For the next few weeks, I’m returning to the final four components of great skin care. The original post is here. What follows below are merely general guidelines, and only you will know which ones you should adopt and which ones aren’t working for you. I am not a nutritionist, dermatologist, ayurvedic specialist, etc. However, I am self-admittedly obsessed with researching anything I’m putting into or onto my body. These are observations I’ve made, tips I’ve gained through trial and error, and eating patterns that have worked for me. So here we go:
the second component of awesome skin has to do with the things you choose to put into your body.
Quite simply, this can be broken down into three categories:
These are the essential liquids you want to include in your diet for great skin:
- At least 32 ounces every day
- Mineral/Spring water is best, but just make sure the water you consume is not fluoridated (that includes the water in your pasta, rice, tea, coffee, etc.!)
Tip: decaffeinate it naturally by steeping it once and using that water on your plants. Re-steep for decaffeinated tea.
Green Juices/ Smoothies
Step away from the sugary fruit juices unless you absolutely cannot tolerate the green stuff
Avoid kale juice if it is contraindicated for you based on your test results from Great Skin: Part I. A common contraindication for kale (and other cruciferous veggies, at least when they are consumed raw) is Hashimoto’s, a common autoimmune disease that affects the thyroid.
Whaaa? Yeah, I drink coffee, I love it, and I have great skin. I recommend drinking only organic and filtered coffee from a percolator or other non-plastic brewing device. I like to mix decaf and regular coffee.
Extra Virgin Cold Pressed Coconut Oil is a great addition to any diet in my non-medical, smooth-skinned opinion. I like the Lifeway brand oil.
Butter. The organic, grass-fed kind. Animals store their toxins in fat, so don’t skimp. The extra cost is worth it for great skin and the possibility of a long, healthy life.
Extra virgin cold-pressed organic olive oil (non-heated). You have to be careful with EVOO because it undergoes a chemical reaction at low temps and turns into a trans fat. I sprinkle EVOO (okay more like vigorously pour it) on spinach with a pinch of salt for a tasty, fast side dish at dinner.
Experiment with other oils, particularly those from nuts (flax, walnut, non-GMO safflower…) Make sure they are cold-pressed (rather than expeller… the former doesn’t use any chemicals). Additionally, if the oil comes from a genetically modified crop avoid it unless it is labeled Non-GMO. You can find a list here of GM crops. The two most common culprits that turn into oil are soybeans and corn. And those oils aren’t even that great for you anyway. So take that Monsanto.
I think humans are like bears- we’re not meant to have a meat-based diet but rather we are opportunistic carnivores, benefiting from the consumption of meat products that are as raised as close to nature as is possible.
Eggs from chickens who are cage free & humanely raised. There aren’t any standards on what this means, so you may want to research sources of eggs ahead of time. Or go to Whole Foods. They’re pretty good about not paying mean farmers. Pretty good, not perfect.
Meat, especially grass-fed AND finished beef and ‘Step 4+’/non-caged pork. Animals raised in more natural settings have more Omega-3 in their fat, which is great for your skin.
Fish. Don’t skimp here. Buy the best. The younger the fish species tend to live, the less mercury it will contain.
Aim for wild salmon. Tilapia is cheap, but still a healthy option. So is Catfish, if you’re like me down here in the South and that’s an option for ‘yall.
Garlic (and onions). Garlic is pretty much the vascular wonder-child, it can do no wrong.
Organic. Always better. You knew that. Organics are kind of like yearly physicals. You pay more upfront to avoid bigger problems down the road. Consider it an investment.
In-Season. Ayurvedic medicine holds that these vegetables are more easily digestible and better at balancing our individual constitution(s).
Frozen. Avoid canned vegetables– the liner more often than not contains BPA. Frozen vegetables are my favorite to maximize nutritional value and taste. The texture is sometimes off, but I also just throw frozen vegetables into a wok with butter and salt, then use the “wait and see” cooking method. I don’t recommend cooking like this.
Sugars and Carbs
What? I think these are delicious. And totally necessary on your birthday.
Cupcakes. I have a rule- I have to make them myself. This ensures I use only good ingredients and keep the junk out (i.e. the preservatives, trans fats, etc.) It also ensures I don’t eat cupcakes every day (sadly, there was a period in my life when this was the norm.)
Vitamins and Minerals
Anything you are deficient in… As I talked about in Part I, it is important to have good baseline knowledge of where you stand, deficiency-wise, and work with a doctor to balance that out.
Vitamin B12. Shots or sublingual tablets/liquids are nearly always a good boost to your diet- many people have problems absorbing this vitamin from food and oral vitamin sources.
Magnesium from Epsom salt. I am a huge proponent of bathing for 15-20 minutes 1-3 times per week in Epsom salts.
Tip: The San Francisco Salt Company sells a huge bag (20 lbs!) of USP Grade Epsom salt, with free shipping!
Admittedly, it is a bit tricky to control the air we touch and breath. One remedy is to rinse your nose and body everyday, even if you don’t use soap (you can always use oil instead to pull the particulates off.)
Clean Air. Limit your exposure to exhaust while driving by making sure the recirculate feature is on in your car and keeping your windows closed in high-traffic areas. I’m a huge proponent of getting out of the city at least once a week. The beach or mountains are the best places left on this planet to find clean air. Avoid outdoor aggravations such as pollen, chem-trails and environmental pollutants by staying inside when these particles are heavy.
Thoughts and Images. What you put into your body is not limited to the physical components of our life. Be mindful of what you choose to think about or expose yourself to, because these affect who we are. Will you have terrible skin if you watch an entire season of Housewives in one weekend? No. Probably not. But you will find yourself thinking differently after viewing that content. Are you open to this new way of thinking? If so, watch away! If not, there are lots of other things to do with your time. Like get a facial ☺
“health is a by-product of enlightenment.”
-Dr. Suhas Kshirsagar, Ayurvedic Physician…