How Snacking Helps Your Beauty— plus a Simple Office Snack!

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Did you know that snacking can actually help you reach your beauty and weight loss goals? It's true; snacking often gets a bad rap, but it can be a delicious route to your best skin and your healthiest weight. The trick is to know how to snack well, to be well-versed in what to eat, and to plan ahead. The type of snacking that's best to avoid is the graze-all-day, munch-whenever-you-feel-like-it approach. It's quite taxing on your body to be digesting all day long, you miss out on the natural cleansing of your digestive tract that happens between meals, and you don't ever get to truly feel satiated (or actually hungry?) when you snack too often.

Snacking becomes a beauty essential when you have a long stretch between meals, and when you're training your body to maintain steady blood sugar for longer and longer periods of time. A snack at 4:30PM, when you've had lunch at noon and are waiting on a 7PM dinner reservation, can prevent a blood sugar crash, support healthy metabolism, and keep you from ravenously overeating late at night. I think far too many women still equate weight loss, or maintaining their ideal weight, with long periods of fasting. Can fasting help you lose weight? 100% if done in balance with good nutrition and steady blood sugar. See the current intermittent fasting trend. But quite often fasting is not sustainable, nor does it correct existing issues with blood sugar balance and cravings.

Many (most?) of the clients who come to me with weight loss goals end up eating more food during our time together. They also lose weight in the process. We work on blood sugar stability, and eating complete meals that help your body feel satisfied and free of cravings. I recommend snacks when you're going a long stretch without food; better to have a beauty-friendly snack than to end up hangry or scarfing a candy bar. Also better not to feel restricted, which amps up your cravings!

Ideally, you'll reach for snacks that include a source of protein and/or healthy fat to fuel steady blood sugar. A raw trail mix, hard boiled pastured egg, apple and almond butter, wedge of avocado topped with sea salt and seeds, or a low-fruit protein smoothie are all classic choices. But I know you're always looking for new ideas. Below is a simple snack recipe that is packed with skin-healing, hormone balancing zinc from sesame seeds, plus chia for fullness and great digestion, tons of healthy fats and just enough sweetness to satisfy a craving. Shake it up in the morning and take it to the office to avoid the vending machine!

Sesame-Date Pudding

Shake up this pudding in the morning and store it so that you'll have a snack to tide you over on long afternoons or late nights at the office. Top it with a generous drizzle of tahini, a sprinkle of sesame seeds, or a chopped date or two for extra energy.

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INGREDIENTS

  • 2 Tbsp tahini paste, plus more for topping
  • 3-4 pitted dates (depending on size and your desired sweetness), plus more for topping
  • 1 cup filtered water
  • 2 Tbsp chia seeds

DIRECTIONS

In a high powered blender, combine tahini, dates and water until fully blended. Transfer liquid to a jar and add chia seeds. Close jar and shake to combine. Pack in your bag and store in your office refrigerator until you're ready for an afternoon snack (will take about 30 mins from the time you shake it up to fully thicken— in case you plan to eat it right away)! Shake or stir once more before serving.

Detox Smoothie: The Springtime Pear

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If you've ever felt that you just didn't have time or interest in following a detox plan or a mapped-out cleanse, I hear you. While some detox programs do have excellent benefits, it takes time and effort to seek out a good one, stock up on the ingredients or supplements needed, and to follow its guidelines carefully. So most of the time, you forget the idea altogether. But detox doesn't have to be all or nothing!

This season, commit to one easy nature-approved detox strategy: incorporate more naturally-detoxifying spring foods in your regular diet. The Spring Beauty Renewal chapter of Eat Pretty outlines the full list, including artichokes, asparagus, and a green favorite that I use in the below recipe— dandelion greens.

The benefits of supporting your body's detoxification include glowier skin, increased energy, shedding unwanted pounds, and an immune boost that will aid you in staying well even after spring has passed. This is the season to focus on detox, to keep your beauty and body in balance. But I promise, it's okay to take a simplified route.

To get you going, here's an easy detox recipe that works as a light, blood sugar stabilizing breakfast (it has the key combo of healthy fats + clean proteins + fresh veggies/fruits). Feel free to add your favorite superfoods to suit your unique beauty needs in any season.

The Springtime Pear

This light yet filling and nutritionally balanced smoothie offers a trio of detox superstars— fresh dandelion greens, pectin-rich pear that cleanses internally, and chlorella— that support beauty and health in the spring season and beyond.

