7 Chemical Free DIY Face Masks for All Skin Types

When it comes to having beautiful skin, you only need to look as far as your kitchen.

While there are some good products out there, it can be hard to know what you’re getting. Many store-bought face masks can contain carcinogenic chemicals and additives — such as fragrances, parabens, and phthalates — that can ultimately do more harm to your skin than good. These ingredients also have the potential to clog pores, which may leave you more prone to breakouts and other skin problems. By making your own face masks at home, you can avoid unnecessary or even harmful ingredients..

We’ve rounded up 7 of the best DIY face mask recipes you can make from ordinary kitchen ingredients for anything your skin is going through — whether it’s dry, oily, breaking out, or simply needing a little extra glow.

These chemical-free face mask recipes are very basic, and most contain only two or three ingredients. However, you can customize them any way you’d like with your favorite natural skin care ingredients, such as essential oils or spices. You should be able to find all of these ingredients at your local health food store (and if not, you can order them online).

Disclaimer: Although these face masks only contain 100% natural ingredients, everyone’s skin reacts differently. Be sure to do a small patch test before applying the entire mask to your skin.

7 Chemical-Free DIY Face Mask Recipes

Activated Charcoal

1. DIY Face Mask for Acne-Prone Skin

Pimples are caused by a mixture of bacteria, sebum (oil), and dead skin cells that clog pores (1). Therefore, the best ingredients to use on acne-prone skin will have antibacterial properties and gently exfoliate to get rid of dead skin cells.

Honey makes one of the best DIY face masks to combat acne because it’s a natural hydroscopic, which means it helps draw moisture out from the environments where bacteria can accumulate (2). This also can help tighten your pores and keep them clean.

Manuka honey, in particular, is rich in the antibacterial compound methylglyoxal (MG), which gives it stronger antibacterial properties than regular honey (3). For this reason, some people even use Manuka honey as a natural acne spot treatment.

If you’ve had a recent breakout that’s left you with swelling or redness, Manuka honey also has natural anti-inflammatory properties that can help soothe your skin and speed up wound healing (4). A thin layer of Manuka honey makes a great face mask on its own, but we’ve added a few drops of tea tree essential oil to boost the antibacterial potency (5).

Antibacterial Manuka Honey Mask

Manuka Honey


  • 1 tablespoon Manuka honey (more or less, depending on how much is needed to cover your face or the affected areas)
  • 1-2 drops organic pure tea tree essential oil


  1. Combine honey and tea tree oil in a small bowl.
  2. Apply mixture to a thoroughly cleansed and slightly dampened face (this helps make the application easier).
  3. Leave on for 15 minutes, then rinse.
  4. Follow with toner and moisturizer.


When using pure tea tree essential oil in your skin care routine, use it sparingly and pay attention to how your skin reacts. Tea tree has natural drying properties, which can cause your skin to produce more oil to compensate if overused. This could further clog pores. For this reason, you may want to follow up with a moisturizer after using tea tree.

2. DIY Face Mask for Blackheads

If blackheads are the bane of your existence, you’re not alone. Like pimples, blackheads can be tough to get rid of and are caused by excess oil production, which combines with dead skin cells in your pores.

When air comes in contact with this bacteria and dead cell mixture (yuck, we know), the oil oxidizes, which is what turns the “mixture” black (1). This gunk also stretches your pores and makes them look larger.

Activated charcoal is commonly used in hospitals to treat poisoning and drug overdoses. This is because it has the ability to bind to toxins and chemicals to safely eliminate them, which prevents them from being absorbed in your blood stream (6). When it comes to the skin, it’s suggested that activated charcoal has a similar action — it traps and removes the dirt and bacteria on the skin’s surface that clogs pores and cause blackheads.

In this face mask recipe, we’ve combined activated charcoal with bentonite clay, which is another natural ingredient that may help with pore extraction.

Activated Charcoal Mask

Woman wearing activated charcoal mask


  • 1 teaspoon activated charcoal powder
  • 1 teaspoon bentonite clay
  • 1 teaspoon water (or more, as needed)


  1. Combine charcoal and bentonite clay in a bowl and add water. Mix until a paste forms.
  2. Apply to a thoroughly cleansed face and allow to sit for 10 minutes.
  3. Rinse off and follow with your regular skincare routine.


The activated charcoal you apply to your skin should always be from a natural source, such as coconut shells. Activated charcoal stains, so be careful to avoid mixing and applying on bare countertops.

3. DIY Face Mask for Glowing Skin

Sometimes you just need a little “pick-me-up” to enhance your skin’s natural glow, and turmeric can help with that.

Turmeric is packed with antioxidants and has natural anti-inflammatory properties, which is why it’s known as one of the top foods to eat for healthy skin. Studies suggest it’s also helpful for improving a long list of skin conditions when eaten and applied topically, such as dermatitis, acne, photoaging, and vitiligo (7).

This face mask recipe for glowing skin also uses organic yogurt, which may improve skin softness from the lactic acid (8).

Turmeric Yogurt Face Mask

Turmeric Yogurt Face Mask

Warning: Don’t do this one first thing in the morning, before work, or an important event! Turmeric has the tendency to stain, especially if left on for too long.


  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • ½ teaspoon plain organic yogurt
  • ½ teaspoon Manuka honey (optional)


  1. Combine turmeric and yogurt in a small bowl, then add honey, if using.
  2. Apply to clean skin.
  3. Leave on for 10 minutes, then rinse and follow with your regular skincare routine.


With it’s bright orange pigment, turmeric can stain if it’s left on the skin for too long, so be sure to set a timer for this one! If the turmeric does happen to tint your skin slightly orange, don’t worry — it will wash off with a natural cleanser, water, and some scrubbing. (This is when doing a patch test beforehand can come in handy.)

4. DIY Face Masks for Acne Scars

As if it’s not painful enough to suffer from acne, breakouts can leave behind unsightly scars.

Some foods, such as apple cider vinegar, contain organic acids that can help fade acne scars over time. Apple cider vinegar contains lactic acid, which is shown to gently exfoliate the skin to improve texture, appearance, and skin tone (9).

