Instagram is full of health food #goals. It’s easy to get sucked in—you mindlessly click follow, and before you know it, you’re liking every smoothie bowl with chia seeds and goji berries that flits past your screen. And here’s the thing: I want to have the time and energy to make my own Kombucha, to sprout my own almonds and turn them into milk, to make decorated mush morning, noon, and night. But there’s just something about living in a big city in a tiny apartment that makes those goals seems not feasible.
Enter my friend Sophie Jaffe. We met on Instagram. She’s an LA-based health and wellness expert, founder of The Philosophie, certified raw food chef, and mother of two baby angels. After a few email exchanges with her (and one too many sad desk salads), I’ve now got a few things on rotation that help me get extra nutrition without trying very hard at all.
1. Pink Himalayan Sea Salt: Sophie says that “unlike iodized table salt, pink sea salt hasn’t been mined using dynamite or exposed to modern day pollution. It’s mineral-rich and helps regulate your water content” (My interpretation: no sushi face). Also, it’s pretty! And #glossierpink.
2. Dulse Flakes: Calm down, they’re seaweed flakes, not sawdust. I sprinkle these iodine-rich specks on salads to up the nutritional value without altering the flavor much. Sophie also suggests other sea vegetables like nori, wakame, and kelp for “excellent sources of protein, potassium, iron, omega fatty acids, and vitamin B-12.”
3. Philosophie Superfoods in Green Dream, Berry Bliss, and Cacao Magic: I use these superfood blends everyday, thrown into sauces, oatmeal, yogurt, pudding, even pancake batter. Plus, once I grow up and buy a blender, I will put them in my smoothies. They’re filled with plant-based protein and star ingredients like spirulina, hemp, maca, chia, camu camu, and reishi mushroom. If that sounded like a different language you can trust me when I say they taste amazing.
4. Coconut Sugar Packets: I keep a packet or two in my purse for when I’m out at a coffee shop and want a low-glycemic sweetener in my tea or coffee. Sophie says that “coconut sugar includes more nutrients than regular sugar since it’s unrefined and unprocessed.” It tastes just like brown sugar and doesn’t have a weird aftertaste.
5. Trader Joe’s Sauerkraut: When I asked Sophie about an easy way to get fermented foods in my diet without spending $10.99 on a jar of kimchi at Whole Foods or waiting three weeks while I make it myself, she introduced me to Trader Joe’s sauerkraut. Sophie explains that “it’s totally raw and fermented, aiding in proper digestion and a strong immune system.” I eat a little on the side of my dinner for peace of mind, body, and gut.
Photographed by Tom Newton.
At this point, I do not need to extol the virtues of May Lindstrom or her products (they speak for themselves—not to mention, I’ve done it before). So instead, I’ll tell a very short story: Last spring, May stopped by the office during a visit to New York. We chatted for a good long while before I broached the subject I’ve been talking about with everyone lately—that is, deodorant. Specifically, what’s everyone using. Knowing her, it couldn’t be your standard Lady Speed Stick. I’ll admit my motives were a bit personal…I haven’t found a great non-aluminum alternative and was hoping May would have a good recommendation. Of course she did—better yet, she’s working on making one herself! While there are no prototypes floating around yet, she did email me the recipe she’s been making for her husband for years. A natural deodorant and an adorable couple story in one go? I’ll take it.
I’ve been back in the studio, and working on a number of new formula tests…including deodorant! I’m a bit wary of sharing too much just yet, but I do have an easy DIY formula that anyone can make at home. I’m a big cuddler and so is my husband, but I’m also SUPER sensitive, and his conventional deodorant was a great big no to me. I didn’t like the smell, and I would find myself avoiding snuggling too close to his pits! I knew he wouldn’t make the switch unless I had a seriously effective alternative, so this was born. I’ve been making it for years—and it works.
Very simply, it’s pure, raw coconut oil (a small pea-sized amount) with a few drops of lemon essential oil (not squeezed from a fresh lemon!), and a sprinkling of baking soda. Blend on your fingertips and massage gently into clean armpits. Amazingly effective.
If you’re sensitive to baking soda, you can try a blend of white clay and arrowroot powder instead. It’s not quite as powerful, but it’s still effective for more delicate skin types. Similarly, be careful with the essential oil—it could sting a little if you’ve just shaved. Leave out if you’re averse.
It really does get the job done, even for an active man. Now he smells incredible, and I can literally bury myself under his arms without fear—marriage saver. 🙂
Illustration by Lucy Han.
All you need for a DIY face mask, hair treatment, and moisturizer is right in your pantry.
