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.

 

Beauty Is Wellness, In Depth: Collagen

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Eat Pretty, In Depth is a new long-form feature that takes a deep dive into a topic that's important for your beauty and health. If there's a subject you'd like me to explore in depth in the future, contact me at jolene@beautyiswellness.com.

Collagen & Your Beauty

There’s a collagen craze that’s been building in the beauty world for the past several years, and, in all honesty, it’s not something I’ve been too eager to jump on board with. For one, the word collagen is one I associate with images of unnaturally plumped lips or skin, and animal parts that make me squeamish. And collagen shots, gummies, hot chocolate, and tons of other sweet collagen drinks have totally turned me off too. But the truth is that there’s way more to collagen than injectables and collagen-fortified junk food. And more reasons to consider it than just its skin benefits. Let’s explore.

Collagen is an incredibly important and abundant protein in your body; you'll find it in your skin, muscles, tendons, bones, nails, teeth— even blood vessels. The middle layer of your skin, the one that makes up your skin’s bulk and gives strength to that gorgeous outer layer you see, is primarily made up of collagen. There’s no question, you definitely want this stuff in your body as you age! However, as with most great things, we make less of it as the years pass by.

When collagen starts to degrade (due to natural aging, a diet that's not beauty-friendly, stress, smoking, UV damage and general free radical overload), the skin loses its support and strength— and wrinkles, sagging skin, and loss of volume happens. To mask this trend, you could get a temporary injection of collagen into trouble areas (or use it to plump up lips, cheeks, etc.), but there are risks to that route. You could also opt for LED light treatments to stimulate new collagen production, though these treatments can be costly and they work best with continued use. Collagen supplementation in your diet plays the long game by slowing collagen loss and rebuilding collagen to maintain a youthful complexion, at a much more affordable cost, with benefits beyond skin appearance. I’ve been experimenting with collagen and am seeing skin that looks a bit more hydrated (and I’m actually using less facial oil and moisturizer), and I’ve heard raves from clients and friends who added collagen to their diets and saw healthier-looking skin. From what I can tell, those who see the biggest results already have dry skin, or skin that’s showing early wrinkles. Many of the studies done on collagen show a greater improvement in older women, some post-menopausal, with skin that’s on the dry side; so if you fit into any of these categories, you may stand to benefit the most from adding collagen to your body!

So, what/how/when to supplement collagen? Should we reach for that collagen candy after all? How about collagen pills? Powders?

What to look for— a collagen peptide or hydrolyzed collagen formula, and a high-quality source that aligns with your diet.
— Jolene Hart

You have a LOT of choices when it comes to adding collagen into your diet. I have no doubt that these choices will continue to expand rapidly in the years ahead. Just know that some sources of collagen are more proven to be effective than others. At the moment, there’s good evidence that collagen peptides (basically just small proteins that contain a few specific amino acids) improve skin hydration and increase the water absorption capacity of the skin (both of which can lead to a significant visible difference in skin, since better hydrated skin often means plumped, less visible wrinkles), as well as improve skin elasticity. You can readily find collagen peptides in powder form, making it easy to add to smoothies and other foods. Collagen may also improve the appearance of your skin by reducing the depth of visible wrinkles, which is quite exciting for a big range of ages.

Collagen Choices

If you’re an omnivore, you can choose from collagen peptides sourced from cow, pig, fish, eggs, or chicken. Bovine collagen seems to be the easiest to come by in products on the market today, followed by chicken and fish. Full disclosure: I personally don't eat red meat or pork, and haven’t for 25+ years, so bovine or porcine collagen is not something I desire to add into my diet. I haven’t tried these types of collagen to speak to their effects. However, studies done on several of these collagen types are compelling (usually results showing after 4 to 8 weeks of supplementation). Both Verisol, a brand of bovine and porcine collagen, and BioCell, a brand of chicken collagen, are well-studied for their positive skin effects. The brands Vital Proteins and NeoCell offer some of the highest quality collagen peptide powders on the market.

Marine collagen peptides easily penetrate the gastrointestinal wall and through blood circulation are mainly deposited in the skin.
— Jan 2016 study in Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity

Lately I’ve been experimenting with marine collagen peptides, as much of the research I’ve found was done with marine collagen and shows that it is quite bioavailable (it appears even more so than bovine or porcine collagen), and is type I collagen, which is the type found abundantly in the skin. I’m a fish-eater, so I feel comfortable with this source. Again, it’s a personal thing. Food is a personal thing. I encourage you to always be very personal with your food choices, and to choose what nourishes and makes you feel best.

