Healthy Skin Challenge #3: Nourish Your Skin

Welcome to the third installment of the Healthy Skin Challenge in honor of National Healthy Skin Month! 
Over the next few weeks, I will be posting tips on how you can improve the health of your skin, along with challenges and recipes to jump-start your progress. 


At this point in the Healthy Skin Challenge, you should be more hydrated and well-rested, but you are probably wondering why I haven't actually mentioned anything about skin care yet. What's up with that?

I am a true believer that skin cannot reach optimal health until we first address healthy lifestyle changes that promote healthy skin from the inside out. Absolutely, what we put on our skin is important, but without the framework of a healthy lifestyle, even the best quality skin care products alone can only do so much. 

You can cover a turd in gold, but inside, it is still a turd...:)

Tips for Optimal Skin Nutrition

One of the largest influences on the health of our skin is incorporating optimal nutrition into our daily routine. This is done by nourishing your body with healthy foods every day - most notably, a wide variety of raw fruits and vegetables, fruit and vegetable juices, raw nuts and leafy greens, probiotics and healthy fats. 

How do these foods promote healthy skin?

Fruits & Veggies
  • Loaded with antioxidants (like Vitamins A, C & E), fruits and veggies help to fight off the free radicals in the body that cause the aging process. Antioxidants can also help protect your skin from sun damage.
  • Fruits and veggies, loaded with fiber, also help the body to naturally cleanse and detoxify itself, which results in healthier, glowing skin.
Raw Nuts
  • Nuts contain vitamins and minerals that promote good skin tone and texture.
  • Phytonutrients and fatty acids in nuts help to make skin more supple and elastic.
  • Nuts contain healthy doses of Omega-3s and Omega-6s (healthy fats) that help to reduce inflammation in the body (inflammation is a large contributor to many health issues, including skin issues such as acne and eczema).
Leafy Greens
  • Leafy greens are loaded with phytonutrients, including beta carotene and lutein. Beta carotene aids in skin regeneration and there is evidence that lutein can reduce the occurrence of wrinkles.
Healthy Fats
  • Skin needs fats and oils in the diet to stay healthy and properly lubricated - be gone the "fat-free" craze of the 90s that left folks with dry, shrively and unhealthy skin!
  • Essential fatty acids, found in healthy things like nuts, flaxseed, coconut oil, olive oil and avocado help skin cells to maintain a healthy membrane, which allows water and nutrients in to plump up and feed the cells, while allowing toxins to pass out. Without adequate fats in the diet, cells loose their happy, plump shape and result in dry, saggy baggy skin. 
  • Healthy fats in the diet can actually help to balance oil production for those with acne and oily skin. If there are not enough fats in the diet, skin's oil production goes into overdrive to compensate, resulting in clogged pores, blemishes and full-blown acne.

So what about the stuff we eat that works against our skin? Stay tuned for the next challenge to find out more! 

But for today's challenge...

Over the next 3 days, begin to incorporate the following into your daily diet (Obviously, please omit any items that you may be allergic/sensitive to, do not fit into your preferred diet/lifestyle or are contraindicated by a certain medical condition. Please consult with your doctor.):
  • 7-8 daily servings of fruits and vegetables (half of these being raw)
  • 1 daily serving of fresh greens (spinach, kale, romaine, chard, etc.)
  • 1 serving of salmon or walnuts per week
  • 1 daily serving of a probiotic food (kefir, yogurt, sauerkraut, kombucha, etc.)
  • 1 daily multivitamin
  • 1 daily fish oil supplement (or a vegan/vegetarian Omega-3 supplement)
Phew! It sounds like a lot. But don't freak! It really isn't that hard to to incorporate this stuff into your daily routine. Here's how it can be done...


The Ultimate Smoothie (taken with a multivitamin and Omega-3 supplement)

1 banana
1 cup mixed berries (raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, strawberries)
1/2 avocado
1 large handful spinach
1 small handful walnuts
1 cup yogurt or coconut kefir
1T coconut oil
1-2 medjool dates (optional, for sweetness)


Add a side salad of leafy greens and chopped veggies of your choice to your lunch.


Add a salad with leafy greens and chopped veggies of your choice, along with 1 or 2 cooked/steamed side vegetables with dinner.


Snack on fresh fruit and cut veggies. Add a dip like homemade ranch or hummus if you are feeling crazy!

See? Easy! :)

Um, I left out desserts, though, right? No freakin' way will I leave out dessert! But you will have to wait until the next challenge for that. ;)

Happy, healthy skin to all! 

How are you doing with the challenge so far? I'd love to hear from you!

What are your favorite ways to incorporate healthy foods into your diet?

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