As an added bonus, studies show that succinic acid can halt the growth of P.acnes on the skin — a bacteria that grows deep within clogged hair follicles and forms pimples (10). In other words, apple cider vinegar is an all-around beneficial ingredient to have in your wellness routine, whether that’s as a face mask, facial toner, or in your favorite recipes.

Apple Cider Vinegar and Honey Face Mask

Apple Cider Vinegar and Honey

Recipe modified from Remedies for Me.


  • 1 teaspoon organic apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons raw honey or Manuka honey
  • 1 teaspoon aluminum-free baking soda


  1. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl until they form a paste.
  2. Apply to your face and leave on for 10-15 minutes.
  3. Rinse off with warm water. (You can use a washcloth for extra exfoliating effects.)


When choosing apple cider vinegar, be sure it still contains the mother — a cloudy “clump” of beneficial bacteria that usually floats near the top of the bottle. This is what gives apple cider vinegar all of it’s amazing health benefits. Bragg’s Organic Apple Cider Vinegar contains the mother, and can be found at most supermarkets or purchased online for under $7.

5. DIY Face Mask for Redness and Inflammation

Whether you’ve spent too much time in the sun, or your skin’s suffering from a rash or breakout, aloe vera can help. That’s because it has active compounds that can work quickly to soothe irritated skin, as well as moisturize, stimulate skin growth, and repair all at the same time (11).

Salicylic acid is one of the compounds responsible for aloe vera’s powerful anti-inflammatory properties, which is also a natural antibacterial commonly added to over-the-counter skin care products for getting of acne (12).

For best results, we recommend picking up an aloe vera plant at your local nursery so you can use pure, fresh aloe vera gel from the leaves.

Soothing Anti-Inflammatory Aloe Vera Face Mask

Aloe Vera


  • 1 tablespoon aloe vera gel
  • 1 teaspoon plain organic yogurt


  1. Combine aloe vera gel and yogurt in a small bowl.
  2. Apply to a thoroughly cleansed skin.
  3. Leave on for 15-20 minutes, then rinse.

6. DIY Face Mask for Oily Skin

Although oily skin can be caused by a number of factors — including some of which you can’t control, like genetics — you may actually benefit most from using natural ingredients that keep your skin moisturized. Although this sounds counterintuitive, certain products (such as those formulated with alcohol) can dry out your skin, which tells your skin to produce more oil to compensate (13).

This face mask for oily skin uses one simple ingredient: oats, which help absorb oil, gently exfoliate, and moisturize at the same time.

The Easiest Oatmeal Face Mask

Oatmeal Face Mask


  • 2 tablespoons ground oatmeal*
  • 2 teaspoons warm water

* You can grind whole rolled oats in a coffee bean grinder to form a powder.


  1. Combine ground rolled oats with water.
  2. Apply to clean skin.
  3. Leave mask on for 15-20 minutes and rinse off.


Be sure to use ground oats so they can properly absorb the oil from your skin.

7. DIY Face Mask for Dry Skin

Dry skin can be caused by so many factors, from hormonal fluctuations and prescription medications to changes in the weather. If your skin is feeling a little thirsty, the best nutrients to hydrate it are fatty acids, which are naturally moisturizing (13).

Hydrating Avocado Face Mask



  • ½ ripe avocado, pitted
  • 1 tablespoon  raw honey or Manuka honey


  1. In a small bowl, mash the avocado with the back of a spoon or fork until it forms a smooth texture (the fewer lumps, the better).
  2. Stir in honey.
  3. Apply to clean skin and let sit for 15-20 minutes.
  4. Rinse and follow with regular skin care routine.


This face mask is a little messy, so it’s definitely one you’ll want to use when you can lay down and relax. You’ll also want to change into something you don’t mind getting a little mucky.

Don’t Forget: Good Skin Comes from Within

While these DIY chemical-free face mask recipes are helpful for improving the appearance of skin in the short-term, it’s also important to consider that beautiful skin comes from within.

As you use DIY face masks to keep your skin healthy on the outside, the biggest key to improving your skin is to eat plenty of whole, unprocessed foods and avoid foods that can wreak havoc on your gut, such as refined sugar,carbohydrates, alcohol, and heavily processed oils.

If you suffer from frequent skin flare ups, you also may want to consider looking into conditions such as gut dysbiosis, leaky gut syndrome, and candida as potential underlying causes, as the gut and skin have a direct relationship (called the gut skin axis)(14).

Here's how to make DIY face masks for dry, oily, dull or acne prone skin. In doing so, you avoid pore clogging ingredients in commercial skin care products.

The post 7 Chemical Free DIY Face Masks for All Skin Types appeared first on The Kettle & Fire Blog.


5 Surprising Bone Broth Beauty Benefits

Rather than trying to achieve bright, youthful skin with pricey collagen skin creams or finishing powders, what if you had a natural glow that radiated from within? Just think of how much time (and money) that would save you! The good news is, this can easily be done by adding one specific food to your diet: bone broth.

When you think of the most beautifying foods you can eat, animal bones, tendons, and connective tissue are probably not the first things that come to mind. After all, you’ve probably been throwing out these parts with the trash after making Sunday night’s dinner. But what may seem like nothing more than scraps actually contain one of the most powerful building blocks for younger looking skin, healthier nails, and lush, shiny hair. It can even work for smoothing out that godforsaken cellulite. It’s the beneficial protein, collagen.

Collagen and other extracellular proteins make up close to 80 percent of your skin. Collagen, in particular, plays a crucial role in maintaining skin elasticity and preventing fine lines, wrinkles, and sagging skin (1). Some people who’ve tried Dr. KellyAnn Petrucci’s bone broth diet have had a noticeable improvement in their cellulite in just 7 days.

Bone broth also contains a compound called hyaluronic acid, which is the primary ingredient in dermal fillers for anti-aging. It’s also a key nutrient for helping your skin retain moisture for that dewy, supple glow (2).

