Holiday celebrations are finally behind us and with them the many gluttonous dinners and bottles of indulgent champagne. As New Year’s resolutions go, I made a promise to eat cleaner, exercise more and lead an overall healthier lifestyle. Recently I’ve been gravitating to Paleo and slowly switching over my diet to this highly nutritious and healthy way of eating. I am shedding pounds, feeling more energetic and my skin is glowing. I feel that eating Paleo has made a drastic difference in how my skin looks and feels and I cannot wait to share my dietary tips with you:
1. Ditch reactive foods. Gluten, dairy and other highly reactive foods can have detrimental effect on your skin, promoting breakouts. The only way to find out how these reactive foods affect you is to cut them out for at least 21 days and see if it makes a difference. It is best to cut out one reactive food at a time to really follow what specific ingredient is causing your complexion the distress. As your skin clears up, you will also see added benefits of shinier hair and even shed a few pounds. Try it, I guarantee it.
2. Enjoy veggies, fruits and berries. For healthy skin, pick leafy and cruciferous veggies like broccoli, brussels sprouts and spinach. Containing vitamin C, these veggies help synthesize collagen and prevent wrinkles. While fruit is always welcome, berries have less sugar in them while being rich in antioxidants like resveratrol that prevent age-related skin transformations. Less sugar is always good in my book.
3. Drink up. I’m talking 8 or more glasses of water a day. Thirst signals dehydration and your skin is the first to suffer. If you find drinking water boring, spice it up by adding cucumber slices or mint leaves and strawberries to it. Get creative and you are guaranteed to start enjoying this highly healthy ritual! Water is essential in hydrating all the cells in your body so the nutrients get properly absorbed and all the harmful toxins are flushed out.
4. Up your fat intake. But only the healthy fats, known as essential fatty acids. These fats help sustain your skin’s natural oil barrier, hydrating your skin and preventing inflammation and skin aging. Enjoy olive, avocado and coconut oils as well as increase intake of healthy fats-rich foods such as nuts and salmon.
5. Limit sugar. Sugar wreaks havoc on our skin, attaching to collagen to form sticky proteins called AGEs (advanced glycolated end products) and decreasing skin elasticity. Limit sugar gradually to avoid severe cravings and drastic energy drops at the beginning. If you absolutely must have sugar, go for dark chocolate treat (more than 70% cocoa) or add agave nectar to your tea.
6. Eat your protein. Protein-rich wild fish, grass-fed meat and organic poultry and eggs provide collagen-building amino acids that are essential for keeping your skin healthy, firm and young. You can also add a high-quality non-soy and non-dairy protein powder to your morning shake for a fast, filling and fat-burning breakfast.
7. Don’t skim on supplements. A high quality food-based multivitamin makes a world of difference, filling in the nutrient gaps you might be missing in your diet. Vitamins and minerals contribute to glowing skin as well as provide powerful antioxidants to protect your skin from free-radical damage. My favorite multivitamin is Garden of Life Mykind Organics Women’s Multi.
Eat Well, Be Happy and Love Yourself!