The top 20 pantry staples to get a glowing complexion, one bite (or sip) at a time. “Greek Yogurt – Probiotics do more than just heal your gut, says Whitney Bowe, NY-based dermatologist and author of The Beauty of Dirty Skin. They boost the production of ceramides (healthy fats in skin) and aid with recovery from exposure to UV rays.
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
- 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.
Our family absolutely loves summer! We also love picking our own fruit and going to local farm markets! When peaches are in season, I love to make this delicious salad. I bet you will love it as much as I do!
This simple salad of grilled chicken, peaches, arugula, and balsamic vinaigrette is the perfect combo of sweet and savory. Lean chicken breast gets a quick marinade in a tangy balsamic dressing and it’s onto the grill. Peaches and red onions are grilled, allowing their natural sugars to caramelize and become sweet and smoky. I like to use slightly firmer peaches here because they’ll soften as they cook.
I love arugula, not only for its high vitamin C levels which support collagen growth, but for its peppery bite. Unlike regular lettuce, it’s also sturdy enough to hold up to the heat of the warm chicken and fruit. Quinoa plays a supporting role here, adding texture and fiber without impacting blood-sugar levels. It’s also a great source of amino acids that help in skin repair.
My salads need a crunch, so I sometimes include pumpkin seeds, which are rich in anti-inflammatory omega-3 fats and other nutrients like zinc and magnesium that our skin cells crave for growth and repair.
If you’re having guests over and want to maximize your time with them, make the dressing and quinoa ahead of time, slice your peaches and onions, and start marinating the chicken right before guests arrive. The rest is as easy as turning on the grill!
Grilled Balsamic Chicken with Peachy Arugula Salad
- ½ cup uncooked quinoa
- ¾ cup + 2 tablespoons water
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, plus additional for grilling
- 2 tablespoons good-quality balsamic vinegar1 small garlic clove, finely chopped
- 1 ¼ pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts (organic and/or cage-free)
- 2 peaches, sliced into 8 wedges each
- 1 small red onion, sliced into ¼ inch rings
- 5 ounces baby arugula (about 5 cups, loosely packed)
- ½ cup fresh basil, torn into bite-size pieces
- ¼ cup toasted pumpkin seeds
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Cook quinoa. Bring water to a boil. Add quinoa and return to boil. Reduce heat to low, cover with lid, and cook for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to rest, covered, for 10 minutes.
Preheat grill to high. In mixing bowl, mix 3 tablespoons olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Place chicken on plate, sprinkle with chopped garlic, and drizzle all over with 2 teaspoons balsamic vinaigrette. Allow to marinate briefly while grill preheats. When grill is ready, cook chicken for 8-10 minutes, flipping halfway through. Bigger chicken breasts will need more time and will be done when thermometer reads 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Set chicken aside. Drizzle peaches and sliced onions with 1-2 teaspoons olive oil. Reduce heat of grill to medium and grill peaches 1 minute per side or until just starting to release their juices and and onions 3 minutes per side, or until softened. Remove from grill.
Assemble salad. Toss arugula, basil, and cooked quinoa with 2-3 tablespoons vinaigrette. Place on platter. Arrange grilled peaches, onions, and sliced chicken over top. Sprinkle with pumpkin seeds and drizzle with additional dressing if desired.
All summer long, we eat blueberries. We even go blueberry picking as one of our favorite family traditions! Blueberries are loaded with antioxidants which fight free radicals to help protect your skin from premature aging! Plus, I have a serious sweet tooth, so fresh blueberries and a dash of toasted coconut really satisfy my sweet tooth without spiking my blood sugar.
Oatmeal, almond milk and coconut milk are all low in glycemic index, so they won’t trigger inflammation in your skin. It’s easy to find a blend of almond and coconut milk, just make sure it’s unsweetened! Some of these brands pack in the sugar, so you have a mistaken belief that you are drinking something very healthy. Check your labels, guys.
Chia seeds are rich in skin-healthy omega-3’s,and fiber to keep you full. Although chia seeds have some protein, I like to add a scoop of plant-based protein powder to ensure my skin, hair and nails are getting the building blocks they need.
I make a big batch of these on Sunday night and portion them into jars. That way, my family has grab-and-go breakfasts for the week. My daughter and I can’t get enough of them and I hope you love them too!
Blueberry Coconut Overnight Oats
1 cup rolled oats
1 tablespoon chia seeds
2 teaspoons maple syrup
¾ cup unsweetened almond milk
¼ cup coconut milk (you can also use an almond/coconut milk blend instead of separating them)
½ cup fresh or frozen blueberries, plus more for serving
1 scoop plant-based protein powder (vanilla or unflavored)
2 tablespoons unsweetened coconut, toasted
Mix all ingredients – except toasted coconut – in a small bowl. Portion into smaller mason jars and allow to sit overnight in the refrigerator. In the morning, stir everything together to make nice and creamy. Sprinkle each portion with toasted coconut, a pinch of cinnamon, and a handful of fresh blueberries.