Serves 1-2

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 ripe organic pear, cored
  • 1 medium handful organic dandelion greens
  • 1/4 ripe avocado
  • 1 cup coconut water
  • 1/2 cup filtered water
  • 1 serving collagen powder (I like Vital Proteins marine collagen) or your favorite plant-based protein powder
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp chlorella powder (I like Sunpotion)

DIRECTIONS

Combine all ingredients in a high-powered blender and process until smooth. If needed, add more water to thin to your desired consistency. Serve immediately.

 

Plant Protein-Packed Breadsticks

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Many of my clients come to me eager to incorporate more plant-based proteins in their diets, but feeling short on ideas. One easy recommendation is to simply eat more beans and legumes like lentils, which offer mega protein, key beauty minerals like zinc and iron, and tons of fiber that's helpful for blood sugar stability, digestion & elimination (and in turn, glowing skin and balanced hormones), and weight loss. They're fabulous and usually super easy to throw into salads, dips, and classic comfort staples like tacos and veggie burgers. There are also a range of bean flours that you can experiment with to create baked goods that are much higher in protein and even grain-free if you wish.

These crunchy, savory breadsticks do just that. They're made with garbanzo bean flour, which looks just like white flour but offers more protein (about 5g protein in just one of these breadsticks!), zinc (a key mineral for immunity, skin healing and preventing acne), and fiber. This recipe is incredibly easy and kid friendly (turns out that rolling breadsticks is a lot like making a snake out of Play-Doh, for those of you who also have little ones). Set aside 15 minutes for prep and recruit a small helper. Change up the spices (I mixed poppy seeds and organic garlic powder here), get fancy with the designs if you like, and serve them with this Spring Vegetable Soup for a protein boost. 

Garlic Poppy Seed Breadsticks

Adapted from The Chickpea Flour Cookbook by Camilla V. Saulsbury

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups chickpea flour
  • 1/2 tsp unrefined salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • scant 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 3 tsp poppy seeds
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 7 Tbsp water

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 450 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, mix flour, salt, baking powder, garlic powder, and poppy seeds. Add olive oil and water, and mix until dough forms. If it crumbles and won't hold together, add just a small amount of water. Divide the mixture into 10 balls, and roll each into a breadstick about 8"- 10" in length. Transfer breadsticks to baking sheet and bake 10-15 minutes, until golden brown.

Spring Sweets: Coconut Cream Eggs

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My husband's dear grandmother Ellen passed away this week, just a few days before Easter. She and I first connected over our shared love for my husband— she loved to tell me stories from his childhood, and I loved to hear them. But over the years we had a chance to bond on a more personal level— often over food— and she became a grandmother to me long after my own grandmothers had passed. She was a willing tester for my recipes and would often send me a single sentence email that made my day when a food photo I posted to social media caught her eye. And it was always the sweet recipes that got her attention. She had a love of sweets that I share, and I loved indulging her with treats, as many of her family members did.

It was no secret that I looked forward to one of Ellen's own recipes too— I know that I wasn't the only one— coconut eggs that she would handmake and deliver to each of her grandkids (and their lucky partners) on Easter. This year we won't have that recipe and its (super-sweet but seriously addictive) flavor to look forward to, so this week I found myself dreaming up a way to recreate it, as I thought of her and processed our family's great loss. I never knew what was in Ellen's recipe (and maybe, in a way, didn't exactly want to know– sometimes it's better to just enjoy). So instead of trying to match hers, I created an Eat Pretty-style coconut cream egg that I hope pays homage. I like to think she would approve.

As a longtime coconut cream egg lover (I'm talking since childhood), I'm quite pleased with the results. Conventional coconut cream eggs are packed with refined sugar, but these get their sweetness from maple syrup and dates, plus creaminess from cashews and coconut butter. Don't skimp on the big pinch of unrefined salt that balances their flavors. Dipped in dark chocolate, they're my new Easter tradition, one that I'll make each year while I think of Ellen.

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Coconut Cream Eggs

Makes about 16 eggs

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked in water at least 4 hours, rinsed, and drained
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 Tbsp coconut butter
  • 3-4 soft dates (depending on their size and your preferred level of sweetness)
  • unrefined salt
  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened finely shredded coconut flakes, divided
  • 6 oz high-quality dark chocolate (at least 70% dark)
  • 2 tsp coconut oil

DIRECTIONS

In a high-powered blender, puree soaked cashews, maple syrup, dates, and a generous pinch of salt. Using the tamper, or frequently scraping down the sides of the container, ensure that there are no lumps and that the blend is relatively smooth. Add 1/4 cup of the coconut flakes and blend again for a few seconds, to break them down slightly. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and stir in the rest of the coconut flakes, adding slightly more if you find that the mixture is not quite thick enough to form into shapes.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Using wet fingers, form 1 Tbsp scoops of the coconut mixture into flattened egg shapes and place them on the prepared baking sheet. Chill them in the freezer while you prepare the chocolate.

