I feel a little silly using the term "beauty foods", like I'm trying to sell cheap perfume or something. However, I'm putting aside my reservations because there's so much about the term that I love. Think about the messages conveyed by saying "beauty foods":
#1. That beauty comes from the inside out.
It's one of those things that may sound cliche, but it's literally true.
As women, we spend oodles of money on gel manicures, coloring our hair, facials, boutique-fitness studio memberships... Need I go on? I'm not dissing any of these expenditures- I indulge in beautification more than I like to admit to my husband ;) and I am definitely a champion of women taking time to pamper themselves.
The thing is, all that time, effort & money is wasted if you don't start with eating right. The first step to looking & feeling beautiful is to give your body the nutrients it needs to flourish. No amount of makeup can mask poor nutrition. Seriously.
#2. That food is so much more than calories.
Lately, in conversations with clients, I have found myself talking a lot about why focusing on calories is not helpful.
A calorie is merely a measure of energy. Yes, food provides energy, which is awesome! (I'm so thankful that as humans, we have to eat!) But, food provides SO MUCH more than that! Food is not only fun to eat, it also gives you silky hair, supple skin and rosy cheeks. If you limit yourselves to thinking about only calories, you miss out on all the other benefits and joys from food.
It is also worth mentioning that your weight is not a simple equation of calories in vs calories out. Your body is much more complex and there's a lot more at play. I'll save details for another blog, but for now suffice it to say the quality of your food is paramount.
Instead of time-consuming, tedious calorie counting, focus on foods that give you joy, energy & confidence.
It is much more fun (and effective!) to focus on eating more "beauty foods" that you love. Fall foods present perfect examples that can make you look & feel like your radiant self.
Here are a few of my favorites:
Apples: While an apple and a store-bought cookie could both have about 100 calories, it's the apple, not the cookie, that provides superpower antioxidants, literally your first line of defense against aging. It's the apple, not the cookie that provides hydration to prevent your skin from drying out.
Walnuts: These little guys are super high calories. But, who cares?! They are high in calories because of all the omega-3 fats - the ones that do AMAZING things for you like enhance your memory, boost your mood and reduce inflammation associated with weight gain (that's right, not only does eating fat not make you fat, in this case, it may help make you more lean)!
Check out this recipe for sweet & spicy walnuts, perfect for snack time or to throw on a salad.
Brussel's Sprouts: I've never understood how these nuggets of deliciousness became the target for all vegetable-haters. When roasted crispy, they're absolutely divine. Although lower in calories, they are crazy nutritious. Top on the list from a beauty perspective is vitamin K, which helps prevent bruising and build elastin in your skin to prevent wrinkles.
For an easy, fun twist on brussel's sprouts, here's a recipe for an amazing shredded kale-brussels sprout salad.
Pumpkin: Actually a kind of winter squash, pumpkin can often be used interchangeably with butternut or delicata squashes (the later two are a lot sweeter!) All of these deep orange winter squashes give you a boost of vitamin C, which builds collagen in your skin and beta-carotene, a powerful antioxidant that protects your skin from sun damage.
Cranberries: Have you ever tried a raw, fresh cranberry? They're sooo tart, they'll make you pucker like a lemon. It makes you wonder how much sugar they must put in most cranberry sauces to get them so sweet....
But if you can find (or better yet, make yourself), naturally sweetened cranberry concoctions, your beauty routine will thank you. Cranberries have naturally occurring resveratrol, an antiseptic that prevents breakouts and tones your skin. (Cranberry is also an effective treatment against UTIs!)
Come back tomorrow for this pumpkin-cranberry breakfast cookie recipe!
Love & Zest,
PS Two questions for you:
1. What are your favorite fall foods?
2. Do you feel more beautiful when you eat well?
Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below. We LOVE hearing from you!