One of the most beautiful and creative ways we can think about approaching the way we eat is to imagine a garden in full bloom. There is an abundance of colour, fragrance, height and shapes of plants and an incredible sense of power and life emanating from it. If we approach our diet with this philosophy we create this kind of richness in our health too. And plants in our life, just as we see in the flourishing garden, lay the foundations.
Vegetables are the key to a nourished life. Most diets lack a strong presence of veges, there’s a sprinkling here and there when really, veges should be the most plentiful food source in our life. So the key to this is to look at our plate and before anything else goes on there, veges lay their ground. At least half the plate is full of non-starchy vegetables such as leafy greens, carrots, tomatoes, fennel, cucumber, broccoli, cauliflower and more (of course) before any protein or starchy carbohydrates make a feature. When we look at our meals this way, we ensure our bodies receive the vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytochemicals that nourish, protect and energise.
Jurlique skin care uses vegetables such as fennel, carrot, horseradish and cucumber in their range so if we were to eat our way to rich beautiful skin too we might use these in:
Roast fennel sprinkled with sunflower seeds and fresh herbs
Moroccan carrot salad with fresh orange
Cucumber water with mint and lemon
Zucchini noodles with tomato, basil and horseradish, olive oil dressing
Walking through the garden that is our diet, fruit plays a lovely healthful part in making the garden grow. Fruits are a bountiful source of antioxidants, fibre, vitamins and minerals that can protect our cells within and on our skin from ageing, damage and improve regeneration. When selecting and eating fruit, do so with just 1-2 pieces each day and eat for the season. This ensures our bodies receive the richest of nutrients for that time, climate and season and respond accordingly. Some in particular stand out to nourish and protect our skin. Life and our skin simply would not be the same without them!
Avocado : a plentiful source of omega 3 essential fatty acids, try incorporating into smoothies, spread over toast or whipped together in my favourite Raw Chocolate Avocado Tart with antioxidants and healthy fats to boot!
Sour and citrus fruits : The sour citrus fruits such as lemon, lime and grapefruit, also support the process of elimination and detoxification pathways via the liver.
Berries : blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, goji berries in particular are known for their rich antioxidant supply which have long been touted to reduce the signs of ageing in the skin. They are low in fructose too making them a perfect burst of sweet without too much (naturally occurring) sugar affecting blood glucose and energy levels during the day.
Beans and peas of the legume family are a wonderful means to up the plant nutrition, balance our diet and deliver sustenance to the body. Of all plants in the kingdom these provide the richest source of amino acids and proteins, which are the building blocks for growth and repair in our body. They’re also a wonderful source of fibre. The soluble fibre we find in chickpeas, lentils, kidney and butter beans just to start helps manage blood sugar and energy levels by slowing the rate at which glucose is absorbed into the blood stream, keeps our cholesterol levels in check and makes our digestive system churn and move. Think about combining and integrating legumes throughout the week by:
Combining with quinoa, herbs, tomato and capsicum for a new take on tabouleh
Sautéing with a dash of chilli to accompany breakfast eggs
Slow cooking in a stew or nourishing soup with veges a plenty
Blending into dips with tahini, turmeric, olive oil and lemon juice
NUTS AND SEEDS
These little beauties are a game changer in meals, health and eating for beautiful skin. With a focus on integrating raw nuts and seeds into our diet we invite wonderful nutrition in too, the primary being omega 3 essential fatty acids. These fatty acids are protective and nourishing for the skin, heart, brain, keep our appetites in check and contribute to the healthy production of hormones in the body.
For some tolerating and digesting nuts is difficult so ensure you check in with what your body responds positively to. It may be no nuts at all (and that is often the case, so seeds are the next great alternative), nuts soaked overnight in filtered water to soften and begin the digestive process, or straight up, raw and good to go! Here’s a few ways we can incorporate them into our week:
Linseed, sunflower seeds and almonds blended to a fine crumb and sprinkled across steamed vegetables, porridge or quinoa
Toasted sunflower seed crumb with baked apples or pears and a touch of yoghurt
Small handful of raw nuts and seeds as a snack during the day
Spread of almond butter on celery and carrots sticks as a mid afternoon pick me up
Combined in a heavenly raw tart base with dates, coconut oil and vanilla and filled with a soft delicious avocado mousse for a decadently healthy dessert – a recipe you will find awaiting to your delight just below.
RAW CHOC AVOCADO TART
1 cups almonds
1 cups pecans
1/4 cup rice malt syrup
1/4 cup coconut oil
pinch celtic sea salt
2 cups avocado flesh
1/2 cup cacao powder
5 tablespoons rice malt syrup
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch sea salt
For the base:
Combine all ingredients for base in a food processor and blitz to combine.