Beyond the promise of improved skin hydration and less noticeable wrinkles, one of the benefits that has led me to incorporate collagen into my diet is its ability to heal and seal the gut lining, which is a need that many of us (especially those with skin issues) have. Any food that supports digestive health is a major beauty food in my eyes! For additional gut benefits, bone broth delivers collagen and an array of health-supporting nutrients, and is worth a look if gut health and nourishment is your primary concern. Organic chicken broth is something I have chosen to put into my diet now and then postpartum, and it’s a fantastic source of collagen and beauty minerals that nourish your skin and heal your gut, if needed. Other collagen benefits that have been studied or are being researched include nail and hair strengthening, reducing cellulite, as well as reducing joint pain.

Sadly, collagen does not exist in plants, so there’s no comparable vegan or vegetarian collagen alternative to collagen peptides and bone broth, even though I’ve heard recipes like ‘vegan bone broth’ being touted. I think the idea of vegan bone broth is a great one, as broth is an incredibly nutrient-dense, healing food, but it’s not actually not ‘bone’ broth so choosing it for collagen-building will not yield the same results. For vegans who want to build and preserve collagen, I recommend eating plenty of collagen-building nutrients (see below) from whole foods, filling your plate with antioxidant-rich foods to fight free radical damage to collagen, and cutting down on inflammatory foods like sugar that break down collagen prematurely (this approach is helpful to anyone). There are also a few plant-based collagen-building supplements on the market; like this vegan and gluten-free supplement from Reservage that combines several components of collagen, including vitamin C, amino acids and silica, that may be of interest to vegans and vegetarians.

How Much Collagen do I Need?

One other thing to note about collagen supplementation is serving size. If you’re using collagen, or you intend to, check out how many grams you’re getting in each serving. 2.5 to 5 grams of collagen is a dose range that has been studied often and shown to produce results, whereas I find that brands routinely offer you scoops in the 5 to 15 gram range, and often recommend you taken them multiple times a day. Basically, you can buy a really high-quality collagen product and stretch your money by dialing down the daily serving size— and still see results. Also note that collagen is high in protein, so it may be helpful if you’re looking for beauty-friendly protein sources to add to your diet, and you may also want to cut down slightly on other protein in a smoothie, for example, if you’re going to be adding protein from collagen.

2500 mg of collagen peptides daily increase skin procollagen by 65% and elastin by 18% over an 8-week period.
— 2014 study on Verisol collagen

Another exciting thing to note is that some of the studies done on collagen supplementation show that some of the skin benefits like elasticity and moisture continue for weeks after stopping the collagen supplement. Basically, this could indicate that you’re making a real change to your skin because you’re providing your body with the building blocks it needs to make more, or better, collagen than you were before.

 

Collagen Supportive Nutrition

Regardless of your chosen diet, it helps to fill your meals with components of collagen (like high-quality protein, silicon, sulfur) and the beauty nutrients that support collagen production (like vitamin C and zinc). Here's where to find them:

  • Vitamin C. (strawberries, leafy greens, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, colorful raw peppers, citrus, kiwi) An essential cofactor in collagen synthesis.
  • Protein. Specifically the amino acids glycine, lysine and proline (pastured eggs, bone broth, legumes). Other top beauty proteins come from plant sources like quinoa, sea vegetables, raw nuts and seeds, hemp and pea protein, lentils and tempeh, as well as animal sources like wild salmon and sardines.
  • Vitamin A. Key for collagen regeneration. (Leafy greens, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, carrots, pastured eggs)
  • Lycopene. Supports collagen synthesis. (Tomatoes, watermelon, red peppers, sweet potatoes)
  • Sulfur. An important component of collagen. (Arugula, garlic, cabbage, pastured eggs, and radishes)
  • Silicon. Collagen contains lots of silicon. (Cucumbers, celery, radishes, red cabbage)
  • Zinc. Essential to the collagen formation process. (Pumpkin seeds, cashews and oysters)
  • Manganese. Required for collagen production. (Hazelnuts, teff, amaranth, black and white beans)
  • Copper. Helps develop collagen. (Sunflower seeds, oysters, shiitake mushrooms, almonds, lentils, asparagus)
  • Anthocyanidins. Bioflavonoids that protect and strengthen collagen. (Blueberries, cranberries, raspberries, eggplant, red cabbage, red onions)
  • Omega-3s. Maintain healthy cell membranes. (Flax seed, chia seed, wild salmon, walnuts)
collagen-beauty-nutrition

 

*For collagen recipe inspiration, you can download the free NeoCell & Delicious Living Collagen Kitchen ebook (I contributed the delicious Blueberry Cashew Collagen Smoothie recipe!).

--GIVEAWAY--

To win a 10 g tub of Vital Proteins Marine Collagen AND a 10 g box of Vital Proteins Marine Collagen individual travel-size sticks (both sourced from wild caught red snapper) [a $97 value], Leave a comment on either this post, or my Instagram post featuring these Vital Proteins products by the end of the day on May 3rd. Winner will be chosen at random.

