in our food. If you’ve read any of my other books, you know how important it is to ensure that you don’t put chemicals on your face. But even more importantly, you should avoid putting unnecessary chemicals into your body. Not only because food affects your skin, but because it affects many aspects of your physical and mental health.
Here are some simple tips to help you get started on better food awareness:
Keep a food diary
If you want healthy, better looking skin for a lifetime, you’ll always need to be aware of the foods you eat.
Write down all you put in your mouth at least for a few weeks. When you are on-the-go, you can send yourself a text message to track information. If you experience an unexplained rash or sudden breakout, look back over what you’ve eaten recently, and this will give you a better sense of the cause.
Also keep track of what makes you feel drowsy or bloated, what prevents you from sleeping well, and what affects your digestion.
Learn to read labels
You should know what is in your food before you eat it, and how big the serving size is. As a general rule of thumb, avoid foods that have a lot of chemicals, include “natural flavoring,” contain trans fats, or have words you don’t recognize in the ingredients lists. If it’s not real food—don’t eat it.
Some good rules of thumb:
- Don’t eat anything that contains words you cannot pronounce.
- Don’t eat anything that contains saturated fats.
- Don’t eat anything that contains partially hydrogenated fats or trans fats.
- Don’t eat anything that contains corn sugar or high fructose corn syrup. These have been linked to a variety of health issues, including diabetes, obesity, and premature aging.
- Avoid enriched/fortified foods: if food has been enriched or fortified, it’s because something has been processed.
- Avoid bleached products. Would you eat bleach? Seriously. It’s poison.
- Avoid foods that are high in salt, as salt dehydrates you and causes water retention. Canned soups and vegetables and commercial salad dressings are foods that are surprisingly high in salt.
Over time, you will find that it is inevitably healthier for you to make your own foods starting from healthy ingredients rather than eat foods that have been prepared in a factory and are designed with long-term storage in mind.
Throw out the junk
If you are able to go out shopping today and buy healthful foods to start your new, healthy skin diet, then take some time first to make room in your pantry and fridge. Throw out processed foods, foods with preservatives, and foods with processed flour and sugar. As they say—out of sight, out of mind. If you don’t keep it on hand, you probably won’t eat it.
Plan your meals ahead of time so you can make sure that you are receiving adequate nutrition every day and are not overeating. Check your pantry when you are thinking of the menu, in order to use the food you have. Then make a list and go to the store to get the rest of the ingredients you need.