How do you keep the weight off? How do you get your hair to shine? How do you keep such glowing skin? How do you have so much energy? My answers to these questions are wise food choices and good skin care.
In the photo above, I was standing near the loading dock of my warehouse early in the morning on the way to run errands. I always have some raw almonds in my bag if I am not home by lunchtime because it is way too easy to make poor food choices when you get too hungry. Lunch or early dinner can be a challenge if you are left to whatever you can get while working or on the road. It can be challenging to locate a healthy lunch in some areas, such as airports. I never even consider fast food places, so I take fruit, nuts, and water when I will be on the road for more than three hours.
The breakfast power porridge above (recipe here) with fresh fruit keeps me going until late in the afternoon. It is very nutritious, so I don’t start feeling hungry again for several hours. When I am traveling, I stick to something similar when we eat out for breakfast. (Oatmeal and fresh fruit.)
This week I created a similar go-to meal base for late in the day healthy dishes. The magic combination includes grains, beans, seeds, and fresh vegetables. My best weapon against unplanned eating is to have healthy alternatives available. I never even buy junk food such as cookies and chips.
The dish pictured above includes barley (cooked like rice but much more healthy), aduki beans, bok choy, broccoli, and chopped fennel bulb. I also added raw walnuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, spices, herbs, and aged balsamic vinegar. The secret to eating well is to eat a combination of foods. Ancient unprocessed grains, beans, nuts, seeds, fresh fruit, or vegetables give our bodies the nutrition to keep going without feeling hungry again in a couple of hours. Processed convenience foods don’t have much nutrition so that you will feel hungry again quickly. If you have been eating processed foods for most of your life, it will take a while for your body to learn to do its job again. Be prepared for some gas and maybe some bloating those first few days when you start to eat this way. Your body will adjust.
Later in the year, I will use seasonal root vegetables, cabbage, kale, or collard greens and always organic if available. This is especially good when you add sauteed onion, mushrooms, and garlic. You can use any fresh vegetables you like, but adding them to the cooked grains, seeds, nuts, beans, and spices will be much more satisfying and will keep you from being hungry again in two hours. I cook a pot of ancient grains and beans on Sunday or Monday and use them in various dishes all week. One cup each of beans and grains cooks up enough for about four meals. I use a bowl about the size of my outstretched hand to determine personal serving sizes. I do not go back for seconds. I clean the kitchen and put away everything after eating. The kitchen is closed! I do not go back to graze or snack, but I drink filtered water all day long.
Now let’s talk about skincare! Yes, this is me in my pajamas with “mud” on my face first thing in the morning. About two times a week before my shower, I apply this excellent balancing mask (here) to my face and let it dry. Oh, how I wish this product had been on the market when I was a teenager! I have experienced breakouts a couple of times a month since puberty. If I feel one of those deep eruptions coming, I add a dot of this mask on the painful spot, let it dry, wash it off, and the pending pimple will be gone the next day.
I have been using Beautycounter products for about a month now. My skin looks and feels better than it has in many years. You will find this product and all the other safe products they offer on my website here.
BEAUTIFUL color on your, Susan! #salmon . #coral . #peachypink
Thank you! I forgot to mention that the top is one of the waterfall tops by Clara Sunwoo from ShopMyFairLady.com. The jeans are from Chico’s. The bag is several years old from T.J.Maxx by BCBG. The shoes are from Dillard’s last year.
That is great and easy to do when living alone (which I do) but do you ever splurge on holidays? How do you handle if cooking for families at those times? Or if you are invited to someone’s house who doesn’t have those healthy things?
You look fabulous!
I am not obsessive. I eat this way about 90% of the time and then try to choose the wisest available options at the other times. I prefer to eat natural, healthy foods, so I do not consider it a treat to eat rich foods loaded with sauces or gravies. I never feel well after eating poor quality foods. I rarely cook for anyone other than myself, but they know they are not going to have meat smothered in heavy sauces and cheese when they eat at my house.
I love barley and have experimented with quinoa and wheat berries. Do you cook your grains in water, or a broth? I find without a little flavoring the broth ads that they can be very dull in flavor Would you print or direct us to a site that contains one or two recipes for the newbies just starting out? I love the look of the fruit platter and have ordered something similar when going out. I do love a large variety of fruit, melons and berries but often find they go bad before I have the opportunity to finish them, even when purchased from a farm stand. I suppose I should purchase smaller quantities and shop more often but I simply hate shopping for groceries that much.
I do shop for only a couple of days so that I will have fresh fruits and vegetables. I often cook with (low or no salt) mushroom or vegetable stock, or I use old vegetables to make my own stock. Under that fruit in the picture above is the porridge recipe in the link here.
Susan, thank you for letting us know a few weeks ago about Eminence Apricot Body Oil. A few weeks before that post, I had developed an allergic reaction to the products (organic and all natural, with no preservatives) that I had been using for a couple of years. After reading your post, I ordered the Eminence product, and I could not be happier with it. The allergic reaction has disappeared, and my skin loves the apricot oil. I always enjoy your posts – thanks for sharing your insights.
I still use that oil on my hands and feet. I do love the way it smells.
Thanks a million for the new dinner idea!
thank you for this post. do you have favorite cookbooks you use?
I never use a recipe. I go to the market and look for what is freshest and most appealing looking. I bring it home and wash it, cut it up and do the least possible to it. I use vegetables and fruits at their prime, enjoying them as they are. If the ingredients are fresh and ripe, they don’t require much from us.
Trying to buy the mask. Site locks up when I get to shipping method. Can’t proceed.
Try again in a couple of hours. I will try to find out what the problem is.