CONGRATULATIONS TO INSTAGRAM USER @Christiineneeeee who won the collagen giveaway!

 

References:

Oral Intake of Specific Bioactive Collagen Peptides Reduces Skin Wrinkles and Increases Dermal Matrix Synthesis, 2014.

The Effect of Oral Collagen Peptide Supplementation on Skin Moisture and the Dermal Collagen Network, 2015.

Effects of a Nutritional Supplement Containing Collagen Peptides on Skin Elasticity, Hydration, and Wrinkles, 2015.

Skin Antiaging and Systemic Redox Effects of Supplementation with Marine Collagen Peptides and Plant-Derived Antioxidants, 2016.

Beauty Ingestible Road Test Part 1: The Beauty Chef

I recently had the opportunity to celebrate Free People's new beauty + wellness lineup (everything from natural beauty stars like Axiology and Gressa Skin to beauty ingestibles like Sunpotion and, yes, even Eat Pretty!) at a launch event in Nashville. The super cool and gorgeous (and also incredibly nice) Free People crowd came out to shop and sample and dance and drink (ingestible beauty cocktails, of course). I created a few drink recipes for the event using some of the top beauty ingestible brands to grace Free People's shelves, and I'm going to share them all with you here.

First up is The Beauty Chef, whose Hydration Inner Beauty Boost was a huge hit with event guests because it tastes like tropical, coconutty SUMMER.

What you need to know about The Beauty Chef: This Australia-based line is all about digestive health for beauty, which is a mission close to my heart. The three Inner Beauty Boost liquid supplements from The Beauty Chef (Hydration, Collagen, and Antioxidant) all undergo the brand's Flora Culture fermentation process, which allows them to deliver 6 billion probiotics in about one tablespoon of liquid (your daily serving).

How to consume: This one is easy—mix it with water, chilled herbal tea, or, as in my recipe below, detoxifying lime water!

Love it for: Probiotics and their powerful benefits to skin clarity, energy, good moods, and overall health.

Cost: $50 USD for 500mL

Poolside Skin Refresher

This tropical-tasting cocktail delivers a potent burst of detoxifying, collagen-building vitamin C from fresh lime juice, with the bonus probiotic and skin-hydrating benefits of coconut water and aloe vera, found in The Beauty Chef Hydration Inner Beauty Boost.

Serves 1

  • 1 cup pure water
  • 1 tsp fresh lime juice
  • 1 tbsp The Beauty Chef Hydration Inner Beauty Boost

Stir together and serve chilled or over ice.

For Glowing Winter Skin, Start This Holiday Tradition

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I was surprised to see an abundance of strawberries, blackberries and raspberries at my local market this week— isn’t it almost the winter solstice? While we’re lucky to have the option to eat antioxidant-packed, yet out-of-season, berries during the winter, the sweetest beauty gems of the holiday season are citrus fruits. This season you’ll find more citrus varieties available than at any other time of the year; not just navels and ruby reds, but tangerines, kumquats, Meyer lemons, mandarins, clementines, tangelos and blood oranges. Centuries ago, citrus was a status symbol and a treasured holiday treat, but today giving citrus as a holiday gift is a dying holiday tradition (one that that might need to be revived by us natural beauties). The anti-aging support that citrus provides throughout the winter nourishes our skin and revs up our winter glow far more than a box of candy canes.

What makes citrus fruits such powerful winter beauty boosters?

Read More

Help or Hype? Supplements and Snacks that Promise to Beautify

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Would you pop a pill for pretty?

In the latest issue of Organic Spa magazine, I take on the topic of nutricosmetics and nutriceuticals—foods or supplements that promise beauty benefits. If you've noticed of these products on shelves lately, you've pinpointed a major trend that doesn't show any sign of letting up. For my article I spoke experts including Jody Villecco, Nutritionist and Quality Standards Coordinator for Whole Foods Market, who confirmed that nutriceuticals and nutricosmetics are taking up an increasing amount of shelf space in stores.

So, are they help or hype?

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Spring Collagen-Booster: Strawberries

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You've been eating loads of spring greens lately, right? Good for you—and your skin! But sometimes even greens need to be set aside for sweeter bites, and strawberry season is our moment. This week I'm cooking with a juicy spring fruit that’s packed with benefits for your skin, eyes, teeth and body: the strawberry.

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Stewed Strawberry Pudding with Strawberry-Maca Sauce

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If you read my post on all the fabulous reasons to get more strawberries in your beauty diet this spring (read: a major collagen boost), I'm sure you're ready for a fresh new idea on how to use them. For a recipe that's naturally sweet (it doubles as a both a rice pudding-like dessert AND a crazy-good breakfast), try my below recipe for Stewed Strawberry Pudding with Strawberry-Maca Sauce.

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