The collagen in bone broth also can help your hair grow faster and strengthen your nails. But beauty isn’t only skin deep: bone broth can enhance your natural beauty in many other ways, from improving your gut health to keeping your gums and teeth healthy.

5 Surprising Bone Broth Beauty Benefits

1. Bone Broth Promotes Clearer Skin, and May Help Reduce Acne, Rosacea, Eczema, and Psoriasis


For hundreds of years, doctors of traditional Chinese medicine have explained that your skin is a direct reflection of your digestive system. This link, called the gut-skin axis, suggests that premature aging, acne, rosacea, eczema, and other inflammatory skin conditions all stem from problems in your GI tract, such as leaky gut syndrome, candida, or gut dysbiosis (3).

The collagen in bone broth improves gut health by acting as “intestinal glue,” which helps heal and seal the holes in the intestinal lining that lead to leaky gut. By strengthening the gut lining, collagen can also help reduce inflammation — which not only helps improve painful digestive symptoms such as gas and bloating, but can also reduce puffiness and redness in your skin (4). Collagen also contains an amino acid called proline, which has powerful anti-inflammatory benefits.

2. Dark Circles No More: Bone Broth Helps You Get Beauty Sleep

Dark circles under eyes

Most of your cell repair and regeneration takes place when you sleep, which is how your skin stays healthy. Studies show that sleep deprivation can actually make your skin age faster, and can slow down wound healing when your skin is damaged (including sun damage from UV rays) (5). They don’t call it beauty sleep for nothing.

For some of us, getting enough rest and staying asleep can be a challenge. Bone broth can help keep your sleep and wake cycle regular and improve the quality of your sleep, so you can wake up in the mornings feeling refreshed and rejuvenated (and it will show!).

Bone broth helps promote restful sleep in a few different ways. First of all, bones are storehouses for minerals, such as magnesium, which is known as the “calming mineral” because it’s needed to reduce stress and promotes restful sleep. Since it’s estimated that more than 50 percent of Americans are magnesium deficient — with some sources claiming up to 80 percent — it’s no wonder we’re always stressed out and tired (6).

One of the benefits of drinking bone broth over taking a magnesium supplement is that the magnesium in bone broth is highly bioavailable thanks to the slow-simmer time of the bones. When it comes to supplements, you never really know how much your body is truly absorbing.

Second, bone broth is high in the amino acid glycine, which acts as a neurotransmitter and plays a role in regulating your sleep cycle (7). When taken before bedtime, the glycine in bone broth can help improve your sleep quality and reduce daytime energy crashes, which is especially helpful for those with insomnia (8).

It’s safe to say we’ve found the ultimate beauty bedtime elixir with bone broth.

3. Bone Broth Promotes Healthier Teeth

Healthy teeth

What’s more beautiful than your smile?

Calcium is the primary nutrient needed to keep your gums and tooth enamel healthy. Since more than 99 percent of the body’s calcium is stored in bones, bone broth is one of the best ways to get a highly absorbable form of calcium in your diet (9).

4. Bone Broth Promotes Faster Wound and Scar Healing

Wound healing

Not only does consuming bone broth help you fall asleep quicker so that your body can begin it’s repair and regeneration process, but it’s also rich in the amino acid arginine, which plays a critical role in wound healing. Whether you’ve suffered a serious sunburn or a skin injury — or perhaps picked at a blackhead or two (hey, it happens) — studies show that arginine can greatly help speed up wound healing and collagen repair (10).

5. Bone Broth Can Help Prevent Stretch Marks During Weight Gain or Pregnancy

Healthy pregnancy

Since collagen helps maintain the skin’s smoothness and elasticity, it’s the most powerful nutrient for combating the stretch marks that can result from pregnancy or weight gain (11). Drinking bone broth during pregnancy also helps nourish your growing baby.

Collagen Can Only Found in Bone Broth

Bones and tissue are the only true dietary sources of collagen. Since we don’t eat these in their whole form, boiling them into a delicious broth and slow simmering them for 10 to over 20 hours allows the collagen to be released from the bones. Therefore when you drink it or cook with it, the collagen is easy for you to absorb and can go where your body needs it most.

Many plant foods contain nutrients that help stimulate collagen production, such as vitamin C and zinc, but don’t actually contain collagen themselves.

If you want to get extra collagen in your diet in addition to broth, you can also take collagen supplements in the form of collagen hydrolysate (hydrolyzed collagen) or collagen peptides. Just be sure they’re from an organic or grass-fed source.

What About Collagen Skin Creams?

Anti aging skin cream

Unfortunately, most skin care products formulated with collagen aren’t much more than glorified moisturizers. Collagen molecules are typically too large to be absorbed through the outer layer of skin, so instead, the collagen sits on the surface of your skin, rather than getting into the deeper dermal layers, which is where it needs to go for collagen production to take place (12).

This is why getting collagen through your diet rather than topical creams is far more beneficial.

As you can see, bone broth has countless benefits when it comes to improving every aspect of your health. But the same rule applies to bone broth as it does to using topical beauty products: consistency is key, and quality matters.

We always say that killer bones = killer broth. The more nutritious the bones, the more beautifying collagen, amino acids, and vitamins and minerals your bone broth will contain. This is why at Kettle & Fire, we only use bones sourced from grass-fed cattle and pasture raised chicken.

You can drink bone broth as often as you’d like, and add it to all kinds of recipes. Here’s a few of our favorites to get you started.

What may seem like table scraps actually contain one of the most powerful nutrients for natural beauty. Learn about the top 5 beauty benefits of bone broth.

From the left to the right, Quinoa Buddha Breakfast BowlVeggie Curry Over Quinoa, Chicken Tortilla SoupThe Easiest Beef Pho Recipe, Hearty Bone Broth Chicken Noodle Soup, Creamy Mushroom Chicken RisottoMixed Berry Bone Broth SmoothieRaspberry Collagen GummiesPaleo Pumpkin Soup with Bone Broth and Coconut Milk.

You can find more bone broth recipes here. Enjoy and be beautiful!

