A Bride's Guide to Looking and Feeling Her Most Beautiful

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Wedding season is gearing up, and brides everywhere have but one thing on their minds: looking and feeling good on one of the most special days of their lives.

Actually, that's a huge lie. Brides have 8,659 other things on their minds, from the weather forecast, to the bridal party outfits, to the playlist you’ll be moving to. Every detail of the wedding runs through the bride's mind at one moment or another, so it's really a wonder that she has any time to take care of herself!

To help take the pressure off of seriously overwhelmed brides, I've pared down my favorite pre-wedding beauty pointers (all available in detail to brides who take part in a Beauty Is Wellness coaching program) for looking and feeling your absolute best on your wedding day—or at any big event. These tips are the foundation of glowing skin, an energetic body, your healthiest weight, and minimal stress as your wedding day approaches.

Here's the Eat Pretty approach to looking and feeling your best as you walk down the aisle:

A moment from My 2011 Wedding

A moment from My 2011 Wedding

1. See sugar for what it is. On your special day, no doubt you're going to celebrate with wedding cake, a plate of petit fours, a slice of homemade pie, or your favorite celebratory sweet. But in the weeks and months before your wedding, sugary foods are tied with stress as the #1 saboteur for brides. Refined sugar contributes to unwanted pounds, makes you more prone to acne, fine lines, dryness, and uneven skin tone, plus it takes you on a hormonal roller-coaster (as if you weren't experiencing enough drama as you plan your perfect wedding day!). If your wedding day goals include clearer skin or shedding extra pounds, cut out sugar as much as you can (try skipping it completely for 10 to 14 days to reset your cravings, if you have them), and find some healthier ways to deal with stress than sweet treats— think dinner with a friend, meditation, sweating in a sauna, or a long soak at the end of the day.

2. Make friends with ferments. Okay, not right before you say your vows, but in the weeks and months before your big day! Sauerkraut—along with other fermented foods like kefir, brined pickles, kimchi, and miso— contains beneficial probiotic bacteria that help amp up the digestion and absorption of beauty nutrients that happens in your gut after you eat. There are several times more probiotic bacteria in fermented foods than there are in store-bought capsules, so try eating your way to better gut health with a few forkfuls of fermented foods each day. Cultivate a healthy population of bacteria and you'll not only boost your immunity and moods and help out your skin, hair and nails, you'll stop bloating and gas (which is a great thing to avoid on your wedding day) before they start.

3. To slim down, eat. Eating to reach your healthiest weight can sounds counterintuitive, but trust me— it works. Starving or cutting too many calories slows your metabolism and dries up the stream of beauty nutrients that your skin, hair and nails need to glow—and grow. Forget dry salads, rice cakes and meal replacement bars; build your diet around beautifying proteins (think wild-caught salmon, lentils, hemp, raw nuts, sardines, pastured eggs, quinoa, etc.), healthy fats (avocados, raw nuts, coconut oil), and an abundance of fresh, seasonal veggies— and eat a combination of the 3 at each meal for your best blood sugar balance. While you’re at it, aim to eat less of the sugars, gluten-containing grains, dairy, and alcohol that can cause inflammation.

4. Don't fall prey to stress sabotage.  Brides, you know that stress is an inevitable part of wedding planning, so create a plan to shut it down before it takes a toll on your beauty and health. Stress, unchecked, can cause breakouts, weight gain and lackluster skin before your big day, not to mention make the entire experience a lot less joyful. Pick a stress-busting activity that makes you happy—it might be yoga, jogging, meditation, or taking a walk in nature—and practice it regularly. I also love supplements and teas like magnesium, lemon balm, lavender, and even CBD to support calm and relaxation.

5. Plan what you'll eat in the week leading up to your big day. You know that when you get busy, beauty nutrition goes out the window. So don't leave your wedding-week meals to chance. Take control of your meals and plan a grocery list of foods that will make your skin glow, rev up your energy and help you handle stress. Go for an anti-inflammatory menu filled with the foods mentioned in number 3, above. When your wedding day arrives, you'll be looking and feeling gorgeous—and you'll feel great about splurging on all of your favorite indulgences during your celebration.

6. Know that you're going to glow on your wedding day like no other day before! Whether or not science can quantify the radiant glow you get from being truly joyous and in love, it's there. Not only will you see it, but so will your partner, and everyone else in the room. Remember that you are gorgeous, and the happiness of this occasion will only amplify your glow beyond what you can imagine!

Bonus: if you're heading to a sun-filled honeymoon destination, you can help prevent UV damage by filling up on sun protective beauty foods that contain lycopene and beta carotene (think watermelon, red peppers, cantaloupe, tomatoes). You'll come home with memories, but leave behind the sun damage.

Tell me: what made you glow on your big day? I'd love to hear your own advice for wedding day beauty!

