3 Ways to Spring Clean Your Diet Now (For Your Skin)

Cynthia Bailey, MD|April 20, 2015

Clean your skin with food_FB version Do you get hung up on the term 'diet'? Does it cause you to cringe? Here's a secret about dieting that rarely gets mentioned - No one diet is right for everyone. That's it. That's the big secret. When you find the dietary change that works for you, it's not actually a diet in that hair-raising sense.  Instead, it's a lifestyle. This even feels a lot better, doesn't it? It's all about switching the word and mentality. There is no one-size-fits-all methodology that's perfect for everyone.  When someone suggests that there is, they are probably trying to sell you something. You have to try out different dietary paths and check in with your body to see what feels right for you.  Your skin can be a mirror in that regard. When your body feels great, your skin probably looks great too. Yes, you do indeed have to kiss a few dietary frogs before you find your prince. An important key to changing your diet is to crowd out the bad stuff with the good. Let's call it a priority shift. The good part is you don't have to wait to find the perfect diet for you before you start getting healthy. You can make small changes right where you are without changing your whole life around. Spruce up your dietary choices with a few changes starting now to build a healthier you - and it will show in your skin! Here are 3 simple ways to spring clean your diet for your skin right now:

1. Add a serving of vegetables to your diet

vegetable market How many servings of vegetables do you usually get each day? 2? 3? Add at least one serving more. So instead of relying on two servings at dinner, have a smoothie in the morning with spinach. Or try baked jicama fries on your lunch salad. Use zucchini for noodles instead of spaghetti (take my advice and click on that zucchini noodle link. It will take you to the most amazing recipe. If you do try the recipe, tell us what you think in the comments below!)  The Dietary Guidelines for the US recommend 5 - 9 servings of fruits and vegetables per day. Per day. According to a report from the CDC from 2000-2009, more than half of Americans are not getting the recommended amount of fruits and veggies. When it comes to veggies, you can't go wrong for your skin. Adding all those vitamins and minerals to your diet will change your skin for the better. And don't just settle for the same old vegetables when it comes to this venture. Branch out. Try a new vegetable a week.

2. Start your day with 8 ounces of water

glass of water with lemonWater isn't a cure-all for your skin but it can make a huge difference. Plus, water in the morning is a great way to wake up your system. It's a signal to your body that you are breaking your fast (the 10-12 hours between your evening meal and your breakfast), a way to rehydrate your body after 8 hours of going without. Instead of 4 or 5 cups of coffee in the morning, try replacing one of those with a cup of warm lemon water.

3. For two meals a week, make a conscious effort to avoid processed sugar

Sugar Free red stamp Excess sugar is bad for you and bad for your skin.  Scientific study has shown that it can exacerbate psoriasis and acne - and that may just be the beginning of the sugar-skin story. These conditions alone are two very compelling reasons to spring clean this pervasive food from your diet. Cutting down on sugar is actually harder than you think. Unless you make your meal entirely from scratch, sugar has a way of sneaking into everything. Take this chance to really examine the ingredients of the prepared foods you put in your grocery cart. Even something as simple as beef stock has sugar in it. Let's say you decide to make spaghetti with sauce for dinner with a salad. Most pre-made spaghetti sauces have sugar in them, as do salad dressings. Even if you make the spaghetti sauce from scratch, some brands put sugar in the tomato sauce. It can be exhausting to scour each and every food item you put in your grocery cart for sugar. But, by only paying attention once or twice a week for a meal, you can gradually work these into your everyday habits.


Take this next month and focus on adding these changes to your routine until they become habits. A lifestyle change takes time to become ingrained, so don't get discouraged when it seems overwhelming. Make a commitment to work on these three things  - you'll be amazed at the changes! For more healthy advice to get you started - and keep you moving with recipes and ideas - visit our Pinterest page at https://www.pinterest.com/cbaileymd/

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