Now that we are staying in every night and cooking so much more than we ever did before, I’ve been focusing on easy, healthy dishes that even my daughter will eat!

This veggie side dish is really easy to make and is packed with skin friendly nutrients. It gets two thumbs up from my 8 year old daughter, which makes it a keeper! I think you guys will love it as much as we do.

To make, start with one or more low glycemic, high fiber veggies: brussel sprouts, cauliflower, and/or broccoli. Don’t stress if you can’t get fresh veggies- this works with frozen ones as well. Here’s my glycemic index cheat sheet and more on why low GI foods are so good for your skin!

Add garlic and onions, which are amazing sources of prebiotic fiber. Prebiotic fiber gets consumed by the beneficial bacteria in our gut to keep our gut healthy and dial down inflammation.  You can either just slice these extra thin, or sometimes I even saute them before I add them to the sheet pan to release even more flavor.

Next, we add the olive oil. I use extra virgin olive oil both before I spread the veggies on the sheet and on the top, right before I put the sheet in the oven.  EVOO is rich in a skin-smoothing emollient called oleic acid. The essential fatty acids in olive oil richly nourish the skin and have anti-inflammatory properties. Olive oil also contains polyphenols that act as potent antioxidants.

I always add some rosemary sprigs, which are an amazing source of antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory properties. Added bonus is they add a delicious flavor.  I bake the veggies with these lying on the top, but remove before I eat.

And finally, for the finishing touch, I love to sprinkle some dried cranberries on top. The dried cranberries are an excellent source of Vitamin C, which is critical to help your skin cells make collagen. Just be sure to use sparingly because added sugars can bind to your collagen and elastic fibers and break them down through a process called glycation.

I generally bake at 350 degrees for 50-55 minutes, or until I see the top start to brown!

Enjoy!!

Dr. Whitney

Hydration is KEY to healthy skin, but so many people are confused about what the skin actually needs to stay hydrated.  Here are my top 10 tips to keeping skin hydrated:

TIP #1:  Water is good, but water infused with antioxidants is better! Check out one of my favorite detox water recipes here!

TIP #2: On average, women should drink at least 2 L per day, men need at least 3 L per day.

TIP #3: UP your intake if you exercise, if you eat a diet high in protein, or if you live in a warm or dry climate!

TIP #4: Eat some of your water by munching on fiber rich veggies. They will not only boost your water intake, but keep you regular and keep your gut healthy. As you know, a healthy gut = healthy skin!  Fun fact: spinach is almost 100% water by weight!

TIP #5: Yes coffee counts! Contrary to popular belief, coffee and tea can boost overall hydration in the body.

TIP #6: Avoid added sugars. Read the label. If you see more than 3g of sugar per serving, PASS! Beware of so called “energy” drinks, and lattes and cappuccinos that taste a little TOO good.

TIP #7: Seal that moisture in your skin by layering a serum under a moisturizer morning and night. Check out some of my favorite products here!

TIP #8: Prevent overnight evaporation by using a cool mist humidifier in your bedroom.

TIP #9: Add a weekly hydrating sheet mask like this one  to seal extra moisture in the skin.

TIP #10: Check your urine. If it’s clear or light yellow, you’re on the right track! Sorry guys, I AM a doctor. Had to go there.

So cheers to staying hydrated!

Dr. Whitney

I have a serious sweet tooth, so I love this dream smoothie so much. It’s so rich and delicious and skin-healthy!

Smoothies, unlike juices, are rich in natural fruit fiber, something that is removed when you juice. If your juice is any color other than green, you’re spiking your blood glucose and insulin levels, and triggering inflammation in your skin. If I’m juicing, I stick primarily to green veggies. But, when I make smoothies, I never hesitate to throw in a variety of rainbow colored fruits. So get yourself a blender and get ready to indulge that sweet tooth in a skin friendly way!

Because I’m a blueberry fanatic and because they’re rich in antioxidants, I start with those. A handful of greens—baby spinach or baby arugula work here—adds a touch of collagen-friendly vitamin C while almond butter adds protein and skin friendly fats. I add frozen bananas for the thick and creamy texture they give. If your banana isn’t quite ripe, it’s a wonderful source of prebiotics, also known as the food for gut-friendly probiotics, however it won’t be as sweet. If you use an unripened banana and still crave a touch more sweetness, add a few dates, figs or even two stevia leaves from the garden! The plant is really easy to find at your local nursery and just as easy to grow.

Cacao, chocolate’s less processed cousin, is the real treasure here. It’s derived from ground cacao nibs which are dried and fermented cacao beans. Sugar-free and loaded with special polyphenols that have been shown to reduce the signs of aging, cacao has a naturally bitter taste that is tempered by the smoothie’s other ingredients. It’s also been shown to put us in a better mood with its dopamine-releasing effects. I call that a win-win!

Before starting this smoothie, make sure you have frozen bananas on hand. They make this so deliciously creamy. Just don’t make the mistake I did the first time, so be sure to peel the bananas before you freeze them! I often freeze a bunch at once, peeling and slicing into pieces before placing in the freezer.

Blueberry Cacao Dream Smoothie
Serves 1-2

  • 1 ¼ cups unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon cacao powder
  • 1 small banana, frozen in chunks
  • ½ cup fresh or frozen blueberries
  • 1 tablespoon almond butter
  • 1 cup loosely packed baby spinach or ½ cup loosely packed baby arugula
  • **2 stevia leaves if using less ripe bananas and want more sweetness**
  • 2 ice cubes, if using fresh blueberries
  • Combine everything in a blender. Blend until smooth, about 30-60 seconds. Enjoy immediately.

Enjoy!!

Xoxo,
Dr. Whitney

@DrWhitneyBowe

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