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September 30, 2022
Fall: The leaves start to change, and the air grows crisp. It’s a transitional time when we begin hunkering down, preparing for winter and the holiday season. So, what does this have to do with your skin? As your body’s largest organ, it’s wholly receptive to even the subtlest of shifts.
While the blistering cold doesn’t usually hit until December or January, Fall’s coolness can affect your skin in a variety of ways. If you live somewhere that the Summer humidity fades into aridity, you’ll want to watch out for dermal dryness. Even though it’s not hot outside, it’s just as crucial to drink plenty of water to keep your skin hydrated. Autumn days are often blustery and can lead to chapped lips and cheeks. Think about switching your moisturizer to something more substantial to preempt parched skin. And make sure you have a good lip balm on hand, avoiding petroleum-based ones. Instead, look for products with ingredients that nourish and protect your lips, like Shea butter.
If you live somewhere that gets more precipitation, come Fall, you may not have to deal with dryness, but other possible skin concerns. More rain = more cloudy days. Darker days + fewer hours of daylight can lead to certain deficiencies, particularly in vitamin D. Be sure to get outside and enjoy the sun when possible and consider eating more vitamin-D-rich foods.
Not only does the climate affect our skin, but what we wear in these different conditions. As the weather turns cooler and a brisker, we start bundling up more in hats, scarves, sweaters, tights, and other garments. If not washed or sanitized, hats and scarves especially can be culprits of fall blemish breakouts. Even when properly cleaned, they can still cause irritations and yeast-related rashes from perspiration. Materials matter, too. Wearing warmer, heavier fabrics that aren't as breathable can cause us to perspire, leading to body blemishes as well as rashes.
Seasonal dietary changes can also play a big role in our skin health. Fall holidays are often cause for more parties and gatherings. During Summer we tend to crave more fresh salads, whereas in fall we naturally want richer, warmer foods. Some of the fall food pitfalls are pies, such as pumpkin, apple, and pecan. Traditionally, they're filled with sugar, eggs, dairy, wheat, and other ingredients that can be detrimental to the skin. Wheat and sugar are both inflammatory ingredients, while sugar also dehydrates. Conventional eggs and dairy can contain hormones and antibiotics, that throw off our body's natural balance.
Fall harvest provides an abundance of wholesome options. Opt for leafy greens, like kale or chard, or some seasonal squash, like butternut or acorn. All of these are anti-inflammatory, full of detoxing fiber, and rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Your skin will thank you!
Oftentimes it's the social customs surrounding the holidays that can throw us off balance. It's kicked off with Halloween trick-or-treating. And though it's kid-centric tradition, what parent does not steal a candy bar or two? Thanksgiving is next and, for many of us, extends beyond the Thursday holiday, prolonging the interruption of our normal routines. Many people celebrate with more than one faction of their family, adding to the splurge.
Tips for avoiding the holiday gorging:
-Eat beforehand. Fill up on nutritious food at home, before going to a party. This will decrease the temptation of the unhealthy treats.
-Bring something that you'll eat. When you're going to a potluck, make a healthy dish that will satiate you, so you're not left hungry or overindulging on sugar.
Try these healthy and delectable substitutes for traditional holiday recipes:
Squeeze the juice from 1 tangerine
Place 6 oz of carbonated water in a tall thin glass
Pour in ½ of the tangerine juice, stir
Put in 2 teaspoons of cranberry juice
Finish with a decorative slice of tangerine on the rim or in the glass.
A fun addition is REALLY BIG ice, as we call it in my house. There are tons of molds available online or in stores. Try freezing them with a few real cranberries and/or tangerine rind inside for an oh-so-festive beverage.
Cauliflower Mashed “Potatoes”
Steam cauliflower for 10-15 minutes until tender. Drain (the dryer the better) or roast in the oven with whole garlic cloves for a toasty flavor.
Add almond, cashew, or coconut milk + salt, pepper, cashew cream to taste. Butter is optional.
Mash with a potato masher.
Steaming is a simple, yummy way to prepare them or:
Shave or quarter Brussels and place in a large bowl. Drizzle with safflower oil (cooking heat too high for olive) or melted coconut butter, and salt.
Place on a baking sheet and cook at 450-500°, stirring until golden brown.
Sweet Potato Fries with Caramelized Sage
Cut sweet potatoes into fries.
Take fresh sage leaves (if washed, make sure they're dry) and place them in a frying pan with melted coconut butter on medium heat. Flip when one side it browned. Remove sage when caramelized. Pour oils and potatoes in a bowl and add salt while stirring. Place in a baking dish at 450-500°, stirring until browned. Remove from oven and garnish with sage.
Holiday Pecan “Cheese” Cake
Press into a tart pan, bake at 200-300° for 10-15 minutes. Let cool.
Cut dark chocolate and melt over low heat with coconut milk. Set aside to cool. Drain and rinse soaked cashews. In a food processor or blender, combine cashews, water, maple syrup, vanilla, salt, and lemon juice. Blend well until super smooth. The time to get it smooth will depend on your food processor or blender. It can take as long as 8-10 minutes. Add melted coconut oil and blend again.
Add the cooled coconut milk/chocolate mixture to the cashew cream and blend. Pour into cooled tart crust. Decorate with shaved coconut and/or fresh berries.
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