A question I am often asked at this time every year is, “With Christmas just around the corner, how can I make healthy meals that are good for my skin and taste delicious too?”
The holiday season begins again soon but it doesn’t mean you have to deprive yourself of your favourite foods or be anxious about your skin breaking out!
I will share with you my personal holiday eating tips and meal ideas that will keep you on track with your Clear Skin Project! These are delicious recipes even if you aren’t following the plan.
Do NOT Skip Meals
Begin your day as any other day on the Clear Skin Project meal plan. Do not skip meals to save on calories or carbohydrates. The worst thing you can do is skip meals and then binge eat at your next meal. Try to incorporate lots of vegetables onto your plate whenever possible and limit sugar or processed foods and bread.
Eat Snacks Between Meals
Eat a protein-packed snack an hour before your holiday meal.
Don’t think of the holidays as an excuse to binge on unhealthy food. Be sure to plan in advance to make sure there are healthy options available that you can enjoy. If there are no healthy options, take some time to make some clean snacks or meals to bring along with you to the festivities. You’ll be surprised how many guests will choose fruit over dessert! Especially after a heavy meal.
When enjoying your holiday meals, make sure you are eating mindfully. Some great things to do are to take five deep breaths before you start your meal and sit next to someone you find interesting and can have an engaging conversation with. Chew your food thoroughly and slowly and put your fork down between bites.
Make Simple Swaps
You can make holiday eating more healthy by making simple swaps for healthier choices! Opt for steaming, roasting and grilling instead of frying in oil. Swap your roasted potatoes for roasted pumpkin and sweet potato. Create simple dressings and sauces using olive oil, lemon and oregano instead of sugary glazes. Include a healthy salad with all main meals and have a fresh tropical fruit platter instead of a sugar filled dessert!
Supplement With A Probiotic or Alkaline Detox Drink
We want to keep our gut happy and healthy during the Christmas period and help it to recover from any food choices we wouldn’t be making during a normal period. Have 1 tbsp Organic Apple Cider Vinegar twice a day with lunch and dinner and have a shot of Coconut Kefir to keep the bacteria in your gut abundant. The happier you can keep your gut, the better you will feel. Your skin will thank you for it too!
My favourite brand of Apple Cider Vinegar is an American brand called Bragg and my favourite brand of Coconut Kefir is Peace, Love & Vegetables in Byron Bay, Australia.
TIP: Team up with a friend so you can keep yourself accountable to making better food choices this holiday season!
It’s common knowledge that sugar contributes to your waistline, but how about your skin? There are constant reports on sugar and its effect on obesity and heart health but you may wonder if it is also contributing to acne and bad skin. The bottom line is yes, and I’m here to explain why.
When you look back on 50 years of clinical studies, there is a strong indication that diet and acne are linked. Studies have also shown that sugar promotes inflammation in the body, which in turn is reflected in your skin. We know that an unhappy gut = unhappy skin. When we feed it sugar it will surely aggravate your skin.
What Sugar You Should Avoid
I’m not talking about the sugar that is naturally present in fruits. Fruits can be wonderful for your skin and are far better for you than junk food. I’m talking about sugar that is present in simple carbohydrate foods like candy, ice cream, cake, white bread, pizza, potato chips, pasta, ketchup, jam, soda and snacks.
These foods are simple carbohydrates and cause problems for your skin. Why? They rapidly break down into glucose and cause an insulin spike in your body. They are pro-inflammatory foods which mean that they promote inflammation in your body, including your skin.
Simple carbohydrates are composed of one or two sugars that are refined and hold little nutritional value to the body. Because of their very simple structure, they are converted into sugar in the body much quicker than recommended.
The Best Type of Sugar
The best type of sugar is the one that is present in complex carbohydrates as they are broken down into glucose (sugar) at a slower rate than simple carbohydrates. Complex carbohydrates include foods such as brown rice, sweet potato, whole grains, beans, and broccoli.
Complex carbohydrates have a higher nutritional value to the body than simple carbohydrates. For this reason it’s recommended that simple carbohydrates are limited or reduced and complex carbohydrates are increased. These are the healthier sugars for your body and will fast track your journey to clear skin.
These foods will help to keep your blood sugar levels in check.
Tips To Keep Blood Sugar Levels In Check
Eat healthy, balanced meals frequently. Lowering your sugar intake does not mean you should lower your food intake. In order to keep blood sugar levels balanced you must re-fuel the body every three hours to avoid insulin spikes.
Get lots of beauty sleep. Getting enough sleep every night will ensure that your stress hormones (cortisol) are kept in check!
Stress-less! Keep stress levels to an absolute minimum and practice deep breathing techniques to manage daily stress. Stress can spike insulin levels in the same way that sugar can.
For best results, I recommend that you follow an anti-inflammatory diet of lean protein, healthy fats and a complex carbohydrates for clear, glowing skin!
