Edible beauty is the key to a healthy life, so get ready to eat, drink, and be beautiful!
With more than 100 nutritious recipes – many of which are free from gluten, wheat, dairy, yeast and sugar – Eat Yourself Beautiful is a down to earth and inspiring guide to eating for optimum health and beauty.
Diagnosed with Fibromyalgia in 2006, award winning food writer Lee Holmes started a quest to heal herself through her diet. Eat Yourself Beautiful continues Lee's personal guide to achieving inner and outer health through simple, delicious recipes using nutritionally rich, anti- inflammatory 'super foods'.
'it's not about wanting to be Peter Pan, the key to continued good health, aging gracefully and being the best you can be, is to find ways to lower inflammation in the body, throw fad diets out for good, and adopt a healthy way of eating following the 80/20 rule; eating well 80% of the time, and giving yourself some wriggle room, indulging yourself 20% of the time."
If you think beauty is only skin deep, think again. Eat Yourself Beautiful features secret recipes for juices, snacks and meals using key anti-inflammatory ingredients and every day foods to boost longevity and promote vitality. These delicious and easy to follow recipes contain everything from the skin-boosting power of plant collagen to the most potent antioxidants on the planet.
Eat Yourself Beautiful is your complete guide to creating flavourful meals to jump-start your immune system, boost energy levels and maintain your long term beauty, health and well-being.
Lee Holmes is a Certified Holistic Health Coach, Hatha Yoga Teacher, wholefoods chef and author of Supercharged Food and Supercharged Food for Kids. In 2006 her career came to a screeching halt after being diagnosed with a crippling autoimmune disease. Determined to heal herself, Lee used nutrient rich food as medicine, successfully recovered, and the idea for her blog (www.superchargedfood.com) was born. This is Lee's third cookbook, and she is a prolific health writer across a variety of mediums.
Eat Yourself Beautiful
Author: Lee Holmes
Question: Can you explain the title, Eat Yourself Beautiful?
Lee Holmes: The title may seem superficial but the book is a lot deeper than that. It's about eating your way to a healthy body at a cellular level and noticing the amazing effects that a real food and clean diet will bring to your life. I have used many anti-inflammatory ingredients in the recipes and these ingredients have on profound effect on not only your internal environment but also your external appearance. Many people believe that beauty is only skin deep and continue to use external beauty products which are full of toxins and chemicals that seep through your skin which is your largest organ, creating toxins and chemical buildup. The book contains information about how to eat for optimum health and secret recipes which contain the skin-boosting power of plant collagen to the most potent antioxidants on the planet and will show you how eating the wrong foods can be visible on the outside too. This book is not about having perfect features it is about looking after yourself through a good diet and also having a positive relationship with food, looking good on the outside is more about the way you feel about yourself. So being more mindful is a big part of being beautiful. You can read more about the book here.
Question: Can you talk us through how you used foods to heal your Fibromyalgia?
Lee Holmes: I believe that foods play a large part in how you feel and when you feel good you tend to look good on the outside as well. What you put into your body certainly shows on the outside. I started to look at food as medicine when I was first was diagnosed with fibromyalgia which is a rheumatic condition, very similar to arthritis, whereby it causes wide spread muscle and soft tissue pain throughout the body and extreme fatigue. It's worse in the mornings and sufferers can wake up feeling like they are one hundred years old. Some of the other symptoms are digestive issues, pins and needles, and memory loss. I started eating a diet which included fresh and unprocessed foods and steered clear of too much alcohol and sugar and processed foods and coffee. I also stopped eating gluten and wheat. This really helped with my symptoms. I noticed that I was also experiencing so many health benefits by eating an anti-inflammatory diet which included foods such as lots of vegetables and leafy greens, grass fed meat, good fats such as coconut oil, flaxseed oil extra virgin olive oil, which are high in Omega 3 fats and walnuts and cold oily fish. I really started to notice that my symptoms were disappearing and I felt so much better and then after a period of time my skin looked more radiant and my hair was growing back after losing it when I was first diagnosed. The best thing about eating real foods and steering towards an anti-inflammatory diet is that you have more energy and vitality.
Question: How does these types of foods jump-start your immune system, boost energy levels and maintain your long term beauty, health and well-being?
Lee Holmes: One of the key drivers to having a healthy body and long term beauty and longevity is the importance of normalizing your insulin and leptin levels, two fundamental hormones. If you consume inflammatory ingredients such as sugar it decreases receptor sensitivity for these hormones and can lead to premature aging and age-related chronic degenerative diseases such as heart disease and diabetes. That's why modifying your diet and cutting down on sugar, too much fructose, low-quality carbohydrate foods such as pies, biscuits, sweets and complex carbohydrates such as bread and pasta, which covert to glucose in your body, is beneficial. I don't believe it's good to cut out a food group altogether and have the 'quit" mentality unless it is for medical reasons for example if you are a Celiac and you cannot have gluten at all. I follow the 80/20 rule, eat well 80% of the time and indulge the other 20% otherwise life is too boring and rigid and you don't want to step into having a bad relationship with food, quitting and then craving that very food. Supercharged Food isn't a fad diet it's a long term way of eating to benefit your health. Eating an unprocessed real food diet with nutrient rich ingredients puts less strain on the immune system and delivers a concentration of vitamins and minerals into your body so that it can function optimally. This gives you more energy and vitality.
