LaVie Organique Skincare Blog

How to Ramp Up Nutrition While Kicking Back This Summer

When my Romanian grandmother went away for the summer, she brought her commitment to anti-aging nutrition along with her. Thanks to her deep roots in Romania’s traditional wellness culture, she  knew exactly how to fit that disciplined attitude into a restful, pleasure-filled vacation. As this excerpt from my new book, Timeless Woman, explains, the secret of balancing good nutrition with easy summer living is to embrace the foods that Mother Nature intended us to eat at this time of year.

Satisfying Seasonal Appetites and Lifestyle Needs
Summer menus that center on salads and other vegetable dishes are in keeping with the Romanian tradition of living in harmony with the seasons. Cold dishes and foods that are less filling are particularly appealing in hot weather. These easy-to-prepare foods also fit summertime’s relaxed schedules. Salads are a wonderful alternative to convenience foods and takeout meals when you’re on vacation. All you need is a medley of fresh summer vegetables from local produce stands. Then you can put together a nutritious homemade meal without spending a lot of time standing in line in a crowded supermarket or sweating over a hot stove.

This cooling Romanian summer salad is a snap to make and a delicious way to increase your intake of anti-aging nutrients. The antioxidants and anti-inflammatories in the cucumbers and peppers help prevent and repair the damaging effects of intense summertime sun on our skin.

Romanian Summer Salad

2 garden cucumbers, peeled
1 bell pepper (red, yellow, or orange)
2 tomatoes
1 young onion
2 tablespoons sunflower seed oil or
extra virgin olive oil or canola oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Cut all vegetables. Mix with oil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

Summer produce supplies and abundance of anti-aging nutrients, while providing a fest for the senses. KEKO64

Summer produce supplies an abundance of anti-aging nutrients, while providing a feast for the senses. KEKO64

Even the most casual meal should be elegantly presented. Romanian cooks take as much pride in their presentation of the food as they do in their treasured family recipes. This Old World approach to serving meals can be easily integrated into laidback summer lifestyles by taking advantage of the beautiful qualities of whole foods. In summer, nature provides us with a bounty of brightly hued produce that can be shown to its best advantage with a minimum of fuss. For instance, you can create a minor work of art simply by arranging a rainbow assortment of vegetables or fruits on a plate, with an eye to how the different colors, sizes, shapes, and textures work together. Easier still, you can add visual excitement to a plain dish of sliced tomatoes or grilled summer squash with a garnish of summer herbs.

Visually appealing food stimulates the digestive juices that enable our body to extract dietary nutrients. Food that’s pleasing to the eye is also an expression of caring that helps make the meal an emotionally satisfying experience. Other thoughtful touches like a properly set table with fresh flowers and cloth napkins add a special shine to the meal, transforming the simplest lunch or dinner into a celebration of summer.

Fall Fitness Challenge: Stepping Up Your Game

Fall is the perfect time to ramp up your fitness routine.

Fall is the perfect time to ramp up your fitness routine. Serge Bertasius Photography

There’s no better time to focus on increasing our fitness than fall. By late September, the average temperature is ideal for a stepped-up outdoor training regime. Most important, our energy levels and overall wellbeing are at their peak. We’ve been nourished all summer long by the rich supply of vitamins and minerals found in locally grown fruits and vegetables. Summer sunshine has brightened our mood and built up our reserves vitamin D. As a result, we’re brimming with the zest and vigor we need to stretch ourselves beyond our usual limits.

Getting into Your Exercise Groove by Getting into Nature

To make the pursuit of your new fitness goals more enjoyable, feast your senses on autumn’s splendor when you exercise. Run or bike under a golden canopy of leaves. Hike toward a breathtaking view with the forest floor crackling underfoot. Let the crisp, energizing weather set your pace as you row on a tranquil lake or kayak in the ocean’s rolling waves. As nature casts its spell, your awareness of physical exertion will diminish. Your body will feel lighter and more alive. As the stress-reducing brain chemicals released by exercise enhance these effects, you’ll fall into a steady rhythm that enables you to push yourself harder and keep going longer. The sense of vitality and expanded potential that comes from this marriage of nature and exercise will reinforce your commitment to your workout program.

Two Natural Homecare Treatments for Lustrous Skin and Hair

If the long, harsh winter has left you with dull, brittle hair and flaky, itchy skin from head to toe, you can restore their health and beauty with a few simple ingredients from your kitchen. The following nutrient-packed recipes will give you a head start on a all-over springtime glow.

