Liz Earle, who says that following her delicious eating and beauty plan from her new book Skin could make you look younger in six weeks
Remember that radiant glow you had way back in your younger days? The clear skin, untroubled by redness, dryness or fine lines?
Well, it needn’t be a distant memory. With my help, you can eat your way to fabulous skin in just six weeks.
No doubt you’ll already have seen the first two parts of my delicious food and skincare plan, which took in the first four weeks.
The next part of the plan, which is taken from my new book Skin, and covers weeks five and six, is exclusively serialised in today’s Mail.
Today, we’re going to focus on balance and maintaining our new radiance. I’ll show you how food combining — where you don’t eat carbohydrates and protein at the same time — can help your skin, and give you a guide to juicing to supercharge your radiant glow.
By the time you’ve been following my advice for four weeks and eating the mouthwatering meals I’ve created, your skin should be looking more youthful than ever.
But after weeks five and six of my plan, it’ll look the best it ever has…
MY FOOLPROOF RECIPE FOR PERFECT SKIN
Some people swear by food combining, not only as a way of losing weight, but also for better digestive balance and energy.
At its most basic, food combining means not eating foods that ‘fight’ at the same meal — like proteins and carbohydrates.
Many of the recipes in my plan — like my crustless quiche and veggie risotto — follow this concept.
Food combining was first developed back in the Twenties by Dr William Hay to treat his own health problems.
His theory is that protein and carbohydrate are difficult to digest together, so by separating them and eating them in different meals the body uses food more efficiently and the digestive system is less stressed.
There’s little hard scientific evidence to prove this but, in practice, many people discover that after a couple of weeks on a food-combining regime they notice weight loss, better energy levels and healthier-looking skin.
Dr Hay believed that food combining was of great benefit to patients suffering from conditions such as diabetes, arthritis and allergies.
It can also be helpful with skin conditions such as cellulite, psoriasis and eczema.
I’ll show you how food combining — where you don’t eat carbohydrates and protein at the same time — can help your skin, and give you a guide to juicing to supercharge your radiant glow
FOOD COMBINING THE EASY WAY
The main rule of food combining is to not mix carbohydrates (such as grains, bread, cereal, potatoes and sugar) with proteins (such as meat, fish, eggs and cheese) and acid fruits (grapefruits, oranges, lemons, etc).
The following are the basic guidelines:
- Make sure that vegetables, salad and fruit form the bulk of your diet.
- Don’t eat starches and sugars at the same meal as proteins and acid fruits. Meals should be either starch-based (such as a baked potato and salad) or protein- based (such as fish and green vegetables).
- Avoid processed and refined foods such as white flour, sugar and processed fats.
- Swap refined carbohydrates for wholegrains, such as wholemeal bread and pasta, or wholegrain brown rice.
- Eat protein, starches and fats in moderation.
- Everyday, have one wholly alkaline meal. See yesterday’s exclusive pullout for more information on acid and alkaline foods), one protein meal and one carbohydrate meal.
- Ideally, leave a four-hour gap between a starch-based meal and a protein-based meal.
- Try to have a day a month when you eat only one kind of fresh fruit, such as apples, pears, kiwi or grapes. This is a great way to ‘detoxify’ and give your digestive system a rest.
HOW TO MAKE YOUR OWN GLOSSY HAIR MASK
Once a week or so, treat your hair to a nourishing overnight mask to bring back the gloss and shine.
This is one of my favourites.
- 50g coconut oil
- 50g cocoa butter
- 30ml almond or argan oil
- 15 drops of an essential oil of your choice (neroli or lavender are some of my favourites)
In a small saucepan, melt the coconut oil, cocoa butter and almond or argan oil together.
Add the essential oil last, when all the other ingredients have melted and been removed from the heat.
When the mixture is cool enough to touch, rub small amounts between the fingertips and apply sparingly to the hair, starting at the dry ends and working upwards.
(You can keep any leftovers in a jar, and re-melt to use again.)
Leave it on overnight, either by wrapping your head in a towel to help seal in heat, or using a shower cap.
Alternatively, you can sleep on a thickly folded towel to prevent the oils from staining your pillowcase.
In the morning, apply your shampoo to dry hair (this makes the oils easier to remove) then rinse as normal.
This occasional treat leaves even the driest hair glossy.
SCRUMPTIOUS SKIN-BOOSTING RECIPES
A little bit of what you fancy certainly can do your skin good — and you’ll be pleased to see that the recipes for your six-week eating plan include delicious treats along with healthy dinners.
