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.

Celebrate Spring Beauty with a Strawberry Shortcake Smoothie

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Meet my sweet snack of the moment: the Strawberry Shortcake Smoothie! The delicate flavors of strawberry and fresh turmeric root (which, surprisingly, has beautiful floral notes) pair so well together, making this a spring treat that's fabulous for your skin and energy.

Strawberry Shortcake Smoothie

This sweet smoothie satisfies a sweet craving with anti-inflammatory superfoods, healthy fats, and protein.

Serves 1 to 2

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups unsweetened non-dairy milk
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen organic strawberries
  • 1-inch chunk fresh turmeric root
  • ¼ cup shelled hemp seeds

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in a high powered blender and process until smooth. Serve immediately.

Chocolate Truffles for Beautiful Skin!

These Raw Cacao Almond Truffles are actually beneficial for our skin and our bodies, and completely free of refined sugar. Make them once and I predict that they'll become a go-to sweet treat. You'll serve them at holiday parties. You'll give wrap them up in a lovely box and give them as a gift. And they won't leave you with that terrible, over-sugared feeling.

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Spring Beauty Supper: Asparagus Sage Risotto

Looking for a new way to use fresh, beautifying asparagus? This risotto recipe isn't labor-intensive, but the results look professional! Best of all, your skin will thank you for the amazing dose of beauty nutrients.

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The Must-Try Pudding for Clear Skin & Healthy Hair

Turns out that chia, the seed we've been spreading over terracotta animals for years is actually a health food- an incredible source of omega fatty acids, fiber, minerals and antioxidants! So aren't you happy to hear that chia seeds can become dessert?!

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The Summer Salad to Serve for your Healthiest Skin & Hair

Lentils: these little legumes will do more than just keep you full and energetic- they'll work hard to keep your skin and hair in top condition. Make this cool lentil salad as a beauty-boosting summer side dish...

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Soup Tonight, Glowing Skin Tomorrow

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I’ve always had an amazing resource for holistic health info right at my fingertips. My greatest teacher about natural health was, and is, my mom. As a nurse, her knowledge of how the body works combined with her fascination about the natural remedies and nutrition impressed me more than any encyclopedia or textbook.

On to the beauty angle: every time I complained about lackluster skin or a breakout during my teenage years, my mom would tell me to eat a few carrots. “They help your complexion,” she told me dozens of times. Well, I’m here to tell you that it’s actually true. Carrots themselves aren’t going to clear up breakouts but they are so rich in beta carotene that you do see a glow in your skin after adding them to your diet.

How does the overnight magic work? Carrots are pro-retinol, that is, their beta carotene easily converts to vitamin A, which is one of the skin vitamins. Vitamin A is responsible for cell division and new cell growth. Sans vitamin A, your skin won’t rid itself of old cells as easily and you’ll be left with a less-than-smooth, noticeably dull complexion. The beta carotene in carrots is also a strong antioxidant that boosts immune function and helps protect against UV damage. It’s suspected to be anti-cancer and anti-aging.

The below recipe for Curried Carrot Soup one of my favorites (adapted from Martha Stewart’s own Curried Carrot Soup). It’s going to get me through the winter, and any other time of the year when I’m having doubts about my complexion.

Curried Carrot Soup:

1 tbsp butter

1 cup chopped onion

1 tsp curry powder

3 ½ cups vegetable broth

2 lbs carrots, peeled and cut into 1” chunks

1 ½ tsp salt

¼ tsp pepper

Sautee onions, salt, pepper and curry powder in melted butter for about 5 mins, until onions are soft. Add broth, carrots and 3 cups of water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until carrots are tender, 20 mins or more. Puree batches in a food processor or blender until the soup reaches your desired consistency. I like to leave a few carrot chunks. Season to taste.

*Just to note, plenty of other veggies are packed with beta carotene as well- try sweet potatoes, kale, pumpkin or apricots.