As per your new mask….over the years I have tried several, often expensive ones, thinking they will surely benefit my face; but….my skin is dry except for the oily T most of us have. Masks dry my face so much my cheeks hurt, and I have to then use my night cream in order to stop the pain….pulling pain.
Also, could you please show us some ideas for our very hot, humid, Houston summer; we are hot, even through Sept……90’s even late at night…true, believe me.
Most of July and now most of August, our humidity index is in the l00’s….dressing well is really a challenge since outdoors is like a steam bath, while indoors most commercial buildings and churches, we freeze…not grumbling here because we would really suffer w/o our beloved A/C!
Loving your blog; I have surely benefited from your suggestions and examples!
Here is a wonderful website that gives reviews for many beauty products.
You can search many products and see if your favorites are here and how well they have been rated.
It is a must, when I am at the store, trying to decide if I should purchase something or try a new product.
The author, Paula Begouin, is well known in the beauty industry.
I am happy to have found Beautycounter because the products are safe and they perform very well. I have tried almost everything in the line and have had no adverse reactions. I can not say that about some of the products on the site that were rated higher.
Beautypedia is a great resource that I use when I’m in doubt and have no other feedback to draw from. I value and respect her opinion but factor it in with the opinions of other I respect and my own experience. Each individual’s skin is different! Just like Susan, I’ve used products with great results that Paula has given a low rating. It’s important to read why a specific rating was given. Sometimes the reasons don’t apply to me. For example, she typically gives lower ratings to products that don’t contain sunscreen. I prefer certain products to be WITHOUT sunscreen, so I would ignore that and bump the rating up for me. Some products are given lower ratings due to ingredients that may cause irritation. If they aren’t one of my personal irritants, that will change the rating in my mind.
Are those this year’s jeans? Did they come that length, are they a petite length? I need some jeans I don’t have to roll up and your are so cute. Breakfast looks good. THanks, Judy
Those are ankle jeans from Chico’s earlier this year or maybe last year. They came that way.
hi love your blog i am learning so much thank you what do you think of the at home devices to utilize for improved skin appearance and health i woud really enjoy a blog on that topic thank you
I don’t use any devices because my skin is sensitive. I had one of those facials where they use a tool to free the dead skin cells, and it left little spots of blood all over my face. (!) I find that drinking lots of water, getting some exercise in the fresh air and eating clean natural foods makes my skin much healthier than anything I apply to it or do to it.
I have very nice skin and I also attribute it to the food I eat. I love your Power Porridge and eat it every day. It does take a willingness to break with the food you may have been eating. But it is worth it in every way!
Hi, thank you for your blog, today, Susan! I’ve just begun reading fashion blogs and I’m thrilled that there are blogs that pertain to me, that are relevant to me. You’re such a lovely girl. YOU wear fabulous shoes!
Hope you have a wonderful evening,
I am curious about what you think of Merle Norman cleaners and moisturizers. What about Rodan + Fields?
I can not use Rodan + Fields. My skin would not tolerate it. I have used Merle Norman products for years. I find that Beautycounter products perform much better and they are safer.
First of all please accept my apologies.. I have been reading your blog and taking advantage of your kindness and advice without thank you all this time!!!
I find your blog through serendipity.. I live in Spain and after struggling with chronic pain, and allergies for years I was diagnosed with Chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia.. an one of the consequences was and allergy to hair dyes.. so I have to go gray… and looking for inspiration I found you!!!
Not many women dare to go natural in my country.. and I was fed up to explain to everybody that I couldn’t dye my hair.. so I embrace the change.. and I can be happy enough with the results!!!
I can still have some pedicures in summer … but my hand nails are so fragile that I have to stop nail polish… I have noticed that you have beautiful “ au naturel” hands… how do you keep them???
Regarding the beauty products it’s a pity but Beautycounter and some other of you recommendations are not available in Spain and the companies doesn’t ship to there….
Have you ever think about writing a book?? I believe that with all your wisdom and experience it would be more than worthy and welcome…
Can I dare to ask you how you cope so elegantly with the side effects of age ?? I’m now 55 and have to fight post.menopause changes as bloated tummy, hot flushes, and poor sleep… and you always look so poise…
Thanks again for your kindness and for sharing your wisdom with all of us!!!
Regards from the other part of the pond!!!!
Those changes happened to me a few years ago, but I do remember those hot flashes and still sleep poorly at times. I found that my body reacted best to lots of water and eating mostly lightly steamed or raw fruits and vegetables. If I had ice cream, cheese, meat or anything fried the bloating was much worse. Going for a long walk in nature has always made me feel much better both physically and emotionally. Dressing in layers to remove when the flashes came, helped a little. I kept a small folding fan which I bought in Córdoba when I was there years ago. I do love to visit Spain. It is such a beautiful country.
Susan, Do you cook your veggies?
Brocolli gets steamed, and onions, garlic, and mushrooms get sauteed. It depends on how hard the item is to digest as to if I steam or eat raw.
I, too, am modifying my food intake to substitute healthy for junk. My favorite “fast food” is now Chic-fil-a”. I used to dislike it because I don’t care for the smell of their fried chicken. Well, I found that they have grilled nuggets. I order a side salad and 4 grilled nuggets. The lunch that provides keeps my tummy busy ’til dinner.
Wow! You’re even pretty in a mud mask!
Hi Susan, what cut is your hair, it is so attractive? Is your hair naturally curly?
Thank you, Jan
Thank you, Jan. I am in the process of letting it grow out a bit after a cut that was way too short on top. I am going for a stacked bob that is a little longer in the front. It is wavy to curly depending on the humidity.
I am so grateful to have discovered your blog Susan. I am 55 years old and so appreciate your style and tips on healthy eating . You inspire me so much, this is the first time I have commented on a blog post. I enjoy your You Tube videos also.