If you want to give food combining (where you don’t mix protein and carbohydrates) a go this fortnight, there are a few recipes here which will work perfectly.
Try the yummy veggie risotto or the basil, cherry tomato and goat’s cheese omelette.
This isn’t an overly restrictive regime. I encourage low-carbohydrate, high-quality protein, low-sugar meals. You and your skin will soon see the benefit .
You can still eat chocolate bars, just make sure it’s dark. And now and again you can enjoy indulgent treats like my chocolate tart — but remember, it is for special occasions only, rather than part of the plan.
Basil, cherry tomato and goat’s cheese omelette
- 1 tsp olive or flaxseed oil
- 5 cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 spring onion, finely sliced
- 2 medium eggs
- 1 tsp linseeds
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 3-4 basil leaves, torn into small pieces, plus extra for garnishing
- 20g soft goat’s cheese, to garnish
Heat the oil in a frying pan and sauté the cherry tomatoes and spring onion for 2-3 minutes, until golden. Beat the eggs in a bowl with the linseeds and seasoning then add the basil.
Slowly pour this mixture into the pan, allowing the egg to run into the holes. Scrape a spatula along the edge of the set egg and pull towards you across a third of the pan. Tilt the pan again and allow the remaining egg to run into the empty space.
Set the pan level on the hob again and cook the omelette for about 1 minute, until the top is set. Dot over the goat’s cheese, then fold one side over the top. Slide on to a plate and serve with a few extra basil leaves.
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large banana shallot (or 3 round shallots), finely chopped
- 1 celery stick, finely chopped
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 250g short-grain brown rice
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 1 litre vegetable stock
- 200g purple sprouting broccoli or asparagus
- 1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
- 25g pecorino (or vegetarian cheese), grated
Heat the oil in a pan and add the shallot, celery and 2 tbsp water. Season well and stir everything together, then allow the vegetables to cook over a low heat for 5-10 minutes, until softened.
Stir in the rice and garlic and cook for a minute or two. Stir in the vegetable stock, then put a lid on the pan. Turn the heat down low and allow to simmer for 15 minutes.
Finely chop the stems of the purple sprouting broccoli or asparagus, leaving the heads/tips with about 1cm of stem on them.
After 25 minutes of cooking, stir the chopped stems and parsley into the rice. Cook for a further 5 minutes with the lid on. Stir in the broccoli heads or asparagus tips, then put the lid on and leave for 2-3 minutes.
Divide between four bowls and serve with the grated pecorino.
Rack of lamb with roasted squash
- 2 racks of lamb, each with 7-8 cutlets
- 1 sprig rosemary, chopped
- Small handful parsley, roughly chopped
- Small handful thyme leaves, chopped
- 1 garlic clove, sliced
- 125ml red wine
- 1 red onion, cut into 4 wedges
- ½ small butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and cut into small wedges
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 100g freekeh (made of green durum wheat)
- 200ml chicken or vegetable stock
- Seeds of ½ pomegranate
- Small handful parsley, finely chopped
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Up to eight hours ahead, put the racks of lamb in a sealable container and add the rosemary, parsley, thyme, garlic and red wine. Cover and transfer to the fridge to marinate. When you’re ready to cook the lamb, take it out of the fridge to let it come up to room temperature.
Preheat the oven to 200c/400f/gas 6. Put the red onion and squash in a roasting tin, drizzle over the oil and season well. Roast in the oven for 20 minutes.
Put the freekeh in a large saucepan and add 500ml boiling water. Cover, bring to the boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for a further 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat a large frying pan until hot. Lift the lamb out of the marinade and scrape off any herbs. Season well and fry the racks of lamb, skin-side down, until golden. Reduce the temperature of the oven to 180c/350f/gas 4.
Transfer the racks to the roasting tin and continue to cook for 20-25 minutes more, depending on their thickness. Put the racks on a warm plate, cover with foil and leave to rest.
Strain the marinade into a pan and add the stock. Bring to a simmer and cook until reduced by half. Taste to make sure it’s seasoned properly. Stir the freekeh, pomegranate seeds and parsley into the roasted vegetables.
Divide between four plates. Slice the racks, giving each person 3-4 cutlets each, and drizzle with the sauce.
Dark chocolate and pomegranate tart
For the pastry:
- 4 egg yolks
- 200g plain flour
- 30g raw cacao powder
- 115g butter
- 115g icing sugar
For the filling:
- 2 tbsp pomegranate molasses
- 300ml double cream
- 50g butter
- 200g raw cacao powder
- 50ml milk
- 100g pistachios (without shells)
- 2 tbsp honey
- 1 pomegranate, seeded
In a food processor, mix all the pastry ingredients together until they form a dough.
