We spend BILLIONS on products for looking our best. What if we channelled some of that money into the food we eat?
That's right! I am proposing a revolution. Stop your botox, cosmetic surgery, teeth whitening, and concealers and buy some healthy food.
What healthy food should you buy (and then eat)?
Lisa Drayer, MA, RD, has researched the answer in her well written, helpful book - "The Beauty Diet: Looking Great Has Never Been So Delicious" (McGraw-Hill, 2008).
I am very proud to say that Snack Girl has featured all of these foods in her snacks, some foods more than once (except for the kiwifruit - I am on it!). But, I didn't know how they would change my appearance.
The book features all the beauty problems that we face - clear skin, shiny hair, strong nails, white teeth, etc. and makes usable suggestions for how to effect change WITHOUT purchasing another product at the drugstore or makeup counter.
The photo above is of Lisa Drayer - clearly she takes her own advice. At the ripe old age of 37, she is looking fabulous! (and, yes, I hate her a bit :)
Lisa graciously agreed to be interviewed for Snack Girl. See below:
Snack Girl: Does what you put in your body really affect how you look? How does eating right compare to cosmetic treatments?
Lisa Drayer: Yes, the foods we eat serve as the nutritional foundation for our features - our skin, hair, nails, eyes, teeth and of course, our body shape. As a result, one of the most important things you can do to keep a youthful, glowing appearance is to eat foods that provide your features with optimal nutrition.
For example, hair, skin, and fingernails need a constant supply of protein for growth and repair. (Protein is also an essential component of collagen, the connective tissue that provides support for beautiful skin).
Hair also needs iron from foods in order to stay strong and smooth, and teeth require calcium in order to stay sparkling and cavity-free.
Cosmetics are important to looking your best as well - by no means am I telling you to toss your makeup! But, unless your features are being nourished from the inside, you are not going to look your best!
Snack Girl: I would say the most beautiful people (on the outside) I have ever met are celebrities. Do you work with celebrities to make them look stellar? (and are these "tricks" in the book?)
Lisa Drayer: I have worked with celebrities who must always look their best! I typically tailor a diet plan to their individual lifestyles; however, I have also shared with them many tips and tricks that you can find in "The Beauty Diet".
For example, cut back on salt intake a couple of days before a photo shoot to avoid puffiness. Get your beauty sleep - at least 8 hours each night!
To help ensure a good night's sleep, avoid drinking alcohol and consuming caffeine before bedtime. (A glass of wine may make it easier to fall asleep, but drinking before bedtime increases the likelihood that you will wake up during the night).
Snack Girl: I know someone who is aging fast and hates her new wrinkles (ahem, me). Could you give her a few suggestions so she doesn't look like a prune at 45?
Lisa Drayer: Sure!
First, be sure to stay hydrated by drinking lots of water and other decaffeinated beverages, like tea. When you are adequately hydrated, your skin is plump, and wrinkles are less noticeable.
Consume vitamin C-rich fruits and vegetables, like citrus, kiwi, strawberries, peppers, broccoli, and brussels sprouts. In one study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers examined the effect of diet, not supplements, on the skin of women.
It found that a diet high in vitamin C rich foods was associated with less dryness and less noticeable wrinkles. Additionally, antioxidants like vitamin C can help to decrease production of an enzyme (known as matrix metalloproteinase) that contributes to collagen breakdown, which can lead to wrinkles and sagging.
Be sure to eat fatty fish like salmon, trout, and mackerel at least three times per week. The omega-3 fats in these fish reduce inflammation on the cellular level that can cause redness, wrinkles, and loss of firmness.
Finally, avoid smoking, as it contributes to wrinkles. And stay out of the sun. When you do go outside, apply a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 (and with broad-spectrum protection from both UVA and UVB rays) to all exposed areas of the skin - even on cloudy days!
Snack Girl: What is your favorite snack?
Lisa Drayer: Dark chocolate covered blueberries.
I have GOT to go get some dark chocolate covered blueberries. Read more about Lisa and her book on her website - Lisa Drayer
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