These pumpkin waffles are the perfect Halloween and Fall recipe for all of you in the Northern Hemisphere at the moment! The best thing is they aren’t loaded with refined sugars and other naughty ingredients, you can eat these without feeling guilty.
2 1/2 cups coconut flour
1/3 cup raw honey
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsps ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
2 cups rice or almond milk
4 eggs, organic free range
1 can pumpkin puree
A few pecans for topping
1. Turn on waffle iron and allow time to heat up.
2. Combine coconut flour, eggs, pumpkin puree and honey until well combined.
3. Add cinnamon, salt, cloves and almond milk and mix until well combined.
4. Spray waffle iron with coconut oil non-stick cooking spray.
5. Carefully pour batter onto waffle iron using a 1/4 cup measuring cup.
6. Cook for approximately 1-2 minutes or until cooked through and golden brown. Be careful not to overcook.
7. Remove waffle from iron carefully and top with honey or pure maple syrup and pecans.
This is one of my favourite juices to drink in the morning! I love adding a bit of ginger to mine for an added kick. All of these ingredients promote healthy glowing skin, and don’t cause inflammation.
2 oranges, peeled
2 lemons, juiced
1. Combine all ingredients in a juicer.
TIP: Go ahead – add some Ginger if you like the taste! It adds a powerhouse of nutrients to your juice!
It is no secret that banana bread is deeelish! However most of the time it is filled with refined sugars and other ingredients that can inflame our skin and worsen blemishes and breakouts. This is my version of a “healthier” banana bread which also happens to be gluten-free, the perfect after school or office treat!
4 bananas, ripe
1 cup coconut flour
1/2 cup grated coconut
3 eggs, organic free range
2 tbsp raw honey
2 tbsp coconut oil
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup chia seeds
Rice or almond milk to tweak consistency
1. Preheat oven to 180° or 356°F.
2. Peel bananas and place in a large mixing bowl. Gently mash the bananas up with a large mixing spoon.
3. Add flour, honey, coconut oil, vanilla, cinnamon, eggs to the bowl. Combine with a mixing spoon or in a food processor until mixture is cake consistency. If the mixture is too thick, add rice or almond milk until desired cake consistency is reached.
4. Lightly oil the loaf tin and then coat the tin with desiccated coconut to prevent the cake from sticking.
5. Spoon the cake batter into the tin and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Once a skewer can be inserted into the centre and come out dry, it is ready.
6. Remove the cake from oven and allow to cool before turning it onto a tray or plate.
TIP: Feeling creative? Top with sliced banana or chopped walnuts and cinnamon before placing in the oven. Voila!
Snacking is an effective way to include extra nutrients into your diet and prevent hunger cravings between meals. Most of us tend to be unprepared when it comes to meals and will often grab meals on the go, which are usually processed and packaged. If you aim to add snacks in between breakfast, lunch and dinner you will find yourself less hungry and this also helps to keep your blood sugar levels steady so you don’t binge or overeat.
If you’re looking for healthy snack options that are good for both your body and your skin, look no further. Here are my top five healthy snacks that can be made in less than 5 minutes!
Raw Brownie Ball
I was introduced to Brownie Balls on a recent detox holiday in Bali and have never looked back! This is one of my all-time favourite healthy snacks and satisfies any chocolate craving! In a food processor, combine 1 ½ cups walnuts until blended fine. Add in 1 cup dates, ¼ cup cacao, 1 tbsp coconut oil and blend until well combined in a dough consistency. Roll the mixture between your hands and form balls, dust with cacao or shredded coconut and store on a tray lined with baking paper in the fridge.
Eat the rainbow with this fun and quick fruit recipe! Simply chop all your favourite seasonal fruit and thread onto a skewer. You can swap fruit for veggies too and include carrot, celery, broccoli, cucumber and tomato!
Do you have a jar that you can make use of? Put 2 tablespoons of your favourite hummus or greek yogurt tzatziki in the bottom of your jar, stick a handful of carrot and celery sticks into the hummus. Screw on the lid and voila!
One of my all time favourite pairings – banana and peanut butter. Simply top a gluten-free rice cake with 2 tablespoons of your favorite nut butter (could be cashew, almond or another fave) and half a sliced banana. Sprinkle with cinnamon for extra health properties!
One of my favourite go-to snack options when I’m on the go! In a food processor combine 1 cup dates and blend until a thick paste forms. Add 1/3 cup cacao, 1/3 cup chia seeds, 1 cup almonds and/or pistachios and blend until well combined. Spread onto a baking tray lined with baking paper and press down well until a ½ inch thick rectangle forms. Wrap tightly and chill overnight in the fridge. Unwrap the block and cut into 8 bars, dust with coconut for extra brownie points!
For a full 14 Day Meal Plan with yummy skin loving recipes, check out my top selling eBook Clear Skin Projectwhich includes everything you need to know to clear your skin in 30 days or less!