Remove the mixture from the food processor and roll out onto a surface dusted with icing sugar. Line a 23cm loose-bottom tart tin with the chocolate pastry, leaving excess around the edges, and place in the fridge for 1 hour.
Then, 20 minutes before you take the pastry out of the fridge, preheat the oven to 200c/400f/gas 6. With a fork, prick holes in the base of the pastry, then cover with baking parchment and fill with ceramic baking beans.
Bake ‘blind’ for 15 minutes. Remove the baking parchment and beans from the pastry and return to the oven for another 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and run a knife along the top edge of the tart tin to remove the excess pastry and neaten the edges. Set aside to cool.
Pour the cream and pomegranate molasses into a pan and bring to the boil over a gentle heat. The molasses will make the cream thicken — but keep stirring until it becomes smooth.
When the mixture comes to the boil, remove from the heat and add the butter and cacao powder, stirring until melted. Add the milk and stir again until the mixture is shiny and silky.
Pour the filling into the pastry case (still in its tin) and put aside to set. Put 40g of the pistachios into a small frying pan with the honey. Heat this mixture up, stirring occasionally to make sure the nuts are fully coated with honey.
When the mixture begins to bubble and caramelise, remove from the heat and spread the nuts out on a baking tray — covered with greaseproof paper — to cool.
When the tart is cool and the filling completely set, roughly chop the remaining 60g pistachios and sprinkle over the top, followed by the cold honeyed pistachios and pomegranate seeds.
- Recipe from lizearlewellbeing.com
Leek and cheddar tart
Makes 4 tarts
For the pastry:
- 150g plain flour
- 40g finely ground instant polenta
- 120g chilled butter, chopped
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp cold water
For the tart filling:
- 2 large leeks
- 3-4 garlic cloves
- Coconut oil, for frying
- 150g Godminster Vintage Organic Cheddar
- 1 free-range egg yolk
- 2 tbsp crème fraîche
- 1 courgette
- Splash balsamic vinegar
- Fresh dill to garnish
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
Preheat the oven to 200c/400f, gas 6.
Finely slice the leeks and garlic and sauté in coconut oil until soft and put to one side. Grate the cheese and add the egg yolk and crème fraîche, whisking it all together.
Mix in the leeks and garlic, balsamic vinegar and season with salt and pepper. For the pastry, put the flour, polenta, butter and coconut oil into a food processor and mix on pulse setting.
Alternatively, hand-mix the ingredients. Then add the egg and enough cold water to turn it to a dough. Wrap in cling film and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Divide the pastry into four, then roll it out and use to line four 10cm loosebottomed tart tins. Line the pastry with greaseproof paper and baking beans and bake blind for 10 minutes.
Remove the baking beans and paper and return the tarts to the oven for 5 minutes. Leave to cool slightly. For a neater look, trim away any extra pastry crust.
Then pour in the egg and cheese mixture. Top each tart with five courgette discs and sprinkle with grated cheese and fresh dill. Bake for a further 8-10 minutes until golden.
- Recipe from lizearlewellbeing.com
Healthy fish and chips
- 2 shallots, finely sliced
- 2 leeks, finely sliced
- 1 fennel bulb, finely sliced (reserve the fronds)
- 2 celery sticks, finely sliced
- 3 sprigs thyme
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 250ml fish, chicken or vegetable stock
- 2-3 large potatoes (around 500g), scrubbed
- 4 x 175g sea bass fillets
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the dressing:
- 50g can anchovies in olive oil
- 1 garlic clove, peeled and sliced
- 4 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
- 1 tbsp capers
Preheat the oven to 200c/400f/ gas 6. Line a baking sheet with baking parchment. Layer the shallots, leeks, fennel, celery and thyme in an ovenproof dish, and season well. Pour over 2 tbsp olive oil and mix everything together. Roast in the oven for 10 minutes on the top shelf.
Cut the potatoes into 0.5 cm slices, then cut each slice into a thin finger. Put the chips in a bowl, toss in the remaining 1 tbsp oil and season well. Spread out on the baking sheet. Pour the stock over the shallots, leeks, fennel and celery and transfer to the lower shelf in the oven, putting the chips on the top shelf. Roast both for 25-30 minutes.