Would you prefer one-on-one coaching to motivate you to put these tips into action in your life? Contact Jolene to set up a free consultation to decide which Beauty Is Wellness coaching program fits your beauty and health goals.

Sunflower photo: Ivan Cabanas — Bouquet photo: Courtney Apple

Originally published July 2013/Updated April 2019

Skin-Nourishing Supper: Amaranth Polenta with Mushrooms, Basil & Greens

It's time to upgrade your complex carbs with a beauty nutrition-packed pantry staple: amaranth. Amaranth is a must-have in your repertoire, especially if you're vegan or vegetarian, as it's a great source of protein (8g in a serving) and beauty minerals including calcium, magnesium, zinc, and iron. The sticky, porridge-like texture of amaranth makes it a great breakfast grain (try the recipe for Coconut-Date Amaranth on p. 322 of Eat Pretty Every Day) or polenta base (as I've used it in this recipe), and also makes it excellent for your digestion. Even though we think of it as a gluten-free grain, it's technically a seed, one whose texture is really going to add something new to your usual meals— wait until you try it! 

Every single ingredient in this easy dish is loaded with skin benefits, and you can sub in new varieties of greens as they come into season and mushrooms as they become available. Enjoy!

Amaranth Polenta with Mushrooms, Basil & Greens

NOTE: If you prefer to serve a firmer square of polenta under your veggies (as opposed to a soft, porridge-y version), it's best to make the amaranth well ahead of time and let it chill completely. Try making it the night before serving, or the morning-of, so it has plenty of time to cool and solidify, and all you have to do is cook up the veggies to go on top. 

This veggie-packed meal is brimming with protein, one of the essential building blocks for your skin, hair, and nails that also helps keep your blood sugar stable (further supporting gorgeous skin!). It's also a great source of key beauty minerals like iron and calcium, and lots of antioxidants from basil and greens. Try subbing in whatever greens or veggies you have on hand.

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

3 cups broth or water (if using water, be sure to salt it, or add 2 tbsp liquid/coconut aminos for flavor)

1 cup dry amaranth

2 tsp coconut oil, organic butter, or ghee

1 onion, chopped

4 cloves of garlic, minced

6 cups chopped assorted mushrooms (I recommend including some shiitakes for flavor)

1 pint (about 2 cups) organic grape or cherry tomatoes, halved 

4 tsp chopped basil, plus more for garnish

3 large handfuls of roughly chopped organic greens (I used baby kale)

DIRECTIONS

Bring broth/water to a boil in a large saucepan, and add amaranth. Cover, lower heat, and simmer about 25 minutes, until water has absorbed and amaranth is sticky, stirring occasionally. Set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, melt oil/butter/ghee in a sauté pan. Add onions and cook until they begin to soften. Add mushrooms, garlic, and a pinch of unrefined salt, and cook until mushrooms soften and release their water. (Depending on the variety of mushrooms that you use, you can pour off some of the water if it begins to collect). Add tomatoes, basil, and season with salt and pepper to taste. When tomatoes have softened, add chopped greens and cook until just wilted.

Fill each plate with a serving of polenta, and top with the veggie sauté and additional fresh basil.

 

Win a Whole Foods Gift Card and Vitamix Blender!

Epic giveaway alert!

I'm so excited to announce that I've gathered together a collection of key tools for beauty—and you can win them, along with a copy of Eat Pretty Every Day, this January.

Here's what's being given away—just what you need to make 2017 your most beautiful year yet:

  • a copy of Eat Pretty Every Day & limited edition frame-able recipe print
  • a $200 Whole Foods Market gift card (one of my favorite places to shop for beautifying food!)
  • A Vitamix 5200 Series blender (one of my favorite kitchen tools!)

It's all available to win in the 2017 'New Year, New You' Eat Pretty giveaway. And it's super-simple to enter: just enter your info on the giveaway page here: http://budurl.com/epedgiveaway

US residents can enter to win this amazing package of beautifying tools until January 27th, 2017. Giveaway sponsored in part by Whole Foods Market.

Madeleine Shaw's Beautiful Breakfast Salad

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When I heard the title of Madeleine Shaw's first cookbook—Get the Glow—I had a feeling that I would love her approach to food. And I was right. Not only does she support the beauty-from-the-inside message with mouthwatering whole food recipes—she shares her personal journey, one that transformed her food relationship and her glow along with it, so that YOU can find your glow as well.

Here's a passage from her story, about redefining her relationship with food and rediscovering that glow:

"I started eating whole foods and found I was gradually falling back in love with food, life and, most important of all, myself. My taste buds bloomed, that 4pm energy slump was eliminated, my skin began to glow, calorie counting went out the window and I beamed from ear to ear. It is amazing when you give your body what it really desires; it is the most empowering feeling."

Can't you relate?!

