Beauty Is Wellness: Getting Pretty with Pumpkin
Welcome to Beauty Is Wellness, a column about the link between nutrition, lifestyle and beauty based on my health coaching practice of the same name. I’m thrilled to share information about my favorite beauty foods, original recipes for beautiful skin, hair and nails and nutritional tips for beautifying from the inside out in the months to come. If you have specific questions about the beauty and nutrition connection that you’d like to have answered in this column, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In this season of pumpkin lattes, pumpkin donuts, pumpkin cheesecakes and pies, it’s easy to lose sight of the powerful skin nutrition that’s found in pumpkin. One serving of pumpkin has about seven times the skin-smoothing, glow-inducing vitamin A you need in a day, so snacking on pumpkin is an instant jump-start for lackluster skin. Sometimes we forget that pumpkin is actually a vegetable (not simply a flavoring), and that we can cook and eat those pumpkins we pick at our local farm— not just carve them and put them in the window.
When you snack on a pumpkin muffin or sip a pumpkin coffee, you’re not getting much, if any, of pumpkin’s mega dose of vitamin A (excellent for boosting cell turnover and smoothing skin at a time of year when your skin needs it more than ever!). What you need is a smart way to use pumpkin this season, so you can make the most of this veggie and the fabulous pumpkin flavor that we love so much in the fall. Beauties, it’s time to take pumpkin out from beneath that mountain of sugar and make it into a delicious, festive, crave-worthy treat that also keeps your skin gorgeous!
For a creamy, spiced snack that’s more satisfying than a pumpkin donut and worlds more beautifying for your skin, try my Chia Spice Smoothie, below. The omega-3-rich chia seeds add just a bit of healthy fat, to ensure that you absorb all of the beauty vitamins packed inside pumpkin. You can use canned pumpkin, or cook your own in the oven (don’t forget to roast the seeds, which are high in skin-healing zinc!).
Chia Spice Smoothie
Substitute cooked sweet potato or butternut squash for the pumpkin in this recipe and you’ll still get amazing fall flavor—and loads of vitamin A.
Makes 2 servings
2 cups unsweetened almond milk
1 cup cooked pumpkin
1/4 cup chia seeds
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 frozen banana
Combine the almond milk and pumpkin in a blender until smooth. Add the chia seeds, spice and frozen banana and process until thick and creamy. Serve immediately, or chill for an even thicker texture.
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Text, images and recipes ©2013 Jolene Hart. All rights reserved.
Jolene Hart, CHC, AADP is a Philadelphia-based writer and founder of Beauty Is Wellness, a natural beauty and health coaching practice. She teaches women to use nutrition and lifestyle choices to look and feel their best from the inside out.
Tags: beauty, lowfat, natural beauty, recipes, skinny snacks, superfood