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What may seem like table scraps actually contain one of the most powerful nutrients for natural beauty. Learn about the top 5 beauty benefits of bone broth.

The post 5 Surprising Bone Broth Beauty Benefits appeared first on The Kettle & Fire Blog.

Therapeutic Nutrition – Paradigm for 21st century Medicine

Does your doctor talk about nutrition? My guess is no. My feeling, as a physician, is that most doctors know very little about nutrition. Why not? We are in the midst of a huge paradigm shift in the entire way we look at health and disease. It’s happened so gradually that most doctors are not even aware of it. The physician’s path has been corrupted over the last few decades from ‘The person who keeps you healthy’ to ‘The person who gives you drugs and surgery’. Let me explain.

A physician’s job has always been to heal the sick and give advice on how to stay healthy. There were medical treatments, to be sure – leeching, purging, and my personal favorite – eating ground up powdered mummies. Yes. You read that correctly. For thousands of years, eating the ground up mummified remains of long-dead embalmed human beings was considered good medicine. That’s what they taught at them ancient medical schools. The demand for powdered mummies was so great that sometimes hucksters would simply grind up dead beggars and plague victims and sell them as mummies.

The history of medicine is the history of the placebo effect. This mummy-eating practice died out in the 16th century was was replaced by other equally useless procedures – such as the lobotomy to cure mental illness. Hey, let me shove this ice pick through your eyeball and mash up parts of your brain like I’m mashing a potato. The inventor of this procedure received the 1949 Nobel Prize for Medicine. This was the cutting edge of medicine circa 1949. Any criticism of this mashed-brain strategy could be legitimately met by “Did YOU win a Nobel Prize, buddy?”

The paradigm of medicine as a semi-useless and semi-horrifying profession began to shift with the development of antibiotics – starting with penicillin in 1928. Now, all of a sudden, we had an effective treatment for infectious disease, which had been the major medical problem of the 20th century. Doctors, for virtually the first time ever, had something reasonably useful to fight illness. Doctors had something better to offer than mummy extract or shoving sharp metal pointy things in through the eyeball. Yaaayyy!

Similarly, with the advent of modern anesthesia and surgical techniques, we had effective treatments for diseases like ruptured appendices and gallstones and so on. Prior to that, surgery was a grisly sight. There were no effective antibiotics, there was no effective anesthesia, and post operative complications were many. It was really just some guy with a saw, ready to cut your leg off, giving you a rope to bite down on so you didn’t scream. You were just as likely to die of the surgery as of the disease. Surgery was the last option, because the treatment was just as lethal as the disease. You went into the barber shop to see the guy with the rusty scalpel he just picked up off the filthy bloodstained tray. Many times, you never came back out.

By the middle of the 20th century, this all changed. The concepts of germs and the importance of antiseptics were discovered. Anesthetic agents were discovered. Penicillin and other miraculous antibiotics were discovered. Public hygiene and sanitation were improved. So, the doctor patient relationship changed. Now, physicians saw ourselves as the fix-it guy or fix-it girl.You have a disease, I give you a pill. You get better. Or – you have a disease, I give you surgery. You get better.

This worked really well from the 1940s to the 1980s. Most of the major health issues were infectious diseases. From bacterial pneumonia, to bacteria like H. Pylori, to viruses like HIV, to Hepatitis C – people were getting better. You can see this clearly in the life expectancy of people 65 years and older (this removes the effect of child mortality and wars etc., concentrating on chronic disease).

During this time, medical school training reflected this new role that physicians saw themselves. We wanted to know about drugs, and surgery, and more drugs and more surgery. Obesity, a dietary disease should be treated with, I know, drugs! If that doesn’t work, then, I know, surgery! To the doctor with a hammer, all problems are nails.

Nutrition training is virtually non existent in medical school. During residency (the 5 years of training after medical school) it was completely non existent. We didn’t learn about it, so we didn’t care about it and we didn’t care to learn about it. Nutrition was just not part of the vocabulary. Being a doctor meant “I don’t care about nutrition” because that’s what the medical school taught me (and everybody else in my medical school class) – not overtly, mind you, but we were the fix-it guys and girls. The drugs and surgery gang. Not the nutritionists. Which was fine, as long as the major health problems were infections and surgical problems.

Things changed by the end of the 20th century. The big problems were no longer infectious diseases. Starting in the late 1970s we had a massive obesity epidemic. Then 10 years later, a massive diabetes epidemic. Our drugs and surgery tools were completely inadequate to deal with this new reality. We tried to apply the 20th century attitude to the new 21st century medical problems, which are largely obesity related and metabolic in nature. We tried – You have type 2 diabetes, let me give you a pill (or insulin). It was a dismal failure. We tried – You have obesity, let me give you surgery. It works, kind of. But there are a lot of complications.

So, we, as doctors, were lost. We were reduced to giving simple, puerile, and utterly ineffective advice like “Eat Less, Move More”, or “Count your calories” or “It’s all about the Calories”. We lacked comprehension of the problem. We didn’t understand obesity and its hormonal nature, and we didn’t know how to treat it. So, most of us gave up. We admitted defeat by trying to pretend that type 2 diabetes is a chronic and progressive disease. We pretended that obesity is a natural consequence of aging even though it had never happened on this scale in human history. Both statements, of course, are completely false. Losing weight often reversed type 2 diabetes, so we told people to lose weight, but we didn’t tell them how to lose weight.

Without any training, we gave the only advice we knew – Eat Less, Move more. This is rather ironic, considering that all available evidence from our studies shows that restricting calories is a completely ineffective method of weight control (see article – The Lack of Evidence for Caloric Restriction). We introduced non-physiologic concepts from physics like calories to try to explain weight loss (see article – The Useless Concept of Calories). We knew that about 99% of the time, this Caloric Reduction as Primary strategy failed, but we didn’t care. It was the best we had, so that’s what we gave.

