Are red cabbage and ginger the secrets to youthful-looking skin? Can artichokes and popcorn help women lose weight? If author Jolene Hart is right, food can do more to boost our beauty than the most expensive creams and potions.
Hart will host a book signing and luncheon at Valley Forge Flowers on March 24 to talk about her book, Eat Pretty: Nutrition for Beauty, Inside and Out (Chronicle Books, 208 pages). Dividing food and recipes into four seasons, Hart writes about the benefits of 85 different “glow-getting” foods that improve the health and appearance of skin, hair and nails. Hart’s beliefs are based on nutritional genomics, epigenetics and other research endorsed by the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, for which she is a certified coach.
Finding her way to healthy living has been a long road for Hart. During her adolescence, she suffered from acne and eczema. Doctors prescribed many medications, but none of them proved effective. Hart believes they were missing the main problem: diet. It only got worse when Hart was in her 20s and working as an editor at InStyle. “I ate a lot of convenience-store and processed foods,” she admits. “I was working at a high-profile magazine all day and would go to events at night. I wouldn’t take the time to make fresh food for myself.”
Hart eventually left magazines and, in 2010, established Beauty Is Wellness, a Philadelphia-based practice designed to assist women in finding their inner and outer radiance. “Right now, I coach women on building a lifestyle of beauty,” she says. “Some come to me with skin issues, or lack of energy, and I help them figure out how to tweak their diets, take better care of themselves, cook better and transform their lives step by step.”
Hart says fresh fruits and vegetables are key, as are whole grains, nuts and fish. “Nature really gives us the foods we need to target our beauty concerns,” she says. “When we look at what’s fresh in the spring, we have light-green, delicate foods like asparagus and artichokes. These have amazing detoxifying properties and filters to help skin look better and glow.”
Stress, exercise and hormones also play a role in how your skin looks. And sleep is crucial. “It’s like free anti-aging,” says Hart of the latter. “It’s way better than the most expensive eye cream you can buy.”
Hart comes to Valley Forge Flowers in Wayne at 10 a.m. on March 24. She’ll share Eat Pretty tips over a lunch featuring some of her recipes. Visit www.jolenehart.com/eatpretty.