In a small saucepan, melt the chocolate and coconut oil over low heat. Remove chilled coconut eggs from the freezer and coat each one with melted chocolate. I like use one hand to balance each egg on a fork above the saucepan while I use the other hand to spoon melted chocolate over top. Let the excess chocolate drip back into the pan, and carefully slide each chocolate-coated egg back onto the parchment. After you've coated all of the eggs, transfer to the freezer for 10 minutes to harden. Store in the fridge until serving.

Beauty Ingestible Road Test: Anima Mundi

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In my experience, the foods we eat are unequivocally our greatest tools to shape our beauty and health. Which is why I think that the growing market of ingestible beauty products (basically edibles with beauty benefits) has the power to transform our beauty routines.

In the past, I've road tested beauty ingestibles from Moon Juice, The Beauty Chef, Fountain, and Sunpotion, and shared recipes that I created to use each of these lines. Take a look at those past posts for more recipe ideas. This time, I'm sharing a brand that arrived on my doorstep in my January Beauty Heroes WELLNESS Discovery Box— a BRAND NEW OFFERING from Beauty Heroes, which includes four incredible full size products from Anima Mundi Herbals.

Take a look, and dont miss the warming Cherries & Cream Skin Tonic recipe below!

What you need to know about Anima Mundi Herbals: This brand specializes in herbal ingredients (many of them heirloom) from Central and South America, as founder and herbalist Adriana Ayales is Costa Rican. Before founding Anima Mundi (the beautiful name refers to the 'shared soul' of the world), she practiced herbalism in New York City and Berkeley. Beauty Heroes founder Jeannie Jarnot describes her first experience drinking Anima Mundi products (the same ones offered in this box), "an out-of-body experience." I've newly received my Anima Mundi products, but am loving the experience of using them so far, especially sipped in the tonic recipe ahead, and by adding the turmeric-rich Curam Elixir to my morning lemon water.

How to consume: Coconut Cream Powder is incredibly versatile. You can add a tablespoon or two to smoothies, hot drinks, and just about any recipe for extra good fats— especially lauric acid for gut, brain, and skin health, as well as metabolism. Mangosteen Hibiscus Superfood Powder can also be added (1 teaspoon is a standard serving) to drinks like juices, smoothies, and teas. I could also see getting creative and adding it to dressings and sauces or sprinkling it over a decadent bowl of fruit.

Here's what I made with my Coconut Cream Powder and Mangosteen Hibiscus Superfood Powder as soon as I opened my box:

Cherries & Cream Skin Tonic

Serves 1

INGREDIENTS

DIRECTIONS

Add cherries, both powders, and raw honey to a high powered blender. Pour boiled water over ingredients and blend until smooth. Top with additional hot water if needed to warm the tonic.

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Love it for: You will want to eat the Coconut Cream Powder by the spoonful. It's sweet, creamy, melts right into your mouth or into whatever you're making, and will be your new favorite beauty food item. The Mangosteen Hibiscus Superfood Powder has a mildly bitter taste, but it's packed with vitamin C, phytochemicals, and beauty minerals that truly nourish healthy, balanced skin from within. And love that these ingredients are incredibly high-quality and carefully sourced! They're also priced very well to include in your everyday beauty pantry.

Cost: Until it sells out, you can buy the January 2018 Beauty Heroes Wellness Discovery (4 products) here, for $49. And you can find individual Anima Mundi products in the Beauty Heroes store, as well as at animamundiherbals.com. Coconut Cream Powder retails for $20, and Mangosteen Hibiscus Superfood Powder retails for $24.


NOTE: If you purchase a Beauty Heroes subscription, or a product from the Beauty Heroes store, I will receive a small commission on behalf of Beauty Heroes. My honest review and experience with Beauty Heroes and these Anima Mundi products was in no way influenced by my affiliate status.

Warm Pear Bake with Cocoa-Plum Crust

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This winter, eat more cranberries and pears! These two naturally sweet beauty foods are ideal for cool weather, as they reduce inflammation and detoxify naturally. Eat them raw, or use as little added sugar as possible when you cook with them, to preserve their benefits. 

