Guest post by Amy Rains of Wholesomelicious.

These Avocado Truffles are decadent, delicious, and packed with nutrients! So easy to make with only a few ingredients, and sure to be loved by all. This Paleo and Vegan treat is also the perfect pick-me-up afternoon snack!

I’m pretty excited to share a recipe with 2 of my absolute FAVORITE foods: avocado and chocolate!!! Although they may seem like an unlikely pairing, these two foods combine to create truffles that are unapologetically rich, luxuriously chocolatey, and deliciously decadent.

I’m obsessed. Like, I made 3 batches in a week obsessed.

And unlike most chocolate truffles, these are made entirely from healthy ingredients. They are suited for most dietary restrictions and fall under the gluten-free, Paleo, Vegan, dairy-free, and pretty much any other diet you can think of.

Best part? No one turns these down!! My 7 and 10 year old requested these every day last week in their lunch box, and they can be tough critics.

So now that we are officially in dessert-love territory, let’s explore the health benefits of these Avocado Truffles. I recently read the book, The Beauty of Dirty Skin, written by my friend, Dr. Whitney Bowe. Dr. Whitney explains in the book, that your skin is a window to your overall health. Over the past 10 years she has been studying the relationship between diet and skin, and shares her evidence-based recommendations to heal skin from the inside out!

Dr. Whitney outlines a 21 day plan in her book that is centered around the alliance between your gut, brain, and skin, also known as the gut-brain-skin access (the soul of healthy skin). During week 1, the focus is on healing the gut through dietary changes, and easy recipes to follow. The Avocado Truffle recipe I’m sharing with you today is part of the plan!

Avocado TrufflesBesides avocados being plentiful in potassium, fiber, and several vitamins (A, D, E, K, folate to name a few), avocados are so important for healthy skin. They contain healthy fats that help your skin membranes by trapping moisture in and keeping toxins out!

Not all chocolate is created equal! Dark Chocolate, like the one used in these skin healthy truffles, have the highest flavonoid content which protects your skin from damage by free radicals.

Embracing healthy fats and a diet low in sugar is the focus of week 1. Healthy fats such as whole eggs, fatty fish like salmon and trout, grass-fed meat and poultry, extra virgin olive oil, avocado oil, coconuts and coconut oil, dark chocolate, avocados, full fat yogurt, cheese, seeds, nuts, and nut butters are all examples of healthy fats that keep our skin cells healthy. These are key to the appearance of plump, healthy skin. Omega 3 fatty acids are one of the most beneficial to skin health as they control the oil production, and delay the skin’s aging process by nourishing skin cell membranes and preventing wrinkles! This also boosts hydration and prevents acne.

What I love about Dr. Whitney’s approach to limiting sugar, is that she is realistic and has a self-proclaimed sweet tooth. She is all about balance and moderation. Dr. Whitney sprinkles some healthy treats and other recipes throughout the book that are workable and realistic for any person on tight budget or schedule. I’ve been finding that the recipes actually taste as good as they are for your skin!

Enjoy these delicious truffles!! And if you’re looking for many more ways to improve the health of your skin, and get the radiant glow, you’ll loveThe Beauty of Dirty Skin!

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This post was originally published on April 17th on wholesomelicious.com.

Not only did leading NYC dermatologist and author of “The Beauty of Dirty Skin,” Dr. Whitney Bowe, walk us through her three-week probiotic skin care plan AND teach us why we need to love having a little bit of dirt on our skin, she also shared her antioxidant face mask with us.

(Spoiler alert: It only has THREE ingredients!)

“One of my favorite power-packed antioxidant skin masks is simple and easy to make but will leave your face feeling radiant and renewed! Cranberries and apples are rich in wrinkle-fighting antioxidants, including vitamin C, which helps collagen production and strengthens your hair and nails. Almond oil is packed with vitamin E, which softens and smooths the skin, improves tone and complexion, and has been shown to slow down the visible signs of aging.”
– Dr. Whitney Bowe

DIY skincare can be so refreshing. Combining a few natural ingredients you find right in your kitchen or pantry is cost saving, fun, and easy! The key is to find DIY recipes that are healthy and safe for your skin’s delicate barrier. There are so many options out there – how do you know which ones aren’t irritating or damaging to your skin’s health? Well, you are in the right place!

I have devoted my life’s work to studying the health of your skin – from the inside out and the outside in- and the DIY recipes I use and recommend to my patients are all safe and effective. These recipes nourish your skin and protect its delicate barrier to lock in moisture and decrease inflammation.

Here are two of my favorites:

DEPUFFING AND EXFOLIATING: Coffee and Yogurt Mask

Coffee: The caffeine in coffee grounds helps to reduce swelling and puffiness.
Yogurt: Contains skin-healthy probiotics and acts as a soothing emollient
To make: Combine 3 tablespoons of greek yogurt with 2 tablespoons of finely ground coffee and mix together (using a fork) until you have a paste. Apply to face using gentle, circular motions. Rinse off after 20 minutes with warm water and a soft wash cloth. Pat dry!