Today I'm thrilled to share a delicious, beautifying recipe from Madeleine's new, must-have book, Ready Steady Glow. It's packed with recipe that will help you find your glow and love your food relationship. And you absolutely can't miss Madeleine's amazing site, which is also brimming with good things to eat and inspire you.

Enjoy this delicious 'breakfast salad'— a style of eating that helps you get enough good fats, clean protein and beautifying veggies from your very first meal of the day. Try it and I guarantee you'll feel energized and satisfied!

x

Jolene

Madeleine Shaw's Beautiful Breakfast Salad

Breakfast salads are one of my favourite ways to start the day. I love mixing up my morning routine every now and then, and this dish helps me do just that. I prefer to fry my eggs in coconut oil; not only does it have a higher smoking point than regular oils but it also doesn’t denature with heat. It makes the eggs super crispy, too!

serves 2

1 tbsp coconut oil or butter

4 eggs

1 large avocado, peeled and stoned

juice of 1 lemon

50g rocket [arugula]

100g cherry tomatoes, cut in half

2 tsp chopped chives

2 tbsp good-quality pesto or leftover pesto mint

Heat the oil or butter in a frying pan over a high heat for 1 minute. Crack in the eggs, spaced apart, put a lid on the pan and cook for 1–2 minutes until the yolks are runny – or cook for a little longer if you prefer your eggs well done.

Slice the avocado and toss with the lemon juice. Arrange the rocket, tomatoes and avocado on a plate and top with the fried eggs. Scatter over the chopped chives and drizzle over the pesto to finish.

Recipe excerpted from Ready, Steady, Glow: Fast, Fresh Food Designed for Real Life with the permission of Madeleine Shaw.

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.

Skin-Boosting Side Dish: Miso Broccoli Lentil Salad

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Put a beautifying spin on a classic dish, lentil salad, with this probiotic0rich version. This salad is rich in digestive health benefits from food-based probiotics that do so much to support radiant skin, good moods, energy, and our healthiest weight. The fermented miso paste that helps flavor this salad is a source of that beneficial probiotic bacteria, a daily MUST-HAVE in your beauty diet! Lentils and hemp seeds are also two of my favorite beautifying sources of protein, which your body uses as a building block of your hair, nails, and skin.  Enjoy!

Miso Broccoli Lentil Salad

Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients

  • 1 cup dried green lentils, rinsed and drained
  • 1 heaping cup steamed organic broccoli spears, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/2 cup finely diced organic orange, yellow or red bell pepper
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp miso paste
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp shelled hemp seeds

Directions

In a saucepan, bring 3 cups of water to a boil. Add the lentils and reduce heat to maintain a low simmer. Simmer until lentils are tender but not mushy, about 20 minutes. Drain and set aside to cool.

In a small bowl, whisk together lime juice, oil, miso, and garlic to make a dressing. In a serving bowl, combine lentils, broccoli, and peppers, and toss with dressing and hemp seeds. Serve warm or chilled.

'Seeing Beauty' Salad

'Seeing Beauty' Salad

This salad combines ingredients that support eye health (beta carotene-rich carrots and vitamin C-packed zucchini, lemon, and fresh herbs) with visual beauty from a spectrum of natural colors and textures. I love using carrots of many colors, but regular orange carrots are just as beautifying!

Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients

  • 9 organic carrots, peeled
  • 3 medium organic zucchini
  • 1 heaping tsp coconut oil
  • ½ cup cilantro leaves, finely chopped
  • ½ cup parsley leaves, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • unrefined salt and ground black pepper
  • 1 15-oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

Directions

Place carrots in a large skillet and fill the bottom third with water. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce heat and simmer about 15 minutes, or until carrots are tender when pierced with a fork. Drain and set aside to cool.

Using a vegetable peeler, peel long strips of zucchini lengthwise to create noodles (or use a spiralizer if preferred). Using the same large skillet, melt coconut oil and sauté zucchini noodles until tender but not mushy, about 5 minutes. Season lightly with salt and pepper.

In a small bowl, whisk together cilantro, parsley, garlic, oil, and lemon juice, and season with salt and pepper to taste.

When carrots have cooled enough to handle, chop into bite-sized pieces. (You may want to cut large rounds into half-moon shapes).

In a serving bowl, toss carrots, zucchini noodles, chickpeas and dressing. Serve warm or chilled.

For more beautifying recipes, see Eat Pretty: Nutrition for Beauty Inside & Out.

Recipe and images ©Jolene Hart

Meet the New 'Eat Pretty, Live Well' Journal!

I'm so thrilled to share the news that the Eat Pretty, Live Well guided journal is only a few days from hitting shelves—or making it into your hands! April 5th is launch day. I've been waiting a full year for you to be able to use the tools compiled within its pages (seriously, I remember writing the text on sunny spring days just like this one last year!).

