Article & Photos by: Gigi Grimes
Before I start, let’s address the elephant in the room: no one really likes vegetables. Sure they have vibrant colors and maybe I’ll nibble on the kale in my Harvest Bowl, but unless it’s deep fried brussel sprouts or a carrot stick coated in ranch dressing, you’re not going to catch me eating them. As much as I hate vegetables though, I do recognize their importance. Vegetables and plant-based foods have the incredible vitamins and minerals to help your body glow from the inside out. With anti-inflammatory and cell rejuvenating properties, adding more natural and plant-based ingredients to your diet can drastically change the quality of your skin. To gain all of these secondary benefits without the icky taste, I’ve learned to hide and disguise plant foods in nearly everything I eat. Here are some of my favorite ways to tr(eat) my skin right!
Spinach and Berries Smoothie Bowl
Smoothies are arguably the easiest and tastiest way to disguise any veggie, and are my go-to for sneaking greens into my diet. Personally, I’ve found spinach to be the best undetected green flavor, but if you want a little more of that green taste, kale works as well. Take your favorite frozen fruits such as a berry mix, a tropical mix, or a mix of both, and throw them in the blender. Add about 1 cup of your green of choice (frozen or fresh), and top off the blend with 1 cup of almond milk. Using a milk substitute is very important as milk is a strong trigger for acne. The hormones in milk can cause inflammation and excess oil production, leading to more clogged pores and creating a breeding ground for bacteria.
Once you’ve got everything in your blender, mix it all up and pour into a cup or bowl. The best thing about smoothies is that you can add a major health punch just with your toppings. I like to top mine with unsweetened coconut (more on this later), antioxidant filled berries, chia and flax seeds, cacao nibs, and some fresh honey.
- Rich in vitamin A to improve cell turnover for glowing skin
- Has anti-inflammatory omega-3 fats to moisturize the skin
- Variety of B vitamins that work together to improve circulation, reduce redness, and retain moisture
- Lots of vitamin C to repair blemishes and dark spots
- Antioxidants to prevent free radicals that cause aging
- Naturally antibacterial
- Antioxidants to reduce the negative effects of your spring break tan
You may have seen this root vegetable around the grocery store and mistaken it for a weird looking gourd or an abnormally shaped carrot. However, parsnips are jam packed with healthy vitamins and fiber, making them the perfect substitute for your savory cravings.
Rinse your parsnip and peel off the outer coating like you would a potato. Then, chop it into about 4 inch by ½ inch fries (chopping the parsnip is pretty difficult so be sure to have a strong knife). Once chopped, place the parsnips in a mixing bowl and add 3 tablespoons of olive oil, salt, pepper, and rosemary. Mix all of these together with your hands until the parsnips are coated. Lay them on a baking sheet covered in tin foil, and cook at 450 degrees for about 20 minutes, or until they’re cooked to your liking (I like them crispier and more burnt). Once they’re done, take them out and enjoy!
- High in zinc to reduce scarring and repair damaged cells
- High in vitamin K to improve skin elasticity and reduce under-eye circles
- High in fiber to help regulate your organs and maintain hormonal balances
- Healthy fats resist photoaging
- Filled with inflammation-inhibiting antioxidants to soothe skin
- Natural antiseptic properties
- Antimicrobial to combat oily skin
This isn’t so much a recipe as it is a life-changing recommendation. If you’ve been on social media anytime within the past few years, you’ve probably seen celebrities, foodies, and the like extol the benefits of coconut oil. This amazing oil is solid at room temperature, but melts in the heat of your hands and can be used in virtually anything. I like to substitute coconut oil for butter when frying eggs, or for vegetable oil when baking – I even put some in my smoothies for a richer taste. But the uses of coconut oil go way beyond the kitchen. I recommend buying a big jar and dividing it up into smaller jars: one for cooking, one for your hair, and one for your skin. This amazing ingredient can do no wrong. I’ve added coconut oil into my daily skincare routine and am never going back. Try mixing it with some essential oils for an at-home spa treatment.
The reason this oil is so versatile is due to its incredible composition. The fatty acids in coconut oil reduce inflammation both internally and externally while simultaneously moisturizing your skin. This moisture-rich property fights against wrinkles and flaking alike. Additionally, coconut oil prevents aging by reducing stress on your liver and improving detoxification. The rich fatty acids combined with natural antioxidants make coconut oil a Simone Biles-quality, all-around winner.
As much as we all love our facemasks and cleansers, the best way to beautiful, glowing skin is from the inside out. By swapping out a few ingredients or hiding a green in your meals, you can drastically increase your intake of skin-saving vitamins and pave your way to glowing like Beyoncé at the Grammys.