Put Food On Your Face  ^                                         EAT THE REST

Put Food On Your Face ^ EAT THE REST

Efficiency is important to me. I figure if you're going to buy food with your own money, then lug it all the way home, you'd might as well put some on your face.  As it turns out, a homemade avocado mask can make your face look fresh and bright.  

Disclaimer from the dietitian : This skin related recommendation is not based on scientific evidence.  There is no 1,000 person study evaluating the benefits of smearing avocado on your face.  But, when I combine what I learned in nutrition school, what I've learned from my esthetician, I assess possible risk, and see how fine I look after I rub this on my face, it's enough to recommend it.  This post is the very thing blogs are for, despite my strong dislike of the word blog.  

Open a ripe avocado with a knife.  

This avocado worked well on my face, despite being bruised. 

This avocado worked well on my face, despite being bruised. 

Wash your face with a rag, or use a gentle exfoliant.  This will remove normally occurring dead skin on your face, which blocks good serums (or avocados) from getting absorbed into your skin.  

amount of avocado I used on my face.  I think I spent 5 cents for the portion.  

amount of avocado I used on my face.  I think I spent 5 cents for the portion.  

After washing and scrubbing, smear the spoonful of avocado all over your face. Most store bought masks instruct you to keep the product away from your eyes, but as far as I can tell after testing, there is no risk in applying as far as I did in the photo.  Rub on the avocado and give yourself a good massage with it, because it feels nice. Treat yourself right! Now go do other things and wait until the mask has dried, about 20 minutes.  You'll know when that has happened, and it will feel exciting. Now, ask your poor unsuspecting housemate Malay to take photos of you with this stuff on your face.

It just so happens I'm a female, but men can rub avocado on their face too.  

It just so happens I'm a female, but men can rub avocado on their face too.  

Wash the mask off in the shower, because there is probably some in your hair by now.    

Why might this be good for your face?  There are a lot of vitamin C skin products out there.  I have bought them and like what they do to my skin, as vitamin C is needed for collagen synthesis. It's also present in all plant foods, and is an antioxidant (meaning it keeps things from oxidizing, or sort of, getting older).  There is a load of vitamin C in avocado, as well as innumerable other antioxidants and enzymes that good things for you.  There are enzymes and antioxidants scientists haven't even discovered, but they're working on it, and they know these truly magical compounds are present in plants.  If you're buying masks that boast enzymes and antioxidants, why not just go straight to the source? Also, the fat from the avocado seems to make my skin feel soft. This is purely anecdotal, and I'll take it.  

Please know however, this avocado on the face thing will not save your life, or fix everything.  I still purchase skin products - many are great, and I'm selective.  A lot of the products are also expensive, from companies run by people who aren't exactly trying to save the world, and the product comes in excessive and wasteful packaging.  But yes, some products do work well.  To take care of my skin beyond my homemade masks, I also get a good skin clean out from my esthetician Kim Stuart in San Francisco.  She has the best machines, high quality whole food products, and uses champion techniques to make my face clean and soft. I choose to spend money on this because, well, it's my face. 

The avocado had now dried, explaining why I'm so happy! 

The avocado had now dried, explaining why I'm so happy! 

Like I said, I plan to eat the avocado too.  Efficiency is important.  I consume avocados because (a) they taste good (b) they're healthy : fiber + good fats + a lot of antioxidants + some carbohydrate + some protein (c) they're easy to eat and (d) they are a whole food.  The composition of nutrients in any whole food is already at ratios of fat, carbohydrate, protein and fiber your digestive system prefers.  They contain a little bit of everything in ideal amounts. This is a key point to understanding nutrition science.    

Circling back.  When I'm really in a hurry, I eat the entire avocado with a spoon after cutting it in half. This went well when I had to be to work at 7 am and needed something quick in my stomach.  The avocado would sustain me until 10 am, then I'd be ready to eat something else.  Now, below is a photo of toast, because I need to step this solo avocado up a little.  

Keep bread in the freezer and it will last longer.  Soon I'll cover this baby with avocado.   

Keep bread in the freezer and it will last longer.  Soon I'll cover this baby with avocado.   

Avocado toast is a food trend that I support.  Instead of eating just the avocado like a barbarian, get yourself a piece of bread, which keeps you full for a longer period of time.  Toast your bread, spread on the avocado with a fork, and add salt. 

The minerals potassium, magnesium and calcium in the avocado offset the sodium content you are adding to make this avocado toast taste good.  I don't worry about sodium when it's added to a plant food like this, because those minerals actually have the ability to displace it.  Mind blown!

The minerals potassium, magnesium and calcium in the avocado offset the sodium content you are adding to make this avocado toast taste good.  I don't worry about sodium when it's added to a plant food like this, because those minerals actually have the ability to displace it.  Mind blown!

You could also use rice crackers or put a corn tortilla in the toaster if you don't have bread. Some places are selling this, adding lime juice, cilantro, epic sea salt.  My favorite at home version of avocado toast is below.

I don't see nothin wrong with a little Tapatio pump 'n grind.  

I don't see nothin wrong with a little Tapatio pump 'n grind.  

There you have it.  

You just spent $2.50 on an avocado and managed to eat a healthy snack, plus you look dead sexy with your now glowing and soft skin. You didn't spend more money on products and so you didn't contribute to more garbage. You are awesome. 

Come winter I'll tell you how to rub butternut squash all over your face, and come out a winner when you have a piping hot delicious soup to go with it.  Stay tuned!  

Purple, please.

Purple, please.

As a little girl, I wasn't on the bandwagon of having a favorite color. By now, I have changed my tune. Fruits and vegetables in purple are the best color of all, and this post explains why. 

Concord Grapes.  The white on the outside is yeast, beneficial to your immune system.  

