Last week I shared my experience and take on the correlation between diet and acne. Among the worst food offenders are milk, sugar and any type of food that may cause an inflammatory response, such as a food allergy. In an effort to shed some pounds and get back into shape, my boyfriend and I researched and have been trying out the 4 Hour Body Diet, by mastermind Tim Fariss, productivity expert to-the-extreme. According to Tim, “The 4-Hour Body is the result of an obsessive quest, spanning more than a decade, to hack the human body. It contains the collective wisdom of hundreds of elite athletes, dozens of MDs, and thousands of hours of jaw-dropping personal experimentation.” The basis of this diet is to effectively and sustainably eliminate unwanted pounds and add muscle. The premise, basically, is that we eat as much lean protein (eggs, chicken, grass fed beef, fish), legumes and vegetables (non-starchy) as we’d like, 3 meals a day, 6 days a week. Every night, you can have a glass of red wine, and every Saturday (or another day of your choosing) you can eat whatever you want.
I’ve been on this diet for about two weeks now, and without changing anything else, I have noticed an improvement in my skin. Although I don’t suffer from the swollen painful cystic acne bumps any longer, I still get the occasional zit here and again. My skin seems clearer and brighter to me, and I think it may have a lot to do with this diet.
Now that I know about what to eliminate from the diet to avoid a poor complexion, I want to incorporate more foods that will further help me in the skin department. Following the methodology of Tim Farriss, I’m on a quest to find the best foods for my skin possible, and try to eat them every single day. Even if you’re not worried about zits, “[s]ince aging is essentially a disease of inflammation, eating an anti-inflammatory diet will also help combat wrinkles, sagging, dry skin, and other telltale signs of age.” (Source: Stylist)
According to fellow former cystic acne sufferer Grace Gold of StyleList, “Zinc promotes the repair of skin cells, and can be found in pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, pine nuts and coconut. You can also take 30mg of zinc citrate a day.”
I’ve done a little research and found some green smoothies in order to facilitate an easy addition to your day chock-full of antioxidants to help keep your skin healthy and glowing. There are a plethora of green smoothies or drink recipes on the interwebs, but as Tim recommends not eating fruit during this diet because of its sugar content, I’ve included recipes that incorporate only low-sugar fruits. (My boyfriend might call it cheating, I call it “best of both worlds!”).
- Fill your blender 3/4 full of chopped kale
- 1″ peeled chunk of ginger
- 1/2 a lemon with the yellow rind removed (but leave the white part)
cup organic apple juicegranny smith apple
- a few ice cubes
Fill up to the top of the kale with good water. Blend until the kale is teeny tiny. Strain into a pitcher. Drink soon for maximum energy benefits!
This one might be for more of a health food junkie as it has no fruit. Think of it as a drinkable salad. As Hippocrates says,
“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”
- 1 cup Alfalfa Sprouts
- 1 cup Sunflower Sprouts (chopped)
- 1 cup Broccoli Sprouts
- 1/4-1/2 cup Tahini
- If substituting use…
- 1/8-1/4 cup Olive Oil
- 1/2 clove Garlic
- 1/8-1/4 cup Tamari
- 1 Lemon, juiced or squeezed
- 1+cup Water (add for pulsing and consistency)
Tim also writes that he finds Mexican restaurants’ cuisine easy to accommodate to this diet ….but I would add to that: Meditteranean is even better! Last night I had wine at Buku (referred to by locals deservingly, as the “sexiest restaurant in Raleigh) and dinner at Neo Monde where I didn’t even cheat….I had eggplant, and kafta with a side of some kind of greens which I’ve since forgotten the name of but it had a lot of cilantro in it and it was goooood. So far I’m thinking that I could keep to this plan, with my wine, my beloved dinners out here and there, and one solid day of cheat (EAT ALL THE THINGS!) I am all set. I do feel a little guilty for writing this post while on a cheat day. I’m snarfing down a corndog and bagel bites as I write this. Hehehe. Go big or go home, right?