But there is hope. More and more doctors are starting to recognize that the related conditions of the metabolic syndrome which are all closely related to obesity are treatable, not druggable conditions. This includes obesity, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease. You can’t treat a dietary disease with drugs. So the weapon of choice for metabolic problems of the 21st century is not a new drug or a new type of surgery, although there are many who try to medicalize a dietary problem. No, the best option is to treat the root cause. Treat the dietary disease with correction of the underlying diet.

The weapon of choice in 21st century medicine will be information. Information far beyond the simplistic notions of calories. Information about the ancient practice of fasting. Information about the dangers of excessive fructose intake. Information about reducing refined foods especially carbohydrates. Information about the hormonal basis of obesity and type 2 diabetes.

And the great news is that this information is not limited to doctors, but can be found by anybody with an internet connection. That is precisely the point of this blog, its related books and related podcast – detailed discussion about the science of obesity, the science of nutrition, the science of type 2 diabetes. That is precisely the point of our online Intensive Dietary Management program. Nutrition as a therapeutic option for nutritional diseases. That is the future of medicine.


The post Therapeutic Nutrition – Paradigm for 21st century Medicine appeared first on Intensive Dietary Management (IDM).

5 Super-Healthy One-Bowl Meals

Quick and easy meal ideas are always important, but they’re even more crucial during the crazy-busy holiday season. Who has time for multiple dishes, not to mention the extra cleanup?

So we gathered up some of our favorite ultra-healthy, produce-forward, delicious, satisfying and, most importantly, energizing one-bowl meals to help you sail through the season feeling like a champ.


Almond-Sesame Soba Zoodles With Quick Pickled Veggies


  • Serves: 2 as a Main Course or 4 as a Side
  • Total Time:20 Minutes
  • Active Time:20 Minutes

Soba zoodles recipe


  • 8 ounces buckwheat soba noodles
  • 1 bunch of radishes (about 6 medium), cut into ½-inch cubes
  • 1 pound cucumber, cut into ½- inch cubes
  • ¼ cup rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt, divided
  • ½ cup unsalted almond butter
  • 1 small garlic clove
  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed lime juice (from 2 limes)
  • 2 tablespoons gluten-free tamari
  • 2 teaspoons raw honey
  • 2 teaspoons dark toasted sesame oil
  • 2 large zucchini (about 1 pound), spiralized into thin noodles
  • 1 tablespoon black sesame seeds, for garnish


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the soba noodles according to package directions until al dente. Drain and rinse with cool water until room temperature, shaking out all the excess. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and set aside.
  2. While the noodles are cooking, in a medium mixing bowl, combine the radishes, cucumber, vinegar, and 1 teaspoon salt. Allow the veggies to marinate for 10 minutes, tossing occasionally.
  3. In the bowl of a small food processor, puree the almond butter, garlic, lime juice, tamari, honey, sesame oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and ¼ cup water. Add more water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until you reach the consistency of peanut sauce. Transfer to the mixing bowl with the soba noodles. Add the zucchini and toss until everything is well coated. Divide among serving bowls, top with the quick pickled veggies, and garnish with the sesame seeds.
  4. Serve room temperature or cold, alongside your favorite Asian hot sauce.

Simple Soup with Carrots, Parsnips, and Scallions


  • Serves: 6 to 8
  • Total Time: 25 MINUTES
  • Active Time: 25 MINUTES

Simple Soup with Carrots, Parsnips, and Scallions


  • 2 tablespoons organic extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium-size celery stalk, cut into ¼-inch/0.65 cm dice
  • ½ large yellow onion, cut into ¼-inch/0.65 cm dice
  • 1 ½ teaspoons fennel seeds, toasted
  • 8 ounces/225 g carrots, cut into ¼-inch/0.65 cm dice (about 3 ¼ cups)
  • 8 ounces/225 g parsnips, cut into ¼-inch/0.65 cm dice (about 3 ¼ cups)
  • 6 cups/1.4 L organic reduced-sodium chicken or vegetable stock
  • Fine sea salt to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 medium-size scallions, cut into ½-inch/1.25 cm lengths, for garnish


  1. In a large saucepan or small stockpot over medium heat, heat the oil. Add the celery and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 4 minutes.
  2. Add the fennel seeds, carrots, and parsnips and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is tender, about 4 minutes.
  3. Add the stock, brinf to a boil over high heat, lower the heat to a simmer, and cook until all the vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot, garnished with the scallions.


Ways to enhance your soup

– Add shredded cooked chicken.

– Add cooked quinoa, millet, or couscous.

– Add chopped fresh herbs, such as parsley, tarragon, dill, or cilantro.

– Add wakame or other sea vegetables.

Dark Chocolate-Berry Smoothie Bowl


  • Serves: 1
  • Total Time:5 MINUTES
  • Active Time:5 MINUTES

Dark chocolate-berry smoothie bowl


  • 1 medium frozen banana
  • 1/2 cup organic blueberries, plus more for garnish
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 2 tablespoons almond butter
  • 1 scoop Nourish + Bloom Decadent Chocolate Truffle Whole Shake Powder
  • 1/2 cup ice cubes
  • Optional toppings: slivered almonds, chia seeds, blueberries, goji berries


  1. Into a blender, combine the banana, blueberries, almond milk, chia seeds, almond butter and Nourish + Bloom Decadent Chocolate Truffle Whole Shake Powder; blend until smooth.
  2. Add ice and blend again until smooth.
  3. Spoon into a bowl and garnish with the toppings of your choice.

Kale-Carrot Salad
 with Hardboiled Eggs


  • Serves: 2
  • Total Time:5 MINUTES
  • Active Time:5 MINUTES

Kale carrot salad


  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1 bunch kale
  • ½ cup shredded carrot
  • 4 hard-boiled eggs, sliced


  1. In a salad bowl, whisk together the lemon, garlic, mustard and olive oil; season to taste with salt and pepper.
  2. Chop the kale into ribbons and massage it into the dressing.
  3. Add the carrot and toss well.
  4. Divide the salad among serving bowls and top with the sliced eggs.

