Mixed Greens Salad with Maple-Tahini Dressing

Mixed Greens Salad with Maple-Tahini Dressing

Our skin is our largest organ, and yet the one that gets the least amount of attention and care. Our skin does amazing things every day and how it looks and feels depends immensely on how we treat it.

We spend a lot of time slathering our skin with lotions and potions without stopping to think about the stress we might be putting on our skin by doing so. We use creams to reduce fine lines and wrinkles, treatments to zap acne and discoloration, and sunscreens to prevent skin cancer. However, most of these creams, treatments and sunscreens are full of chemicals and harmful ingredients that actually do more harm than good.

So what’s a sensible person to do? What if I told you that the key to healthy skin lies in how we feed ourselves?

I don’t want to name names here, but there are some things that we eat in abundance (*cough, sugar, cough*) that really wreak havoc on our system. We all know that sugar is linked to disease and poor internal health, but did you also know that it can lead to inflammation which can cause acne, rosacea, eczema, and wrinkles? True story. There is a lot of research out there on this topic.

The good news is that there are also foods that we can introduce into our diets to help better the health of our skin! Hooray! And guess what? It is super easy.

Here are a few steps to help take your skin to it’s optimal health:

 

Make better skin care choices.

I know what you’re thinking… but what about the fine lines? The acne? The dry skin? I highly encourage you to do your research. Look for quality, natural products to use on your skin. I highly recommend downloading the EWG Skin Deep App and the Think Dirty App to help you along with this. And when you’re overwhelmed and looking for more safe alternatives, check out The Organic Bunny and The Green Product Junkie for cleaner, greener, safer products to use.

 

Eat foods high in zinc.

Zinc is a mineral shown to aid with signs of acne, specifically. People who eat lower amounts of zinc in their diet have been found to have higher instances of acne and poor skin quality. Plant-based foods that are higher in zinc include: sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, lentils, garbanzo beans, and cashews. Check out the recipe below for ways to incorporate both pumpkin and sesame seeds into your routine!

 

Hydrate. Hydrate. Hydrate.

I know, I know. You’ve heard this a million times before. Still having trouble drinking enough water? Try these tricks:

  • Keep a water bottle next to your bed at night. Drink at least 8 oz as soon as you wake up-- before any tea, coffee, etc.

  • Add infusions to your water bottle like lemon, lime, cucumber, ginger, mint, or berries!

  • Try a straw. I became a much better water drinker when I started using a straw! Opt for one that is stainless steel or glass, if possible, to decrease amounts of plastic and BPA exposure. Try these or these!

 

Now let’s get into the kitchen and make a skin-healing salad and dressing, shall we? Remember, we only get one body-- let’s keep it going (and looking gorgeous!) for as long as we possibly can!

 

Mixed Greens Salad with Maple-Tahini Dressing
Serves 2

Salad ingredients:
2 c. mixed greens
2 carrots, shredded or grated
1 beet, shredded or grated
1 avocado, sliced or cubed
2 TBSP raw pumpkin seeds
1 TBSP sesame seeds
Salt & Pepper to taste
Optional: 1 c. cooked and cooled quinoa for a more filling meal
 

Dressing Ingredients:
¼ c tahini
1 TBSP lemon juice
1-2 TBSP maple syrup
1-2 TBSP water, to thin (if desired)
Salt & Pepper to taste

 

Directions:
Wash and prepare mixed greens. Add quinoa (if using) and layer on carrots, avocado, and beets. Sprinkle with pumpkin and sesame seeds.

To make dressing, Add tahini and lemon juice into a food processor. Process together for 1 minute, taking time to scrape down the sides of the bowl intermittently. Add maple syrup, salt and pepper and process again. If you desire a thinner dressing, add water a little at a time until desired consistency is reached. Drizzle over salad and reap the benefits of your skin-healing zinc power!

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