AND

My favorite DIY avo-yogurt-honey mask!

To learn more about nourishing your skin from the inside out and the outside in, check out my book, The Beauty of Dirty Skin.

To learn more about the products I use myself and recommend to my patients, check out my Dr. Whitney’s Picks page.

I love sharing information about healthy, radiant skin with you guys because as I always say, healthy skin is so much more than skin deep. Loving the skin you’re in can impact so many important aspects of your life and happiness. I’m so glad that you chose to spend time here today learning about your skin’s health. Check out the rest of the site because your health is more than worth it!

I love Valentine’s Day. It’s not only a day to share love with my family and friends, but it’s also my birthday. In honor of this celebratory day, you have doctor’s orders to indulge for glowing skin!

Today’s post highlights three of my favorite Valentine’s Day Treats -champagne, strawberries, and chocolate – and how each benefits your skin, including DIY options, which I know we all love.

STRAWBERRIES

Strawberries contain alpha-hydroxy acids which act as a natural exfoliant, sloughing off dead skin cells in a very gentle way so the skin is smooth and soft. Strawberries also have skin-lightening properties thanks to their ellagic acid, which is great for evening out skin tone. They are also high in antioxidants that protect the skin from sun damage and pollution. The pigment that makes strawberries red actually neutralizes free radicals and protects the skin from environmental stressors.

Best Ways to Eat Them:

  • Add strawberries to smoothies, rather than fruit or vegetables juices, to keep as much of their nutritional value as possible. Juicing gets rid of the pulp, and there’s a lot of good stuff, including fiber, in the pulp.
  • When it is not peak season, look for frozen strawberries. Berries are frozen at the peak of freshness, so they retain their nutritional value longer.
  • Avoid processed, strawberry flavored, treats or sauces as they are often high in sugar and void of nutrients.

DIY Options:

  1. Strawberry Hair Mask: Blend 2-3 strawberries with an egg yolk and a few drops of olive oil. Massage into scalp for 10 minutes then rise away with shampoo. The hydroxyl acids in the strawberries are great for gently sloughing off dandruff flakes.
  2. Rough ‘n’ Tough Foot Scrub: Thoroughly mash 6-8 ripe strawberries and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 2 tablespoons of coarse salt, and mix well. Soak feet in warm water for about 10 minutes and gently scrub your feet with the mixture. Wash feet clean with cold water.

CHAMPAGNE

Enjoy your bubbly AND have glowing skin!

Skin benefits of drinking champagne: champagne contains resveratrol, a potent antioxidant that is key for anti-aging benefits. For topical treatments, the polyphenols found in champagne help reduce inflammation and skin redness, while the tartaric acid evens out tone.

Best Way to Drink It:

  • add sliced strawberries for added flavonoids.

DIY Options:

  1. Hair treatment: Champagne is great for helping you achieve smooth and silk hair, especially for blondes. Just mix one-half cup of champagne with one-half cup of hot water and distribute evenly throughout your hair. Let it marinate before rising with and styling as usual.
  2. Skin Toner: mix an antioxidant-rich Sparkling Wine Toner, ideal for normal to oily skin. Just soak a cotton pad in chilled sparkling wine and wipe thoroughly across a cleansed face, neck and décolleté. Just remember that alcohol can be drying, so only use this treatment 1-2 times per week and be sure to follow with moisturizer.

CHOCOLATE (of course)

The key is that not all chocolates are created equal. Cocoa beans fresh from the tree are very rich in flavanoids. Flavonoids are plant-derived antioxidants that are the main reason why beautifully colored flower petals can bake for hours in the blazing sun without drying out or being damaged by harmful UV rays. The process used to make conventional chocolate strips the chocolate of these potent antioxidants. Thus, white chocolate and milk chocolate hardly contain any flavanoids at all! The highest flavonoid content is in the darkest of chocolate containing at least 70 percent cacao (cocoa) or in cocoa powder. This type of chocolate is high quality and even tastes a bit bitter (but still delicious).

The Yummy Facts (Studies):

  • A London study compared a group of subjects who ate flavanol-rich dark chocolate with a group of subjects who ate standard milk chocolate for a three month period. Over the 12 week period, the milk chocolate group was no more or less protected from UV radiation. However, the high flavanol chocolate group DOUBLED their protection from UV radiation as compared to the baseline. In other words, they could spend TWICE as much time in the sun before they started to see a burn! The study found that eating this type of dark chocolate can significantly protect the skin from UV light and sunburn!
  • Another study in Korean women ages 43-86 showed that eating high-flavanol cocoa for 24 weeks had positive effects on facial wrinkles, skin roughness, hydration AND skin elasticity.