Sushi Bowl with Glazed Sweet Potatoes, Daikon and Avocado


  • Serves: 4
  • Total Time:35 MINUTES
  • Active Time:20 MINUTES

Vegetarian sushi bowl from Lukas Volger's Bowl


  • 1 medium sweet potato, peeled if desired (10 to 12 ounces)
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce, plus more for serving
  • 1 tablespoon neutral-tasting oil
  • One 4-inch length daikon radish
  • 1 small cucumber
  • 1 avocado
  • Four 2-inch squares toasted nori
  • 1 tablespoon rice or brown rice vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 5 cups freshly cooked short-grain white or brown rice
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
  • 2 scallions, white and green parts, thinly sliced on the bias, for garnish
  • Wasabi paste, for serving
  • Pickled ginger, for serving


  1. Slice the sweet potato into rounds about 3/4 inch thick. Fill a saucepan fitted with a steamer unit with about 1/2 inch of water and bring to a simmer. Add the sweet potato to the steamer basket, cover, and cook until just tender, 7 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a plate or bowl to cool until safe to handle.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the honey and soy sauce. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the oil and, when it shimmers, arrange the potato in a single layer in the pan. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until it just begins to color and get crisp. Flip and repeat on the other side. Pour in the honey-soy mixture and cook until the sauce thickens and the potato is glazed, turning it frequently to ensure that it’s well coated, 1 to 2 minutes more. Remove from the heat.
  3. Peel the daikon and cut it into matchsticks about 1/4 inch thick and 2 inches long. Do the same with the cucumber. Peel the avocado and slice it into thin slabs.
  4. Just before serving, wave the nori squares over the flame of a gas burner a few times until the corners curl and they turn crisp, or roast under a broiler, flipping periodically. Slice into thin strips with a chef’s knife, or crumble with your fingers.
  5. Stir the rice vinegar, salt, and sugar together until the solids dissolve. Drizzle over the hot cooked rice, add the sesame seeds, and stir gently to combine. Taste and add a few more sprinkles of vinegar if desired.
  6. Divide the rice among four bowls. Arrange the glazed potato slices, daikon, cucumber, and avocado on top of the rice in each bowl. Sprinkle the nori over the top of each serving and garnish with the scallions. Serve with individual dishes for the additional soy sauce, the wasabi, and pickled ginger at the table.

The post 5 Super-Healthy One-Bowl Meals appeared first on Clean Plates.

Fujimi EP-8800 Full Body Massage Chair Review [Nov. 2017]

If you’re looking for a high-end, quality massage chair, the Fujimi EP8800 is most likely on your list. While it contains some of the features you would expect for a premium chair, there are a few alternative brands and models that stack up better in terms of features, craftsmanship, and engineering. Because the EP-8800 contains […]

Fujimi EP-8800 Full Body Massage Chair Review [Nov. 2017] is courtesy of: Wellness Geeky

Fujimi EP-8800 Full Body Massage Chair Review [Nov. 2017] syndicated from http://wellnessgeeky.blogspot.com/

Best Pillow for Sleep Apnea: Reviews and Comparisons [2017]

If you or someone close to you suffers from a sleep disorder, such as sleep apnea or snoring, there is a risk for more serious health problems than the fatigue and discomfort that accompanies a lack of restorative sleep. There are advanced medical treatments like CPAP machines for various sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea, […]

Best Pillow for Sleep Apnea: Reviews and Comparisons [2017] was originally seen on: https://wellnessgeeky.com/

Best Pillow for Sleep Apnea: Reviews and Comparisons [2017] syndicated from http://wellnessgeeky.blogspot.com/

Natural Beauty From the Inside Out: The Top 7 Nutrients for Glowing Skin, Hair & Nails

What if we told you that the dewy, supple glow you’re after could come from your plate, rather than an $80 bottle of foundation or serum at a cosmetic store? And that getting your hair and nails to grow faster and healthier could be as simple as eating more of a specific nutrient, rather than turning to beauty products? In fact, you can even get rid of cellulite with the power of having certain foods in your diet.

We believe natural beauty is an inside job. And the foods you eat are more important to achieving natural beauty than any lotion, shampoo, or those skin cream best sellers (yes– even if they’re made from natural ingredients, like shea butter and coconut oil). Since natural skin care and healthy hair and nails all begin at the cellular level, outer radiance is simply the result of putting the right nutrients into your body.

But eating the right foods is only one part of achieving natural beauty from the inside out. You can only be as healthy as the nutrients you absorb.

The Secret to Achieving Beautiful Skin From Within

Young Asian Woman

“Your digestive tract is like the soil, and your hair and skin are like the plants: if the soil isn’t healthy, the plants won’t bloom properly.” — Dr. Robynne Chutkan, author of Gut Bliss.

These wise words sum up the link between how well your digestive system is functioning and how you achieve natural beauty from the inside out.

Your digestive tract is where you absorb the essential nutrients needed to produce healthy skin cells, and to synthesize the proteins (such as collagen) that keep your skin smooth, hair shiny, and nails healthy.

This is why the very first place to begin improving the health of your skin, hair, and nails is to improve your digestion. And if you want brighter, clearer, smoother, and younger looking skin, it’s crucial that you understand the gut-skin axis.

Your Skin is a Reflection of Your Digestion

Only a few short years ago, many health professionals believed there was no link between the skin and your diet. While the whole chocolate and acne thing may be a myth, there is solid evidence that the health and appearance of your skin is a direct reflection of how well your gut is functioning. This connection is called the gut-skin axis (1).

In short, the gut-skin axis is the link between imbalances in the gut microbiome (including a lack of healthy gut bacteria, systemic inflammation, an overburdened liver, and intestinal permeability, which is also known as leaky gut) and skin problems, such as acne, eczema, psoriasis, hives, rashes, rosacea, and even premature aging and oily, dull, or dry skin (2).

Studies have also looked to the role of healthy gut bacteria in skin health.

beautiful girl

In an Italian study, one group of patients undergoing acne and rosacea treatment were given a probiotic supplement, while the other half of the patients were not. By the end of the study, the group given probiotics had clearer skin and a greater improvement in their symptoms. The same was also true for a group of 56 patients in a Korean study who were given a daily probiotic drink over the course of 12 weeks (3).

