I've come to realize that we all (especially women, of course) spend so much time researching the newest beauty products to make us feel and look younger and more beautiful.  It's crazy how much money we spend on body and face creams, serums, makeup, and other other cosmetic treatments.  Even men have started to invest in face creams and such.  But what we often forget is that beautiful skin and hair really comes from within. 

Let's talk about what really leads to increased aging of our bodies and skin (apart from too much sun!).

Do you remember those pre-teenage years when we had so much energy, and didn't have to worry about our weight, much less the wrinkles on our skin?  So what changed?  

As we get older, we accumulate harmful toxins in our bodies from all the exposure to preservatives, additives, medications, pollution, and more, creating waste in our bodies.  This waste slows down the systems in our body, making it harder for us to maintain our weight or have the same energy, even if we’re eating the same way.  And unfortunately, expensive supplements and anti-ageing creams aren't able to fight the accumulated waste inside!

Changing what we eat and reducing the toxic burden in/on our bodies will change everything, inside and out.

So where do we start?

1.  Clear up your intestines.  Our intestines are integrally connected to all the major organs in our body, so they are KEY to how we look and feel.  Toxic material in our bowels will "send disruptive messages" to other parts of our body, resulting in discomfort elsewhere, including our skin.  Acne and eczema are often a representation of toxic buildup in our colon.  So step one to improving your external beauty is MAINTAINING A HEALTHY DIGESTIVE TRACT. 

Action step:  First, it's crucial that you eat plenty of fiber, drink lots of water, and sweat on a daily basis to make sure you are properly eliminating these toxins.  Also, start taking probiotics and eating fermented foods to make sure your gut flora is balanced.  Lastly, a seasonal detox is a great way to help!  (I have started doing 10 Day detoxes every season, so stay tuned for my winter detox!)

2.  Eat more Alkaline foods, i.e. fresh veggies & fruits.  The pH of our bodies greatly affects our overall health.  When our body is breaking down the acid residue (from acidic foods such as sugar, caffeine and most animal proteins) it leads to faster aging, and ultimately disease.  If we focus on eating alkaline foods (such as fresh vegetables and fruits), it will naturally boost our biochemistry.  Whole, plant-based foods are also easier to digest, helping our bodies to absorb the nutrients and get rid of the toxic waste. 

Action step:  Start experimenting with green smoothies for breakfast, and add a fresh mixed green salad to your lunch and dinner as a side dish or appetizer.

3.  Avoid artificial sweeteners.  All artificial sweeteners including Splenda are acid-forming in the body, and instead of helping you lose weight, they’ve been linked to weight gain.  Some of the main ingredients in these sweeteners stimulate the release of insulin and leptin, 2 hormones that basically tell our bodies to store fat.  Also, large amounts of artificial sweeteners can drive down our levels of serotonin, the neurotransmitter that tells us we’re full, making it all the more likely that we overeat and gain weight.  Lastly, these zero calorie sweeteners trick your brain into thinking you're getting a high-calorie treat, but when your body realizes that it received no calories, it actually increases your craving for sugar, sending you straight to the cookie jar.

Action step:  Switch out your Splenda for SMALL AMOUNTS of naturally derived sweeteners such as raw honey, pure maple syrup, lucuma, organic sugar, or for lower calorie options, try pure stevia extract or xylitol.

4.  Cut back on caffeine.  Too much caffeine can slow down your liver’s ability to efficiently burn fat and eliminate other toxins.  And as I mentioned earlier, this buildup of toxins in our body is what leads to faster aging!  Caffeine also stimulates the release of adrenaline, which leads to higher levels of cortisol – a stress hormone linked to fat storage.

Action step:  Start cutting back on your coffee intake, and consider switching to lower caffeine options such as green or white tea, or even better, caffeine-free herbal teas.

5.  Apply Food Combining principles.  Basic food combining principles include: 1) avoid combining two proteins in one meal (think eggs & steak, surf & turf, and for my latinos, beans with meat); 2) avoid combining carbs with protein (ex. rice with chicken, ham+cheese sandwiches, fish tacos); 3) don’t mix fruit with your meal, instead, eat fruit alone & in between meals. The good thing is that everything pairs well with low-carb veggies.  

I know that proper food combining is HARD, but it's not about being super strict 100% of the time.  The idea is that just by paying closer attention to bad food combinations and avoiding them when possible, it will help immensely with your digestion and ultimately your beauty.  

Action step:  Next time you’re craving pasta, enjoy it with a vegetarian sauce (ex. have quinoa pasta with mushrooms and spinach); if you want some meat, have it with a large salad to start, then enjoy your steak with a side of grilled asparagus.  And instead of adding fruit to your salad, have the fruit 1 hour before your meal.  Following these rules ensures that your body properly digests each food, absorbing all the amazing nutrients, and quickly getting rid of what it doesn’t need, avoiding toxic buildup.

I suggest you give these action steps a try, as they'll not only help enhance your beauty, they’ll also save you money, as they are way more efficient for keeping your youthful glow than all those expensive anti-aging creams!

These of course are just a few nutritional tips (in addition to my golden rules of proper health care) that can help get you flawless, glowing skin and a fabulous bod.  For more ways on improving your overall health, balance and happiness, give me a shout!

As always, I’d love to hear from you, so please share your favorite beauty tips.

Love and Beauty,