Eating healthy doesn’t have to be boring. It’s still possible to indulge in your favorite foods, while nourishing your body at the same time. Here we share clean versions of delicious recipes that will leave you feeling and looking incredible and not to mention, incredibly satisfied
Name: Erica Rodriguez
Job description: Registered Nutritionist & Skin Health Specialist
Eat this for: Guthealth is directly linked to skin health. We need to ensure we have a balanced gut microflora and that we are providing the beneficial bacteria with plenty of fuel to thrive and carry out their functions. Include PRObiotic rich foods such as sauerkraut, kefir, kimchi, tempehand miso. Ensure you’realsoeating enough PREbiotic foods like onion, garlic, asparagus, banana, apple, Jerusalem artichoke sand oats.
We can also help our skin by looking after our liver and we can do this by getting in plenty of cruciferous vegetables – cauliflower, kale, broccoli, radish, sprouts, cabbage, bok choy, watercress etc. These help to support the liver detoxification pathways and aid elimination of excess hormones and toxins out of the body.
Omega 3 is also very beneficial to skin health as it supports and protects theepidermal barrier and keeps the skin soft and supple. The best sources are oily fish (salmon, mackerel, sardine, herring, anchovy), walnuts, chia, micro algae, flax and hemp.
Fiber is often something that is overlooked yet it’s plays an important role in skin health. Not only does it feed the beneficial gut flora and keep our gut nice and healthy, but it also has the ability to clear excess hormones from the body. Many skin complaints are hormone related therefore maintaining hormonal equilibrium is essential for healthy skin.
Aim for 30 grams of fiber per day! On average, we are currently consuming around 15 grams per day. Include foods such as oats, chia, flax, lentils and beans, peas, quinoa, buckwheat, brown rice, banana, berries, avocado, nuts and seeds and lots of vegetables!
Top 3 Instagram accounts for inspiration:
@gkstories (Green Kitchen Stories)
@we_are_food (Anna Jones)
Favorite skin food ingredient and why: Beta-carotene! (a nutrient, not an ingredient!). Beta-carotene, a potent antioxidant and precursor to vitamin A,belongs to a class of phytonutrients called carotenoids.
It has a strong red/orange pigment and rich sources include yellow and orange fruits and vegetables such as butternut squash, mangoes, carrots, sweet potato, cantaloupe melon, red/yellow peppers, apricots, papaya. It’s also present in high concentrations in green leafy vegetableslike spinach, kale andchard.However, the bright orange pigment is disguised by the levels of chlorophyll in these vegetables.
To give you an idea of beta-carotene quantities, these foods contain an average of 3 mg beta-carotene per cup and commercially available beta-carotene supplements usually contain 1.5-15mg per capsule.
Beta-carotene has been widely studied for its skin protective benefits, some of which I’ve listed below:
It has photo-protective properties and has been shown to protect against sunburn development by inhibiting free radicals and suppressing our cellular and tissue response to inflammation.
Additionally, it also prevents premature aging of the skin. Studies have shown it to prevent wrinkle formation by decreasing the activity of the enzymes (MMP) responsible for collagen degradation.
In the epidermis (outer layer of skin), beta-carotene is deposited and works to fight free radical damage caused by UV exposure. It is also protective against the development of skin cancer.
Humans are unable to synthesise beta-carotene in our bodies so it must be obtained from nutritional sources such as the foods mentioned above. In the body, it is then converted into retinol (vitamin A).
Another thing to take note of here is that like all other carotenoids, beta-carotene is fat soluble so make sure you combine some healthy fats with the foods containing it to allow for enhanced absorption into the blood stream. For example, a drizzle of olive or avocado oil and a sprinkle of nuts and seeds on roasted carrots and squash or coconut yogurt with mango and papaya.
Being fat-soluble means that b-carotene is stored in body fat tissue and then slowly released into the skin layers over time. The more of these fruits and vegetables you consume the more stores you’ll build up in the body, keeping your skin protected from the aging process. Eat up I say!
Go-to quick, healthy meal: Turmeric coconut dahl! I cook this at least once a week. It takes only 30 minutes and is absolutely jam packed with anti-inflammatory nutrients such as ginger, garlic and turmeric. It’s also full of fiber and plant-based protein.
I like to top it with plain yogurt, homemade pickled onions, fresh coriander and roasted cherry tomatoes. You can make a big batch and freeze portions for those moments where you need a quick & healthy meal at your fingertips. You can find the recipe for this dish on my website.
Skincare mantra: “Sleep well, stress less and don’t forget your SPF!”
Recipe: Sticky Peanut Tofu with Ginger Garlic Bok Choy
Prep time: 20 minutes Cook time: 30 minutes Serves: 2-4
2 Tbsp tamari soy sauce
1 Tbsp maple syrup
Juice of ½ lime
1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
3 Tbsp peanut butter (I use crunchy)
1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
1 Tbsp Sriracha chilli sauce
2 Tbsp maple syrup
1 Tbsp fresh ginger ~ minced
1 clove garlic ~ minced
4 Tbsp water
Juice of ½ lime
1 block (280g) of firm organic tofu ~ cut into cubes
2 heads of bok choy ~ roughly chopped
1 clove garlic ~ finely chopped
3 cm piece of fresh ginger ~ finely chopped
¼ cup of roasted peanuts ~ roughly chopped
4 spring onions ~ finely sliced
250g white basmati rice
½ cup of corn flour ~ for coating the tofu
- Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°fan/gas 6. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
- Start by making the marinade – place all the ingredients into a bowl and mix all together. Add the tofu cubes to the marinade bowl and gently spoon the marinade over the tofu to coat it. Set aside and leave it for 10 - 15 minutes. (note: this step can also be done the day before).
- Whilst the tofu is marinating, prep and chop the garlic, ginger, bok choy and spring onions.
- Add the corn flour to a shallow bowl and piece by piece, take the marinated tofu and roll into the corn flour, ensuring it’s evenly coated. Then place onto the parchment lined baking tray. Repeat this process with the rest of the tofu and place into the oven for 20-25 minutes, turning the tofu half way through the baking time.
- For the sticky sauce, place all the ingredients into a mixing bowl and combine all together with a whisk or fork. Add any remaining marinade too! You can add a little more water or lime juice if it needs loosening up.
- Next, cook the rice according to packet instructions. Then heat a little toasted sesame oil in a medium – large frying pan over medium heat. Add the chopped ginger and cook for 2-3 minutes. Then add the chopped garlic and cook for 1 minute (try not to let it brown). Add the bok choy and a splash of water. Let it steam for 1 minute, stirring frequently and then remove from the pan.
- Remove the tofu from the oven. Heat a little more toasted sesame oil in the same pan over medium heat. Add the tofu cubes to the pan and let them cook for a minute to get them extra crispy! Then add the sticky peanut sauce and stir around for a few minutes until it starts to bubble and caramelise.
- To serve, add some rice to a bowl, then add the sticky peanut tofu and the bok choy. Top with the spring onion, roasted peanuts and a squeeze of lime juice. Enjoy!