Because this book is quite different from Eat Pretty, but very much complementary, I wanted to answer a few FAQs that I thought you might have. To preorder the journal so it lands on your doorstep on April 5, you can visit Amazon.com or BarnesandNoble.com.

What's a 'guided journal?'

Eat Pretty, Live Well is a compilation of essential beauty nutrition info, new strategies, trackers, self-assessments, and time-tested tools that I use one-on-one with my clients—all with a focus on food and mindfulness for beauty and health. It's a companion to Eat Pretty that also stands on its own as an interactive book to help jumpstart a new lifestyle, set, track, and meet beauty goals, or reset when you're feeling out of balance.  Reading and writing in it helps you tune into your body, track habits and foods, and build more moments of beauty into your everyday life.

What can I use it for?

I'll let this little excerpt from the journal intro give you some ideas...

What will I be writing about in the journal?

You'll be able to pick and choose which pages are most helpful to you, or follow the journal from page 1 to page 156. Some tools you may want to start with: the Beauty Profile and the Food Relationship and Self-Love Q&As, or the Seasonal Challenge pages for the current season you're in. The latter portion of the book provides Daily Food Diary pages that help you record daily intentions, check off nutrition and self-care musts for beauty, and record your meals and the way they make you feel. You can use these pages daily, or return to them whenever you need a reset.

Do I have to own, or have read, Eat Pretty in order to use Eat Pretty, Live Well?

Definitely not, although if you have read Eat Pretty, you'll see right away just how the two books work together. Eat Pretty, Live Well puts the info in Eat Pretty into practice, and it builds on it, with new information, action plans, grocery lists, and visuals (like the Eat Pretty Plate illustration, below). Whether or not you've read Eat Pretty, you can pick up the journal and explore the concept of beauty nutrition with tools that can be used to jumpstart beautifying habits immediately.

I can't wait to see all of the ways you use this journal in your beautiful life! For even more info, visit my Eat Pretty, Live Well page. If you have more questions, please leave them in the comments and I'll be sure to address them.

Thank you for your support and, above all, your constant inspiration!

In beauty and health,

Jolene

Best Foods to Eat for the Skin Issues You're Seeing

What foods should you reach for if your skin concern is acne? How about dullness, dryness, discoloration or wrinkles? Rosacea or eczema? Don't miss this excellent Shape article on the foods to eat—and avoid—to target major skin conditions from the inside out. I chatted with Shape for this info-packed piece, and hope that it inspires you to add (or remove) some foods that can truly impact the skin you see in the mirror!

READ: The 8 Best Foods for Skin Conditions

Images via Shape.com

Blueberry Cream Cups with Salted Coconut Crumble

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I don't care what the thermometer says outside; winter is over. Now that it's almost officially spring, our bodies and our beauty are ready for reawakening. To celebrate, I created these Blueberry Cream Cups, with frozen berries since the real thing won't be in season for another few months. They only have a tiny amount of maple syrup, and no refined sugar, and they're full of skin-friendly healthy fats.

This recipe would be perfect for an Easter gathering or a cool-weather spring brunch. Just take the cups out of the freezer 3 to 5 minutes before you want to serve. Once it starts getting hot, they'll melt quickly and won't last long out of the freezer!

Blueberry Cream Cups with Salted Coconut Crumble

This recipe is inspired by the Cool Peppermint Cream Cups featured in the winter chapter of Eat Pretty— I've always wanted to make a fruit-based version! These are slightly sweet and slightly salty, but not too much of either. They're sweetened with blueberries and just a tiny bit of maple syrup, but nothing else. The raw cashews and coconut oil are packed with healthy fats for your skin and metabolism.

Makes 10

Blueberry cream cups:

  • 3/4 cup raw cashews, soaked for 4 hours or overnight
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1 cup frozen blueberries, partially or completely thawed
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp maple syrup
  • pinch Himalayan salt or sea salt

Salted coconut crumble:

  • 4 tbsp unsweetened coconut flakes
  • maple syrup
  • Himalayan salt or sea salt

Additional equipment: silicone baking cups

Directions

To make the cream cups In a high-powered blender, combine the cashews, coconut oil, blueberries, maple syrup and salt until whipped and creamy, about 90 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the blender and blend once more to eliminate any lumps.

To make the salted coconut crumble, add just enough maple syrup to make the coconut flakes slightly sticky. Sprinkle a few pinches of salt into the coconut flakes and stir to combine. Taste and add more salt if desired.

Set 10 silicone baking cups on a tray or in a muffin tin, and divide cashew cream among cups. Using a butter knife or a clean finger, swirl the cashew cream until the tops are level. Sprinkle salted coconut crumble over the tops of the cashew cream and freeze at least 2 hours. To serve, unmold silicone cups and serve immediately. If the cups soften too much, return to the freezer to reset for a few minutes before serving.

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