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$Monday: Foods for Beauty

For skin-deep beauty, the foods we stuff in our faces are more important than the products we slap on our faces. I started college as a bony, anemic teenager with flaky skin, brittle nails, frizzy hair, and terrible acne. After a couple months of near-constant access to an all-you-can-eat cafeteria serving a wide variety of foods, I became the proud owner of breasts and a nice booty, smoother skin, strong and shiny nails, and thick hair that felt good to brush. I also noticed that I didn't get bad breath as often, and I had more energy, a sharper mind, and better moods. All of these effects not only made me feel better inside but made me undeniably more attractive on the outside.

In hot weather, I still have a problem with lower appetite, and I constantly struggle with anemia, but my teen years were the worst. My adulthood has never been as busy and demanding as high school except when my daughter was a baby. In high school, my schedule was so busy that I did not have adequate time to eat throughout the day. I relied upon lots of prepackaged snacks and went hungry a lot of the time, and it showed in how I looked, smelled, and performed at mental and physical and social tasks.

I'm still challenged a little more in the summer to eat well, but I am conscious of making it a priority now. As I've said before, "You can't afford a poor diet." Never, ever sacrifice nutrition to pay for things that are supposed to make you more attractive like makeup, skincare products, fragrance, or fashion; there's no point in window dressing a derelict structure. Food is one of those things, like air and water and shelter, that is a basic need we have to fulfill in order to live our best lives. If you literally cannot afford groceries to feed yourself because you are in serious financial distress, do not hesitate to apply for EBT and see if any markets in your area participate in Double Up Food Bucks. If you don't qualify, contact your local food bank. You could also get involved with a community garden or grow your own veggies and fruits if you have the space. In the summer, you can sometimes find wild areas to pick edible berries and mushrooms--a great way to enjoy the outdoors, which is also healthy. Don't bother with despair that you can't attain a perfect diet, whatever you think that is. Even small changes to improve the health of a diet can have quick and noticeable effects.

There isn't a magical diet plan out there that fits every body, with its own unique needs and abilities to process different foods. If you feel that you are having too little or too much of something, it can be helpful to begin with a blood test and a consultation with your doctor. I would not recommend embarking upon an extreme diet such as keto without the guidance and weekly check-ins of a doctor or nutritionist; you can do permanent organ damage by forcing the wrong diet upon your body or going about it the wrong way. The more knowledge you have about what's going on inside of your body and what your individual nutritional requirements are, the easier it is to get the most bang for your buck and the quicker you'll see results. If you do not have access to sufficient medical advice, it's hard to go wrong by simply adding a larger quantity and variety of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains to whatever you're already doing.

Salud! I'm off to wash down my iron pill with a fruit smoothie. Later, I'll load up on vegetables, fresh fruits, hummus and pita, and maybe an ice cream treat when it gets hot. I hope you have something good to eat today too.

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