This may be a bold statement, I know, but hear me out. The concept of beauty food is basically consuming nutrient-dense, anti-inflammatory foods that keep our bodies healthy from the inside out, where all beauty fundamentally starts. So it’s not about vanity here, it’s about how a healthy inside shows on the outside. And when Into The Gloss asked if I wanted to create a recipe full of so-called “beauty foods,” I thought, why not use all of them at the same time? Seemed like a good-looking challenge.
This salad is a balance of macronutrients (carbohydrates, healthy fats, and protein) and vitamins (B, C, plus minerals) and brings flexibility to the table to meet your needs. It’s not only delicious with fresh, summer blueberries, pumpkin seeds, spinach, and quinoa, but it’s filling, too—especially from the fresh avocado. As for the beauty aspect, a diet along the lines of this recipe should results in glowing and smooth skin, strong hair and nails, and clear eyes. Here’s why:
Pumpkin seeds: Pumpkin seeds not only taste great, but they have been shown to help with general antioxidant support, most notably from vitamin E. Most diets, the Standard American Diet in particular, are low in minerals, but pumpkin seeds are loaded with them, so I try to incorporate them as often as I can. Pumpkin oils and extracts have unique antimicrobial benefits from the lignans in these seeds. Pumpkin seeds have also been shown to have cardiovascular benefits, decreasing blood pressure, and benefits with benign prostatic hyperplasia (i.e. prostate gland enlargement). These seeds are loaded with the mineral zinc, which is important in healthy skin, strong hair, and equally strong nails.
Dark leafy greens (spinach in particular): Spinach is a great source of minerals, making it well known for bone and muscle health. Spinach contains special phytonutrients that have been shown to help decrease inflammation in the body, while also keeping our skin bright and healthy by fighting free radicals. As with most fruits and vegetables, spinach contains a great amount of fiber, which helps keep our digestive system moving, keeps us fuller for a longer period of time, and releases a steady flow of energy into our bodies.
Hemp seeds: Hemp seeds are a fantastic way for plant-based dieters to get enough protein and healthy fats into their system without much volume. They can essentially be used in any dish because of their small size and relatively neutral flavor. A good source of healthy fat and protein content, just three tablespoons contains about 11 grams of protein!
Lemon: Lemons mostly contain vitamin C, which is a water-soluble vitamin found in many fruits and vegetables. The vitamin travels nicely through our bodies in both the aqueous (fancy word for water-like) environments inside and outside our cells, neutralizing the free radicals that can cause oxidative stress to cells that can result in signs of aging. Lemons may also help protect against other inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis.
Avocado: You love it—stop fighting it. It’s high in healthy fats and fiber, both of which are satiating. Avocados also contain vitamin C, K, folic acid, magnesium, potassium, copper, and manganese.
Blueberries: Blueberries have been shown to help with cardiovascular health, cognitive benefits, eye health, overall antioxidant support, and insulin resistance. Because blueberries contain so much fiber and so little sugar, they have a low glycemic index, which means better blood sugar regulation and steady energy. And, since blueberries help reduce blood fat levels, they’ve been labeled as a “belly fat burning food,” which is also great for digestion and “de-bloating.”
Quinoa: Contains fiber, iron, magnesium, zinc, copper, manganese, and about 8 to 9 grams of protein in one cooked cup!
Nutritional yeast: Contains roughly 9 grams of protein per 2 tablespoons, along with heaps of B vitamins, which strengthen hair, skin, and nails.
And now for the recipe:
– 2 cups spinach
– 1/2 to 1 cup cooked quinoa
– 2 tablespoons raw pumpkin seeds
– 1/4 cup hemp seeds
– 1/2 to 1 cup blueberries
– Juice of two lemons
– 1/2 medium avocado
– 1 tablespoon raw apple cider vinegar
– 1 to 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
– Sea salt, adjust to taste
– Freshly ground black pepper, adjust to taste
– Pinch of red pepper flake, optional
In a large mixing bowl, combine well-rinsed spinach with cooked quinoa, pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, and blueberries. Using the back of a fork, gently mash the avocado into the salad, squeeze the lemon, add apple cider vinegar, sea salt, and black pepper to your taste.
Note: Adjust amounts of each ingredient depending on your hunger, health goals, and energy needs. This is a great starting point to build upon. You may also add additional protein as needed.
McKel Hill is a dietitian nutritionist based out of Nashville. She writes about her approach to holistic living on her site Nutrition Stripped.
Photos courtesy of the author. Combine nettles, milky oats, and rose petals to make this beauty tea for clearer skin.