I am slightly obsessed with this sweet little book, Eat Pretty, written by a fellow Institute for Integrative Nutrition graduate, Jolene Hart. This adorable, floral-printed guide may be small in size, but is jam-packed with information on how to eat to look and feel your best from the inside out!
I keep it on my kitchen counter for easy access and find myself referencing it often. The book is divided by seasons and lists the specific nutrients and health and beauty benefits of just about every fruit, vegetable, seed, nut and herb imaginable.
Whether I’m soaking my chia seeds for breakfast or rinsing off some raspberries to throw on top of those chia seeds, I’ll quickly reference Hart’s book to find that “chia seeds are a great source of cell-strengthening omega-3 fatty acids that reduce inflammation and protect the skin from sun damage” or that “raspberries have blood-building and liver-supporting properties that strengthen and support gorgeous skin and healthy hair.”
So while I’m enjoying the taste of my breakfast, I’m also basking in all the glorious ways my body is benefiting from these nourishing treats that came straight from nature.
I know, I’m a total nutrition nerd, but I really get excited about this stuff. While the book’s focus is on eating for a glowing complexion and shiny hair, it’s really about so much more. It’s about making a lasting lifestyle change by eating seasonally and mindfully.
When I began to improve my own diet, the first thing I noticed was my hair. It seemed richer in color and definitely shinier. The dark circles under my eyes went away and I no longer had to constantly moisturize my dry skin. My nails began growing at a rapid rate! While my original intent in changing my diet was more about my over-all wellness than physical appearance, it has certainly been a nice perk!
And, just think, if your hair and skin are looking that much better, imagine how great things are looking on the inside!
Hart includes a few simple, seasonal recipes, too! Here’s one of my favorites:
Blueberry Lentil Salad (excerpted from Eat Pretty)
1 cup dried millet, rinsed and drained
¾ cup green lentils, rinsed and drained
1 bay leaf
1 organic red bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1 heaping cup organic blueberries
¼ cup plus 2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp umeboshi plum vinegar
½ tsp dried dill
¼ tsp dried oregano
Freshly ground black pepper
1 bunch watercress
Put the millet in a saucepan and add water to cover and a large pinch of sea salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, uncovered, for about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat, drain excess water, and set aside to cool.
In another saucepan, combine lentils and 1½ cups water. Add the bay leaf and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 25 minutes, or until the lentils are tender but not mushy. Drain excess water and set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the millet and lentils, bell pepper, and blueberries. In a separate bowl, whisk together olive oil, vinegars, dill, oregano, and season with salt and pepper. Pour over the salad and toss. Chop the watercress leaves and about 2 inches of the stems. Toss into the salad just before serving.