The truth is, what you eat can make an enormous difference in terms of how fast your body will age—as well as the condition of your skin.
The notion that eating should be considered one of the most precious parts of our day not only offers a new perspective on the very essence of eating but it also allows us to focus on the myriad ways in which nourishing ourselves contributes to our overall beauty.
Forging connections between food and beauty—both inner and outer—is something that Lee Holmes, author of Eat Yourself Beautiful, has spent years focusing on from her home in Sydney, Australia.
“Ageless, radiant and ethereal beauty is more about what we feed our bodies and how we actually feel inside than our external appearance,” she says.
The truth is, what you eat can make an enormous difference in terms of how fast your body will age—as well as the condition of your skin, body and internal organs, Holmes says. “If you want to look truly fabulous, glowing and vibrant, it’s crucial to know that what you put on your plate is more important than any skincare line or commercial cosmetic you put onto your skin.” In fact, the more nutrient-rich foods you consume, the better you’ll look and feel.
“Instead of spending time and money in the cosmetics aisle, visit your local grocery store or farmer’s market and seek out real, unprocessed foods to establish a naturally beautiful you,” Holmes says.
Refocus, too, on how you’re eating. The act of chewing slowly can tighten the muscles in your mouth, giving you the look of a facelift while also tightening sagging neck muscles.
In the end, Holmes believes that you don’t have to be a celebrity or pay endless sums of money for a daily supply of collagen drinks in order to have beautiful skin and look ageless. Instead, always have healthy items like spinach and coconut water on hand. “A $5 bag of organic spinach is packed with enough collagen to boost new skin cells, plump up lips, keep skin firm and provide lustrous, shiny hair, bright eyes and strong nails,” she says. “A $3 coconut water eliminates toxins and provides vital minerals to rehydrate the skin, revealing a plumper, more hydrated complexion.”
Cast Iron Kale Frittata
Star Ingredient: Kale
Kale is loaded with lutein, which keeps your eyes sparkling (and healthy). It also contains vitamin C, which is vital for skin health. Finally, kale trumps other veggies in the fiber department and leads by a long shot with vitamins A, C and K, blowing spinach out of the salad spinner.
Yield: 1 8-inch frittata
4 tablespoons coconut oil
1 medium yellow onion, sliced
1¼ teaspoons Eden sea salt, divided
½ pound kale, stemmed, cut into thin ribbons
8 organic pasture-raised eggs
¼ cup goat cheese, crumbled
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1. In a medium sauté pan, heat 2 tablespoons oil. Add onion and ½ teaspoon salt and cook until translucent, 4–5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
2. In a large bowl, massage kale with ½ teaspoon salt until tender.
3. Preheat oven to 375°F. and warm a cast-iron skillet for 5 minutes.
4. In a separate bowl, whisk eggs and fold in the kale, onions, cheese, pepper and remaining ¼ teaspoon sea salt.
5. Coat warmed skillet with remaining 2 tablespoons coconut oil. Pour in egg mixture. Place in the oven and cook until set, about 8 minutes.
Oysters on the Half Shell with Tropical Mignonette & Kale Chia “Caviar”
Star Ingredient: Chia seeds
These seeds come in both a black and a white variety (with similar nutritional benefits) and contain all nine essential amino acids, which are converted into protein and can only be sourced through food. Chia is the highest plant-based source of dietary fiber, protein, antioxidants and omega-3 essential oils, which promote plump, firm skin.
Yield: 1 dozen oysters
¼ cup mango, finely diced
¼ cup papaya, finely diced
1 small shallot, finely diced
¼ cup sherry vinegar
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
½ cup kale juice (from ¼ pound kale)
2 tablespoons chia seeds
1 dozen shucked local oysters
To make mignonette:
Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and let stand for 10 minutes.
To make caviar + ASSEMBLY:
1. Combine kale juice and chia seeds in a small bowl. Let stand to allow chia seeds to bloom for 10 minutes, stirring as needed.
2. Arrange oysters on a platter over ice. Serve with sauces.
Coconut Oil Poached Salmon with Kale-Almond Pesto
Star Ingredient: Basil
Basil is packed with iron and magnesium, which help improve blood circulation. Its essential oil, eugenol, provides anti-inflammatory effects similar to that of aspirin or ibuprofen. Basil also contains vitamin A, which is essential for vision and helps maintain healthy skin.
Yield: 4 servings
2 tablespoons Eden sea salt
1 box Eden Kamut & Quinoa Spirals
1 tablespoon Eden sesame oil
2 cups coconut oil
1 pound wild salmon fillets, cut into 4 pieces
¼ cup blanched almonds, soaked
½ pound kale, stemmed
½ cup basil leaves
1 clove garlic
2 tablespoons miso
1 lemon, juiced (about 2 tablespoons)
½ cup melted coconut oil
To make pasta:
Bring a medium pot of water with salt to a boil. Cook until al dente, 10–12 minutes. Drain and drizzle with sesame oil.
To make salmon:
In a small saucepan, heat coconut oil up to 225°F.
(Note: Oil should not come more than halfway up the sides.) Add salmon and poach until it is pale pink in the center,
To make pesto + assembly:
1. In a food processor, pulse almonds for 30 seconds. Add kale, basil, garlic, miso and lemon juice, and purée until smooth. While motor is running, stream in coconut oil.
2. Toss cooked pasta with kale pesto. Serve with a piece of poached salmon.
Winter Scalloped Sweet Potato & Kale Gratin with Almond “Parmesan”
Star Ingredient: Sweet potatoes
This is a superstar recipe for the hair and skin. Your body converts the beta carotene in sweet potatoes to vitamin A, which is necessary for cell growth and renewal and can keep your hair strong and shiny.
Yield: 1 8-inch gratin
For almond “béchamel”:
½ cup blanched almonds, soaked
3 cups filtered water
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
2 tablespoons arrowroot starch
1 teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon sea salt
Juice of 1 lemon (about 2 tablespoons)
For almond parmesan:
½ cup almond flour
½ teaspoon Eden sea salt
1 tablespoon miso
2 tablespoons coconut oil
3 medium sweet potatoes (about 2 pounds), peeled, thinly sliced
1 bunch curly kale, stemmed, cut into thin ribbons
½ teaspoon Eden sea salt
2 tablespoons coconut oil
To make béchamel:
Blend soaked almonds and water in a high-speed blender. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve or cheesecloth. Transfer liquid to medium saucepan along with nutmeg,
arrowroot, garlic powder, sea salt and lemon juice. Bring to a boil and turn heat off. Mixture should be thick.
To make parmesan:
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and rub together with your fingers until it is the texture of a coarse meal.
To make gratin:
Preheat oven to 350°F. In a bowl, massage kale with salt until tender. Coat a gratin dish with coconut oil. Create gratin layers by alternating sweet potatoes, kale and a ladleful of béchamel. Sprinkle with parmesan. Bake for 45 minutes, or until potatoes are tender and top is golden.