Combined with olive oil, salt makes an excellent natural exfoliator for dry, rough skin.

Combined with olive oil, salt makes an excellent natural exfoliator for dry, rough skin.

Egg and Olive Oil Hair Mask

This super-nourishing mask is the perfect all-in-one treatment for the hair and scalp. The protein, fatty acids, and vitamins B-12 and E in the egg yolk strengthen the hair and stimulate its growth. Egg yolks also contain vitamin D and iron, two nutrients that help prevent hair loss. Their rich supply of vitamin A helps relieve the drying effects of winter on the scalp, reducing flakiness and ensuring adequate oil production. Together with the lipids in the eggs, the emollient properties of the olive oil not only soothe parched, itchy scalps but also add suppleness, silkiness, and shine to drab, damaged hair.

1-2 beaten egg yolks (depending on hair length)

2 TBS extra virgin olive oil

Mix together the egg yolk and olive oil. After shampooing and rinsing, slowly massage the mask into the scalp and hair. Cover with a shower cap or plastic wrap and wait at least 15 minutes before rinsing thoroughly. You may need to add a little shampoo to remove the mask.

Salt and Olive Oil Scrub

The coarse-grained kosher salt in this scrub will gently exfoliate dead skin cells, allowing fresh new ones to come to the surface. In addition to smoothing and softening the skin and sealing in moisture, olive oil helps relieve irritation, protect against infections, and heal free radical damage with a potent mix of inflammatories, anti-bacterials, and antioxidants.

The following recipe makes enough of the scrub for about three applications.

1 cup kosher salt

1/2 cup virgin olive oil

Mix salt and oil together in a container or Ziploc plastic bag. Apply to damp skin and massage in a circular motion with your hands. Rise off the salt and gently pat dry. No need to apply lotion or cream-the olive oil will leave your skin thoroughly moisturized.

To get your hair and skin in the best possible shape for spring, be sure to include the same nutrients found in these natural homecare treatments in your daily diet. Balanced nutrition-inside and out-is the key to continually renewing the natural beauty of our skin and hair.

How Your Hands Can Start Growing Younger This Winter

Maintaining a truly youthful look requires an extra measure of kindness to our hands. The old saying that a woman’s hands tell her real age is based on the fact that our hands age more rapidly than our face. The skin on the backs of our hands is thinner than it is on most parts of our face and has fewer oil glands, so it’s highly susceptible to dryness and wrinkling. Compared to our face, our hands also have less fat underneath the skin. As age causes this cushion of fat to shrink, the hands can develop loose and crinkly skin and a bony appearance. These changes often become more noticeable in the wintertime when frigid winds, low humidity, and frequent hand washing to prevent colds can dehydrate the skin.  The following tips will not only winter-proof your hands, but also ensure they look younger throughout the year.

Invest in Professional Pampering

To get the best possible results from your hand rejuvenation program, invest in intensive treatments from an aesthetician who specializes in organic skincare. Professional hand care services often include the following steps:

  • Gentle exfoliation: Light scrubbing with a mixture of sea salt and plant-derived oils and moisturizers sloughs off rough, scaly skin, bringing fresh, young cells to the surface, and stepping up collagen production.
  • Warm paraffin mask: After your moisturized hands are dipped in warm paraffin, they’ll be covered with plastic bags or gloves to seal in the heat. The delicious warmth maximizes hydration and stimulates circulation, plumping up skin cells and encouraging collagen renewal. This deeply soothing treatment also helps relieve minor aches and pains and reduce the aging effects of stress on the entire body.
  • Hand Massage: By activating acupressure and reflexology points and increasing blood flow, an expert hand massage delivers a multitude of benefits. In addition to improving skin health and relaxing stiff joints, this traditional healing method fosters deep, revitalizing beauty sleep.

Massaging the hands and arms increases blood flow to the skin.

Do Try These at Home

Ask your aesthetician to recommend organic oils, creams, and anti-aging formulas you can use at home to give your hands the royal treatment. Your home hand care routine should include the following products and practices:

