Friday, June 9, 2017

Food & Skin: You ARE what you EAT

This marvelous machine that we walk around in takes us wherever we want to go. We are not just a bunch of muscles and bones built for locomotion; we are so much more than that.

Cars need gas, oil, window wiper fluid, etc. They need certain types of products in order to perform optimally. If we are looking to burn fuel efficiently inside our own bodies, then why would we put junk and poison in our mouths? We’ve all done it, but when are we going to realize the connection between fuel and energy? Stop, take a look at what is going from your hand to your mouth and then how you feel. Do you see and/or feel a connection?

In regard to fueling this wonderful machine, I believe we are what we eat. Food equals fuel. How are you fueling your machine?

I like equating our bodies with cars because for some reason we take into consideration how a car works and take for granted our own machine, our bodies. You would never dream of getting into your car for a long drive with the gas gauge on empty. Every time you skip a meal, this is essentially what you are doing. Do you eat to live or live to eat? Either one is valid, but do you eat to fuel the machine, or does the way you eat have a detrimental impact on your body?

People are always asking me, “What are the best foods to eat for my skin?” I am not a nutritionist or a doctor, but I believe in following common sense and becoming aware of how certain foods are affecting our bodies. If we eat a healthy, balanced diet filled with all the “right” foods and very little of the “wrong” foods, our bodies will do well, and therefore our skin cells will also reap the benefits of this healthy diet. Instead of focusing on what foods to eat for your skin specifically, I recommend using food to keep your entire body functioning at its best; this will in turn have positive effects on your skin.

Connect with your food. If you are wondering what to eat for your health and for healthy skin, ask yourself this question: Am I about to eat health-producing food or health-reducing food? Of course, there are many healthy foods that may not be healthy for you, but start at the beginning and acknowledge whether the majority of the food you are eating is providing an environment for your body to benefit from. Are foods that are alive, foods that contain a lot of vitamins and minerals, and foods that are health-producing foremost in your diet?

Packaged or manufactured foods (generally found in boxes or cans) are not going to contain the high volume of nutrients that live food does. One benefit of packaged foods is they are required to list ingredients, and many provide a helpful nutrient guide that includes calorie, fat, protein, and carbohydrate content. You can learn a lot about the foods you eat by reading these labels. You will be amazed at how many poor-quality ingredients are used in the manufactured foods that you eat.

As with skin care, exercise, or in this discussion about food, keeping things simple is best. Keeping it simple with food means grilling rather than frying, eating fresh fruits and vegetables instead of canned, and steaming or stir-frying veggies rather than sautéing them in butter. Try drinking water instead of sodas and caffeine-laden teas and coffee drinks; and why not skip dessert once in a while, or skip it altogether. Use sweets as a separate treat to have every now and then.

I believe in moderation. One of my favorite sayings is “Everything in moderation—including moderation.” Sometimes you have to break away and have some “bad” foods or drinks. But don’t make these poor-quality choices a mainstay of your diet. Make them a treat. Something that you look forward to—especially since you’ve been so good about what you’ve been eating. Remember, your body is a machine and food is its fuel. How are your fueling your machine?

For more information, see:
“Everything in moderation—including moderation.”