beauti-fuel food (5 fall foods that go more than skin deep)

One of my most favorite books,  Food & Life.  Not just beautiful photos but delicious and creative ways to look at food in the form of medicine. #letfoodbeyourmedicine

One of my most favorite books, Food & Life. Not just beautiful photos but delicious and creative ways to look at food in the form of medicine. #letfoodbeyourmedicine

   "Beauty is only skin deep." Well, this is one of those old idioms that when first spoken so long ago had zero to do with food.   Speaking in terms of nourishment and our body, skin being the largest organ of our body, I'd say, um, yeah, beauty is very much "skin deep" skin shallow, it's the whole enchilada.  If you take pride in your appearance does that mean your character has nothing to do with that? I don't even know if that made sense. So according to this "saying", the meaning behind it insinuates that just because a person is not on the People's 100 most beautiful list doesn't mean they aren't a wonderful human being. But can't you be unattractive and eat crappy too? And can't you be superior looking and be a terrible person? The quote just doesn't make sense anymore, I love when I can do that, take a perfectly innocent phrase and redefine or even un-define it. Confusion aside (which is the point of an idiom in the first place, ha!) I can find hundreds of quotes pertaining to how food affects our body and how we look and feel. "You are what you eat". Yep it's a fact, but does eating processed foods mean that you are a fake person? I dunno, maybe? Depends on your strategy? Are you eating 80% fresh? Then I'd say your someone I can be friends with because I don't do fake. Fake isn't attractive so why not pick food that's not only fuel but also makes you feel pretty and has added beauty benefits to boot.  If we feel good we usually look good, I mean appearance speaking it's all subjective, like "beauty is in the eye of the beholder," but should we really give a fig if we are feeling amazing and we aren't on the cover of Vogue? Confidence, self-love, acceptance, kindness are some of my favorite ingredients to make up a beautiful  person. Just add nourishment, mix and serve. 


1. Pomegranate: In the form of seeds or juice there's no wonder they got the brand name "Pomwonderful" Indeed wonderful, and wondrous with all its healthy offerings. A kind of flavonoid antioxidant polyphenol, which is found in plants gives this fruit its vibrant red-pink hue but even better helps reduce blood pressure. A glass of this juice helps hydrate dry skin and protects our cells from oxidative stress along with reducing inflammation. 

2. Figs: These incredible little cuties have super powers beyond belief. From the stem which contains a sap to treat some diseases, to the skin, known in ancient days to be used as an exfoliator. Medicinal uses aside, nutritionally they are magical. Eating figs raw fresh out of a farmers market basket is my preferred way to indulge in this beauty food. A generous amount of dietary fiber is present in these lovely, again, important news to keep the toxins moving at a desirable pace. Just 3 oz has approx. 12% of your DV.

3. Brussels sprouts: These sweet little bite-sized green balls are the Pitbull of veggies. Why do they get such a bad rep?  I'm happy to announce they are not only friendly and delicious but have a colossal amount of nutrient value. It's so easy to get all the vitamins and minerals you need from food rather than pills and you'll find plenty of vitamin A and K, in just a cup to supply your body with some pretty fantastic health protection and beauty benefits. Brighten and protect your eyes, and strengthen bones. Yep, this means you don't just have to drink milk to protect your skeletal system. Brussels are very versatile to use also, cooked or raw they are a holiday staple, right up there with pumpkin.  I've included an amazing Fall Macro Bowl recipe that you can do with either raw shaved sprouts or cook 'em. It's a win either way. It could also make a great side dish for your Thanksgiving table. 

Fall Macro  Bowl

1 C. Shaved Brussels Sprouts

1/4 C. Diced Yams

7 Asparagus Tips (grilled)

1/2 C. Farro (uncooked, reserve the other half after cooked for another time)

1/4 Chickpeas ( I like to keep them fresh, slightyly cooked, you can boil)

Pomegranate Seeds

Toasted Walnuts

Horseradish Dressing: Mix the following together. 

