I am making big claims here today. But I swear by this one key ingredient for transforming all of my smoothies into something totally magical!
The key is: frozen bananas!
You can freeze bananas by choosing ripe ones, peeling them, and storing them in tightly sealed freezer bags. Stick in your freezer and use them as desired! I usually eat mine within the week.
Bonus: Another mouth watering way to upgrade your smoothie game is to replace water with coconut water. If you are already on the frozen banana train, try this for a change!
Extra bonus: Drizzle maple syrup on top and drink it with a straw!
The straw makes all the difference, guys. Here is a recipe for one of my very favorite smoothies combinations:
A BEAUTIFUL GLOW SMOOTHIE ☼
1. Blend 1/2 cup raspberries, 1/2 cup wild blueberries, and 1 cup coconut water together in a high speed blender.
2. Add 2 ripened bananas (brown spots are best!) and 1-1/2 frozen bananas. Blend together on high until smooth.
3. Pour into a glass. Drizzle 1-2 tsp of maple syrup on the top. Insert your favorite straw and enjoy!
For more smoothie and skin-friendly, feed your glow recipes, visit Free Your Glow!
Struggling with breakouts and chronic acne? Check out my newly released guidebook Finally Healing Acne.
Is your blood sugar affecting your skin?
It was for me. It took me a long time to figure out what dietary lifestyle would help me balance this and what wouldn’t.
Even the good guys— like lots of fruits— seemed to work against me.
Over time, I figured out some tricks to balancing my blood sugar while healing, which I’d love to share with you today.
First things first— it’s important to understand the adrenal and blood sugar connection. Healing insulin resistance (the body’s inability to absorb glucose) really is a process of healing the adrenals. This is why we notice that “stress” seems to affect our skin.
When we experience stressors, even just minimal daily ones, adrenaline can pour through our system to give us the alertness we need to manage our lives.
An increased amount of anxiety and panic for no logical reason is often an indicator of an adrenal weakness.
It was no coincidence that I was experiencing panic attacks at the same time I was experiencing upset in my skin. It really is all connected.
I learned a lot from Medical Medium about the connection between the adrenals and blood sugar. This is also why so many of us are sensitive to eating lots of fruit.
Here are a few tips that helped me the most:
♡ Ditching the smoothies
I was a smoothie queen and one day decided to try actually eating the fruit. Chewing our fruit activated enzymes and predigests the sugars before they hit the gut. This little adjustment helped me feel so much more balanced.
♡ Cutting out oils
Oil can really hinder the body’s ability to absorb carbs and sugars correctly. I stopped using coconut oil in my food, along with all the others. It was very helpful for me personally.
♡ Focusing on low glycemic fruits
Low glycemic fruits include berries, kiwi, and even watermelon. Watermelon actually has less sugar than an entire apple (thanks for that wisdom Medical Medium!)
You are likely to find that in a short time you will be able to tolerate more variety of fruits and MORE of them. Listen to your body to know what is best.
♡ Pairing your fruit with sodium-rich foods
This is everything! If you are sugar sensitive, be sure to pair all your carbohydrates with foods like celery, spinach, cucumber or dulse. This simple combining act will balance the sugars and help your adrenals big time.
Thisbis when paying attention to Medical Medium’s advice on eating Adrenal Snacks will come in handy for you!
♡ Sprinkle cinnamon on your carbohydrates
Cinnamon is truly amazing for helping to balance blood sugar! Sprinkle a little on your meals for some extra assistance.
♡ Don’t be afraid to experiment
If you are coming from a paleo lifestlye, sticking to eating a bit higher fats for a while may be helpful for you, as you transition into eating more carbs. Sometimes, it is lowering your fats dramatically that will make a difference (see my blog on Transitioning To A High Carb Lifestyle for more info)
It all depends where you are at in your healing and where your body is. Experiment to find your balance. But remember, slow and steady is the key. “Transition” is the key word.
For most of my healing journey it was optimal to have low fats, but I also recall a time earlier in my journey when I couldn’t tolerate a lot of fruit sugar.
At this time I was eating a LOT of sweet potatoes to compensate. My body digested small amounts of animal proteins and fats (chicken was what I mostly ate) better than plant based fats. So this is what I worked with.
After some time, I let go of eating animal proteins and was able to eat a bit more fruit.
Please don’t fear experimenting a bit to find what works for you. We all have well meaning advice, but only you can know when something is right for your body. Document what is working and what is not, and in time you will begin to find your balance.
Again— digestive enzymes can really help you out while you are finding what works best for you. There is a video on my IGTV all about them and how I used them!
I also go into more depth on enzymes and how they helped with my healing process in my guidebook Finally Healing Acne.
Thank you for reading! I truly wish you all the best on your journey to healthy skin!!
I love this DIY recipe for a body bronzer that works right away to naturally enhance your glow!
The secret is cacao powder! Just mix a little with some shea butter or coconut oil — and glow on.
NATURAL BRONZING RECIPE:
1 cup shea butter or coconut oil
3 tsp cacao powder
1 drop lavender essential oil (optional)
☼ Melt down shea butter or coconut oil, your choice of the two depends on your desired consistency. Coconut oil will be a thinner formula, where the shea butter will be a thicker body butter.
☼ After melting down, add in your cacao powder— remember this is cacao, not cocoa!— lavender oil and mix well.
☼ Enjoy as an all over body lotion!
Get Glowing Skin With Beta Carotenoids
Looking for that natural glow?
Ditch sunless tanners and utilize the amazing effects of beta-carotene by loading your diet up with carotenoid-rich fruits and veggies!
It will take some time to notice the effects of this one, but most people report significant changes when they start consuming higher amounts of the following fruits and vegetables within two weeks. Juicing seems to be one of the most optimal ways to get these nutrients to the upper layers of the skin.
What foods are high in carotenoids?
☼ Sweet Potato
☼ Bell Peppers
The warm orange pigments of these fruit and vegetables actually enhance your skin’s natural color and provide even the most sun-deprived of us with a little extra glow.
How can we best utilize beta-carotenes for our skin?
Eating a low fat diet is key to getting vital nutrients, like carotenoids, to the surface layers of our skin. This is because a low fat diet will promote more oxygenation in the blood, allowing nutrients to travel much more deeply into the tissues and organs.
Try lowering your fats down just a bit and get loads of these beta carotene rich foods in to glow a little brighter!
WHEN YOU ARE HEALING your skin from acne, sometimes it is best to not eat tons of fruit.
Especially if you are coming from a high fat diet, like I was, it’s important to take it slow when you are reintroducing these healing foods.
I say this only from my own experience, as I remember a time when I could could barely eat any fruit without my skin reacting.
This response was likely due to an insulin resistance of sorts. I had been eating so many fats (which block glucose) and the sugars couldn’t absorb properly.
My goal was to be eating a high carb diet, low in fats.
However, it took me some time to get there and to lower the fat that was in my bloodstream and to feel really good eating the way I do now.
So my journey began, looking something like this:
♡ Start my day with lemon water
♡ Eat a banana with some strawberries and celery for breakfast
♡ 1/2 papaya and dates for a snack
♡ Then for the rest of the day I focused on sweet potatoes (I ate sooo many!!)
♡ Eventually I added in lots of potatoes, too!
This kind of simplicity worked for me. I know it sounds limited but it was how I created a baseline for myself.
Over time when I added in more variety I could easily tell what was affecting my skin and what wasn’t.
Fruit is a TRUE miracle— and as time went on I was able to tolerate more and more. But for a while it was so important for me to give my body time to adjust to the changes.
If you are reading this, I know you are probably willing to try anything to help your skin, and you’ve likely been trying to do everything “perfectly” with your chosen lifestyle plan.
Trust me, I know that mindset so very well! T one where I am trying to do everything by the book (take all the supplements, herbs, all the foods, do it ALL) thinking if I do it perfectly, I will heal faster.
But for me it was never this way. I have had to learn take it slow and listen to my body. I have introduced powerful supplements and foods little by little.
For so many of us, we can not rush this process but we can TRUST our process.
What works for you may look completely different than what worked for me when it comes to how much fruit and what fruits I was consuming.
Don’t fear experimenting to find what works for you.
As many of you know from my Finally Healing Acne guidebook, digestive enzymes can be a powerful way to support your body while you do experiment to find what foods work best for you.
Some general, helpful transition tips when you are coming from a high fat diet:
♡ Focus on keeping your fats very low— this is what will allow you to bring in more and more carbs (like all the fruits!)
