Secret Snacks for Luminous Looks

We’ve all heard someone utter the phrase, “she is glowing” when referring to a women who is expecting. But pregnant women aren’t the only ones who can fetch such lovely compliments. I truly believe that everyone can put their best face forward simply by choosing wholesome health supportive foods, drinking adequate amounts of life giving water, getting a great night sleep (it’s not called your beauty sleep for no reason), protecting your skin with amazing products and ensuring that you get your heart pumping with some energizing exercise for at least 30 minutes every day. This may seem like a tall order to some, but it really is as easy as deciding that these pillars are a MUST. The words of guru motivational speaker Tony Robbins come to mind when he talks about our “shoulds”…“yes, I should focus on eating better; yes, I know I should drink more water; yes, I should go to bed earlier; yes, I should wear sunscreen; yes, I should exercise more, and before you know it we “should all over ourselves!” Well enough is enough, it’s time to glow, turn your should into a must!!
If I were to give you advice on the three best things you can do to achieve you healthy luminous look I would focus on three (OKAY, maybe four):

ONE: What You Eat

You must ensure you eat a variety of superfoods, particularly Vitamin C, which is a powerful antioxidant. It’s needed to maintain strong immunity and it’s the key ingredient to giving you healthy radiant skin. If you ensure you are eating a variety of fruits and veggies, living foods as they say, you’ll have your skin glowing in no time. Also, healthy fats such as avocado, plant based oils, seeds and nuts are essential for keeping those skin cells happy.

TWO: What You Drink

Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! Water is free and (in first world countries) it’s readily assessable to all. Nature also gives us what we need. In the tropics you’ll find the best natural hydrating liquid on the planet, coconut water. It’s an amazing source of vitamin C, potassium, calcium, and magnesium which are incredible for maintaining equilibrium and hydration within your cells. Nature also gives us living (hydrating) foods that are comprised of 75+% water. Think of a juicy watermelon or orange; increasing your hydration levels can be as easy as reaching for one of these little babies. Make it fun by whizzing them up into a fresh juice along with some ice and a few of your favourite spices.

THREE: What You Put on Your Skin

Your skin is your largest organ and must be protected from the outside as well. There are many options that exist from dermatological solutions, to over the counter solutions, to natural solutions for protecting your skin from the harsh elements that we are exposed to everyday. The bottom line is that regardless of age, gender, or lifestyle, the elements can certainly take their toll on our outermost barrier. So making a conscious effort to lending your skin a hand by using reputable product is essential. You should also make sure that sunscreen is part of your daily year-round regimen. I’ve spent most of my adult life on the water and sunscreen has been very important but I have recently learned firsthand that even sun-damaged skin can be reversed. It’s never too late to begin!

FOUR: Exercise

Bonus…and my personal favourite…exercise!
I found this discussion around the topic on WebMD, and I couldn’t have said it better myself:
“By increasing blood flow, exercise helps nourish skin cells and keep them vital. Blood carries oxygen and nutrients to working cells throughout the body, including the skin. In addition to providing oxygen, blood flow also helps carry away waste products, including free radicals, from working cells. Contrary to some claims, exercise doesn’t detoxify the skin. The job of neutralizing toxins belongs mostly to the liver. But by increasing blood flow, a bout of exercise helps flush cellular debris out of the system, you can think of it as cleansing your skin from the inside. Exercise has also been shown to ease stress. “And by decreasing stress, some conditions that can be exacerbated by stress can show some improvement,” says Brian B. Adams, MD, associate professor and director of the Sports Dermatology Clinic at the University of Cincinnati. Conditions that can improve when stress is reduced include acne and eczema…Regular exercise helps tone muscles, of course. That doesn’t have a direct affect on skin, dermatologists say. But firmer muscles definitely help you look better overall.”

Without further ado, let’s get you on your way to healthy, happy skin. These present glo bars (and other energy bar recipes) have
been part of my life as long as I can remember. As a busy
athlete and mom I often reach for over the counter bars such
as Lara or Elevate Me but nothing compares to these lovely
nuggets. I hope your family enjoys them as much as mine;
now get your glo on!

Present Glo Bar

Adapted from the oh she glows cookbook by Angela Liddon
Makes 12 bars • Prep time: 10 mins • Chill time: 10 mins
Gluten-free, oil-free, soy-free, refined sugar-free

INGREDIENTS:
½ cup (125ml) pecans, finely chopped
1 ½ cups (375 ml) gluten-free rolled oats
1 ¼ cups (300 ml) rice crisp cereal
¼ cup pumpkin seeds
¼ cup dried cranberries
1 tsp (5 ml) ground cinnamon
¼ tsp (1 ml) sea salt
¼ cup (60 ml) maple syrup
¼ cup (60 ml) honey
¼ cup (60 ml) peanut butter or almond butter
1 tsp (5 ml) pure vanilla extract

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Preheat the oven to 300°F (150°C). Line a 9-inch (2.5 L) square cake pan with two pieces of parchment paper
    (one going each way).
  2. Spread the pecans in an even layer on a rimmed baking sheet and toast them in the oven for 10-12 mins, until lightly golden and fragrant. Set aside to cool.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the oats, rice crisp cereal, pumpkin seeds, cranberries, cinnamon, and salt.
    Stir in the cool toasted pecans.
  4. In a small saucepan, stir together the maple syrup,
    honey, and almond butter until well combined. Cook
    over medium to high heat until the mixture softens and bubbles slightly, then remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla.
  5. Pour the almond butter mixture over the oat mixture, using a spatula to scrape every last bit out of the pan.
    Stir well until all the oats and cereal are coated in the
    wet mixture. (The resulting mixture will be very thick
    and difficult to stir)
  6. Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan, spreading it out into an even layer. Lightly wet your hands and press down on the mixture to even it out. Use a pastry roller to compact the mixture firmly and evenly. This helps the bars hold together better. Press down the edges with your fingers to even out the mixture.
  7. Place the pan in the freezer, uncovered, and chill for
    10 minutes, or until firm.
  8. Lift the oat squares out of the pan, using the parchment paper as handles, and place it on the cutting board. Slice the squares into six rows and then slice them in half to make 12 bars total.
  9. Wrap the bars individually in plastic wrap and store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. Alternatively, you can store them in the freezer for up to one month.
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Tracy Stuart
As the fall colours make their debut and the vegetable garden gives us our last offerings, Tracy looks to the garden for inspiration. She tells us that her beets are absolutely gorgeous this time of year and their remarkable ability to boost athletic performance is a secret that must be shared. It’s been ten years since Tracy stood on the podium at the summer Olympics in Beijing; in this issue Tracy shares some of the science behind winning that comes from an unassuming vegetable, the beet!