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Have you been watching the World Series this year, readers? Normally I’m not very interested in watching sports on TV (I’d rather be playing the sports myself, or being active in general) but I’m originally from Philadelphia, and I must confess that the inclusion of my hometown team – the Phillies – has made me very excited to watch the games. If I’m going to play the role of the couch potato for the next few games, I like to be snacking on something wholesome to counterbalance. I cooked up these delicious and simple Kale Chips for the first time, and was very happy with the results (they were even boyfriend-approved). Kale is an awesome “superfood” full of nutrients, carotenoids like lutein to protect eyesight, Vitamins C & E, calcium, fiber…the list goes on and on. I don’t know about you, but I have a hard time fitting in all the servings of leafy greens that I should be getting in my daily diet – this snack makes it easy.

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pumpkins

Fall is my favorite season! I love the red, orange, and yellow foliage in my neighborhood, wearing sweaters and jeans, and, of course, all of the great seasonal produce and flavors. Apples, squash, pumpkin, and sweet potatoes are some of my favorites – gorgeous in color, full of vitamins, and easy to prepare.

I keep a constant supply of apples in my kitchen, which I’ve been peeling and chopping to add to oatmeal every morning – a sweet and easy way to sneak in a whole serving of fruit. Apples are a great source of vitamin C, and pectin, a soluble fiber. Below is a recipe for oatmeal, as well as one of my other favorite fall recipes – super simple Tofu Pumpkin pie. Also, check out this great Butternut Squash Soup recipe from the Whole Foods website (a great resource). All of these recipes are easy, and full of the nutritional benefits that Autumn has to offer.

Easy Apple Oatmeal

Peel one apple (firmer types like Cortland or Macintosh work well), chop into small pieces

Add to a bowl with ½ cup Quick cooking plain oatmeal, 1 cup water, 1 tsp cinnamon

Microwave for 3 minutes

I’ve been adding chopped pecans, raisins and little bit of Agave nectar, a natural sweetener with low glycemic impact – yum!

Keep reading for a great Tofu Pumpkin Pie Recipe! Read the rest of this entry »

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It has long been debated as to whether what you eat actually affects your skin or not.  Recently though many studies have concluded that what you eat does affect your skin.  Your skin is an organ, and how it looks is a map to your total body health.  If cell production and activity is low, the skin on your face and body will feel the affects.  I started to wonder though does it really matter how we get the vitamins to our skin?  Is a healthy diet all we need?  Or must we take vitamins and also apply them topically in skin care products? 

Studies show that yes we do need to maintain a healthy diet, take daily vitamins, as well as use good creams which contain vitamins, nutrients and antioxidants.  The problem with just thinking a healthy diet is enough is that we do not receive enough of certain vitamins and nutrients from our food alone.  Thus taking vitamins is good because it ensures we have the proper amount of nutrients needed to aid our skin and body.   Using skin care lines which include vitamins, nutrients and antioxidants is important in fighting signs of aging, hyperpigmentation or specific skin conditions.

Maintaining a diet that encourages avoiding inflammatory foods (such as salt, alcohol, excessive caffeine) and encourages vitamins,  antioxidants, antibacterial properties, fiber- to clear toxins,protein and essential fats will nourish the body and skin making us look and feel better.  Add daily vitamins and a good skin care regime and you will be looking and feeling younger, healthier and vibrant. 

Below are very important vitamins and nutrients that will promote healthy skin function. 

Vitamin A – softens keratin build up that causes rough dry skin.
Fish oils, dairy, carrots, cantaloupe, peaches, squash, tomatoes, all green and yellow fruits and veggies. 

Vitamin C – helps keep collagen healthy
Fresh fruits and berries (especially citrus) green veggies, onions, tomatoes, radishes, rosehips.

Vitamin E –Powerful antioxidant, prevents break down of many substances in body which are essential to use oxygen in muscles, improves circulation, promotes normal clotting to heal.  Prolongs life of red blood cells. Most vegetable oils, wheat germ, soybean oil, raw nuts and seeds, eggs, leafy veggies, meat, milk and molasses, peanuts, legumes and whole wheat.

Selenium-  Important antioxidant that protects cells by breaking down free radicals. Bran, broccoli, onions, tomatoes, tuna, wheat germ.

Beta Carotene-  Antioxidant, defends cells from harmful free radicals. 
Dark green leafy veggies, yellow and orange vegetables and fruits. 

Vitamin B Complex (All B vitamins together) – co enzyme involved in energy production.  Important for proper cellular function of nervious system, healthy skin, hair and nails, eyes, liver, mouth, gastrointestinal tract and muscle tone.Whole grains, brewers yeast. 

Vitamin B2 – necessary for healthy skin hair and nails, antibody production, cell respiration and growth. Milk, eggs, fish, brewers yeast, leafy veggies, whole grains. 

Vitamin B3 – aids circulation, important for healthy skin, digestive system and nervous system. Lean meats, poultry, fish, peanuts, wheat germs, whole wheat, avocado, dates, figs and prunes. 

Vitamin B5- Helps certain hormones and antibodies.  Plays essential role in energy and metabolism.  Maintains a healthy digestive tract, skin, nerves and glands. Converts fats and sugar to energy. 

Omega 3 & 6Essential Fatty Acids- Prevents dry skin, premature aging.  Fish oils, evening primrose oil

 

 

Stephanie Keenan

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