Here's a perfect way to use them in a naturally sweet dish that you can cozy up to all winter long:

Warm Pear Bake with Cocoa-Plum Crust

This quick-to-make dessert is packed with skin benefits from fresh pear, cranberries, cinnamon, cocoa, and walnuts. Dried plums, also called prunes (which just never sounds as appealing) are packed with iron, antioxidants, and natural sweetness, and fabulous for digestion and elimination in small amounts. Enjoy this simple treat when you have a sweet craving this season.

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Makes 3 individual servings

INGREDIENTS

3 ripe pears, cored and chopped

½ cup fresh or frozen cranberries

¼ tsp ground cinnamon

unrefined salt

Heaping 1 cup raw walnut halves

12 dried plums/prunes

4 tsp cocoa powder or raw cacao powder

Equipment: 3 ramekins

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350 F degrees. Toss pears and cranberries with ¼ tsp cinnamon and a dash of salt. Divide pear/berry mixture among three ramekins. In a food processor, combine walnuts, plums, and cocoa powder, and add in a generous sprinkling of salt. Divide and roll mixture into three even-sized balls and flatten each to create a top crust for your ramekin. Carefully (use a spatula if needed) transfer one crust to the top of each ramekin.

Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Cool slightly and serve.


Beauty Food Focus:

Cranberries. You’ll only find these berries readily available in stores from about October through January, so don’t miss your chance to take in their powerful skin and body benefits. The skins of cranberries contain anthocyanin pigments that protect our cells and collagen. These anthocyanins also lower inflammation, reducing redness, blemishes, and slowing the wrinkling process. Other phytochemicals in cranberries increase your skin’s UV tolerance and blood flow, giving you a radiant complexion. Cranberries support healthy digestion and lymph flow, making them perfect for the cold weather months when we’re eating larger meals. Be sure you don't just eat cranberries sweetened with refined sugars; try the Warm Pear Bake for a sweet way to eat them without added sugar.

Pears. Pears are beauty foods with so much natural sweetness, making them ideal choices for desserts or sweet snacks. Their pectin fiber helps detoxify the body, as well as support good digestion and elimination—keys for radiant skin. Phytochemicals in pear skins reduce inflammation in the body, which supports a gorgeous complexion, good moods, and a healthy weight. All varieties of pears have beauty benefits, but red-skinned pears are especially high in anthocyanins that protect your skin’s natural elasticity.

Sweet Autumn Soup

Ready for a sweet and comforting fall soup that will supercharge your skin with its beta carotene content and support natural fall cleansing to prepare your body and beauty for winter? Head over to actress and author Beth Behrs' website, totalmetox.com for my latest beauty food recipe!

Here's a sneak peek: Kabocha squash is one of the most delicious fall foods, and it’s naturally sweet. The addition of apples to this recipe lends it even more sweetness, making this soup perfect to complement a savory dish. Or you can eat light and fill up on the soup by itself—if you do, try adding avocado chunks for extra healthy fats.

The Beauty Benefits of Bitter Foods

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Sure, you love sweetness. Or maybe you're more of a saltiness person. But bitterness? It really deserves more fans— especially given its major benefits for your beauty!

Bitter foods stimulate digestive enzyme production and bile flow, seriously helping your digestive process, which in turn has a visible impact on your skin (as well as your weight, moods, and immunity!). Bitter foods also support liver detox (very important in the fall as well as the spring), further supporting skin glow, and help reduce cravings by satisfying a very important taste on your palate.

My favorite bitter beauty foods include radicchio, endive, arugula and sesame (all featured in the addictive recipe below), as well as turmeric, artichokes, dandelion greens, and grapefruit. Digestive bitters are another way to reap the benefits of bitterness in your routine— a few drops of bitters into a small amount of water before a meal also jumpstarts the digestive process.

If you make an effort to include more bitter foods in your diet (fall beauty goal?), you'll notice that bitterness can be a strong taste on your palate. it's not a taste we encounter very often anymore. Try to embrace it, remembering how amazing it is for your body. I love pairing bitter foods with something naturally sweet and tangy, like a dressing that mixes apple cider vinegar and honey, or one that incorporates balsamic vinegar and a splash of maple syrup. The dressing below includes pomegranate vinegar (I found a naturally fermented and super delicious version at Trader Joe's) with balsamic vinegar and maple syrup, and the end result is so satisfying and very balanced when paired with bitter greens.

Aim to eat your bitter foods early on in your meal, to get the most digestive benefits. Make this salad the first course at a fall dinner or holiday gathering, and you'll feel it work magic on your digestion even after the dessert plates have been cleared.

