We live in a society of consumer capitalism and while this certainly has its benefits (who doesn’t love shopping?) it can toxify our thinking when it comes to big-picture issues like self-image. Often when we’re feeling sad, upset or down about how we’ll try and assuage our feelings by buying something gorgeous. This can be a fun and an affirming distraction, but it’s rarely a sustainable solution to the deeper issue at hand. The fact is that beauty is not something that can be bought in a bottle nor is it something that you can wear.
Clothes, makeup, jewelry, accessories and awesome shoes can certainly help, and you can enjoy all these things with 70% off clothing and accessories here. It’s important to remember, though, that these pretty things are merely window dressing… You, my dear, are the main event!
You’ll have heard time and again that it’s what inside that counts; and while this may well be true, it can be difficult to apply this dictum to real life. Radiating beauty from the inside isn’t a quick fix and it certainly doesn’t come overnight. It’s a continual work in progress that requires a combination of positivity, confidence and good physical and psychological health.
The beauty industry is not your friend
A multi-billion dollar industry has arisen around women’s insecurities and self-doubt and while it poses as a friend, it is in reality just another obstacle to overcome. Your ‘friend’ may tantalize you with the face, the body, the skin, the hair, or the teeth you’ve always wanted. Your ‘friend’ may lead you to believe that life-altering beauty is just another purchase away but when you capitulate and buy that vaunted product, your ‘friend’’s promises always fall short of your expectations. The sad fact is that the beauty industry may have women in its sights but it’s run almost exclusively by wealthy men who would all be out of a job if women reclaimed their own beauty.
Beauty is a state of mind
We all know that enviable someone who turns heads wherever they go and has that certain je ne sais quoi that makes everyone fall in love with them. They may not be objectively more attractive than us, but they have that certain something. This intangible something is innate in some people but it can be learned with exercises that will build the right mindset.
Positive Affirmations– These feel awkward and uncomfortable at first, but they’re a great building block to self-esteem. Positive affirmations involve saying positive things to yourself out loud (usually in front of the mirror). Favorites include “You’re beautiful”, “You’re perfect just the way you are” or “There’s nobody I’d rather be than me”. Over time the positive effects of these affirmations will accumulate to the point where you begin to believe them.
Self-Forgiveness– We all have skeletons in our closets. We all have regrets and things about ourselves that we would rather change. If we’re not careful we can allow these things to define us and carry them with us wherever we go, causing us to become introverted and withdrawn. Forgiving ourselves for our flaws and past mistakes is the only way to move forward and become the person we want to be.
Self-Acceptance- Society, and particularly advertising presents us with an unrealistic standard of beauty which everyone is expected to just have. We’re expected to compete with airbrushed images of perfection or millionaire celebrities who have legions of stylists and spend fortunes on cosmetic surgery. Only by accepting yourself as you are will you rid yourself of the yoke of these hopelessly unrealistic expectations.
As important as the psychology of beauty is, we can still do ourselves favors in our lifestyle choices that will promote the good health that is important for natural beauty.
The importance of diet
In the developed world we have an unfortunately skewed attitude that eschews prevention for cure. In a consumer economy, this makes sense since cures can be commodified, packaged and sold, but prevention (as anyone will tell you) is always the best cure. This is as true for beauty as it is for health issues, and a clean, healthy diet will not only enable you to look great but help to keep some serious health problems like diabetes and heart disease at bay too.
Here are some naturally fat burning foods that can help burn stored body fat and improve the building of lean muscle mass, as well as improving circulation and skin, hair and nail health.
Get fermented– First of all, a healthy digestive system is important to ensure that you’re digesting foods optimally and getting the optimum nutrition. Fermented foods like miso, tempeh, sauerkraut, and unsweetened Greek yogurt can improve your digestive health as well as regulating gut function and preventing feelings of bloating.
Go nuts- Almonds are 13% protein and very high in fiber which will help you to feel full and sated to reduce the risk of cravings and lower cholestorol. They are also rich in vitamin E, monounsaturated fatty acids, biotin and copper that are important for healthy skin and glossy hair, and full of natural antioxidants to support a healthy immune system.
Be berry good!
All fruits and vegetables have beneficial nutrients but pound for pound, berries are amongst the most nutrient-dense fruits. They’re also packed full of fiber and antioxidants. As they are small they require relatively little sugar content to be sweet and juicy, making them lower than most fruits on the glycemic index. This gives them a lower insulin response, reducing the amount of fat that it stored by the body.
Fats can be friends
Fats have an unfortunate reputation among macronutrients but they are just as important as proteins and complex carbohydrates. Unsaturated fats such as olive oil are proven to reduce heart disease and high blood pressure as well as reducing the risk of strokes and even cancer. Substituting a dairy-based ranch dressing for an olive oil based dressing can leave you feeling fuller and more satisfied too, reducing the risks of cravings that will make you reach for sugary, fatty convenience foods!
Get your finger on the pulses
Beans, peas, and lentils are not only a great protein source, reducing the need for potentially harmful animal proteins. They are also high in fiber for digestive health and fortified with minerals and B vitamins that will ensure great general health that will show in your skin, eyes, hair, and nails.
So, there you have it. Beauty really isn’t as skin deep as many of us think. Sometimes, working from the inside out is the surest path to real, natural beauty.
What are some of your healthy eating beauty tips? Let me know in the comments! I love hearing from you!