Question: What types of recipes are included in Eat Yourself Beautiful?
Lee Holmes: In the book you'll find over 100 recipes for juices, snacks and meals using key nutrient-rich and anti-inflammatory ingredients and every day foods for longevity. I have created recipes that are free of many of the troublesome foods that people have problems with so all of the recipes are gluten, wheat, yeast and sugar free and many of them are dairy free too. I have used nutrient rich anti-inflammatory ingredients but ones that you can find in the supermarket so affordable and accessible for everyone. The recipes are easy to make and you don't have to be a cordon blur chef to bring them to the table.
Question: Which recipe in the book holds the most memories for you?
Lee Holmes: I really love the spinach loaf recipe because it is delicious and healthy. Being able to eat bread that is good for you and nutrient rich but still tastes amazing is really satisfying. I combined two of my favourite recipes to make this one, so I used my spinach toast recipe and amalgamated it with my high top zucchini loaf. I love both recipes but wanted to unite the health benefits of spinach toast into the texture and generous height of a traditional loaf. It's the perfect loaf for mopping up soup and feeding an awaiting crowd.
Grapefruit has a high concentration of lycopene, a phytochemical that reduces the effects of free radicals. It will naturally boost your immune system, flush toxins, feed vital organs and cleanse you from the inside out. Drink this regularly for a healthier, glowing, iridescent skin and you'll be ready for your close-up.
1 grapefruit, peeled and quartered
4 strawberries, hulled and sliced
1/2 avocado, peeled, pitted and flesh
cut into chunks
1 handful of parsley
1 handful of mint
4 ice cubes
250 ml (9 fl oz/1 cup) coconut water
Put all the ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.
For a thinner juice, add more coconut water.
The perfect entrée or a light meal on their own, stuffed mushrooms will really take your taste buds to town with their delicious combination of nuttiness and flavour.
16 button mushrooms or 8 large Swiss browns, washed and stems removed
2 tablespoons wheat-free tamari
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
20 g (3/4 oz/2/3 cup) chopped flat-leaf (Italian) parsley
100 g (31/2 oz/3/4 cup) finely chopped pistachios
freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Place the mushrooms in a large bowl and steep them in hot water briefly. Pat dry with a paper towel. (This step will help the mushrooms soak up the marinade.)
Mix the marinade ingredients together in a bowl.
Add the mushrooms to the marinade mix, ensuring each mushroom is well coated, and leave them to marinate in the fridge for 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/Gas 4).
Meanwhile, mix the stuffing ingredients together in a bowl.
Remove the mushrooms from the fridge and transfer to a baking tray, cap side up. Divide the stuffing mixture among the mushroom caps.
Transfer to the oven and cook for 20 minutes.
Health benefits: Mushrooms truly are a magic medicine food with immune-enhancing and anti-inflammatory effects.
Forget the flu shot and sample an injection of empowering and immune-boosting garlic soup as ammo this winter season instead. Fight off bacteria in a single dose and keep pesky colds and the flu at bay. Bursting with goodness, every spoonful of garlic is a life-extender, so make this soup a keeper in the kitchen.
3 garlic bulbs, whole, unpeeled
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
40 g (11/2 oz) unsalted butter
1 large brown onion, finely chopped
1 litre (35 fl oz/4 cups) homemade vegetable
or chicken stock
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
60 ml (2 fl oz/1/4 cup) apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon Celtic sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon dried mixed herbs, such as
oregano, thyme and sage (optional)
60 ml (2 fl oz/1/4 cup) additive-free
coconut milk (optional, see note)
Preheat the oven to 175°C (345°F/Gas 3–4).
Cut the top off each garlic bulb, place on a baking tray and drizzle with the olive oil. Transfer to the oven and cook for 45 minutes. Remove and leave to cool.
Once cooled, squeeze the garlic cloves out of their skins into a small bowl. Transfer to a food processor and whizz for a few seconds. Set aside.
Meanwhile, heat the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté for 10–15 minutes, or until translucent. Stir in the chicken stock, turmeric, cumin, vinegar, blended garlic, salt, pepper and herbs, if using, and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to medium–low, cover and cook for 30 minutes. Serve hot.
NOTE: If you would like a creamier soup, stir in the coconut milk just before serving, and heat through.
Supercharged Tip: Roasting the garlic first will provide a mellow, sweet flavour so you can sip and slurp with wild abandon.
Recipes and images from Supercharged Food: Eat Yourself Beautiful by Lee Holmes, published by Murdoch Books, rrp $35.00, photographed by Steve Brown.
Interview by Brooke Hunter