Thursday, April 05, 2012

Book review: The Healthy Skin Diet


If you are breaking out in eczema or acne at the mere thought of the chocolate filled days ahead this Easter I have the book for you. Easter aside, glowing healthy skin is a definitive sign of great internal health. I bought this book on a whim and it has become a favorite.

Written by nutritionist Karen Fischer, in some 370 pages Karen provides everyday guidelines for healthy skin plus specialised programs for acne, cellulite, dandruff, cradle cap, eczema, dermatitis, children's clear skin program, psoriasis and rosacea.

The only thing I don't like about the book is the use of the 'd' word - diet - in the title. It is not a diet book in the cliche 'go on a diet' sense. There is included an 8 week program to follow but is it not a calorie restriction program, Karen's recommendation is for 3 nutrient dense meals and 1 snack daily. The focus is on the nutritional quality of foods and identifies those foods that are soothing to certain skin conditions and those that exacerbate them.

The back section of the book is dedicated to recipes ranging from smoothies, breakfast recipes such as french toast with berries and almonds, mango and buckwheat crepes, vitamin E muesli; for lunch and dinner there's a delicious 'anti-ageing broth', vitamin A and C apricot chicken, herb and garlic chicken casserole, creamy chickpea curry, beef and barley soup to name a few. The recipes are simple enough in technique, it is the fabulous combinations of herbs and spices that mean they are so full of flavour. Wholesome desserts include stewed pears with vanilla soy custard and rhubarb crumble made with far less sugar than traditional recipes and the addition of flaxseeds. 

Whether you have healthy skin or a skin condition this book is an excellent resource. It offers inspiration to look after yourself and great information, with simple tips to increase the nutrient dense ingredients in your cooking. 

Karen is also a mother and the author of two books aimed at making vegetables more appealing to children and families - Don't Tell Them It's Healthy and Healthy Families, Happy Families. See her website The Vegie Whisperer.

The Healthy Skin Diet by Karen Fischer, Exisle Publishing, $29.99.

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