What is “pampering” but taking care of yourself? Sadly, most of us consider taking care of ourselves to be a once-in-a-while luxury – like scheduling that long-awaited facial on your birthday. It’s partially because we’re busy, and it’s partially because we’re care-givers for everyone else, but either way – we are better people when we take care of ourselves every day. For me, my daily “pampering” starts from the inside-out by taking the time to prepare and eat sinfully delicious foods – that make me feel and look sinfully delicious as well!
Who Needs a Facial When You Have Dark Chocolate?
I’m just kidding – you should have both! But, while a facial treats the outer layer of skin, that dark chocolate (and spinach, pumpkin seeds, Brazil nuts, salmon, oats, squash, pine nuts and edamame) will increase the Magnesium in your diet. Magnesium is one of those under-represented nutrients that helps your entire body work better, especially with calcium absorption. But, it’s also essential for slowing the aging process of skin by maintaining elasticity and moisture at normal levels. You’ll often find it as an ingredient in your skincare (it can be absorbed topically), but most women don’t consume enough. It’s the easiest thing to do for yourself: Eat just one Brazil nut a day, and you’ve got your daily recommended dose. But, personally, I like dark chocolate better.
Eat Walnuts to Avoid Looking Like a Walnut
All types of redness and obvious acne is caused by inflammation, which is strongly related to diet. In fact, eating too many foods high in Omega 6 oils, like soybean oil, vegetable oil, and corn oil products (the main ingredients in margarine, salad dressings, mayonnaise and processed foods) increases inflammation. However, if you pick up foods high in Omega 3’s, you’ll look ten times better – and feel better too. Walnuts, canola oil and flax seeds are high in what’s called Alpha-linolenic acid, a type of Omega-3, that maintains a healthy rate of skin cell renewal and reduces inflammation. That means a younger-looking fresher faced you – without the microdermabrasion.
Nothing Says Sexy Like Sun-Dried Tomatoes
I’m not kidding – eating Niacin-rich foods like peanuts, chicken, veal, sun-dried tomatoes and paprika give you the stuff to produce sex hormones, dilate blood vessels, and rev up your heart for action. Not only does Niacin promote healthy skin, improving moisture, lightening hyperpigmentation, and decreasing acne, it can also make you better in the sack. How’s that for a healthy glow?
The Cure for Wrinkles – and Everything Else
Vitamin C really is a super-food. Not only does it boost your immune system, it’s key to producing collagen which gives skin firmness and strength. As an antioxidant, it slows free radical damage responsible for dry skin and wrinkles, and recent studies have shown it can even reverse DNA damage. Fortunately, Vitamin C is everywhere – in dark leafy greens, broccoli, brussel sprouts, kiwi, guava, papayas and strawberries. And oranges, of course.
With all of these great foods – you can pamper yourself every day. Don’t be surprised if your friends start asking for the name of your day spa.
Linda Baldwin, is a Credentialed Diet & Nutrition Expert and a Professional Catering Executive (CPCE) whose skills have been honed by 25 years in the catering, restaurant, and event production industry. She is know as local foodie, ultra healthy prepared foods specialist, educator – columnist and creator of Amore and Amore To-Go a lifestyle company, based in South Tampa since 2006. She leads a team of professionals that include chefs, and educators in the field of health and wellness.