Now, the gut-skin axis is a big (and fascinating) enough topic to become an entire article on its own. But by simply understanding that your gut and skin are interconnected, you now hold the “key” to enhancing your natural beauty from within.

So, when you have a stubborn breakout, or notice your hair getting dry and brittle, save the trip to the beauty counter and head to your local grocery store instead. Here are the top nutrients to stock up on for glowing skin, shiny hair, and strong, healthy nails.

Top 7 Beautifying Nutrients (and How to Get More into Your Diet)

1. Collagen


Collagen is a beauty buzzword, best known as the ultimate “anti-aging” nutrient, which is why it’s commonly added to expensive skin care products. But a lesser known fact is that when applied topically, most collagen molecules are actually too large to penetrate the skin, which means these products do very little to improve your skin’s texture and appearance. (Read: your hard earned dollars = wasted).

Now, since collagen is the protein that helps maintain skin elasticity, it is one of the most important nutrients for skin health. The amino acids in collagen also help with hair and nail growth, and keep tooth enamel healthy. Our bodies naturally produce collagen, but it’s said that once we hit age 25, our production of type 2 collagen slows down — and that’s the form of collagen that preserves our skin elasticity (4). This is when physical signs of aging can set in.

But rather than applying it to your skin, you can eat it to experience the full beauty benefits.

Collagen is also an important nutrient for gut health. Not only does it provide anti-inflammatory amino acids that help reduce intestinal inflammation, such as proline and glycine, but it also helps prevent, heal, and seal holes in the intestinal lining that can cause leaky gut. It’s just one more reason to load up on collagen in your diet.

As an added bonus, collagen contains an amino acid called glycine, which has been shown to improve sleep quality (5). This means collagen may also help get rid of those puffy eyes, or under eye dark circles.

How to Get More Collagen in Your Diet

There’s only one known source of dietary collagen, and that’s bones and connective tissue. Since we don’t eat bones and tissue, simmering them into a bone broth is one of the best ways to get collagen in your diet. You can cook with bone broth, and there are endless creative ways to sip on bone broth, which make it easy to include as a daily part of your beauty routine.

You can also take collagen in powdered form. Collagen peptides (hydrolyzed collagen) are easy to digest and dissolve easily with any liquid. Since collagen powder has no taste or texture once it’s dissolved, it can easily be added to any recipe, from quinoa buddha breakfast bowls and protein bars to homemade gummy bear vitamins.

Certain vitamins and minerals from plant-based foods can also help stimulate your body to produce collagen, such as vitamin C (6). Here are the top 12 foods for stimulating collagen production.

2. Omega 3 Essential Fatty Acids

foods with Omega-3s

One of the first signs that you’re efficiently absorbing healthy fats in your diet are tough, strong nails. Healthy fats, such as omega 3 essential fatty acids, are needed for shiny hair and a healthy scalp. They also provide the building blocks for healthy skin cells and hormones (7).

The health of your hormones play a significant role in healthy skin. For example, elevated levels of insulin (which is the hormone that regulates your blood sugar) have been linked to excess sebum oil production, which causes acne when overproduced (8). This is one of the reasons why refined carbohydrates and sugar — the foods that cause the most rapid spikes in blood sugar levels — are known as the top acne-promoting foods (9).

In addition to hormonal balance, omega 3 essential fatty acids are also powerful natural anti-inflammatories, and can help reduce the swelling, redness, and itchiness associated with skin conditions, such as rosacea and eczema (10). Fats are also oily and help moisturize dry skin and dull hair from the inside out.

Omega 3 essential fatty acids are considered an essential nutrient because your body can’t produce them on it’s own, so you must get them from your diet. Since they’re only found in unprocessed foods such as wild fish, chia seeds, flaxseed, and fish oil, you can see how the standard American diet doesn’t contain nearly enough omega 3’s. It could be why inflammatory skin conditions are more common now than ever before.

Omega 6 essential fatty acids also are an essential fat, but we tend to get far more of them than we need, as they’re found abundantly in corn, vegetable oils, and processed foods. These, however, cause inflammation when consumed in excess (11).

How to Get More Omega 3’s in Your Diet:

Wild fish, nuts, seeds, and algae are some of the best sources of omega 3’s. Eating these foods doesn’t have to be boring.You could experiment with making crusted fish, like this wild crusted cod, or blending chlorella powder (a green algae) into your green smoothie recipes.

3. Fiber

foods with fiber

If we had to pick only one beauty nutrient, it would have to be fiber. There are two reasons for this.

1) Fiber is like a live-in housekeeper for your gut. It acts as an “intestinal broom” by helping to move food through your digestive tract and bulk up your stool to eliminate toxins, bacteria, and other substances that can contribute to damaging your gut health. When you don’t have enough fiber in your diet, these toxins can accumulate in your GI tract and create a build-up of waste or “sludge” (as we like to call it) in your GI tract, which is a breeding ground for attracting unhealthy gut bacteria.

Toxins and an overgrowth of unhealthy gut bacteria can lead to leaky gut, candida, gut dysbiosis, and a whole host of other gut issues. By preventing this “anti-beauty” bacteria from accumulating, fiber helps your internal environment stay squeaky clean, which promotes healthy gut function — the “framework” for enhancing natural beauty from within (12).

2) Second, indigestible fiber contains prebiotics, which feed your beneficial gut bacteria. In this sense, you can think of prebiotics as “gut fertilizer.”

As mentioned in the gut-skin axis studies above, increasing your healthy gut bacteria is shown to have significant improvements in skin health. And while you can take a probiotic supplement, it’s also important to support the recolonization of good bacteria in your system by eating plenty of fiber.

How to Get More Fiber in Your Diet:

Fiber is found in all plant foods, so the easiest way to begin increasing the fiber in your diet is by eating more fresh vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, and sprouted grains (if you eat grains). Smoothie it up, make homemade trail mix, snack on chia seed pudding, and try having a small raw veggie salads before each meal.