♡ If you are in a place of transition, especially coming from a high fat diet, focus on simple fruit meals, and low-glycemic fruits like berries and kiwi and see if that helps you.
♡ Chew your fruits instead of blending them in a smoothie.
♡ Eat your fruits with celery (or cucumber) to balance your blood sugar most optimally. you may find this helps you tolerate fruit much better!
♡ Try cutting out all oils (even coconut oil!) for a while.
♡ Keep track of foods that seem to be working for you and how you are responding to changes. listen to your body first and foremost! Developing this relationship is truly everything!
IT IS SUCH AN HONOR to have Detroit based yoga teacher, Sitara Bird, on the blog today for the Sacred Skin Series!
Sitara’s beautiful spirit graces the pages of Instagram influencing thousands. Photos of her active yogi lifestyle and “high vibin’ eats” give us all some major soul candy to swoon on!
Her unique sense of style is magnetic— and her tattoos are such a gorgeous extension of that creative, soulful energy she imbibes.
AJ: What was your very first tattoo experience?
SB: My first tattoo experience was interesting to say the least. I was 16 years old and had convinced my folks into letting me get a tattoo tinkerbell on my low back. #trampstamp haha!
AJ: What inspired you to get more?
SB: Probably to make up for my terrible first choice! Jokes aside, I remember someone forewarning me of how addicting tattoos can be and they were absolutely right. Moving forward, I've been happy with my tattoo choices!
AJ: Many of your tattoos are memorable ones. What inspired your flower of life hand tattoo?
SB: Moving out of the corporate world to pursue my passion of teaching yoga full time is what inspired this specific piece. In my younger years, I remember being told "you will never find a job with visible tattoos on your body". This was a rebellious, "I broke free from the corporate world" inspired tattoo. Blooming into this journey of becoming a full time teacher. Constant evolution.
AJ:Another memorable tattoo of yours is the moon phases on your arm. What was the inspiration behind this piece?
SB: This is a piece my husband and I got together on the Buddha supermoon in 2012. Just prior to heading out to Symbiosis gathering which was held on sacred land in Nevada. Specifically, Pyramid Lake where we had to opportunity to witness the eclipse.
AJ: Have any of the tattoos you’ve gotten helped you overcome an obstacle in your life?
SB: Every piece has a specific meaning. Reflecting upon them helps me remember my journey and how far I've come. Especially in those humbling moments when I may question the path I'm on. They offer silent words of encouragement.
AJ: Do you have a favorite tattoo artist that you go to?
SB: Yes! His name is Sam Wolf and he works at Signature Tattoo in downtown Ferndale, MI. I love Sam and his work because he isn't heavy handed. By that, I mean, his line work won't bleed and thicken as your skin heals. Some of my pieces by him are nearly ten years old and they still look fresh!
AJ:We all know that tattoos can painful—some more than others! What was your most intense tattooing experience?
SB: My most intense tattoo experience oddly enough was not my ribs, which everyone warned me about. But rather it was the little bird I have on my left shoulder just above my armpit. Theres a pocket of nerve endings there that had me going! Thankfully, the bird is quite small and only took ten minutes to tattoo.
AJ: How do you view the pain of that experience? What helped you get through it?
SB: I have a high threshold for pain which definitely helps assuage the experience. But in moments where the sensation rises, I remind myself that this moment is fleeting.
AJ: Do you have any dreams of being tattooed again in the future?
SB: Yes! I have been dreaming of getting a piece my the artist @merakilabbe on my outer right thigh. Her art is so dreamy. I would be honored to flaunt her work.
AJ: Do you have a specific aftercare routine that you follow?
SB: Wash once a day with a fragrance free soap and keep that baby moisturized!
AJ: What advice would you give someone looking to have a more positive, healthy tattoo experience?
SB: Swallow your fear and dive right in! Don't let overthinking dissuade you.
Sitara, thank you for taking the time to share your stories behind your tattoos and for inspiring us all to be true to ourselves!
You can check Sitara out on Instagram @sitarabird where she shares even more of her inspiring lifestyle and beautiful stories!
Why It Matters What’s In Your Tattoo Ink
How Tattoos Impact Autoimmune Conditions (+ what you can do about it)
Tattoos + Regrets