Optimal beauty and health is born of inner balance. I find that the ‘secret’ beauty formula is a little different for everyone. I believe that for all of us beauty involves a mix of nutrition, self-care, mindfulness, play and movement, time to rest and recharge, and loving and supportive relationships, among other things. My new book Eat Pretty Every Day aims to give you one daily idea of how you can support your beauty in each season, by mixing up your approach with recipes, challenges, mantras, DIY projects, and self-care practices. Today I’m thrilled to share the five most important daily elements to my nutritional routine. Because even though there may not be one single nutrient, food, or meal that will make your skin glow by itself, little changes and simple habits practiced day after day make huge changes in the way you look and feel.
The top 5 ways I eat pretty every day:
1. Warming drink in the AM
Hydration is key for so many functions of the body that relate to beauty. After many overnight hours without fluids, the morning becomes an incredibly important time to rehydrate from the inside out. Warm liquids like herbal tea (tulsi and ginger are two AM favorites), warm lemon water, or even plain warm water alone (heat pure, cold water in a kettle, rather than getting it warm from the tap) rehydrate and support detox and digestion with their heat. A warm drink is the first thing that goes in my body in the morning.
2. Blood sugar balance
If there’s one thing that can get you to your next meal without energy crashes, low moods, cravings, and hormone fluctuations that negatively impact your skin’s youthfulness and clarity, it’s eating to support balanced blood sugar. I make sure that my meals and snacks primarily come from whole foods contain a balance of protein and healthy fat, along with lots of beauty-boosting vegetables and fruits, which helps keep me satiated and prevents my energy from crashing. Steady blood sugar is essential for supporting hormone balance that keeps your skin glowing.
3. Fermented foods
The radiance of your skin is strongly influenced by your digestive health, which controls how you detox and eliminate, as well as the way you break down and assimilate nutrition. To keep my digestive health optimal, I eat at least one small serving offermented foods daily, and take a probiotic supplement. I also work on mindfulnessat mealtimes, to signal to my body that it’s time to rest and digest fully.
If I had to single out one category of powerhouse foods for skin radiance, it would be leafy greens. I encourage my clients and readers to eat at least one serving of greens daily, and I make this guideline a major priority for myself as well (and try to exceed it!). Greens vary in their nutritional benefits, but overall they are packed with skin-smoothing, sebum-balancing vitamin A, beauty minerals like iron and magnesium, and vitamin C for healthy collagen and youthful elasticity. I recommend alternating them often, and with the seasons.
5. Fresh herbs & spices
Adding fresh herbs and spices to your meals is the absolute easiest way to boost the beauty benefits of your meals. I love cilantro and parsley in a green smoothie, cinnamon, cardamom, and cumin on roasted veggies, and fresh grated ginger and turmeric in my morning lemon water. These flavor enhancers are antioxidant-packed, anti-inflammatory, and full of powerful phytochemicals for beauty. Here's a recipe from the winter chapter of Eat Pretty Every Day that takes a basic staple—brown rice—and supercharges its beautifying benefits with herbs and spices, to delicious result: