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Basil Pesto

Basil Pesto

There is nothing like fresh made basil pesto.  This is one of those things that even the beginner chef can do because there is absolutely no cooking involved!  Just follow the recipe and you will have an amazing pesto sauce that you can use for any poultry or fish.  Plus, the health benefits of the key ingredient found in this recipe, extra virgin olive oil, is good for everyone, especially those with chronic inflammation, which is thought to be a leading driver of diseases, such as cancer, heart disease, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s, arthritis and obesity and even acne.
Extra-virgin olive oil can reduce inflammation, which may be one of the main reasons for its health benefits.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup pine nuts I have also used pumpkin seeds and toasted walnuts, both good options.
  • 3 large garlic cloves
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh basil leaves
  • 2 TBSP grated fresh Parmesan cheese
  • 1 TBSP grated Romano cheese
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

Instructions

  • Put pine nuts and garlic in food processor or blender and process until minced. 
  • Add basil and cheeses. Process until finely minced.
  •  With processor or blender on, slowly pour oil through the food chute. Process until well blended. 
  • Spoon onto small container and store in refrigerator, or spoon into ice cube trays and freeze. Once frozen, place in airtight container for easy additions to any poultry or fish dish.
    Yield 1/2 cup

Salmon Teriyaki

Store bought teriyaki can be loaded with unwanted ingredients, most commonly, sugar. Sugar is known to promote inflammation in the cells, triggering many illnesses, including acne. Use these simple ingredients for a quick, easy and delicious salmon teriyaki that will feed and nourish your body, and fight inflammation, instead of create it.

Salmon Teriyaki

Store bought teriyaki can be loaded with unwanted ingredients, most commonly, sugar.  Sugar is known to promote inflammation in the cells, triggering many illnesses, including acne.  Use these simple ingredients for a quick, easy and delicious salmon teriyaki that will feed and nourish your body, and fight inflammation, instead of create it.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time7 mins
Total Time37 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Chinese, Japanese
Keyword: Dinner, easy, quick, salmon, Teriyaki
Servings: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 8 TBSP los-sodium soy sauce Tamari is an excellent choice if you are avoiding soy
  • 4 TBSP chopped fresh ginger
  • 2 cup minced scallions
  • 4 tsp minced garlic
  • 4 6-8 ounce salmon filet
  • 2 TBSP sesame seeds (optional)
  • 1 lemon sliced thin (optional)

Instructions

  • Whisk together soy sauce (or tamari) ginger, scallions and garlic in a nonmetallic bowl.  Add optional sesame seeds if using.
  • Place salmon files in shallow dish and cover with soy-ginger sauce.  Allow to marinate for 30 min
  • Cover baking sheet with foil.
  • Place fish on foil and top with any remaining marinade.  Top with sliced lemon, if using.
  • Broil 5-7 min

Garlic Shrimp

I love shrimp and keep a stash in my freezer for a quick and easy family meal that is healthy, and satisfying. With just a few simple ingredients, you can put together an impressive dish that you can feel good about serving to your family.

6 Ingredient Garlic Shrimp

I love shrimp and keep a stash in my freezer for a quick and easy family meal that is healthy, and satisfying.  With just a few simple ingredients, you can put together an impressive dish that you can feel good about serving to your family.
Prep Time1 hr
Cook Time6 mins
Total Time1 hr 6 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Chinese, French, Italian, Japanese, Mediterranean
Keyword: Dinner, easy, quick, shrimp, simple
Servings: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 8 cloves garlic, slivered
  • 1 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper (to taste)
  • 1 pound large shrimp
  • 1/4 cup Italian parsley, chopped

Instructions

  • Combine garlic with lemon juice, cayenne pepper, and shrimp
  • Marinate shrimp for 1 hour in refrigerator
  • Heal olive oil and saute shrimp 3 min on each side
  • Sprinkle with parsley and serve.

Peppery Avocado Salad Dressing

Peppery Lemon Avocado Salad Dressing

I never buy salad dressing from the store.  Why would I?  In just a few moments, I can whip together a dressing like this which is packed with vitamins, minerals and healthy fats.  Believe me, once you start making your own salad dressings, you’ll never go back to store bought.  
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time5 mins
Total Time10 mins
Course: Salad
Keyword: Avocado, Dressing, Salad Dressing

Ingredients

  • 1 cup hass avocado 2 1/2 small or 2 medium
  • 2 TBSP lemon juice
  • 1 TBSP olive oil
  • 1 cup fresh water +2 TBSP
  • 1 tsp salt sea salt, pink or grey salt work well
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper, to taste

Instructions

  • Blend all ingredients in your blender or food processor until smooth and creamy.  Store any leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Simple Caesar Salad

Salads are on my lunch rotation pretty much daily, but I never get bored of them! I’m always switching up what I include to keep my taste buds happy and my belly full. This Caesar salad has to be one of the simplest with only 4 ingredients! Feel free to add in any toppings of your choice, but believe, me, with these basic ingredients you will be happy, full, and energized.

Simple Caesar Salad

Salads are on my lunch rotation pretty much daily, but I never get bored of them!  I’m always switching up what I include to keep my taste buds happy and my belly full.  This Caesar salad has to be one of the simplest with only 4 ingredients!  Feel free to add in any toppings of your choice, but believe, me, with these basic ingredients you will be happy, full, and energized.  The dressing for this salad can be made ahead using this recipe.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time5 mins
Total Time15 mins
Course: Salad
Cuisine: Italian, Mediterranean
Keyword: easy, quick, Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 small romain lettuce head
  • 1/2 cup capers
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds
  • 1 cup Peppery Avocado Salad Dressing

Instructions

  • Wash and drain romaine leaves.  Slice into bite-size pieces and place in salad bowl.
  • Sprinkle almonds into bowl.
  • Toss lettuce and almonds with capers and dressing.  
  • Divide into 4 servings and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese if desired. 

Salmon with Pesto

Baked Salmon with Pesto

I love fresh salmon.  It is delicious, and it’s full of Omega-3 fatty acids.  Unlike most other fats, omega-3 fats are considered “essential,” meaning you must get them from your diet since your body can’t create them.  It is also a great source of protein, B-vitamins, selenium and potassium, to name just a few.  I never seem to tire of salmon, especially when it’s paired with fresh made pesto, which can be prepared ahead of time and frozen.  Just pull it out of the freezer when you’re making this salmon and voila, a delicious meal full of healthy fats in just minutes.  This dish comes together so quickly, it’s perfect for a quick and easy mid week meal, or to share with your friends for a weekend dinner party.  Give it a try, it’s sure to impress!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian, Mediterranean
Keyword: baked, Dinner, easy, quick, salmon
Servings: 4 serving

Ingredients

  • 4 4-6 oz Salmon filet Any salmon is fine, but wild salmon is the best choice, if available.
  • 8 TBSP Pesto Scroll down for recipe
  • 12-16 Cherry tomatoes

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375 F
  • Cover a cookie sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil
  • Place salmon on covered cookie sheet and spread with a thin layer of pesto
  • Top with tomato halves
  • Bake in oven for 20 min and enjoy!

For the pesto

  • 1/4 Cup pine nuts
  • 3 large cloves garlic
  • 2 TBSP grated fresh Parmesan cheese
  • 1 TBSP grated Romano cheese
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Put pine nuts and garlic in food processor or blender and process until minced. Add basil and cheeses. Process until finely minced. With processor or blender on, slowly pour oil through the food chute. Process until well blended. Spoon onto small container and store in refrigerator, or spoon into ice cube trays and freeze. Once frozen, place in airtight container for easy additions to any poultry or fish dish.
    Yield 1/2 cup

Even More Secret Rules for Beautiful Skin

Does what you eat make that big of an impact on your skin? Do anti-aging creams really work? What ingredient should I look for? All this and more will be answered in this article.

Welcome to the final article in my three part series all about my favorite secret rules for beautiful skin.  If you missed the first two articles, not to worry, just check them out right here:

6 Secret Rules For Beautiful Skin

6 More Secret Rules for Beautiful Skin

Now that you're all caught up, lets dive right into it!

Rule #1

Acne can ruin your skin & self esteem

Acne can range from mild to severe. Severe cases can be devestaing

My heart goes out to all those shy teens who cover their faces with their hair or a hoodie, as I used to be that person.  Acne can truly make those teen years a living misery, transforming boys and girls into withdrawn, unsociable kids with painful inferiority complexes. Boys suffer just as much as girls, if not more, because daily shaving can exacerbate acne (imagine shaving over an inflamed wound) and boys don't usually wear makeup to cover it up. If your child has acne, please take action immediately.  Acne can be treated at the dermatologist office and is generally covered by insurance.  Even if acne is not covered by insurance, this is one skin condition where trying to save money can cause long-term damage. The earlier treatment is started, the less the chance of physical and emotional scars. And sometimes just one or two office visits are all that is needed to get on the right track for treatment. Teenage acne tends to run in families, as I am all too aware of due to my own family history of acne.  During the teen years, raging hormones make matters worse, due to the fact that these hormones are what causes the cascade of events that lead to an acne breakout.  Additionally, sweaty football helmets, germ infested cell phones, and the  hands perpetually cradling cheeks and chins can lead to breakouts, too. The first step to control teenage acne is proper cleansing, which should always be gentle. If the skin is very oily, an exfoliating cleanser with salicylic acid can help clean out the buildup of sebum and skin cells inside the pores. The next step is a topical treatment. This can range from benzoyl peroxide, retinoids, salicylic acid, glycolic acid, and maybe an anti-inflammatory topical treatment such as CBD.

 

Rule #2

A good facial can do wonders for the skin

Some people seem to develop blackheads and whiteheads no matter what they do.  When performed by a dermatologist or a trained esthetician, facials can absolutely make skin look better and help reduce acne breakouts. As long as you don't have rosacea, the steam used in facials shouldn't pose a problem. Make sure that extractions are performed with the stainless steel comedone extractor, which exerts even pressure around the poor and never with the fingers. After a facial, do not use any heavy creams. They will just clog up your pores again.

 

 

Rule #3

In your 30’s and still battling breakout?  You aren't alone...

All too often I hear about the battle against acne raging on well beyond the teen years, and continuing into the 20’s and 30’s.  I can’t tell you how many times I have heard this statement: “I have wrinkles and I'm still breaking out, when will this ever end?” The sad truth is that some people have acne all their adult lives, even into their 80s. But don't lose hope if you're one of them - only your skin care therapist has to know.  

I practiced professional skin care for over 15 years and I haven't met a case of acne I couldn't beat -  including my own. When I tell my clients that I, too, have adult acne, they often don't believe me, since my face shows little traces. But that is thanks to the skin care regimen I follow religiously -  because that is what it takes to keep adult acne at bay.

Proper cleansing is essential, of course, preferably with a mild soap-free product, followed by exfoliation. I really like exfoliating with both glycolic and salicylic acids, because they unclog pores and make skin look more radiant. Any regimen for adults should be tailored to the individual, but just as an example, here's mine.

In the morning I double cleanse using a mild milky cleanser with CBD. I follow that up with a salicylic acid wash. Then I apply a CBD toner followed by a vitamin C CBD serum.  Next I apply a physical sunblock that contains CBD, finishing up with a SPF specifically designed for my eyes. At night, I double cleanse again using the same technique as in the morning, pat my face dry before applying a CBD infused retinol product.  Then I apply more vitamin C serum and finish up with an apple stem cell CBD moisturizer as well as an anti-aging eye cream. This regimen works well for me, but at times I keep on hand a 5% benzoyl peroxide to treat the occasional hormonal acne breakout that tend to haunt me around my menstrual cycle.  This routine keeps my skin clear of acne breakouts and it give me the anti-aging treatments I need to also battle lines and wrinkles.

Rule #4

Don’t wait for a breakout to begin treating it

Some people only get an occasional zit now and then or they have very mild premenstrual breakouts. These sort of breakouts can be treated with products that contain two and a half percent benzoyl peroxide or 2% salicylic acid. These two ingredients work differently. Benzoyl peroxide kills the bacteria that causes pimples, while salicylic acid cleans out pores. If you have  hormonal acne and you know that you tend to break out in certain areas, for instance your chin, you don't have to wait for a breakout to happen in order to begin treatment. Use salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide on that area everyday to prevent new pimples from forming. Depending on how sensitive your skin is, you can treat it everyday or alternate between benzoyl peroxide one day and salicylic acid the next. It's best to use salicylic acid at night because it makes the skin more sensitive to the sun. Note:  If you are pregnant, do NOT use any product with salicylic acid, as it is contraindicated for pregnancy. If you use benzoyl peroxide at night always make sure that your pillowcase is white because benzoyl peroxide with bleach any colored sheets.

Rule #5

The department store is not a reliable source of skin care advise

Where can you go to get reliable advice on skin care?  For that, you have to go to either a dermatologist or a skilled esthetician. Do not, I repeat do not, ask the people selling cosmetics for skin care advice. I can't tell you how many times I've gone to purchase a lipstick and had a salesperson try to sell me a moisturizer for dry skin, even though my skin is very acne prone and oily. Even worse is when salespeople continue the sales pitch which is generally full of misinformation after I tell them I am a skin care professional. The people behind the counter are there to provide help with makeup colors and make commission on sales. They do not have the same training as a licensed esthetician or a Dermatologist.  This is good to keep in mind.

Rule #6

Beware of bacteria and avoid testers

 

Wash your makeup brushes and sponges at least once a week.  Baby shampoo or a salicylic acid cleanser work well as long as you are sure to rinse it all out and let brushes and sponges air-dry completely. The dishwasher is fine for sponges, but it may ruin brushes. I've seen a surprising number of clients whose acne did not improve until they actually started washing their makeup applicators. Keep in mind that bacteria build up quickly on any surface, particularly one that comes into contact with your skin. This is especially important to remember with eye applicators. Never, never use another person's mascara, or even worse, store testers that others have used. Disposable testers are no guarantee, either, because you don't know if the previous customer double-dipped. At the cosmetics counter, test makeup on the inside of your wrist and arm. Don't even think of using that tester lipstick on your mouth. Better to throw out a new lipstick that turned out to be the wrong shade then to risk an infection of herpes on your face. I have seen clients with herpes on lips and eyelids they got from testers, and it is not a pretty sight. I promptly send them to see their physician and, although herpes is treatable, it is a recurrent infection, one you will have to live with for the rest of your life.

 

Rule #7

Take care of chronic dry skin

If you suffer from very dry skin or eczema, it is very likely you descended from a line of people who suffered the same as you.  Severely dry skin is actually hereditary and runs in families. Very dry skin should carefully cared for because not only can it make your life uncomfortable, it also increases the risk of skin infections. Dry skin is a result of insufficient oil in the skin, which means that you have far less barrier protection against bacteria and viruses.  Additionally, dry skin itches, sometimes unbearably, and constant scratching can permanently damage skin. Some other causes for dry skin is spending too much time in the shower or bathtub. Try not to take more than one or two quick showers a day. If you prefer to take a bath, make it short, and be sure the water is not too hot, as this can dry out the skin even more. Some soaps and body washes, particularly those with very strong fragrances, are extremely drying. Look for mild and moisturizing body wash or bar soap. Deodorant soaps are bad as they contain many chemicals and fragrances that can cause irritation. Use regular deodorant after your shower instead. When shopping for moisturizers or lotions, look for

  • humectants such as hyaluronic acid and glycerin
  • lipids such as ceramides and
  • emollients such as lanolin and propylene glycol.

 

If you are allergic to wool you should not use any product that contains lanolin.

To get the most out of your moisturizing cream, moisturize your body and face while your skin is still damp from the bath and shower.  Remember that during the winter months indoor air can become very dry. A humidifier in your bedroom can make a big difference because by increasing water in the air and hydrate the skin. Don't forget to clean it every two weeks with a solution of equal parts of white vinegar and water. The low-tech alternative of a pot of water on the radiator works just fine, too.

Rule #8

Anti-aging creams & Serums aren’t just hype

 

While it is true that the market is flooded with anti-aging creams and serums, these products can actually do wonderful things for aging skin. In just a short amount of time, your skin can look markedly younger and smoother by using the right anti aging skin care routine.  Here are some of the ingredients that you should look for when shopping for anti-aging creams and serums:

 

  • growth factors,
  • peptides to stimulate collagen production,
  • Retinol
  • Resveratrol
  • caffeine,
  • niacin and its derivatives,
  • vitamin C,
  • CBD
  • green tea.

Keep in mind also, that collagen production starts decreasing in the late twenties, so that is when people should start using retinol, antioxidants, and collagen boosters, especially around the eyes, as the eyes show age very easily.

 

Rule #9

Drink Green Tea Daily

Doesn't it seem that every time we open the news we find that scientists have discovered new benefits from drinking green tea? We know now that it aids weight loss by boosting metabolism, for example, but there is increasing evidence that green tea also has very specific effects on the skin. It is full of polyphenols, antioxidants that appeared to prevent skin cancer and protect against free radicals that age the skin. White tea has even more polyphenols, but it also costs more and some find it doesn't taste as good as green tea. Green tea is a preventative, not a cure, so the key here is to start drinking at an early age and to drink it everyday. The ideal dose is 4 cups a day, but this could make you pee a lot. To avoid this, try taking green tea supplements as long as they are standardized. 500mg a day should do the trick.

Enjoy green tea with lemon or lime as this increases the effectiveness. Green tea is an anti-inflammatory so brew green tea let it cool and apply it to irritated skin or to a mild sunburn for soothing effects. Bottled green tea may taste good, but it does not have the same benefits as freshly brewed tea.

 

Rule #10

What you eat shows up on your face

This may sound funny but it is true. In order to have healthy skin and hair, people need to eat protein. This does not mean huge quantities of ribs and steak. Eating small amounts of lean protein like fish (especially salmon), eggs, or turkey will improve skin, hair, and nails.  Skin (and the rest of your body!) needs healthy fats, too, like those found in fish, extra virgin olive oil, and nuts.  I always keep a stash of nuts in my purse and car, so much so that my friends have nick-named me The Bird!

It is also beneficial for everybody to take a 1000 mg omega-3 supplement daily.  Please check out my Wellevate store for professional vitamins and supplements, so you can get top quality at a 15% discount.  Just mention this blog post when you sign up.

Include a large variety of fruits and vegetables into your daily meals. I have made it a goal to include a vegetable in every meal, and I even try to include them in my snacks.  You may have noticed that I have a recipes section on my page.  I will be updating this with more and more of the meals that I eat, because how you eat really does make a big difference in your skin.  Choose the more colorful varieties, as they are usually more beneficial. For example, a pink grapefruit has 50 times more vitamin A than a white grapefruit. Fresh or frozen berries are also an excellent choice, especially blueberries. Resist the temptation to have them with milk as it blocks the absorption of the antioxidants. If you have acne, keep in mind that consuming dairy products and sugar can make acne worse. If you do eliminate dairy make sure to supplement calcium somewhere else. Remember, you can have the most expensive products in the world and have the best skin care therapist, but if you are not eating correctly, your skin will show it.

 

Rule #11

Beauty sleep is not a dream

When people don't get enough sleep, it causes their cortisol levels to rise, wreaking havoc throughout the body. This stress is reflected in the skin, which is why people who toss and turn look so haggard in the morning.  So if you want to look good, do everything you can to get a good night sleep.

