By Naima Karp
Winter has done quite a job on our skin, drying it out and whipping it with wind, snow and all the other elements that the unpredictable New York weather throws at us. But summer can be even worse, especially because wearing makeup in ninety degree humidity is comparable to wearing a cashmere turtleneck to the beach. Instead of covering up what the heat and humidity bring, learn how to combat it with these diet do’s and dont’s.
Lemon and citrus
You can apply this directly to the skin, or digest it for skin benefits that pack a double whammy! Lemons and citrus fruits provoke enzyme release and makes toxins water-soluble, making it easier for your skin to excrete these toxins and breathe. Drink a cup of lemon water in the morning to jolt your skin into shape and give you a metabolism boost. Lemon or grapefruit water is also an awesome alternative to soda, which contains tons of sugar and makes you break out.
Healthy fatty acids
Avocado, nuts, and wild salmon are all packed with anti-aging omega 3’s. Avocado toast, inspired by Café Gitane’s famous but simple dish, is easy to recreate at home. Mash up an avocado, splash a little lemon or lime juice, and sprinkle a little red pepper for a meal to get you out of a midday slump. A handful of nuts will also give you the same benefits and sustenance throughout the day, as will a healthy dinner making use of simple, grilled or baked salmon. Mix all three together with some cranberries for an irresistible powerhouse of a salad.
Another excuse to go out for sushi, seaweed stimulates blood flow for a fresh-faced glow. It also has antioxidants in it, and phytonutrients that absorb your digestive tract’s toxins, similar to the process of putting tap water through a filtering system. Chock-full of minerals, try something new like fresh seaweed salad, or mixing it into something unusual, like risotto with Nori seeds. For a midday snack to bring to the office, have some rice vinegar and garlic on hand and toss together an easy seaweed salad
Ok, if you still have a furrowed brow after reading these healthy suggestions, there are still a couple of indulgences that will keep your pores healthy as well. Dark chocolate with a relatively high cocoa content (70 percent or higher) has vital flavones endorsed by NY skin guru Nicholas Perricone, and the caffeine in it can even get rid of puffy eyes and skin after a long weekend.
Green, red, and yellow bell peppers are great for avoiding wrinkles and protecting your skin from the sun, which you’ll need in the unbearably hot New York summers. Try to pack in a couple of cups of pepper a day, either stuffed (try ground turkey or quinoa), grilled up in a veggie wrap or with some hummus for a healthy and tasty snack. A great, versatile ingredient to get creative with.
Avoiding dairy is a good reason to jump on the vegan bandwagon, at least for a few weeks, to see visible differences in your skin. Dairy is an inflammatory food group, which means it can age your skin and cause or worsen acne problems. Try soy milk, or even almond milk, which you can get for as little as 40 calories a serving, as an alternative. It adds a nutty kick to your coffee that’s way better than that watery non-fat you’ve been swearing by! Go here to make smoothies and more in your blender with this creamy almond milk recipe.
This one is kind of hard, especially since a lot of foods sneak in sugar without you knowing. As mentioned in a previous slide, choose dark chocolate instead of milk or white. Use honey as a sweetening substitute. It makes coffee taste more interesting, and spreading raw honey on some toast rather than sugar-filled jam will give you sustenance for the day. Try adding some banana and almond butter for a healthy midday meal.
Avoid: excessive white sugar
White flour is just like the previously mentioned foods containing refined sugar and other aggravating ingredients that lead to inflammation and puffy skin. Cutting out white flour will also make your head feel much clearer, keep you fuller for longer, and prevent bloating. If whole wheat is a little too intense for you, ease into it with bread and muffins made with oatmeal flour, which is a healthier alternative as well. Or mask the whole wheat flavor by sweetening with extra honey (another skin-helper) and packing your recipe full of flavorful fruits.For blueberry muffins that are so irresistible you can’t even taste the whole wheat flour, go here.
Let’s be honest – avoiding alcohol entirely isn’t necessarily possible, but that’s ok. The worst culprits are often very sugary cocktails, and an overabundance of beer, both of which lead to bloating and dull skin. Red wine serves the same function as dark chocolate, in terms of antioxidants, and is a great alternative. If you need that daiquiri, try to go somewhere that drinks are sweetened with agave rather than pumped with cups of sugar. Your skin will thank you, and so will your grateful head, for not experiencing the dreaded late night sugar crash.There’s never enough sangria recipes to re-appropriate your red wine in.
Beautiful inside, beautiful outside
A lot of the diet do’s can be applied to your face for added benefits, and are a way cheaper alternative to expensive spa treatments and drugstore masks. To moisturize, refresh skin, and discourage wrinkles, mix together honey, lemon juice, and avocado (equal parts) until it becomes paste. Leave it on for about ten minutes and rinse it off. Your skin should look brighter almost right away.