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.
If you are allergic to dairy, I’ve compiled a list of the top three dairy alternatives! Even if you are not allergic to dairy I recommend trying some of these alternatives as having too much dairy can spike insulin levels which promotes inflammation in your body, resulting in inflamed skin. If you have struggled with acne for a long time, try limit your dairy intake and this way you can monitor if it is irritating your skin and causing breakouts.
Rice milk is the third most popular alternative to dairy, and with all the benefits – it’s no wonder why! Rice Milk is made from boiled rice, brown rice syrup, brown rice starch and water. Rice milk is the most hypoallergenic of all milk products, has the least amount of fat compared to all other alternatives and is naturally high in all B vitamins which are essential to your metabolism, circulation and nerve function.
Low in fat
Easy DIY milk
High in sugar
Low in protein
Oat Milk is made from oat groats and water however is not a gluten-free alternative. Oat meal is a great source of folic acid, vitamin E, calcium, vitamin D and fibre! Oat milk is best suited for tea’s, cereal and oats as it does not bind well when cooking. It’s also higher in sugar when compared to other dairy alternatives.
Oats have many health benefits
Good source of vitamins
Not suitable for those with gluten allergies/sensitivies
High in sugar
Almond milk is low in fat and calories and contains no animal by products. It’s made from ground almonds that been mixed with water. Compared to soy and rice milk, almond milk has the highest concentrations of vitamins and minerals. It contains copper, zinc, iron, magnesium, manganese, calcium, potassium and selenium. All of these nutrients are naturally occurring meaning that you can make your own almond milk and it’s just as good as the one you buy at the shops!
Please note: Almond milk is not safe for those with tree nut allergies.
Low in fat
Good to bake with!
Easy DIY milk
Not suitable for those with nut allergies/sensitivies
Nutrition is one of the biggest keys to clear skin. But how do you know which foods are best to eat to make your skin GLOW? Here are the Top 5 Alkaline Foods to reduce inflammation in your body and make your skin clear in no time!
1. Almonds & Almond Milk
Almonds are one of the healthiest foods you can eat. Remember to only eat a small handful a day and raw almonds are always best.
Broccoli is naturally high in vitamin C, vitamin A and calcium. I recommend to eat Broccoli at least 3-4 times per week to take full advantage of it’s amazing health properties. Pair it with grilled Atlantic Salmon for a real skin treat!
Beetroot has been known to cleanse the blood and detoxify the body so it’s no surprise that it makes the top 5 alkaline food list. Beetroot is naturally high in vitamin C, vitamin K and folate. It’s best served in salad, as a side and in fresh juices.
An all-time favourite fruit and rich in potassium, healthy fat, vitamin C, vitamin A and fibre! Incorporate in salads, raw treats, smoothies and more!
Not only are Carrots great for eye health, but they are also fantastic for an alkaline diet. Carrots are high in vitamin A, vitamin C and calcium. Get your carrot fix by juicing with other vegetables or chopping into carrot sticks and teaming with hummus.
You have heard of meal prep right? Cooking up a big batch of veggies and protein at the start of the week and freezing it, well you can do the same prep for your smoothies! Take the hassle out of making smoothies by preparing your own DIY smoothie packs and storing them in the freezer. It will also make great use of fruit that is becoming too ripe.
1.Plan Your Fruits and Vegetables
Make some time to write a list of in-season fruit and vegetables you will be including in your meals and beverages for the following week. Be sure to include extra for smoothies and feel free to shop smart too! If there are some fruits that are on special, these are perfect for making smoothies and will stay fresh as they will be frozen straight away. TIP: Remember to buy some freezer bags to store your ingredients in for later!
2.Prepare Your Ingredients
Before any chopping is done, it’s really important to wash all your fruit and vegetables thoroughly – even if they are organic! If you are using a regular blender, be sure to chop into smaller pieces for easy blending. Chop all your favourite fruits and vegetables and mix together in separate bags. Be sure to experiment a bit to include a wide variety of ingredients and multiple colours – you want to eat the rainbow!
3. Label Your Smoothie Packs
Label your smoothies with the date it was packaged and be creative with your smoothie names! Store in the freezer, keeping in mind you won’t need to add ice when it’s time to blend because all the ingredients are already frozen!
4. It’s Time to Blend!
Now comes the fun part! Take your choice of smoothie pack out of the freezer and pop into your blender. Add a liquid base of choice – almond milk, rice milk, oat milk, coconut water and blend until smooth.
Enjoy! Let me know how you like this idea in the comments below.