  • Healing hand hygiene: Replace irritating synthetic hand sanitizers and anti-bacterial soaps with moisturizing cleansers that include natural antiseptics like aloe vera, lavender, tea tree oil, grapefruit seed extract, and rosemary. As potent anti-inflammatories, these ingredients also reduce redness and itching.
  • Nutrient-rich anti-aging serum: Serum ingredients such as sesame seed oil; vitamins A, C, and E; sea buckthorn oil; and white tea protect your hands from the aging effects of free radicals and inflammation. Products with lactic acid and fruit enzymes help fade brown spots and speed cell turnover.
  • Deep moisturizing: Plant-based moisturizers such as olive oil, shea butter, and jojoba oil penetrate the skin’s deeper layers, where they hydrate and nourish newly formed cells. Their superior lubricating properties restore a firmer, more supple appearance to your hands.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids: Make sure not only your hand care products but also your diet contain plenty of these healthy fats. Wintertime meals that feature oily fishes like salmon and tuna; beans; flaxseed oil; nuts; and spinach, broccoli, or cauliflower help promote softer, wrinkle-free hands.
  • Damage control: On days when you’re not wearing mittens, shield your hands from UVA damage with a mineral-based sun block. Minimize wear and tear on your hands by avoiding harsh detergents and household cleaners. Use safe, plant-derived products instead. Your hands will thank you by looking fresh and feeling comfy all winter long.

 

Three Fall Skincare Fundamentals for Rejuvenating Your Skin

Why You Need a Balanced Fall Skincare Routine

Like every change of season, the arrival of fall places new demands on our skin while also presenting fresh opportunities to optimize its health and appearance. To help you prepare for the rigors of colder weather and take full advantage of the seasonal foods and renewed energy that fall brings, I recommend making the following seasonal adjustments to your integrated beauty and wellness regime.

Fall is the perfect time to revive radiance by shedding old skin cells. image courtesy of James Barker - FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Shed your old skin, bring on the new: Get your skin in shape for winter with a fall exfoliation program. A series of professional organic peels will not only help you slough off sun-damaged skin of summer, but also increase your skin’s capacity to absorb moisture. In addition to alpha hydroxy acids from the fall harvest of apples and quince, a traditional European organic peel contains Hungarian paprika to stimulate circulation. This combination of ingredients restores a youthful glow by bringing new cells the surface, while strengthening the skin’s ability to repair and renew itself. To calm, soothe, and protect the delicate new layer of skin revealed by the peel, your aesthetician should apply a mask that’s rich in organic moisturizers and plant-derived anti-inflammatories. Ingredients like aloe vera and white tea not only minimize redness but also help heal UV damage with generous doses of antioxidants. For your homecare routine, choose an organic scrub that contains gentle natural exfoliants such as ground walnuts, fruits, and lactic acid and follow it up with a super-rich night cream. Be sure to consult a qualified aesthetician about the pacing of your exfoliation treatments. A gentle, gradual approach to exfoliation is the key to achieving beautiful results without unattractive side effects. And don’t forget to wear a natural mineral sun block even on gray, cloudy days. Freshly exfoliated skin is particularly sensitive to ultraviolet rays.

Remember your roots: The earth provides the perfect remedy when the colder weather is about to drive us indoors, where our skin will be exposed to dry air and an increased risk of infection. The root vegetables that thrive in fall are packed with minerals and other nutrients from the soil. Increasing consumption of these nutrients now prepares our skin for winter by improving the resilience of the skin’s protective barrier and strengthening its resistance to inflammatory conditions, bacteria, and funguses. High in fiber, root vegetables satisfy hearty fall appetites without adding a lot of calories to a meal. Choose a colorful assortment of seasonal vegetables and roast them with olive oil and herbs for a delicious, restorative dinner. Some of the most nutritious choices are listed below:

  • Beets – High in antioxidants, anti-inflammatories, and enzymes that bind and neutralize toxic cellular wastes.
  • Yams – A natural source of rejuvenating plant hormones.
  • Onions – Rich in flavonoids that act as anti-bacterials.
  • Parsnips – A good of vitamin C, folate, and other vitamins and minerals that support healthy skin function.
  • Sweet potatoes – High in vitamin A, one of the core active ingredients in anti-aging skin treatments.
  • Carrots – Full of beta-carotene, which helps prevent environmental damage and adds golden tones to the complexion.
  • Garlic – High in allicins with antibiotic and anti-fungal properties; sulfur compounds also benefits skin by promoting circulatory health.

Pump up your exercise routine with fresh air: Recent scientific studies confirm intuitive wisdom. Exercising outdoors is good for both body and soul. According to a New York Times article, new research has revealed that people who take their workout outside not only exercise longer and harder, but also enjoy the experience more. Best of all, people who walked in the fresh air improved their overall sense of wellbeing. On psychological tests, they scored higher in enthusiasm, pleasure, vitality, and self-esteem than people who exercised indoors. They also reported less tension, depression, and fatigue. The energizing effects of cool weather make fall a particularly inviting time to exercise outdoors. Observing nature’s splendors as you walk, run, or do yoga poses on a brisk fall day is a great way to enjoy a natural high and reinforce your commitment to a disciplined fitness routine. From boosting blood flow to relaxing the mind, the benefits of regular exercise translate into a healthier, younger-looking complexion and a rejuvenated spirit.