I hope you have enjoyed this series!  As always, I would love to hear from you, so please tell me what is your favorite beauty secret and why.  Also, find me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter, and please share this article with anyone who would benefit from these not-so-secret rules! 🙂

Quick & Easy Baked Salmon

Salmon is so incredibly easy to bake in the oven, which is why it is my favorite way to prepare it. Salmon skin is rich in connective tissue. One-third collagen by weight, salmon skin is wonderful for our skin health and elasticity. Salmon is rich in omega 3’s, which provide anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce outbreaks of acne.

Quick & Easy Baked Salmon

Salmon is so incredibly easy to bake in the oven, which is why it is my favorite way to prepare it.  Salmon skin is rich in connective tissue.  One-third collagen by weight, salmon skin is wonderful for our skin health and elasticity.  Salmon is rich in omega 3’s, which provide anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce outbreaks of acne.  Enjoy this with any of the vegetable recipes I have published on my site for a complete meal.
Servings: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 4 salmon filets, skin on, 4-6 oz each
  • 2 Tablespoons avocado oil
  • kosher salt
  • fresh cracked pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley (optional)

Instructions

  • Bring the salmon to room temperature. Let your salmon filets rest out on the counter for 15-30 minutes, until they have (at least mostly) come to room temperature. This will help with even cooking.
  • Heat oven to 450°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (or use an oven-proof non-stick skillet).
  • Blot the salmon filets dry on all sides with paper towels. Place the salmon skin-side-down the prepared baking sheet (or skillet). If the ends of the salmon filets are really thin, just tuck them under a bit for even cooking.
  • Brush the salmon on all sides (except the bottom) with oil. Sprinkle each filet with a generous pinch of salt and black pepper, along with any other dry seasonings you prefer. (garlic powder is really nice)
  • Bake until the internal temperature of the salmon reaches 135-140°F*, about 4-6 minutes per half inch of thickness (measured by the thickest part of the filet). You can also test for doneness by inserting a fork or knife in the salmon and twisting it a bit; the fish should be opaque and flake easily.
  • Remove pan from the oven and transfer the salmon to a clean serving plate, either with the skin or leaving the skin behind.  (I recommend eating the skin with the fish)  Sprinkle each filet with a good squeeze of lemon juice, then serve warm and enjoy!

Pineapple Raspberry Banana Smoothie

Pineapple Raspberry Banana Smoothie

Pineapple is full of Vitamin C and potassium, and it is one of the best sources of anti-oxidants out there. The anti-oxidants not only boost your immunity but also help to keep your skin and body feeling and looking younger.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time5 mins
Total Time10 mins
Course: Appetizer, Breakfast, Dessert, Drinks, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: antioxidant, Pineapple, Smoothie
Servings: 1 serving

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup pineapple chunks, frozen
  • 1/4 cup frozen raspberries
  • 1/2 cup banana
  • 1/2 cup liquid of choice (water, coconut water, almond milk)
  • 1 cup ice

Instructions

  • Combine all ingredients into blender and process until smooth.  Serve immediately.

Notes

This smoothie can easily be made into a green smoothie.  Simply add a handful of your green of choice. (Romaine, spinach, kale…)

Mediterranean Chopped Salad

Mediterranean Chopped Salad

Red bell peppers are great sources of three cancer fighting carotenoids: lutein, beta-cryptoxanthin and zeaxanthin. Apart for being excellent for skin, these carotenoids help in reducing inflammation.  Bell pepper juice is also known for its healing qualities.
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Dr. Perricone

Ingredients

  • 1 Cucumber, peeled & diced into 1/4 inch cubes
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced into 1/4 inch cubes
  • 3 stalks celery, diced into 1/4 inch cubes
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped red onion
  • 2 Tablespoon finely chopped Italian parsley
  • 1 Tablespoon Fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/8 cup black or kalamata olives, pitted
  • 2 oz crumbled feta cheese
  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Instructions

  • Prepare and mix all ingredients together in large bowl and serve.

Notes

Whenever possible, choose vegetables that are grown locally.  They are picked closer to harvest and will deliver more nutrition.