For many of us the holiday season is almost over. Let’s be honest. We all love to relax with our diets over the holidays. And so we should! Life, indulgent food, wine, it’s all there to be enjoyed!
I don’t know about you, but for me, by the end of the first week in January, I’m feeling sluggish and tired and my skin is looking that way too. When I’m feeling this way, I take some time to make some adjustments to my diet. I find that in the warmer months, its easy to achieve because there is so much good fresh food available.
I thought it might be helpful to share some of the things that I eat and why I make certain changes to my diet which really help my body to feel amazing and my skin to look its best.
I take a look at what’s in the fridge and pantry and make a list of the congesting foods, those that contain lots of saturated fats, and inflammatory foods which create heat and sensitivity in the skin, these are your spicy foods, caffeine, alcohol, oranges, strawberries, peanuts and cashews. Then I make a separate list of alternatives for those foods.
A great rule of thumb is to include lots of leafy salads in your diet. Salad is a great prebiotic for your gut, which stimulate the growth of pro-biotic bacteria. This is a great start to boost your immune system and help with digestion.
I love starting the day with a smoothie. I use unsweetened soy milk or almond milk anyway, but I change out my yoghurt for coconut yoghurt. Full cream dairy products are taken out of the diet as they are on the congesting food list.
I keep lunch super simple and try to do some prep so I have a couple of lunches ready to go at one time. Maybe some tuna, rice and avocado. Or a beautiful salad with cucumber, red capsicum, cos lettuce, avocado and dress it with some tahini and sesame seeds.
There are so many wonderful fresh fruits available in Australia this time of year. I love oranges and strawberries but they can often add to the redness in my skin, so that swap them for raspberries, mango, nectarines and blueberries. With a handful of unsalted almond or Brazil nuts, these provide the perfect snacks. I keep some frozen fruit in the freezer for when I’m craving something sweet. I blitz it together with some mint or basil and I have my very own flavoured frozen gelato.
Red meat, which is also on the congesting food list, is replaced with grilled chicken or fish and served with a crisp leafy salad. I like to keep things interesting by making my own dressing that is easy and tasty and has many variations so I don’t get bored. I’ve included a recipe below so you can have a go and feel guilt free for having dressing on your salad.
Sometimes we avoid meat altogether, there are so many good salads out there that include lentils, beans and chickpeas and eggs are also a good alternative.
Often this one is the hardest. Cutting down on caffeine and alcohol. So once again I try to make things interesting and different so then I don’t get bored. I make an iced herbal tea to keep in the fridge and change the flavour every few days. I make the water more interesting by adding cucumber, mint or some fresh fruit; it’s a great cocktail substitute especially if you serve it in a nice glass with some ice.
Hopefully this has given you some great tips for making some simple changes in your diet when you feel like your body needs a bit of a reboot. The beginning of the year is a great time for change and adjustments to take care of yourself the whole year through.
Summer salad recipe.
Your choice of leafy greens.
Eg: cos lettuce, rocket, radicchio, watercress.
1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar or red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon of Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon of Bestow beauty oil or beauty oil plus
1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
1 clove of smashed garlic
Place all of the ingredients into a screw top jar and shake vigorously until creamy and emulsified. Adjust flavours to taste and season with salt and pepper.
*Replace vinegar with lemon juice.
*Use freshly chopped herbs like parsley, mint, dill or chives.
* Toast some pine nuts, flaked almonds or walnuts.
Let us know if you come up with your own tasty variations!