A Spoonful of Sun Protection

At this point in the summer season, you should be filling your plate with colorful veggies that not only energize and hydrate your body, but enhance your skin's sun protection as well. That's right— if you haven't heard the news yet, you can eat your way to an greater level of sun defense!

One of the most effective phytochemicals for summer beauty, lycopene, significantly boosts the skin's natural defenses against UV damage. Tomatoes are a rich source of lycopene, and the current tomato harvest is a signal to get eating to support your beauty. Below, you'll find one of my favorite sun protective summer beauty recipes— a gazpacho that I created for an Eat Pretty beauty food dinner with Whole Foods Market. Enjoy!

Tomato, Basil & Fennel Gazpacho

Cool fennel balances the spiciness of avocado and Italian basil in this light & creamy gazpacho. The addition of olive oil and avocado provides healthy, plant-based fats to allow for absorption of the many fat soluble beauty nutrients in this dish!

Makes about nine 1-cup servings

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs organic tomatoes
  • 2 large bulbs fennel, cored
  • 1 large organic cucumber, peeled
  • 2 jalapeños, seeds and membranes removed
  • 1/4 cup loosely packed Italian purple basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp ground allspice
  • 1 avocado, diced

Directions

Cut tomatoes, fennel, cucumbers and jalapeños into large chunks. In a high-powered blender or food processor, combine chopped vegetables until liquefied. Add basil, oil, vinegar and spices and blend until smooth. Transfer to a refrigerator to chill, about 1 hour. Serve topped with diced avocado.

Sun Protective Cherry Chocolate Smoothie

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The summer harvest gives us bushels of fresh foods that support sun defense in our bodies— tomatoes, watermelon, peppers and apricots are just a few of my favorites. I'd also add cherries to that list, since the phytochemical quercetin in cherries helps defend against UVB damage. For a change of pace from your green smoothie, I created this creamy, sweet— and sun protective— Cherry Chocolate Smoothie that's filled with skin-friendly ingredients (and not a bit of added sugar). Beyond their sun defensive qualities, cherries reduce inflammation in the body, calm redness in the skin and fight allergies. Raw cacao power (an even more beautifying alternative to regular cocoa powder) also protects skin from UV damage, reduces redness and boosts skin hydration. It's also rich in sulfur, a beauty mineral that supports strong hair, nails and skin. As a bonus, cacao raises levels of feel-good neurotransmitters like serotonin and endorphins in the brain, making you happy! And the gluten free oats and hemp seeds also give your skin a boost, with plenty of plant-based protein, beauty minerals that support skin elasticity (in the oats), and skin-friendly fats (in the hemp seeds).

Cherries are ripe now, so grab a bag of these beauty fruits (look for organic varieties) and whip up this sweet, beautifying treat today...

Sun Protective Cherry Chocolate Smoothie

This sweet smoothie is packed with top energy foods like cacao and hemp, along with a phytonutrient boost from cherries and cacao that increases the body’s natural UV defense.

Serves 1

  • 1 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk
  • 1 cup pitted organic sweet cherries (fresh or frozen)
  • 1/3 cup gluten free whole oats
  • 1 tbsp shelled hemp seeds
  • 1 tbsp raw cacao powder
  • few drops almond extract (optional)
  • small handful ice cubes

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

8 Ways to Make This Your Most Beautiful Summer Ever

summer-natural-beauty-wellness

Want the secret to a summer of looking and feeling your best?

If I could give you just one piece of meaningful advice for a gorgeous summer, it would be to start thinking about your beauty in a different way—from the inside out!

Summer is your season to glow, to feel energized, inspired and alive, and to enjoy the very best of nature. There are so many ways to boost your beauty and health this season, and I don't want you to miss a single one. As you move through the summer months, take these eight tips with you, and use them to create your most beautiful summer ever...

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The Tastiest Sun Protection Around

The Tastiest Sun Protection Around

My friend and fellow health coach Ali Shapiro recently shared a list of sun-protective foods that will give your skin even more defense against sun damage from the inside out. Check out her tasty gazpacho recipe, and a few of my sunscreen picks...

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