Photo: Nick Hopper
Last week, over lunch with the charismatic Hemsley sisters, Jasmine and Melissa, who were visiting New York from their London headquarters to talk about their first book The Art of Eating Well, I fell in love—with their skin. Sure, they’re stunningly beautiful, and the duo’s gained a devoted following thanks to innovative recipes that teach people how to eat and cook in a healthy and unique way, but their skin is mesmerizing. It’s why this article, which was to be about the September 23th release of their book, is really about the foods they work into their recipes to encourage radiant skin.
The Hemsley sister’s main goal is to bring meals back to basics, focusing on meat and two vegetables, without any hatred for natural fats. Not surprisingly, their food is good (I’ve made it and tasted it), and makes you feel spectacular, from the inside out. Without further ado, here’s what they incorporate into their recipes their killer complexions.
Bone broth is our elixir for glowing skin. A nourishing all rounder packed with vitamins, minerals, collagen and keratin, which makes it amazing for skin – including the dreaded cellulite! The healthy fats in the broth help you to assimilate important vitamins including vitamin D. As with any animal foods, it’s all about provenance. A healthy animal is key for the nutrients that it can provide you. Easy to do and kind on the pocket, use your homemade bone broth to steam veggies, or use it as the base of soups, stews and quinoa risottos. Add to sauces or anytime a recipe calls for stock or water. Even easier? Enjoy a steaming hot mug with a grind of sea salt as a snack or soothing bedtime drink.Click here for our favorite recipe.
Turmeric is detoxifying, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial (good against viral and bacterial infections), making it a great pick me up for the whole system, which will be reflected in your skin. This bright orange root contains curcumin, known to have extremely potent medicinal properties. Widely available in powdered form, add turmeric spice to soups, stews, teas, juices, smoothies and of course your favorite curries and Asian dishes. It can be used externally in homemade cleansers as well as face masks (we recommend using the non staining variety for this!) where it can help with blemishes, hyperpigmentation and dry skin conditions.
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Photo: Nick Hopper
Avocado came into fashion as a dinner party starter (delicious served simply with vinaigrette) and then promptly fell out of favor when the war on fat started due to its abundance of natural fats. As we begin to understand the importance of real fats in our diets, it’s back on the menu in a big way. This fruit (also known as an avocado pear) is also a great source of vitamin E, which boosts the vitality and luminosity of skin. Avocado adds a level of creaminess to any dip or dressing, and adding it to smoothies makes them more of a meal. (If you haven’t tried our avocado ‘cheesecake’ yet, you’re in for a treat.)
Eggs are high in proteins like collagen and elastin, which helps to strengthen and build new skin tissue. The yolk (our favorite part) is full of skin clearing selenium and zinc among other vitamins, including the all-important Vitamin D—imperative for new cell growth. A fresh, outdoor reared organic egg yolk is great in smoothies or swirled into a hot mug of bone broth for a quick and delicious snack. Eggs are our kings of fast food!
Livers are historically held in high regard as a nourishing food. Rich in protein iron and folate (the natural form of folic acid), they also boast an abundance of certain B vitamins (most notably anti-aging B12) and vitamin A (necessary for skin maintenance and repair). We love chicken livers; they’re delicious fried with onions, and we also whizz them up with apple, onion, butter and allspice in a blender before baking for an easy mousse or pâté. For picky eaters, introduce the flavor slowly by adding a chicken liver to ragus and other sauces to enrich the flavor and heartiness. A wonderfully affordable food, look for outdoor reared organic livers for maximum nutrition and to support high animal welfare standards.
We love all things coconut. Rich in amino acids, antioxidants, enzymes and phytonutrients, coconuts are a deliciously sweet, nutty and satisfying food that we love to include in smoothies, cookies, puddings, and curries. Coconut water is a great source of electrolytes and natural salts, especially potassium and magnesium, which makes it hydrating and alkalizing—and good hydration is key to healthy looking skin. Coconut oil is easily absorbed by the skin so we enjoy its unique nutritional and medicinal properties (lauric acid is antifungal, antiviral and antibacterial) as part of our skincare routine; it makes a deeply nourishing, chemical-free moisturizer for skin, lips, and hair, and is an excellent makeup remover.
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Those peppery green leaves and juicy stems are packed with antioxidants and high in manganese, carotene, and potassium, making watercress a powerful cleanser; it flushes out toxins and excess fluids whilst nourishing the skin. Watercress grows nearly all year round and organic watercress is getting easier to pick up in supermarkets. You’ll always find it in our fridge ready to throw into salads or serve alongside stews and leftovers to freshen up a dish. Since it’s such a soft leaf, it’s excellent in salads or lightly cooked in a watercress soup (served hot or chilled). It also makes a great pesto at less than half the price of other herbs.