Taking the Heat Off Your Skin: 10 Anti-inflammatory Diet Tips

One of the most important ways a healthful diet can help you nurture beautiful, youthful skin is by keeping your body’s inflammatory response in check. Under normal circumstances, inflammation promotes healing by sending white blood cells to infected or injured tissues. But inflammation can also damage tissues when stressors such as smoking, obesity, or sun exposure cause it to spiral out of control and become chronic. Chronic inflammation plays a key role in a host of skin problems from rashes, acne, eczema, psoriasis, and rosacea to wrinkles, sagging, and other visible signs of aging. An anti-inflammatory diet increases the power of your topical skincare routine to minimize the symptoms of these conditions and restore balanced health to your complexion.
Controlling inflammation depends as much on avoiding the wrong foods as it does on eating more of the right ones. Here are some basic guidelines to help you distinguish between pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory foods.

Pro-inflammatory Foods: Adding Fuel to the Fire
To minimize your exposure dietary compounds that fuel inflammation-related skin damage, avoid foods from the following categories.
Trans fats – Steer clear of processed foods such as crackers, cookies, and chips that list hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils on their labels.
Refined carbohydrates – Replace white bread, pasta, and rice with whole grain versions.
Sugar – The link between sugar and inflammation has serious implications for your skin. When sugar molecules attach to the proteins in our skin’s collagen fibers, the resulting inflammation causes those fibers to break down, reducing the skin’s strength and resilience. Inflammation linked to high blood sugar levels can also worsen acne. In addition to limiting your intake of sweets, watch out for sugars hiding in processed foods under different names like sucrose, dextrose, maltose, fructose, cane juice, and corn syrup.
Omega-6 cooking oils – Popular cooking oils such as corn, soy, canola, sunflower, and safflower are high in omega-6 fatty acids. While these fatty acids play a crucial role in our health, some of them promote inflammation when consumed in excess. For optimum health, you need to balance your omega-6 consumption with adequate amounts of anti-inflammatory omega-3s. Good sources include beans, fish, olive oil, flaxseeds, and walnuts. Depending on your specific health needs, the ratio of omega-6s to omega-3s in your diet should vary from 4:1 to 1:1.

Eating a rainbow of vegetables helps protect the skin from damaging inflammation.

Eating a rainbow of vegetables helps protect the skin from damaging inflammation.

Anti-inflammatory Foods: Keeping Your Skin Cool, Calm, and Collected
The following foods are among the richest sources of compounds that help keep your complexion healthy and youthful by interrupting the inflammatory process.
Berries – The phenolic compounds in blueberries, strawberries, and other berries help block enzymes that contribute to inflammation.
Olive oil – Another great source of anti-inflammatory phenolic compounds—for the highest concentration of these compounds, choose the extra virgin variety.
Cruciferous vegetables – These vegetables belong to the mustard family and include cabbage, mustard greens, broccoli, and cauliflower. The vitamin K, the omega-3 fatty acids, and a chemical called ITC in cruciferous vegetables help regulate the body’s inflammatory response.
Mushrooms – Mushrooms have been used an anti-inflammatories since ancient times. Porcini, shitake, and oyster mushrooms are particularly good choices.
Onions and garlic – These two members of the allium family of vegetables help prevent inflammation with a potent combination of phenolic compounds. Red onions are particularly high in these anti-inflammatories. They’re concentrated in the outer layers, so be sure you don’t peel away this portion of the onion.
Sweet potatoes – The anti-inflammatory effects of sweet potatoes come from the pigments that give them their orange or purple color, as well as from their high levels of vitamin A and other antioxidants. To preserve these nutrients cook sweet potatoes by steaming.
Ensuring your diet and your skincare products contain healthy doses of natural anti-inflammatories is a safe, gentle, effective way of protecting your complexion from the damaging effects of inflammation. In my next post, I’ll review the major plant-derived anti-inflammatories used in top-quality organic skincare products.