Not only do raw vegetables add fiber to your diet, but they also provide enzymes which aid in digestion and nutrient absorption. You can also take fiber supplements made from psyllium husk, chicory root, and pectin.

One word of caution when it comes to fiber: increasing your fiber intake initially may produce GI symptoms, such as gas, constipation, and bloating — especially if you’re used to eating a diet high in refined foods.

But don’t let this discourage you from increasing the fiber in your diet. Instead, bump up your fiber gradually, eat the majority of your veggies steamed (which help break down the fiber, making it easier to digest), and drink plenty of water to keep the fiber moving through your digestive tract.

How Much Fiber Do You Need?

It’s said that the average American adult gets 15 grams or less of fiber per day. No wonder so many of us are experiencing gut, skin, and chronic digestive problems. It’s recommended to get at least 25-30 grams of fiber per day from your diet (13).

4. Probiotics


Throughout this article, we’ve drilled it home that probiotics, the beneficial bacteria in your GI tract, are essential for a healthy digestive system. Studies have even shown how probiotics can clear up skin when you get more in your diet.

Aside from keeping your GI tract healthy, probiotics are a beauty nutrient because they help synthesize certain B vitamins, which promote healthy skin, hair and nail growth (14).

How to Get More Probiotics in Your Diet:

Eating cultured or fermented foods a few times per week can help replenish your body’s natural stores of probiotics, which are depleted by refined sugar and carbohydrates, antibiotics, and chronic stress (15). Fermented foods include:

  • Kimchi
  • Beet kvass
  • Sauerkraut
  • Miso
  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Unsweetened coconut milk yogurt (cow’s milk yogurt can trigger breakouts and other skin problems if you’re intolerant or sensitive to dairy)
  • Natto
  • Tempeh
  • Coconut milk kefir

If you’re currently suffering from skin problems such as acne, you may want to take a probiotic supplement, which can give your body a more therapeutic, concentrated dose of beneficial bacteria. This also is helpful if you’ve recently taken a round of antibiotics, or you’re under intense periods of stress (two factors that deplete healthy gut bacteria).

Which Probiotic Supplement Should You Take?

There are many different types of probiotic strains and supplements, including capsules and suppositories. The best way to determine which probiotic supplement is right for you is to speak with a qualified healthcare practitioner who’s familiar with your health history and symptoms. This way, you can eliminate the guesswork of knowing which strains of bacteria are best for your body at this time and how often to take them.

Probiotic supplements can be found at your local health food store in the refrigerated section.

5. B Vitamins

B vitamin deficiencies are linked to skin rashes, sores or cracks in the corner of your lips, as well as hair thinning and skin depigmentation (16). B7 (Biotin) and B12 deficiencies are also linked to pale, dull skin and thin nails (17)(18). Who knew that one group of vitamins could have such a powerful impact on your natural radiance?

How to Get More B Vitamins in Your Diet

Nearly every plant-based food contains at least one of the 8 B vitamins, including whole, unprocessed grains, seafood, chicken, turkey, beef, avocado, leafy greens, fruit, and vegetables.

However, B12 is mostly found in animal products, which is why those who follow a vegan or vegetarian diet may need to supplement with additional B12. Another option to get B12 from plant sources is to take chlorella, a single-celled green algae, which is one of the only plant foods known to contain active B12 (the form that’s best absorbed by the body).

6. Sulfur


Split ends, breakage, and dry hair? Your body may just need to produce a little more keratin — and sulfur is a nutrient that’s needed for keratin production. Similar to collagen, keratin is the protein that helps strengthen your hair and nails. It also forms a protective layer on the outside of your skin, which provides strength and elasticity.

Now, you can’t eat keratin itself because it’s a protein your body produces from other amino acids. However, you can eat the amino acids and compounds that help your body produce keratin, including sulfur (19). Protein-rich foods are the best sources of sulfur, including eggs and chicken. Pungent plant foods, such as onions, leeks, and garlic, also are rich in sulfur.

How to Get More Sulfur in Your Diet:

Onions, garlic, chicken, and leeks — all of these ingredients are sure to make flavorful beautifying soup, curry, and stir fry recipes.

7. Water

This list wouldn’t be complete without water — the ultimate natural beauty elixir. Not only does water help flush toxins from your system (which contribute to premature aging and poor digestive health), but it also hydrates your skin from the inside out. The more hydrated you are, the more smooth, supple, and youthful your skin looks.

If you’re ever having a “blah” skin day, check your water consumption — you may be dehydrated. Here’s a formula for the approximate amount of water you should be drinking each day:

Your Body Weight in Pounds, Divided by Two = Ounces of Water You Need

For example, if you’re 150 pounds, you’d divide that by two, which equals 75 ounces of water.

That’s the rough water consumption you’ll want to hit each day, adding in extra when you’re active or have had alcohol and coffee, which act as natural diuretics.

In addition to these 7 foods, all vitamins and minerals contribute to healthy skin, hair, and nails— so you can never go wrong by eating as many whole, unprocessed foods as possible.

Antioxidant vitamins (vitamins A,C, and E) are especially important because they help enhance beauty at the cellular level. Antioxidants prevent your cells (including skin cells) from being damaged by oxidative stress, which is caused by the toxins in our environment (20).

Vitamins and minerals, especially iron, are also needed to transport oxygen throughout your body, which helps your skin look refreshed and rejuvenated (21). And this increased oxygen flow helps produce more energy. Wouldn’t you agree that when you feel vibrant and energized, it’s impossible not to have a healthy glow?

PS: As you add nutrients to your diet to enhance your natural beauty, you may also want to try improving the outer appearance of your skin with 100% natural DIY facial masks, that include ingredients like turmeric, Manuka honey and aloe vera.

Since healthy hair and nails all begin at the cellular level, outer radiance and natural beauty is the result of putting the right nutrients into your body.

The post Natural Beauty From the Inside Out: The Top 7 Nutrients for Glowing Skin, Hair & Nails appeared first on The Kettle & Fire Blog.