1 Tbs. Coconut Oil

2 Tbs Olive Oil

3 Tbs. Apple Cider Vinegar

Lemon (squeeze bout 1/4)

1 Tsp. Shallots (finely diced)

Parsley (chopped)

Salt to taste

 Prepare the bowl:

 Mix all this goodness together combining 1/2 the dressing. Drizzle on remaining dressing and top with walnuts and pomegranate seeds. 

4. Walnuts: I can't say enough about these butterfly shaped nuts. Don't they? Look like 2 butterfly wings? They are quite remarkable in that they contain a good amount of omegas, both 3 & 6 which is unusual but also double the illness fighting power, like diabetes. There's also a ton of B vitamins which is going to keep your hair strong and luxurious.  Did you know melatonin naturally exists in walnuts? A calming healthy snack before bedtime to help boost your zzz's. The skin of the walnut is where all the goodies are hidden, so if you aren't used to the bitter taste then try toasting them. I throw mine in smoothies. Oh, but have you tried walnut butter? It's addicting so don't get carried away, but please do sample some.   

5. Apples: Contain this juicy antioxidant called quercetin. Say it with me 'kewr-se-ten, cool right?  This fruit as a powerful functional food helps ward off the damaging effects of sun rays that may cause skin cancer. It's true what they say, "an apple a day...." O.K. so this idiom is very on point, probably because it's a proverb so I'm gonna leave that one alone. A day doesn't go by that I don't have at least a slice of apple. Top it with nut butter, maybe walnuts, hint hint. Chop it up in salads. Bake it whole with cinnamon. Throw a baked apple in a food processor for homemade apple butter.

Can I talk for a sec? about the most important beautyfuel element? Sadly the often forgotten, sometimes called plain and boring, but we can't live without it so figure out a way to drink it, WATER!  It's the ultimate in flushing out the bad to make room for the good.  Keeps us glowing and supple. Hydration is non-negotiable. When you're dehydrated you're punishing your glorious body, why would you do that? Saying you forgot to drink your water today is like saying you forgot to breathe. Now doesn't that sound ridiculous? Well, it's true, so if putting on makeup, getting your hair done, working out and beautifying are your thing than water to shall be your jam. I keep a big glass, full, next to my bed so first thing in the morning I replenish some of what I lost while I was dreaming about pumpkin spice pancakes. 

So let me leave you with this just to drive home all this info I have supplied you with this fine Fall Friday morning.  There isn't a day that goes by that I don't get a comment about my skin. Like, not just in passing, they get up close and personal, looking at every pore. "What are you doing for your skin?" I do take care of my face, keeping it clean.  I don't wear make-up unless I'm outdoors and then it's just a light tinted moisturizer. But I was a very naughty sun bather, no not that kind, I grew up in a generation of no sunscreen and slathered on baby oil and roasted myself "til I was bright red, a big no-no. So I am very fortunate to have the skin I have, however, I am a living proof, a walking billboard if you will,  that if you eat smart your body rewards you. How I eat, and what I eat has for sure slowed down my (knock on wood, amen) aging process, double knock on wood. So why not just eat foods that make you feel amazing, nourish you, and fuel your beauty. Happy Friday Friends!

Happy Friday Food Athletes! Sorry, it's been so long since my last post, it's a learning process. I also write for a site called Beyond Yoga, I blog for the Move section and starting October 24th I will have my first post going up on the Taste section so look for that coming up. All about pumpkins!!! So for now, I'm happy to be back with you again and if you have comments I'd love you to share with me. #letfoodbeyourmedicine

Be Happy, Be Healthy, Love Your Body,

xx Jessi (your Food Athlete) xx

P.S. I've done up a little holiday beauty treat for you here it's a spicy body scrub and I was saving it for Halloween but I couldn't resist sharing now.  I will be talking all about pumpkin later this month as we head into our beloved spooky day Halloween,  as well as talking about it benefits along with some fun recipes you can actually eat. Since we are talking bout beauty today also I wanted you to get an un-edible taste of what other functions foods may have. Check out my Pumpkin Body Scrub DIY here.