 

How to Optimize Sun Protection Through Seasonal Eating

As summer approaches, I’ll be focusing my diet on helping my body cope with this season’s biggest environmental challenge: sun exposure.
Ultraviolet radiation causes free radical damage, a series of cellular changes associated with premature aging and serious diseases, including cancer. By eating foods that are rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatories, we can help prevent these damaging changes from occurring. While this dietary strategy isn’t meant to replace external sun protection like hats and a natural mineral sun block, it should be added to your summertime health practices to ensure a complete approach to sun safety.
The following list highlights five of the best foods for protecting yourself against the risks of sun exposure this summer.

Tomatoes are one of the summer foods that offer natural sun protection. Image: graur razvan ionut; FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Tomatoes – A British study suggests that the antioxidant lycopene found in tomatoes acts as an internal sunscreen. Study subjects who ate 5 tablespoons of tomato paste a day for 12 weeks were found to have 30% more protection against sunburn than those who did not. A plate of fresh sliced tomatoes drizzled with olive oil and vinegar and sprinkled with fresh basil is a delicious source of this natural sun protection.
Mushrooms – Several species of mushrooms are high in selenium, an antioxidant mineral that counteracts free radical damage. Selenium also works together with vitamin E to help prevent the aging effects of inflammation. Choose crimini, portabella, or white mushrooms to maximize the selenium content of my favorite summer risotto.
Fatty fish – A piece of grilled, steamed, or broiled fatty fish such as salmon or tuna provides a hearty dose of omega-3 fatty acids.  According to a recent study at the University of Manchester, these essential fatty acids may help prevent skin cancer by reducing the negative impact of sunlight on the immune system.
Carrots – In addition to neutralizing free radicals, the beta carotene in carrots may also reduce sensitivity to the sun. Raw carrots are the perfect choice when you crave a crunchy summer snack.
Greens – From fresh herbs like parsley and basil to spinach, chard, and other dark green leafy vegetables, this diverse range of foods is another plentiful source of beta carotene. Greens are also packed with polyphenols, which combine antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. To find enticing ideas for adding greens to your summertime meals, stay tuned to our Facebook page.

Recharging for Spring with a Cleansing Diet

Eating in harmony with the seasons is the key to promoting the body’s natural power to cleanse and heal itself. Cleansing the body is especially important as we move from winter into spring. The heavier foods we typically eat in winter can slow digestion and tax the liver, interfering with its ability to process fats and proteins and to rid the body of toxins. For this reason, spring is a good time to take a break from meat and other animal products. Reorganize your spring diet around plant-based foods that help revitalize the digestive system and the liver and remove toxins and impurities from the organs and bloodstream. Here are some of the most effective choices:

Greens are an important part of a cleansing diet.

Leafy green vegetables – The green pigment chlorophyll in vegetables like spinach, chard, collard greens, and kale is a powerful detoxifying agent.  Scientific studies of chlorophyll suggest the antioxidant compounds it contains may help protect against cancer-causing chemicals and environmental toxins. These vegetables also help the liver produce more bile, a digestive fluid that helps break down fats and remove metabolic wastes from the blood.

Whole grains – The B-complex vitamins in brown rice, barley, and other whole grains support the metabolic functions of the liver. These foods are also high in fiber, which helps our digestive system function more efficiently.

Olive oil – The antioxidant properties of olive oil help the liver recover from toxin-induced stress.

Mushrooms – The antioxidant mineral selenium in mushrooms also has this effect.

Root vegetables – This category includes vegetables from garlic and onions to carrots, beets, parsnips, turnips, and celery roots. Like whole grains, root vegetables are a great source of fiber. They are also rich in antioxidants, including many vital minerals, which they absorb from the soil. Allicin, a sulfur compound that’s produced when raw garlic is chopped or crushed, helps protect the liver from toxins.  Another substance in garlic helps cleanse the blood. Onions are also particularly beneficial to the liver.

Lemon – Lemon juice helps flush out toxins from the liver and kidneys. It also stimulates digestion and bile flow.

For a springtime meal packed with cleansing foods, try this traditional Romanian soup.

 

Green Masque: Spring Cleaning for the Face

Early spring is the perfect time to treat complexion to a deeply cleansing Green Masque. The ingredients in this classic European recipe are great for reviving a dull, tired complexion after a long, hard winter.

The peppermint in the green masque helps prevent acne breakouts. Image courtesy of paytai /FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Alfalfa – The chlorophyll that gives alfalfa and other green plants their color is the secret of this mask’s powerful detoxifying effects. Because it’s packed with antioxidants, including vitamins A, C, and E, chlorophyll helps reverse the aging effects of free radical damage. The various B-complex vitamins in chlorophyll contribute to healthy skin in a range of ways from stimulating circulation to fending off acne. Chlorophyll’s anti-inflammatory properties also play an important role in the cultivation of clearer, younger-looking skin.

