From the Inside Out: Foodie Beauty Secrets

The following article was published in 202 Magazine.

Beauty Secrets from the Inside Out

How many times has mom said, “You are what you eat?” While store shelves are packed with products designed to treat beauty concerns, many experts believe that the key to beautiful hair and skin starts from the inside out. Mom may be right; good nutrition could be the most potent beauty secret.

Today, many top skin treatments harness the power of ingredients like citrus fruit, mangoes and pineapple for topical creams, but these ingredients are just as effective as a part of a healthy diet. Citrus and mangoes are rich in vitamins like A and E, both antioxidants that fight the signs of aging. Pineapple contains valuable enzymes and alpha hydroxy acids that help purify and moisturize skin.

For working women and busy moms, smoothies can be a great way to add these ingredients into their diet. Located in Chandler, 24 Carrots (https://www.riinc.net/24carrotsjuice/index.html) is a local smoothie maker whipping up organic concoctions free from artificial ingredients and added sugars. For skin, try their Tropic Thunder Smoothie, a blend of orange juice, pineapple, strawberry, banana, and coconut – a perfect recipe for anti-aging.

In a hurry? Consider the Mango Pineapple smoothie from McDonald’s, which is astonishingly nutritious for a fast food offering. The 16oz version of this smoothie has just 270 calories and is a relatively healthy blend of concentrated juices, low fat yogurt and ice. While it is not made from organic ingredients, this smoothie can be a good option for someone with a demanding schedule.

For both hair and skin, experts agree that a diet that includes plenty of red and green vegetables benefits hair and skin. Veggies like spinach are rich in beta-carotene, which promotes hair growth and helps prevent skin cell damage. Visit Urban Picnic (http://www.eaturbanpicnic.com/) in Mesa for a great take on the spinach salad ($7). This salad, which also contains organic eggs and walnuts, is a fast lunchtime solution that is also healthy for skin and hair.

To make sure that fruits and veggies have an important place in their diets, many East Valley residents are turning to produce co-ops. Bountiful Baskets (http://www.bountifulbaskets.org/) has pickup locations all through the East Valley, making produce more affordable and convenient than ever. For $15-$30, participants can purchase a huge assortment of regular or organic fruits and veggies. The selection varies from week to week, making the co-op a fantastic way to ensure a well-rounded diet.

Ready to mix up your own beauty treatments using items from the pantry and the fridge? Try one of these tried and true home remedies:

The Classic Oatmeal Facial
An oldie, but a goodie, this classic homemade masque works to exfoliate skin and renew radiance.

Ingredients:
1 – TBSP Finely Ground Oatmeal
1 – TBSP Yogurt (preferably organic, plain)
3-5 Drops of Honey (organic preferred)

Preparation:
Mix yogurt and oatmeal thoroughly in a small bowl. Add a few drops of warm honey to the mixture and stir. Apply mask to face and leave on for 10 minutes. Rinse thoroughly.

Baking Soda Treatment to Remove Product Build Up
Baking Soda is a natural chelator – an effective way to cleanse hair and remove buildup from styling products and conditioners. To make your own treatment, mix 2 TBSP of Baking Soda with water to form a thick paste. Apply to damp hair and leave on for 10-15 minutes, shampoo and condition as usual. Please note that this treatment may not be well suited to colored hair and colored hair can sometimes lighten.

Tea Rinse to add Subtle Highlights and Shine
Looking for a natural way to achieve some subtle highlights and shine? Try this tea treatment for hair.

Ingredients:
For highlights, 2 Cups brewed Chamomile Tea (cooled to lukewarm)
For lowlights of subtle darkening, 2 Cups brewed Dark Black Tea (cooled to lukewarm)

Preparation:
Prepare tea as per tea maker’s directions, allow to cool. Shampoo and condition hair as usual. As a final step, rinse hair with tea. Do not rinse tea with water. Repeat this treatment once per week until desired result is achieved. Highlights or lowlights will be subtle and hair should have extra shine.

For a great local source of tea, consider Chandler’s Urban Tea Loft (www. urbantealoft.com). Owned and managed by Certified Tea Expert, Glynis Legrand, Urban Tea Loft brews and sells an astonishing number of gourmet teas.

Finally, don’t forget the whole grains. Replacing refined flour with whole grains can provide a huge boost to skin, hair and overall health. Not only can refined flours cause acne-inducing insulin spikes, but they also fail to provide the same level of nutritional benefits as whole grains. Try a visit to Breadsmith, just off the 202 on Power and McDowell in Mesa (www.breadsmith.com), for a huge selection of whole grain products including multi-grain sandwich bread, cookies and granola bars. Be sure to check their daily menu online as their breads vary from day to day.