The Summer Glow Salad
A little FYI: once you start incorporating this salad and these ingredients into your lifestyle and meals, you’ll totally be asked this question on the daily:
“Did you just get back from vacation? You have a total glow…”
You can coolly respond that “it’s not the tropics, it’s the spinach…”
…And the berries, and seeds, and nuts, and avocado, and tahini, and lemon, and all the other goodness found in this big, beautiful bowl of yum.
In all seriousness through, what you eat and how your body is digesting, processing, and utilizing those foods, is a big determinate on how you look on the outside. Some things that show up on the exterior of our bodies are little flags to notify us that something inside the body isn’t quite in line. This can be anything from acne to dry skin, brittle nails, rashes, eczema, and more. Analyzing these exterior body symptoms, and sequentially treating them with nourishing foods is a holistic way to get more in tune with your health, on the inside and outside. Of course, more serious things like irregular, discolored moles or dark rough patches on the neck can signify more serious things; the former cancer and the later pre-diabetes. Always check with your naturopath or doctor for exterior symptoms giving you unease.
Now, to get the glow.
There are glorious whole, unprocessed foods that can do wonders for the outside of your body, and these include fats, antioxidants, and a wide array of vitamins and minerals. Let’s discuss skin food, first and foremost. The skin, the body’s largest organ, is your one and only line of defense when it comes to protecting your beautiful body from invading exterior environmental toxins – like pollution, smoke, the sun’s rays, and that nasty burn you received from pulling a hot pan out of the oven. Keeping your skin supple and strong not only keeps you looking radiant for years on end, but it also protects all those important things going on inside that bod of yours. Bottom line? Eat whole, unprocessed foods and your skin will love you back.
So what does skin need to get glowing?
Antioxidants, including Vitamins C, A, & E along with minerals copper, zinc, and selenium, are abundant in plant foods like fruits and veggies along with nuts, seeds, and whole grains. These help to keep your cells free and clear of unstable free radicals and oxidative stress, which is linked to disease and inflammation. In terms of your skin, antioxidants help to combat the formation of wrinkles, brown spots, and dullness, improve collagen production, protect your bod from UV damage, and more. In this beautiful summer salad, you’ll reap antioxidant benefits in nearly every single ingredient. How’s that for skin food?
2. Healthy Fats.
Another reason to banish that whole “fat-free” idea: your skin needs fat to look its best. We’re talking glowing, supple, elastic, and youthful movie-star skin, all thanks to some of the foods we consume. In fact, according to a study published in the American Journal of Nutrition, women who consumed more fats appeared to have fewer wrinkles and a firmer skin tone. The types of fats you should consume to reap the best glow include essential Omega-3 fatty acids, polyunsaturated fatty acids, and monounsaturated fatty acids. You can find these good guys in nuts like almonds, walnuts, and cashews, seeds such as hemp, flax, sesame, and pumpkin, as well as olives, olive oil, avocados, and wild fish like salmon and mackerel. (And this salad!)
3. A lifestyle shift.
Ok I’ll say it, one salad isn’t going to make your skin glow. Incorporating these beautiful salad ingredients day after day after day WILL however make your skin (and insides) absolutely radiant. A diet rich in whole, unprocessed foods is a diet rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytonutrients, complex carbohydrates, beneficial flora, and more. The result? The Glow.
Fresh baby spinach + sweet, antioxidant filled local berries + crunchy, healthy fat filled, and skin loving seeds and nuts + nourishing avocado + crunchy fennel + honey and tahini dressing = Seriously delicious skin food.
The Summer Glow Salad
2 cups baby spinach
1 ½ cups fresh organic berries (strawberries, blackberries, blueberries…)
3 tablespoons raw pumpkin seeds
2 tablespoons hemp seeds
2 tablespoons chopped hazelnuts
½ bulb fennel, sliced thin
1 small avocado, diced
In a large bowl combine all salad ingredients. Drizzle with lemon tahini dressing (recipe below) and mix to completely cover. Devour & get glowing!
Honey Tahini Dressing:
Juice of ½ lemon
1 tablespoon tahini
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon raw honey
Pink Himalayan sea salt
Freshly ground pepper
In a small jar add in lemon juice, tahini, olive oil, raw honey, sea salt, and freshly ground pepper. Close lid tightly and shake well to combine. Add more ground pepper and sea salt to taste, if necessary.
-Other delicious additions to this summer glow salad include cooked quinoa, beans, or lentils, a piece of wild fish, a big scoop of kimchi or sauerkraut for the promotion of good bacteria, and any other fresh vegetables you can find seasonally in your area!