skin

Beauty Bites: Dark Chocolate

Hold up! Before you rush to the grocery store and stock up on Reese’s Cups and Snickers bars, I should clarify one thing. The only type of chocolate that will deliver the glowing skin benefits we all desire is dark chocolate. Seventy percent or more cocoa to be exact.

Dark chocolate helps to combat stress, which is one of the biggest contributors to dull and problematic skin. Dark chocolate helps to reduce stress hormones in the body which helps to fight against premature aging.

Not only does cocoa help to combat stress, it is also filled with antioxidants. These antioxidants (flavonols)  protect your skin from UV damage. The less UV damage we have, the less wrinkles we have. Flavonols fight free radicals, minimizing the number of age spots that pop up. Flavonols also increase blood flow giving you that fresh from a facial glow we all crave.

Here are a few of my favorite healthy healthier recipes to incorporate dark chocolate into your life:

Bittersweet Chocolate Brownies are made with raw cacao powder and a special natural sweet ingredient that you might already keep in your pantry. These are the most decadent, chocolatey, and fudgy brownies I have ever made in my life.

bittersweet triple chocolate brownies

Dark Chocolate Meltaways are so delicious, easy to mix together, and you most likely have all of the ingredients on hand. The best part is that you can keep them in the freezer. Just take out a square whenever you need a chocolate fix.

Chocolate PB Meltaway

Oatmeal Dark Chocolate Chunk Cookies are perfect when you need to whip something up for a party, holiday, or even an afternoon snack.

Dark Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies 3

Dark Chocolate Dipped Macaroons are the most involved recipe on this list, but they are so worth it. The macaroons are light, airy, and filled with coconut. The dark chocolate dip and drizzle is a lovely complement. Plus, they are a low cal dessert, so you can have that extra cookie without the extra squats.

chocolate-dipped-macaroons-4

 

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Beauty Bites: Leafy Greens

Problematic skin can be a real bitch. And with the ridiculous number of beauty products on the market, crafting a skincare routine has become a freaking nightmare. The whole thing is overwhelming and expensive.

Naturally, the next step would be to do a tedious and extensive amount of research using my good friend google. The results….

“Cut out dairy!”

“Drink more water!”

“Stop using so many products!”

“Use more products!”

“Try sheet masks!”

“Korean Skincare!”

“Keep makeup wipes by your bed!”

“Makeup wipes cause breakouts!”

Yeah, the results were unrealistic and at times conflicting. I was already running to the ladies room all day long due to the amount of water I was chugging.

Image result for meme drinks glass of water and checks skin

Although the myriad of products were still annoying, the dietary concerns really caught my attention. It makes sense, right? We are what we eat. So, I thought I’d research which foods actually made a difference. If you could really get glowing skin from chomping on spinach, wouldn’t more people be doing it? Are more people doing it and I’m just not noticing? I suddenly feel the need to hop in the car, drive to the nearest Mustard Seed or Whole Foods, and inspect people’s complexions. That’s normal, right?

Anyway, lets talk about leafy, leafy greens and how they can give us all that Instagram glow. Greens contain the following beauty boosters:

  • Vitamin A – reduces the amount of sebum (oils that contribute to breakouts) the skin creates
  • Vitamin C – helps boost the skins natural collagen production
  • Vitamin E – protects against free radicals
  • Folate – helps produce and maintain new cells
  • Beta Carotene – an antioxidant that helps to renew and repair the skin
  • Phytochemicals – anti-aging chlorophyll helps prevent damage caused by free radicals
  • Lutein – an antioxidant that boosts hydration, improves elasticity, and protects against sun damage

Here a few recipes that incorporate dark leafy greens that are simple, healthy, and delicious.

Strawberry Peach Smoothie 2

Strawberry Peach Green Smoothie

carrot quinoa salad 7

Roasted Carrot & Quinoa Salad

Brushetta Turkey Burgers 2

Brushetta Turkey Burgers

Aviary Photo_130702119028316183

Turkey Kale Pasta Toss

Enjoy!

xo Ali Taylor