Sunday, October 7, 2012

Eat your way to beauty

Hi Beauty Queens!

Today I am going to share with you diet tips to keep you beautiful and fabulous more than you already are :).

I reference my diet from the below dietary theories.

1) Perricone Diet - The Anti Aging Diet

I chanced upon this on youtube. (Yes I am a huge youtube addict - I don't even watch television anymore. I love parodies, comedies, home made MTVs and of course all the beauty tutorials!)

According to  Nicholas Perricone, a dermatologist, nutritionist and Adjunct Professor of Medicine at Michigan State University’s College of Human Medicine, aging is caused by cellular inflammation and free radicals from oxidative stress in the body. Food that is high in glycemic index (sugars and simple carbohydrates) causes a sharp rise in blood sugar levels which destroys collagen and increases inflammation which results in wrinkled sagging skin and other signs of aging in addition to making you fat.
The Perricone diet hence advises us to avoid such foods, and also include foods that high in protein (for celluar repair) antioxidants, vitamins (especially C and E) and omega-3 fatty acids.

Food to avoid: Pastries, candies, pasta, potatoes, white bread, white rice, fast food, alcohol, coffee, cereals, soda- basically anything that is starchy, high in sugars or causes free radicals in the body

Recommended foods: Cold water fish like wild salmon, sardines, mackerel, chicken and turkey breast, water, green tea, olives, avocado, nuts and seeds (high in healthy fats), yoghurt, kiwi, melon, berries especially blueberries the 'super'' fruit, hot peppers, sprouts, green leafy vegetables, beans, tomatoes, eggs, tofu, oatmeal

He claims that if you follow the Perricone 3 day face lift meal plan, you will experience a dramatic difference in the way you look and feel - reduced puffiness, firmer jawline and increased radiance!

2) Paleo Diet basically a diet that follows the Paleolithic period of more than 10,000 years ago.The rule is simple ''if the cavemen didn’t eat it, you shouldn’t either". It is based on the premise that human genetic makeup has not changed since the start of the agriculture revolution - though ever since, we have been introducing diary, legumes, refined sugars and processed food in our diet, causing "diseases of civilisation" like hypertension, heart diseases, Alzheimer's, type 2 diabetes.

Food to avoid: Simply all refined sugars and fats, grain products - meaning no pasta, no fast food, no cereals, no pizza, no bread - the list goes on and on!

Food to eat: vegetables, fruits, meat, fish and nuts free of food addictives

3) Aktins Diet- low carb diet that forces your body to burn fats. I am sure everyone has heard of this one! Eating food high in carbohydrates increases glucose insulin response (gluose allowed to enter body cells), causing blood sugar level to fall and one will feel the need to eat high sugar food, leading to the viscous cycle of overeating. This approach involves eating more protein and less carbohydrates and is aimed at weight loss. 

And there you have it! My diet is strongly influenced by the 3 diet plans above. Do you see a similarity among these 3?
All of them advise us to avoid simple carbohydrates.

For me, it is always protein first, then carbohydrates  I do not follow any of the above diets strictly. I simply eat what I think is good for me and avoid those that are obviously bad. Afterall, the above 3 did received quite a bit of criticism and doubt and following strictly is just too extreme and infeasible. For example, apparently fruits high in sugars like grapes and bananas are also not recommended in Perricone diet! Also, I think it is ridiculous to do away with grains (Paleo diet). Complex carbohydrates like rolled oats are good for you.

I am really vain so I try to eat more salmon - the miracle anti aging food! Vegetables is a must. My lunch is either sushi/sashimi ,a smoked salmon mixed salad from the salad bar (Munch / the salad shop / fresh + from near my office), a smoked salmon or chicken breast sandwich (I choose wholemeal bread - from Cedele , Swiss bake, Gastronomia) or a low calorie soup like pumpkin soup with a side salad from soup spoon. Believe me, it can get boring so I do eat ramen sometimes too :)
My friends tell me I am already skinny enough and I can skip the salad, but really, I take the salad more for the vitamins and antioxidants than prevent weight gain!  I believe eating well results in long term skin benefits that skincare would not be able to provide.

I take mostly my dinners at home. I believe home cooked food is definitely healthier - you know what goes into your dishes,it is msg free and defintely less trans fats and you can load up on good proteins and vegetables. I am not fussy and I eat whatever is on the table at home since my mom is health conscious herself,mostly a variety of chinese dishes like braised chicken, pork chops, pan fried salmon, omelettes, stir fried vegetable, yes and broiled soups! We take brown rice mixed with rice and I can just eat a small portion without feeling hungry later.

For weekday breakfast, if I do eat it, would be a cup of muesli premixed with dried fruits, nuts and seeds with iced coffee without sugar (Coffee dehydrates your skin but I need it to start the day). Please do not take Granola bars! If you read the nutrition fact it is as good or as harmful as a candy bar. Remember to drink loads of water too!

When I am out with my friends, I try to choose something that is more healthy on the menu like fish.I choose white meat over red because I feel that red meat is kind of hard to digest and it is listed as one of the top foods for weight gain. Also, Itacho and Sushi tei has been on the top of my list for dinner with the girlies.

I am definitely not a health freak though. You do still me feasting on french fries,gelato,pasta, pizza ( I love parma ham pizzas!), burgers on those friday nights when I give myself a little diet holiday when I am out with the bf. I love french and italian food and they are not exactly the food you want to include in your diet. Seriously, things that are bad for you taste sooo good! If I am hungry midday I do still reach for a little bag of chips and ignore the apple on my desk... I do stay away from fast food restaurants though, those stuff have so many chemicals in them and is bound to increase oxidative stress in your body.I also have significantly reduced my alcohol intake over the past year. Seriously, after alcohol consumption,  I always wake up with dry and red blotchy skin the next day.

I have ceased going to the gym many months ago ever since I reduced my food intake (mainly carbs) and saw no need to go exercise other than an occasional swim. I do believe is exercise is necessary to burn calories, tone the body, build muscles and keep the heart healthy, but I am too lazy. And if you do exercise, you really need to increase your calorie intake else you will end up fainting on the treadmill. 

To me, it is all about striking a balance in your diet. Too much of any kind of food can never be good for you. For example, when eating salmon outside, it is hard to know if it is farm raised or wild. Who knows, the salmon you might be eating might be loaded with chemicals and omega 6 fatty acids (bad). 

And you don't need to make drastic changes in your diet to make a difference. You can start by ditching that soda during lunch for a green tea from the pantry, or skipping that dessert during dinner, or getting a handful of trail mix instead of a chocolate bar when you are hungry.  :)

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