Now, even though these findings are so exciting given my love for chocolate, we can’t go overboard. Chocolate is high in sugar and eating processed sugar leads to inflammation and the risk of increasing the potential for acne and other inflammatory conditions like heart disease or diabetes. I eat a square or two per night after dinner and really try to savor them!

DIY Option:

While you are eating your rich, dark chocolate, you can also indulge in a rejuvenating chocolate face mask which will leave your skin refreshed and radiant!

  • 2 Ingredient Chocolate Face Mask: Mix 1 tablespoon warmed coconut oil with 2 tablespoons dark cocoa powder until creamy. Apply to face with brush or fingers and let sit for 15-20 minutes before washing off with a warm wash cloth.

Keep your skin healthy and glowing all winter long with Dr. Bowe’s easy, DIY recipes and tips for nourishing your skin from the outside in and the inside out! From her favorite DIY avocado, honey and yogurt mask to locking in your skin’s moisture through an ingredient you can find right in your pantry, Dr. Bowe has you covered in this cold, dry season!

As you guys know, I LOVE everything fall and everything pumpkin!

After we go pumpkin picking, we carve our pumpkins, toast our pumpkin seeds, and I use the pumpkin pulp to make this mask, which leaves my skin glowing, hydrated and feeling great!

Enjoy!

xoxo,

Dr. Whitney

Today, we are all about empowerment.

We work out to tone our muscles, to strengthen our hearts and bodies, and to feel empowered and strong. We eat clean, healthy diets rich in nutrients to nourish and cleanse our bodies. We do yoga and meditate to quiet our minds and to focus our energy.

So why should we sit by, idly and powerlessly, and watch as our skin ages, wrinkles, sags, and loses its youthful glow? Why fight to keep our bodies young and helplessly submit to letting our skin age? And, why is the act of being proactive about our visual aging supposed to be a secretive act or even taboo?

I firmly and unequivocally believe that aging is a GIFT. But, aging skin is squarely within our control. We now have the tools to empower ourselves to keep our skin healthy, firm, glowing and smooth well into our golden years.

We have such a wide range of products and available treatments that this process can be completely personalized to meet your needs, your goals, your aesthetic, your concept of beauty.

Whether you want to exclusively use DIY, home based remedies and essential oils, OR you want a full celebrity in-office treatment including injections and lasers, OR you fall somewhere in between, you have a WEALTH OF OPTIONS to look and feel your best and to control the visual aging process to the degree that suits YOU.

Here are some examples of key information at your fingertips:

*My team of Bowe’s Angels and I provide weekly fruit infused DETOX WATERS to our patients and post them on our social media. We provide hot tips on the many skin benefits derived from nutrient and antioxidant rich fruits.

*Coconut oil is a very inexpensive way to smooth fine lines and wrinkles around your eyes and mouth while a DIY Avocado and Honey mask will hydrate and smooth your skin naturally.

*Microneedling, which I offer at my office, is a painless, minimally invasive procedure that permits your potent serums to penetrate deeper into your skin, making them even more effective so you get the most out of your skincare products. [to learn more about Microneedling, click here: https://drwhitneybowe.com/microneedling/]

*FRAXEL (Fractional Laser Resurfacing Treatments), which I also offer at my office, resurfaces and rejuvenates your skin while actually decreasing your risk of skin cancer, resulting in fresh, glowing, smooth skin.

-and-

*We do not have to chase wrinkles! Instead, proactively getting botulinum toxin injections BEFORE you have deep wrinkles can actually keep those deep wrinkles from forming for decades and keep your skin tight and youthful well into your sixties and beyond.

This brings me to my FIVE RULES FOR PROACTIVE AGING:

(1) STOP feeling guilty or ashamed of wanting to look and feel your best, inside and out! Taking care of YOURSELF TOO is a gift to you and to your family. I am at my best when I feel my best and I bet the same is true of you. My patients and I discuss guilt a lot. Let’s free ourselves to take care of ourselves.

(2) STOP equating negative aspects of vanity with taking care of yourself and your skin. My patients don’t live in front of a magnifying mirror. They are positive DO-ers, taking control of their destination (and they’re also very successful and cool!)

(3) STOP being so quick to judge others when it comes to PROACTIVE AGING. It is a personal experience – you just need to be comfortable with your own experience.

(4) START understanding that PROACTIVE AGING is within your control and in your hands!

– AND-

(5) START empowering yourself with knowledge. This blog is a great place to start.

Xoxo,

Dr. Whitney

@DrWhitneyBowe

RT @GenuineHealth: Join @DrWhitneyBowe, renowned dermatologist & author of The Beauty of Dirty Skin for an exclusive Q&A! She’ll be taking…

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