Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Eating for Beautiful Skin

Hey beautiful!
Today was a crazy day to say the least. I attended my first funeral ever this morning. It wasn't for anyone in my family. My mothers friend/co-worker's father passed away. I also consider him to be my friend since I hang out with him and my mom sometimes for lunch and stuff. He is a really good man. 
As I said, I had never been to a funeral before and it was more difficult than I thought it would have been. It also taught me that one person can bring so many people together. That if you are kind, genuine, and positive the people you left behind will be better for it. I won't go into too much detail, but the father was taken very suddenly from his family and it made me realize something. Life is precious. We must spend every waking moment with the ones we love around us. And at the moments where life gets in the way- school, work, sleep, etc..- we must spend that time being the best versions of ourselves. It also taught me to appreciate everything I have much more. It taught me that the family, friends, and even past friends in my life are a blessing and I am thankful that they are/were in my life. And of course I am thankful that I have you guys. Anybody that takes time out of their day to read my blog means the world to me. So, thank you so much for stopping by today! You are pretty awesome :)

Now on to today's post. I have been told a lot lately that I have great skin. I don't know how true this statement is since I have makeup on when people tell me this (lol), and strategically put highlighters to make my skin glow. But, I have noticed an improvement in my skin over the last two years. You see in high school I ate a lot of this:

Aaaaaand this:

Now these things all taste hella-good. And it is definitely okay to enjoy once in a while, but they destroy your skin when taken in in excess. The reason for this being is that they are filled with artificial coloring, simple sugars, and grease.  Now, I am not telling you to not eat these foods. I am simply going to show you things that you can add to your meals everyday to help clear out the skin. It is also better for your health, in general to incorporate some of these foods. You might also find that the foods I will talk about today might actually begin to replace a lot of the foods above, until they are not even missed. You also will notice that the list is mostly fruits and vegetables. The reason for this is that they are full of water. And as we all know water is key to staying hydrated. So by doing that your skin will always look plump and smooth. Think of grapes and raisins. The difference is that one is full of water and the other isn't.

These are also foods that I try to incorporate into my meals daily that make me, my skin, and my body feel good.

Tomatoes: These babies contain something called lycopene. What this does is protect your skin from       sun damage. Think sun spots, wrinkles, hyper pigmentation. Its like a sun block, but it works from the inside out. 

Flaxseeds: Flaxseeds are packed with omega- 3 fatty acids. Not all fats are "bad" for you. These fats help to reduce wrinkles and keep the skin better hydrated since they allow more moisture to go into you skin cells. This makes them firmer. Following me, ladies? Firm skin is young skin.

Spinach: Aids in the repair of DNA, fighting the chance of developing cancer cells. Pretty cool, right?!

Tuna Fish: If you are a fish lover like me, you're going to love this. Tuna helps to protect from free radicals that cause UV damage and they help to hold on to the elastin in the skin. Elastin is what gives your skin that bounce back instead of the sag down.

Kale: Provides your skin with ample amounts of omega 3's and 6's. It also has Vitamins A, C, and K. Vitamin K is essential in the prevention of dark circles under the eyes. And get this, it has more calcium than milk. Calcium helps with cell renewal so that wrinkles don't form. The Vitamin A will also keep your skin smooth and hydrated.

Carrots: Also have Vitamin A to make the skin glow!

Apples: Apples contain Vitamin C to help you preserve the collagen in you skin and produce more.

Berries: Antioxidant powerhouses! These help you fight off many cancers and are amazing for your skin. Berries are the key to having that radiant glow that we all want. The antioxidants also protect our skin from free radicals.

Oatmeal: This is my favorite. I'm not kidding when I tell you that I eat it every morning ha ha. It is great for the body, and since your skin is part of your body, it will also reap the benefits. Oatmeal has omega-3's, thiamine, iron, beta-glucan, and antioxidants. These all help with inflammation, regulating sugar levels (aiding with acne), and giving your skin the nutrients it needs. 

Avocado: The love of my life! I eat avocado everyday. The oil in these little gems is essential to skin. It has been used in many face creams actually. The fat in avocados also contains a lot of the amino acids the skin craves. Eat these!

Now that you know the benefits of everything you're probably like that's a lot of damn food, Nicole. Nobody has time to put that together. Well all you non-believers I will show you what I do and hopefully it will give you some ideas. 


Chicken Salad with:
Spinach and berries

Greek Yogurt topped with:
Apples :)

Wrap served with:
Apple and carrots.

Turkey avocado wrap with tomatoes and spinach.

Oatmeal and blueberries

Chicken Salad with flaxseeds and strawberries.

Tuna sandwich on whole wheat bread.

Steamed kale with carrots and cranberries. 
Whole wheat toast with avocado.

You see? It is not that hard. So instead of buttering your toast, top it with mashed avocado. Instead of adding sugar to your oatmeal, top it with some sweet berries. Instead of getting the fats in your meal from only dressing, do half dressing half flaxseeds. When eating a sandwich have carrot sticks on the side instead of fries. Want something sweet for desert? Have an apple! Have a water on the side of the chicken noodle soup, girl. :)

 And there you go. I still eat foods that I love, but that will benefit me in the long run. Trust me, I still have a slice of cake on my birthday or have a piece of pie at a barbeque, but this is pretty much what I eat. My skin, hair, nails, and body agrees with my choices as well. If you are still having doubts, just think of it like this: Make your plate as colorful as possible :) And by that I don't mean skittles. 

At my job there is this picture that I love it shows a fruit bowl with with the phrase, "Nature's skittles" written on it.

It looks something like that and if you think about it, it makes total sense. So go on, enjoy the foods you already eat, but try to include these too. Your skin will thank you for it.

*Disclaimer: I am not a dietitian. Not all foods work for everybody and everyone has different health needs. This is simply what works for me and what has been proven to work on the majority.

What are your favorite fruits and vegetables to eat?
How do you include them in your life?

With love, 
Nicole xo.

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