The Beauty Diet: Work From The Inside Out

March 10, 2011   6 Comments

We spend BILLIONS on products for looking our best. What if we channelled some of that money into the food we eat?

The Beauty Diet

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).

She as determined what the Top 10 Beauty Foods are: wild salmon, low-fat yogurt, oysters, blueberries, kiwifruit, sweet potatoes, spinach, tomatoes, walnuts, dark chocolate.

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

Want to read about snacks?
Try This Healthy Pie.....Naked
Save Money, Your Waistline, And The World By Making Your Own Cereal
Can Domino's Deliver A Healthy and Tasty Meal?
The Cheater's Guide to Healthy Yogurt

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I totally believe the connection between feeding yourself nutritious foods will benefit your health on the inside AND out better than anything in a box. Amen!

Oh, chocolate covered blueberries!? Yum :)

Great info. on how nutrition impacts our health -- inside AND out! I love all the hints except for the sunscreen suggestion. Sun exposure is actually vital for our health and provides many benefits including vitamin D production. OVER exposure to sun is not healthy. Because sunscreens often contain toxins and chemicals, I'd never use them on my skin. Thankfully, there are healthier, holistic solutions.

Chocolate covered blueberries @ Costco... Delicious!!

I hate to say it but my first reaction on seeing this woman in my mailbox was "Photoshop is your friend." She looks like a lovely person, I bet her skin is nice and her hair is shiny. But on top of all the health stuff there's a shmear of Photoshop niceties. I know the tricks I use to make people look their best. No one's eyes are that white naturally, for one. :)

I'm not knocking her advice at all! NO! It's all good stuff. I just had to mention it - "bad" food images are posted here in black and white, for good reason. In turn, I wouldn't want anyone's self esteem to be dinged after comparing themselves to this picture, when it's clearly been dolled up for publication. (I personally touch up all my own photos, it's not a bad thing!)

I thought that too about the photoshop (but what book author, blogger, person that has to see the same photo of themselves everywhere has not authorized a little photoshop touch-up?)

Anyway...great interview and good reminder to get some more healthy stuff in my fridge!

I wanted to put in a suggestion to everyone to try to include green smoothies in their diet! I drink a green smoothie (fruit plus some kind of greens) every day for breakfast, with a couple tablespoons of ground flax. Not only does this allow me to start the day with about 4 servings of fruits and veggies, I notice such a huge difference in my skin and nails when I follow this routine. When I fell off drinking smoothies, my forehead broke out and my skin looked dull - but after a week of drinking them, the acne cleared up, my skin is really glowing, and the weirdest thing is that the whites of my eyes are whiter! Try it - I virtually guarantee you'll see a difference!

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