Bitter Is Beautiful Salad + Sesame-Pomegranate Dressing

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This salad combines the beautifying bitterness of radicchio, endive, arugula, and sesame with the natural sweetness of pomegranate. It's a perfect first course that supports healthy digestion.

Serves 4 to 6

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 large head radicchio, chopped
  • 2 handfuls baby arugula
  • 2 small heads endive, chopped
  • 1 pomegranate, seeds separated
  • 2 Tbsp tahini
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp pomegranate vinegar (can sub ACV or red wine vinegar)
  • 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp maple syrup
  • unrefined salt to taste
  • 2 Tbsp warm water

DIRECTIONS

In a serving bowl, toss radicchio, arugula, and endive. Top with pomegranate arils (seeds). Set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together tahini, oil, vinegars, maple syrup, and salt to taste. Add about 2 Tbsp water to thin dressing. Plate each serving of salad and drizzle with dressing to serve.

Fall Detox with the Green Pumpkin Smoothie

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Did you know that, in addition to spring detox, your body is naturally working to detox from the inside out during the fall months? Fall is the season of letting go and releasing— especially when it comes to toxins that you don't want stored in your body all winter, the season when detox naturally slows.

While you don't necessarily need to adopt a restrictive 'detox diet' this season, it helps to support your body in its efforts with naturally detoxifying foods. One of my favorite foods to support detox in the body is chlorella, a type of blue-green algae that is incredibly nutrient dense and prized for its ability to remove heavy metals while supporting your immune system. Chlorella is packed with plant-based protein and vitamin A, as well as beauty minerals like iron and zinc.

As with all algae and seaweed products, you should take extra care to make sure that you're buying high quality foods that are not themselves contaminated with metals or toxins. Sunpotion's chlorella powder is certified organic and sourced from Taiwan. It comes packaged in a dark glass jar to preserve its nutritional value. Sunpotion generously allowed me to sample it, and I will definitely be reordering.

Here's my favorite way to eat chlorella this season— in a smoothie that is rich in healthy fats, skin-smoothing beta carotene, and a dose of green goodness that supports my fall detox. These ingredients work in tandem to prolong your summer glow, while preparing your body and beauty for the colder months ahead. I love the combination of chlorella and spirulina (another nutrient-dense algae) in this smoothie to enhance the detox effects of each individual ingredient.

The Green Pumpkin

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This silky smoothie is mildly sweet and very filling. Its natural detox benefits make it an ideal autumn smoothie staple.

INGREDIENTS

  • 3/4 cup cooked pumpkin or winter squash (butternut, acorn, kabocha, etc.)
  • 2 cups unsweetened non-dairy milk, like coconut or almond
  • 1/4 ripe avocado
  • 1 1/2 tsp chlorella powder (I like Sunpotion)
  • 1 1/2 tsp spirulina powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 3 soft pitted dates

DIRECTIONS

In a high powered blender, combine all ingredients and blend until smooth. Add more liquid if needed.

Make this 5-Minute Energizing Lunch for Gorgeous Skin

Lunch is the time of day when your body is primed and ready to digest a really nutrient-dense meal. You can make this your biggest meal of the day, packed with skin nutrition! Only, lunch also seems to be the time when we reach for packaged, processed, fast food options, in the name of convenience. To help break that trend, this recipe was also created in the name of convenience— and energy, and glowing skin. If you have 5 minutes and 4 ingredients (plus your leafy green of choice, which you ALWAYS have around, right??), you have this protein-packed beauty lunch that also adds a probiotic boost. Feel free to add more veggies to this salad, as your tastes desire and your refrigerators allow.

Chopped Chickpea-Kraut Salad

Here's a super-quick lunch I love to make when I have an empty fridge or a lack of leftovers. I always have a can of chickpeas on hand, as well as some sauerkraut (I used the Gingered Purple Kraut from Eat Pretty Every Day for this recipe— it adds the perfect flavor and color!), which is more than half the recipe. It checks off your protein, healthy fats, and your probiotic foods, and if you add greens you have an even more beautifying masterpiece that takes—seriously—5 minutes to assemble. This serves 2, or just me if I'm extra-hungry. Enjoy!

Serves 2

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 15-oz BPA-free can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped raw sauerkraut 
  • 1 heaping tbsp vegan mayo (you can sub ripe avocado here too)
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • sprinkle of shelled hemp seeds (optional)
  • freshly ground black pepper

DIRECTIONS

Add chickpeas to a bowl and mash, using the back of a fork. Stir in remaining ingredients. Serve wrapped in, or over a bed of, your favorite leafy greens!