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Today’s article was written by Soapwalla Chef, Rachel Winard. Rachel has created a fabulous organic skincare line – learn more here! A HUGE thanks to Rachel for authoring this article for Tiny Green Mom!

We are what we eat. What we put in our bodies is just as important, if not more so, than what we put on our bodies. Skin is the largest human organ and works hard to nourish us and eliminate waste and toxins from our bodies via sweat and oil secretion. Skin problems reflect stress, poor eating choices and lack of sleep almost immediately (doesn’t it seem like those fine lines and undereye circles appeared overnight? That’s because they virtually did!).

Luckily, our skin is forgiving, and great skin starts with a great foundation: our diets. All those fancy minerals and extracts in your organic, natural face creams that you religiously apply twice a day – these are exactly the kinds of foods you want to be eating as well. Below are some tips to help you get that gorgeous glow from the inside:

(1) WATER. Drink it, lots of it, several times a day. Water helps the skin flush toxins from the system, keeps skin plump and supple, and reduces fine lines and dryness. I never leave the house without my trusty 32-oz. Sigg™ water bottle, and I refill it several times a day.

(2) ANTIOXIDANTS. Antioxidants combat the signs of aging caused by the oxidation of our cells – basically, the rusting of our cells, as Dr. Michael Roizen, co-author of YOU: The Owner’s Manual, puts it. Beauty superfoods that are potent sources of antioxidants include berries of all kinds (blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, etc), pomegranates, prunes, purple grapes, kale, kiwis, spinach, tomatoes, oranges, and artichokes. Dr. Roizen recommends five servings of organically grown antioxidant-rich foods a day. An easy way to get your fill: make a smoothie for breakfast each morning, using a handful of berries (frozen works perfectly well), an orange, a splash of apple juice and a handful of spinach. Blend until completely smooth and drink up!

(3) ACTIVITY. Move every day. Exercise generates sweat, creates muscle tone, brings blood to the surface of the skin, reduces bloating and puffiness, and gives you a boost of endorphins, which do wonders for your skin. Just 15 minutes of walking every day will rejuvenate you.

(3) SUGAR. Cut out refined sugar. Sugar is one of the main culprits of premature aging!* Why is this? According to Dr. Cathy Wong ND, author of The Inside-Out Diet, “The more sugar we eat, the more sugar we have coursing through our bloodstream…. Over time, this results in a process known as glycation – where glucose (sugar) molecules damage protein molecules by sticking to them. These new molecules are called Advanced Glycation End-products (AGEs).”** AGEs destroy skin collagen, cartilage and ligaments, which results in reduced elasticity, and produces wrinkles and sagging skin.

(5) GOOD FATS. Omega 3 and 6 essential fatty acids are crucial for optimum skin and overall health, particularly if you suffer from eczema, psoriasis, chronic dry skin, and/or rosacea flares. They create cell membranes, regulate hormones and a host of other body chemicals which fight inflammation (a premature ager), reduce wrinkles, promote strong heart and arterial walls, and prevent cancer. Olives and olive oil, almonds, avocados, walnuts and flax seeds are excellent sources of essential fatty acids.

There is nothing more beautiful than good health. Simple nutritious foods combined with water and exercise – a recipe for beauty, inside and out.

*www.sciencedaily.com

**AltMedicine.About.com

Mom” at Tiny Green Mom lived in Ireland at one time, and while there was taught how to make the traditional Irish Brown Bread, along with Irish Coffee, but that’s another story! This crusty, rich bread makes a fine addition to any soup as it is great for dunking, and also makes delicious toast. You will find that there are many variations of this popular Irish staple – some add raisins, for instance.

Tiny Green Mom’s Irish Brown Bread

Ingredients

3 cups organic whole wheat flour
1 cup unbleached white flour (make sure it is NOT self-rising)
¼ cup organic unsalted butter
14 oz organic buttermilk (almost 2 cups) (pour in a little at a time until the dough is moist)
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda

Preparation

Preheat the oven to 425 F degrees.

Lightly grease and flour a round cake pan.

Combine all dry ingredients in a large bowl. Place butter in the middle of the mixture, and mix in with your hands until the mixture is crumbly.

Next, add in the buttermilk to the mixture above to create dough with a sticky texture. Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and gently knead. Place in cake pan. Shape the dough into a round, flat shape and cut a cross with a knife in the top of the dough.

Cover the cake pan with another pan and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the cover and bake for an additional 15 minutes. When the bread is done, tap the bottom of the bread. If it sounds hollow, the bread is finished baking. Remove from pan and place on wooden cutting board or countertop. Cover the bread with a light dish towel, and sprinkle the cloth lightly with water to keep the brown bread moist while it cools. Slice and enjoy!

*Image found on The Heart of New England.*

Were you aware that the Home Depot offers FREE Kids Workshops where they can learn to build and create useful items for the home? “Mom” at Tiny Green Mom just discovered this awesome opportunity!

Coming up on Saturday, July 3rd, 2010, kids can learn how to make their own wooden Periscope, and on Saturday, August 7, 2010 – kids can craft their own School Bus Pencil Organizer.

For more information, and to locate a Home Depot nearest you offering Kids Workshops, visit HomeDepot.com.

*This is not a paid advertorial. Please see disclosure.*

Featuring triple beans and organic ground beef, “Mom” at Tiny Green Mom has come up with a super simple and quick chili recipe that just keeps getting better! Ready in under an hour, this chili is filling not fattening! For those who are vegetarians, just omit the beef and beef broth, using vegetable broth instead.

Tiny Green Mom’s 3 Bean, Organic Ground Beef and Beer Chili

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onion

½ cup chopped red bell pepper

½ cup chopped yellow bell pepper

8 oz extra lean organic or farm-raised ground beef

2-3 garlic cloves, minced

1 tablespoon chili powder (or more, if you like it spicy)

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon oregano

1 can red kidney beans, drained

1 can black beans, drained

1 can pinto beans, drained

1 can organic diced tomatoes (do not drain)

1 can organic tomato paste

1 12oz bottle beer (such as Corona Light)

1 – 2 cups organic beef broth (depending on how thick you prefer your chili)

1 tablespoon unbleached flour

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

Preparation

Combine yellow onion, bell peppers, beef and garlic in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Cook 5 minutes or until beef is browned, making sure to stir to crumble.

Add in the following: chili powder, cumin, sugar, and salt. Cook 1 minute more. Add the oregano, beans, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, and beer to pan; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, and simmer 15 minutes.

Stir in flour; cook 5 minutes more. Add lime juice. Serve with shredded cheddar cheese and crackers. Makes plenty for leftovers!

Mom” at Tiny Green Mom is lovin’ these link picks!

Belle Baby Carriers Dad’s Day Awesome Giveaway on Empowering Mommy. “Mom” at Tiny Green Mom recently featured their Organic Earth Carrier.

Skip Styrofoam Cups…For Your Health on The Daily Green.

10 Easy Ways to Increase Fiber on ecomom.

My Ocean Planet on Hot Moms Club.

Organically Raised Cookbook: Conscious Cooking for Babies & Toddlers. “Mom” can’t WAIT to check this out!

Mom” at Tiny Green Mom is lovin’ these link picks!

Baby Hawk: Fun Babywearing Without Worry of Suffocation on Empowering Mommy.

Sprouting Health on Mamas Herb Garden.

Natural Wasp, Bee and Hornet Traps on Green and Clean Mom.

Positive Thinking – Don’t Let Your Pregnancy Get You Down on FindMyCarSeat.com.

Martha Stewart Advises Reader on Healthy Meat-Free Diets on Ecorazzi.