Concord Grapes.  The white on the outside is yeast, beneficial to your immune system.  

My bias in food is always based on health and flavor.  Fruits and vegetables violet in color are especially "nutrient dense" (nerd speak, meaning lots of vitamins and things good for you). Also, they taste good, so I eat them whenever possible. 

The healthy parts are in the anthocyanins (greek for blue flower) and betains.  Both are purplish pigmented antioxidants, which benefit your heart. There are about 300 known anthocyanins and about 50 known betains.  (I said about, as various antioxidants and their nutritive potential is an exploding field of nutrition research right now.  There is still a lot to be uncovered.)  

Eggplant, enjoying the San Francisco view. 

Eggplant, enjoying the San Francisco view. 

A happy family. 

A happy family. 

Purple containing plants contain more antioxidants than what you can see.  When torn, purple leaves are often green on the inside, and the green you see is from chlorophyll.  Try doing this with a piece of purple thai basil.  The violet is actually created by the plant to protect itself and to protect the chlorophyll.  This explains why (green) chlorophyll is located inside of the leaf, and why (purple) anthocyanins are on the outside.  In fact, all antioxidants (of which there are thousands) are created to protect the plant itself from oxidants, like the sun and passing of time. Then, you eat those antioxidants and you are protected from the sun and time.  This fact is a great sell on why we should consume plant foods at every meal.  Also, I'd be willing to bet there are betacarotenoids (antioxidants orange in color) hiding in purple fruits and veg, but we would have to get into a laboratory to find out.   Maybe the beans pictured below could be used in the experiment.

Purple beans from the farmer's market inspired this post.  

Purple beans from the farmer's market inspired this post.  

So deep in color, they are almost black.  But when torn open, these beans are green on the inside.  

So deep in color, they are almost black.  But when torn open, these beans are green on the inside.  

We are accustomed to seeing green broccoli, white cauliflower and red tomatoes, but most items we're used to seeing in one color comes in other hues too.

Modern farming practices have led us to whittle down the diverse quantity of plant foods to get one standard type, like a red apple. Don't let them fool you - there are about 5,000 varietals of apples.                                                          

For longer shelf life, keep blueberries in a closed container between layers of paper towels.

For longer shelf life, keep blueberries in a closed container between layers of paper towels.

Cooking                                                                                                 Purple fruit and veg are beautiful in their raw state, but know there will be visual changes from cooking. Anthocyanins and betains are water soluble, and boiling will cause color to bleed out.  Acid and base also have an effect. If you take purple cabbage and add an acid like lime juice, it will become more red in color (delicious tip --> Iime + purple cabbage is a great start to an asian slaw recipe). When a base is added - like tap water - the cabbage becomes more blue in color. (These blue and red changes are both result of transferring -OH groups, by the way).  

There you have it- purple plants contain anthocyanins, betains and a whole lot of pretty.  We eat first with our eyes and second with our heart --> so enjoy yourself and take care of that heart!  

Eating Out - What Could Homer Do?

Eating Out - What Could Homer Do?

So many choices when dining in a restaurant can be overwhelming.  Most dishes are a large portion, and have more salt and fat than a meal you would use in your own cooking.  Be strategic and get a reasonable game plan before heading out to eat.  
 

Toast Nuts in Microwave for Breakfast

Toast Nuts in Microwave for Breakfast

I am kind of a hippie.  Combine that with my San Francisco elitist background, and you would never catch me using- or promoting- a microwave.  Then I went to dietitian school, and all of my ideas about the beeping boxes got debunked. I learned that:                

(1) Microwaves do not minimize nutritive quality                                                                             

(2) You can toast nuts in a microwave

To have a good day, I need breakfast that will sustain me through to lunch. 

 

Ingredients:                                                                                                                                     nut of your choice

quality yogurt (less than about 15 grams sugar- read nutrition info on back)

fruit of your choice

good maple syrup

I toasted these babies for 45 seconds, but times will vary.  Microwaves work fast!  

I toasted these babies for 45 seconds, but times will vary.  Microwaves work fast!  

Directions:                                                                                                                                                   In the bowl, toast large handful of nuts in microwave for 45 seconds.  Add more time if you're a risk taker.  Open tupperware containing fruit you had already cut up at start of the week.  You cut it up ahead because you know that planning is magic.  Add yogurt and a bit of maple syrup.  Eat it.                                                                                                                                  

Make sure you eat a large enough portion to make you feel satiated or full.  Then, notice how balanced you feel (and not cranky) throughout the day.  In general, try to pay attention to how you feel after you eat a certain meal.  If you feel like garbage, maybe don't eat that meal again.  

This meal should:                                                                                                                                     keep you full until lunch, because it has vitamins, minerals, fiber + good balance of carbohydrate, protein and fat.  It also tastes quite nice.

Who Cares About Breakfast?  read below if interested, otherwise, just toast some nuts.  

When you eat breakfast at 8 am, and dinner the night before was 8 pm, your body has been without food for 12 hours.  Our bodies are amazing, and have mechanisms to provide us with energy while we sleep to make up for this small 12 hour no food problem (the liver will secrete glucagon).  But if you skip breakfast, by the time you eat lunch, your body hasn't had food or glucose for say 16 hours, and really, the body prefers not to operate this way.  Please eat breakfast, give your body the fuel it needs. 

I break up the pomegranate at the start of the week.  Then it's ready, and breakfast is easy.

I break up the pomegranate at the start of the week.  Then it's ready, and breakfast is easy.

I didn't manage to get a photo of the yogurt + nuts + fruit combo, but I think you get it.

This is a whole food meal, and you are a whole personAiming to eat whole foods will keep you at your best.  

 

 

 

I like to eat

I like to eat

I like to eat, eat, eat opals and banonos.