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Holiday Tips for Radiant Skin

It is post-Thanksgiving indulgence, yet the weeks ahead bring parties, special occasion dinners and all around celebration, ensuring that we will all be indulging in yet more food and drink. Unfortunately, not all of our choices will be healthy, which can leave us looking and feeling less than our best. As I explained in great detail in my last book, Forever Young, when we manipulate our DNA by eating certain foods, we can program the cell for total repair, restoring a youthful, glowing appearance in a matter of days.

Here are some tips for "tightening up" and looking great last minute:

  • Concentrate on eating non-insulin promoting, high-antioxidant foods 72 hours before the occasion, such as those listed in my 3 Day Diet. These foods help erase fine lines and make skin dewy and smooth.
  • When my patients tell me they need to look absolutely fabulous for a big night, I recommend applying a topical formulation with DMAE to help firm skin's appearance.
  • Add watercress to your soups, eggs and salads. Not only will it enhance skin's clarity and radiance, it's also a natural diuretic helping to relieve excess water retention and edema.
  • A dehydrated body provokes the development of aging, so be diligent in your water consumption (eight to ten 8-oz glasses per day). Even mild dehydration can result in the gain of one pound of fat every six months.
  • Add 1-2 tablespoons of raw, extra-virgin coconut oil daily to your smoothies, yogurt and oatmeal. Coconut oil targets the thyroid and beefs up the metabolism, melting abdominal fat quickly.
  • Going from holiday overeating to restricting calories can feel like deprivation. Adding a tablespoon or two of Chia seeds to your water and herbal teas will help you feel fuller, longer. As a vegetable source of Omega-3 fatty acids, chia seeds are unsurpassed, even by flaxseeds.
  • If breakouts are an issue, emphasize foods rich in skin-clearing Vitamin A and beta-carotene such as melons, spinach and broccoli. Avoid processed foods.
  • When cooking, include turmeric whenever possible. Turmeric sensitizes the body's cortisol receptor sites, which are located primarily in the abdomen and could help control the accumulation of belly fat.
  • To help hydrate dry skin from the inside out, focus on eating foods rich in Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) such as salmon, fresh tuna and flaxseed oil.
  • Drink green tea early and often. A fascinating study out of Penn State last month found that an ingredient in green tea called epigallocatechin-3-gallate, or EGCG, helped to reduce spikes in blood sugar caused by eating starchy foods. The plant chemicals in green tea prevent the activation of collagen-digesting enzymes (MMP) responsible for wrinkling of the skin.

So eat, drink and be merry, using these tips to help choose foods that will make you look and feel your best.

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