If you haven’t seen the documentary What the Health, you should write it down on your To Do list asap. The documentary is going to make you think twice next time you’re eating your bacon for breakfast, for sure. Apart from the noble part, the documentary is going to stay with you and determine you to be more careful about what you’re eating.
According to Kip Anderson (he’s the director/producer/narrator), not only the animal products are bad for your health, but they’re also deadly. Is there anything left for us safe to eat? Is going vegan the solution for your body and, surprisingly, for your skin too? Truth be told, the skin is our body’s largest organ so it should be linked directly to your health. A better explanation may come from a chat with an expert like Dr. Tiffany Lester, Medical Director of Parsley Health San Francisco, Jenné Claiborne (aka Sweet Potato Soul and Dr. Carlos Charles, founder of NYC based dermatological practice Derma di Colore. They sure do have an opinion about the whole matter.
It’s quite often that we relate vegan to the picture of individuals that are only drinking some homemade almond milk and never stop eating hummus. We all know this is far from being true. Jenne Clairborne is a vegan chef and a blogger living in LA. This doesn’t mean she doesn’t eat meat any now or then or doesn’t go shopping at Trader Joe’s, like most of us.
“I became vegan about 6 ½ years ago. I was vegetarian for a few years before then but due to the encouragement of my co-workers I went full vegan. What the Health is scaring people like crazy, which I think is great because I think going vegan for the health aspect is a really good thing for a lot of people,” she told once. She’s quite open about what veganism really means to her “it’s more than just about the food. It’s fully no animal products in your diet. So no meat, dairy, eggs or even honey.”
One important thing to highlight when it comes to vegan diet is that it doesn’t always mean that being vegan means you’re healthy. Dr. Tifanny Lester is very open about it: “As a former vegan I wasn’t always the healthiest, because I could eat potato chips and pasta.”
Going holistically is the better way and Dr. Lester is making things clear for us: “Cutting out processed and fried meats is a good place to start when trying to clean up your diet, since they create AGEs (advanced glycation end-products) in the body which have been linked to skin aging as well as an increase in other chronic diseases. Our skin is a visual representation of our overall health status, so unhealthy dietary choices are oftentimes evidenced on the skin.”
If you’re a big fan of diary, maybe it’s time to think twice. Here’s Dr. Lester’s opinion on that: “Milk contains an abundance of IGF-1, a growth hormone, that can cause inflammation in humans. And most skin conditions are the direct result of inflammation in the body”.
Yes, you may feel the need to get rid of the chicken burrito from your lunch, and it’s totally normal. Dr. Charles reminds us though that “the correlation between skin and diet is a complicated one, and not everyone responds the same way to specific foods.” This means that eliminating meat and dairy from your diet may work for your skin, but it may also not lead to the same results in the case of your friend.
So, do we have a solution or not?
You should start small with staying away as much as you can from fried and processed food. Go with a nice variety of fruits and vegetables instead and don’t forget about including whole-grains and protein in your regular diet. Make avocados, beans and nuts your new best friends.
Dr. Lester isn’t the only one that is convinced that true beauty comes from the inside out: “More than any lotion or serum, what you put inside your mouth can drastically change your glow. The best type of Botox can be found on the end of your fork. Eating a diet that is high in hydrating foods and healthy fats, such as cucumbers, aloe Vera, and avocado, will keep your skin plumped and naturally moisturized.”
You don’t know what to begin with? Here are some of the Jenne’s recommendation on vegan recipes:
- Classic Buddha bowl- this is a lunch that you may easily cook in bulk. It’s going to get you through the whole week
- Quinoa porridge- is great for a protein packed breakfast
- Red bean tacos with peach salsa- this is classic vegan twist.