As women, in particular, grow older, we sometimes develop resistance to leptin. In order to address our leptin resistance, Science is finding that eating significant portions of protein and healthy fats in the morning, as soon after waking as possible can really help signal a sense of satiety and build a health leptin connection.

 Weave Healthy Fats Into Your Diet: Tricks and Tips

  •  Add a scoop of chia seeds and a scoop of organic pea protein to your green smoothie
  • Scramble some organic, free-range eggs in a tablespoon of coconut oil
  • Chop raw walnuts and sprinkle a tablespoon over a big green salad
  • Make your own salad dressings with expeller pressed walnut oil, canola oil and extra virgin olive oil
  • Nibble on pistachios and raw almonds instead of buttered popcorn at the movies (small servings will suffice!)
  • Buy a coffee grinder to be used for flax seeds ONLY – grind flax seeds and mix into your smoothies and drink right away to get the benefits into your body
  • Shop for sustainable fish and aim for 4-5 servings each week
  • If you eat chicken, beef or other meats, opt for grass-fed and free-range only

May your relationship with healthy fat be long-lasting! Here’s to your health!

lynn march 30 2014

Lynn Louise Wonders, LPC, RPT-S, CPCS, E-RYT is s holistic psychotherapist, yoga teacher, nutrition enthusiast and wellness coach providing programs and all natural, organic products to support health weight loss and wellness for women over 40. Lynn has studied nutrition and whole health in-depth with qualified nutrition experts and sources her information from the latest research and scientific findings. You can read more and connect with Lynn at www.wonderswellness.com