Toss the potatoes halfway through the cooking time. After 25 minutes, lay the sea bass on top of the vegetables and continue to cook for 10 minutes. Watch the potatoes carefully at this point. If they’re golden all over, they’re done, so take them out and keep them warm.
Put the anchovies and the oil from the tin into a small saucepan. Add the garlic and cook for a couple of minutes, until the garlic is golden and the anchovies have broken down. Stir in 1-2 tbsp water to make a sauce. Take off the heat and stir in the parsley and capers.
Divide the vegetables and fish between four bowls. Top with the chips, spoon over the anchovy sauce and serve.
NOW KEEP YOUR GLOW FOREVER!
Juicing is super-fashionable at the moment — everyone seems to have a trendy blender on their kitchen worktop. Yet for me, it’s not a fad but something I’ve been doing for 30 years or more.
I’ve found them enormously beneficial for my well-being as well as for my looks.
Not only do fresh juices taste delicious, they’re also an excellent way of increasing our intake of the skin-friendly vitamins and minerals that will keep us looking and feeling good.
Juices give us an intense hit of nutrients and act as an internal cleanser and a tonic to help give us clearer, more youthful-looking skin.
More and more, we are learning that a poor diet contributes to many chronic illnesses. Fresh vegetable and fruit juices are brilliant for boosting health and vitality, so are great when you’re recovering from illness.
Juicing is super-fashionable at the moment — everyone seems to have a trendy blender on their kitchen worktop
They’re also a clever way of getting extra nutrients into children and teenagers. While for older people, juices are easy to digest and can be an excellent boost.
I like to have a juice-only day once in a while — I would recommend once a month if you can.
Also ideal if you’re on a weight-loss regime, juices are relatively low in calories and are pretty much fat-free, but still satisfying, so they help keep those hunger pangs at bay.
Just make sure when you’re dieting that you use many more vegetables than fruit in your juices so you don’t consume too much sugar.
You can of course buy juices, but it is far better to make your own. You know exactly what’s in them for a start — some ready-made juices can contain additives and preservatives. Making your own also means you can tailor your juice to your own needs.
You should ideally consume a juice within a few hours of making it so you get the best of the nutrients. After that, juices start to lose their fresh enzyme activity and some of their vitality.
JUICING — MY TOP TIPS
- Use raw ingredients, or organic if possible. If you can’t buy organic fruit and vegetables, give them a good wash in warm water with a mild detergent, then rinse well, and dry.
- Go for 70 per cent vegetables with 30 per cent fruit as a general rule, so you don’t take in too much sugar. Fruit alone can cause a sugar rush, so be sure to mix the sweetest fruits such as grapes and pineapple with green vegetables for a better balance.
- Don’t glug your juice down in big gulps. Serve in small glasses and take your time to savour and sip it — try to ‘chew’ your juice to get your digestive enzymes flowing.
- Variety is key. Choose from a wide range of veg and fruit and go for different colours — dark green veg, purple berries, orange carrots.
- To be sure you are getting different nutrients, remember the darker the colour, the more nutrients the piece of fruit or veg contains.
HOW TO MAKE YOUR SUMMER GLOW LAST
Autumn is always a season that makes me smile. Because it’s when, as I wander through country lanes, I see the hedgerows are packed full of beautiful orangey-red rosehips.
Rosehips are our skin’s secret weapon. Their oil, which is a thick, greenish-gold colour, is rich in antioxidants (most notably vitamin E) and essential fatty acids.
In fact, the oil’s packed full of so many plant compounds that even scientists haven’t properly identified them all yet.
Known to be anti-inflammatory, it tackles scar tissues and stretch marks as well as restoring lost moisture and helping keep skin plump and smooth.
It also contains trans-retinoic acid, a form of vitamin A, which helps remove the top dead layer of skin cells, revealing fresher, brighter skin underneath.
Autumn is always a season that makes me smile. Because it’s when, as I wander through country lanes, I see the hedgerows are packed full of beautiful orangey-red rosehips
Clinical studies also show that rosehip oil can reduce ‘age’ spots, areas of hyperpigmentation and improve the appearance of fine surface facial lines. No wonder it’s one of my favourite moisturising ingredients.
The potent powers of rosehips have been recognised for thousands of years — their seeds have been discovered by archaeologists in Neolithic settlements, suggesting they were used for cosmetic or medicinal reasons.
So how to use this extraordinary elixir? You can apply it neat to problem areas such as scarring. The older the scar, the longer it will take to work but, applied daily, you should notice a visible difference after about a month.