Peppermint – In addition to chlorophyll, peppermint contains menthol. The cooling effect of menthol helps soothe itchy or irritated skin. Menthol also helps control excess oiliness and protects the skin from bacterial infections. These properties, together with the anti-inflammatory effect of chlorophyll, make peppermint an excellent option for acne-prone complexions.

Oatmeal – This healthful grain is an ideal treatment for all skin types.  A gentle exfoliant, oatmeal helps remove old skin cells so fresh new ones can emerge. Beta glucan, a type of carbohydrate found in oatmeal, binds water to the skin, protects against irritants, and promotes healing. Studies suggest that beta glucan molecules are small enough to penetrate the skin surface and bring moisture to emerging cells in its deeper layers. Oatmeal also contains mild natural cleansing agents, anti-oxidants, and anti-inflammatories. Oatmeal masks are helpful for a variety of skin conditions, including acne, rosacea, eczema, and sun damage.

The Green Masque can be incorporated into a standard facial or applied between treatments to extend their benefits. It’s a safe, effective way to restore springtime freshness to your face.

5 Diet Tips for a Younger, More Beautiful Face

Now that the season for New Year’s resolutions is here, many of you may be giving some extra thought to your eating habits. This year, keep in mind that what we eat is as important to the appearance of our face as it is to the size and shape of our body. Every aspect of our health from digestion and skin and muscle repair to mood regulation is affected by our diet. A diet that supports the healthy functioning of our organs and tissues optimizes the defining elements of a beautiful, youthful face. A radiant complexion, firm facial muscles, and a vibrant expression are all reflections of a thoughtful, balanced approach to eating.

Your face is a mirror of your overall health. <Image courtesy of adamr/FreeDigitalPhotos.net>

Here are some dietary tips for maintaining a naturally attractive face:
1. Eat enzyme-rich foods – Raw plant-based and naturally fermented foods contain high levels of enzymes, substances that speed up and regulate chemical reactions in the body. Enzymes improve digestion and help cleanse the blood by breaking down toxins and organic wastes. Our body’s supply of these vital substances declines as we age. To replenish enzyme levels, include foods such as raw fruit and vegetables, sprouted grains, yogurt, miso, olives, and sauerkraut in your meals and snacks. You’ll find that eating these foods not only increases you energy levels, but also helps restore the clear eyes and fresh complexion of youth.

2. Consume plenty of colorful fresh fruits and vegetables – Broccoli, kale, yellow and red peppers, purple plums and grapes—eating a “rainbow diet” will ensure you get the antioxidants you need to fight the effects of free radical damage on the skin. Carotenoids—a type of antioxidant found in deeply pigmented fruits and vegetables—can even improve skin tone. These yellow, orange, and red pigments give your complexion a healthy golden glow.

3. Get enough protein The amino acids in the proteins we eat provide our bodies with the raw materials for rebuilding the collagen fibers in our skin, muscles, and bones. Over time as collagen production declines, these tissues atrophy, causing sagging and wrinkling. To help slow this process, our diet should consist of 10% to 35% protein. The quality of the protein we consume is as important as the quantity. High-quality proteins contain some or all of the 9 essential amino acids that our body can’t manufacture on its own. Good sources of these amino acids include meat, fish, egg whites, legumes, soy, nuts, and quinoa.

4. Include healthy fats – Omega-3 fatty acids from plant sources and fatty cold-water fish have powerful anti-aging benefits. These healthy fats help keep the skin moist, control acne, and repair sun damage. By repairing cell membranes, omega-3s help protect the skin from environmental threats They’ve also been shown to improve mood and sleep, two important factors in maintaining a young, vital look. Good sources of omega-3s include olive oil, flaxseeds, nuts, avocados, salmon, and mackerel.

5. Avoid refined carbohydrates – High blood glucose levels from foods like white flour and sugar can trigger the chronic inflammation and hormonal imbalances associated with acne. Chronic inflammation also contributes to the breakdown of the collagen and elastin fibers that keep our skin strong and resilient. These fibers can begin to crack and tear when they bond with sugar molecules. To keep both acne and wrinkles at bay, substitute fresh fruit for sugary treats and replace refined carbohydrates with 100% whole grain products.

Your face is the mirror of your total health and wellbeing. In upcoming posts, I’ll be saying more about how to beautify your face by adopting healthy lifestyle practices.