We live in the selfie era. Social media is bursting with well lit, filtered portraits and the pressure is on. I am not going to get into the despicable way in which our society judges women on their appearance, I hope we can all understand that is painfully absurd. I believe women are beautiful, regardless of how their selfie turns out. I believe we are powerful and kind and so much more than the package we come in. And while we keep fighting the good fight of dismantling "beauty" standards and recognizing our self worth is not based in our looks there is no shame in wanting to look OUR best. There, I said it. I want beautiful skin, I want well lit selfies but, more importantly, I want my skin to reflect the beauty I see within myself. You might want that too and there is nothing wrong with that. Healthy skin is a reflection of our habits and fortunately we can always improve on those.
Like everything else in life, healthy skin is not something that comes out of a bottle. You can spend all your hard earned cash on the latests "skin saviour" potion, you can follow all the skin trends and you can filter that selfie all you want if that makes you happy. But if you are not nurturing your skin from the inside you are wasting time, money and energy. There is no fresh paint that won't crack under a faulty foundation.
Food is power and the way you eat always shows up in your skin. So what is a smart, beautiful woman to do? Here are some recommendations that work for me:
1. Avoid added sugars, if possible eliminate them from your diet. Yes our body runs on glucose, but our body transforms proteins, carbohydrates and fats into glucose as needed. Added sugars have no nutritional value, but they do act as anti-nutrients by depleting our body from nutrients. They stress our liver and act as toxins. They cause inflammation, disrupt our hormones, stress our system and damage our skin.
2. Drink plenty of water. Divide your body weight by two, that is an average of how many ounces you should have a day. This number can change depending on weather, age, diet, level of activity etc, but it is a good estimate. I usually start my day with a glass of warm water with lemon, it stimulates digestion and gives me a boost of antioxidant vitamin C.
3. Eat lots and various vegetables. Vegetables are loaded with vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and phytonutrients. Fruits are also wonderful and contain powerful antioxidants. Start with two servings of fruit and three servings of vegetables a day. You can increase that number over time. Ideal amounts vary but I seriously doubt you can eat too many vegetables a day. And sugar laden juices should be avoided, does do more harm than good.
4. Don’t be scared of saturated fats. Saturated fats are important for a number of reasons, one being healthy skin. Fats like those found in coconut oil(with great anti-microbial properties), nuts, eggs, fish and avocados are incredibly nourishing. I am not suggesting you eat a stick of butter a day, but including some saturated fats to our diet is greatly beneficial.
5. Increase dietary collagen. While there are plenty of foods that support collagen production I like to include foods that have collagen in them. My main collagen source is gelatin. I costume it through bone broths and a high quality gelatin. Bone broths are a rich source of vitamins, minerals and collagen. I have them on a regular basis. For supplementing I recommend Great Lakes Gelatin, about a spoonful a day mixed in with tea, warm lemon water or probiotic drink. I highly discourage anybody from consuming flavored gelatin products. They are loaded with sugars, artificial colorings and chemicals, even if they are organic.
6. Include anti-inflammatory Omega 3’s in your diet. You can eat fatty fish, like salmon (wild caught), on a weekly basis. You can also supplement with flax-seed or high quality fish oils.
7. Primrose oil. This one can help with itchy skin. Evening primrose oil is rich in Gamma-linoleic acid (GLA) an essential fatty acid that has anti-inflammatory qualities. It is sometimes used to treat eczema.
8. Probiotics. In order to have beautiful skin you must have a healthy gut. A healthy gut will handle well detoxification so your skin has less detoxing to worry about. The best sources of probiotics are fermented or cultured foods. I like to make my own sauerkraut, sour dough bread and kefir water. You can also use a high quality supplement.
The pursue of radiant skin starts within. It begins with love and good food. Marvel at the wonder you are. Feed yourself with love and respect. And eat yourself beautiful.