Use a little neat rosehip oil on your face overnight. Your skin will feel smoother, plumper and more radiant.
You can also boost the power of your moisturiser to tighten or soothe skin with this inexpensive tip. Simply take one of the following skin-saving natural ingredients and add it to your cream.
First, avocado oil. This is readily available from supermarkets and health food shops. Pop a dash into your cream for a moisture surge, or you can also use it neat on your face for an even more concentrated effect.
You can also use evening primrose oil or vitamin E to soothe acne and smooth wrinkles.
How do you get hold of the latter two boosters?
It’s easy: buy the vitamin supplement capsules, pop one with a pin, and squeeze the golden liquid inside into your moisturiser. It’s a highly effective way to enrich your body or face cream for a low price.
After these six weeks, your skin should be looking smoother and more radiant than ever before — and you should be bursting with health and vitality! But to keep your skin its radiant best, try to make these the healthy habits of a lifetime, not just for six weeks.
Please do your best not to go back to old eating habits and foods laden with synthetic additives and refined sugars.
Stick to wholesome, traditional and unprocessed ingredients, with plenty of vegetables and some fruit.
Keep your fluid intake high by sipping pure, filtered water throughout the day, and by all means enjoy the odd cup of coffee or tea (and a glass of wine with supper in the evening), but try not to overdo it.
If you’re heading out to a party, keep in mind that clear spirits are the purest for the skin, so vodka mixed with a fresh juice is by far your best choice, with plenty of water alongside.
Just following my plan for six weeks should have transformed your skin — imagine how youthful-looking you could be if you kept it up long-term…
THE NATURAL INGREDIENTS THAT YOU SHOULD AVOID
You might be shocked to hear me say this. After all, I’m such a fan of natural oils my friends joke I should be called ‘Liz Oil’ rather than Liz Earle.
But for some of us, natural ingredients, such as perfumed essential oils or botanical plant extracts, can irritate our skin. Especially if you have sensitive skin, eczema or rosacea.
I advise people to experiment and do their research — learn what’s right for your skin.
Make sure you read the labels to determine what’s in your cream or lotion. So many of us don’t and are dazzled by headlines or adverts. Don’t be put off by the tiny font on the ingredients list.
If you’re like me and are over 50, take a magnifying glass with you. Lots of valuable information can be hidden away.
A good clue as to whether a product is worth its price tag is the number of natural ingredients. They’re often described by their Latin name, so look out for words such as: Lavandula officinalis, otherwise known as lavender, or Butyrospermum parkii, otherwise known as shea butter.
If a skincare brand can identify a species of plant, it shows they have a good level of skincare knowledge and the ingredients can generally be traced back to their point of origin, which is reassuring.
Inexpensive skincare ingredients include liquid paraffin and mineral oils. Very bland substances that sit on the surface of the skin, they’re often used as cheaper fillers to bulk out a product.
Pure natural plant oils, in contrast, are absorbed into the upper levels of the skin’s surface and are less greasy. They’re also more expensive.
However, mineral oils and liquid paraffin are not all bad. They’re so bland and inactive, they can be good for some sensitive skin.
So if you find that an inexpensive moisturiser made without perfume or fragrance but containing liquid paraffin is actually helping calm your sensitive complexion where others have failed, keep using it! While botanical ingredients and fragrant essential oils are fantastic and powerful remedies for all sorts of conditions, this is one area where we should be pragmatic — and listen to our skin, especially when treating skin disorders.
SO WHICH OIL SHOULD YOU USE?
Choose one of the following oils to suit your mood. Add up to eight drops to a warm, not hot, bath. Then lie back and relax.
Bergamot: A wonderful aroma that can help relax and lift your mood.
Cedarwood: For soothing aching muscles and toning the skin.
Camomile: Encourages sleep and soothes irritated skin.
Geranium: For calming skin.
Ginger: Powerful and spicy. Good with citrus oils for a stimulating bath.
Jasmine: One of the most beautiful of all fragrances, and wonderful in the bath.
Lavender: Aromatic, antiseptic, relaxing and healing.
Lemon balm: Good for relieving tension when you need to relax.
- Adapted from Skin: Delicious Recipes The Ultimate Wellbeing Plan For Radiant Skin In 6 Weeks by Liz Earle, published by Orion Spring on September 8, 2016 at £25. © Liz Earle 2016. Photographs © Dan Jones. To order a copy for £18.75, postage and packaging free (offer valid to September 15, 2016), please call 0844 571 0640 or visit mailbookshop.co.uk.