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Drink up and eat right!

“Beauty is more than skin deep” is a quote I swear by these days. No matter what skincare products you use and face masks you plop over your face: if your body isn’t getting what it needs, those beauty tricks just wouldn’t work. Simply adding a few extra steps to your beauty regimen, starting with health, will never fail you.

It is crucial to note that the best health isn’t something you can achieve overnight. It takes months of eating right and healthy to see the differences on your skin, be it the body or the face. Even though patience is definitely key, I feel persistence plays a larger role in maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Credited to Sanjna RavikrishnanCredited to Sanjna Ravikrishnan

The onset of winter generally leaves me as parched as any dry fruit when it comes to the hydration levels of my skin as well as the amount of water I tend to drink. We are always told to constantly sip water throughout the day in order to consume about 2 litres a day.
Just drinking water can be quite cumbersome and uninteresting, especially when you are not feeling thirsty. It feels the best to snuggle up in bed drinking a cup of hot chocolate or your favorite tea while it pours thunderously outside accompanied by the frequent bursts of the chilly wind. It gets tempting to indulge in foods loaded with sugar, high fats and salt or even processed and packaged foods. It is absolutely crucial to find comfort in warm and nourishing soups, healthy drinks, that are made from scratch and snacks without neglecting the bountiful benefits of fruits and raw vegetables when it comes to health.

I, now, start my days off with a cup of warm water with honey and lemon on an empty stomach. This by far is the most underrated detox method to get your liver to stimulate and to boost your hydration.
This potent combination improves digestion, aids weight loss, clears skin radically, supports your immune system (much needed in the cold), balances pH levels, gives you an immediate energy pump with the healthy carbohydrates, purifies the blood, flushes out unwanted toxins, keeps constipation at bay, improves oral health and so much more. I feel this recipe, comprising of such readily available ingredients, gives you no excuse and works wonders if you give it a shot.
• Half a lemon (Organic, if possible)
• Half a teaspoon of raw organic, unpasteurized honey- Soothing effects on skin and holds rejuvenating properties
• Water
• Slices of ginger* Optional

– Heat the water in a microwave or a kettle.
– When the water is warm, not boiling hot, squeeze in the lemon.
– Add in a slice of lemon (without the peel, if possible) to the warm drink.
– Add raw honey to this mixture (Adding it to a hot drink would kill all the nutrients)
– Pop in some slices of ginger *Optional
Drink when warm!

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Getting in all the necessary antioxidants, vitamins, iron, minerals could have never been easier than making your own DIY smoothies!
This is such a wonderful way to hydrate, add in some extra nutrients for the day, and maintain a healthy glow during the winters.

1. Mixed berry smoothie- Energy booster and blood purifier smoothie

• Half a cup of milk (For dairy-free alternatives, cashew and almond milk work well)
• 2 frozen bananas, either cut up or as it is to add in the blender: The more bananas you add, the creamier the smoothie would be
• 2 slices of mango- Blood cleanser, combats acidity, promotes good eyesight, cancer prevention properties [Best to avoid mango if you suffer from major acne since- it increases body temperature leading to further breakouts].
• 2-3 strawberries- Reduces eye related ailments, promotes healthy skin and hair, boosts immune system, promotes bone health, weight loss aid
• 2 dates for added sweetness- Energy booster, reduces heart health related ailments, heals digestive tract [Dates are low glycemic index foods despite having a high sugar content. However, it is important to consume them in moderation to avoid sugar cravings] • Half a box of blueberries- Improves memory power, rich in vitamins, minerals, anti-aging, low in fat
-Blend all the ingredients together.

Credited to Sanjna Ravikrishnan

Credited to Sanjna Ravikrishnan

Credited to Sanjna Ravikrishnan

Credited to Sanjna Ravikrishnan

2. Banana, Papaya smoothie- Vitamin packed smoothie with proteins

• Half a cup of milk of your desired choice.
• One big chunk of papaya- Improves complexion, nourishes the hair, boosts immune system, helps maintain a healthy weight, reduces stress, has cancer prevention properties
• 2-3 slices of mango
• Raw organic cacao and coconut oil- Fights toxins, balances moods, reduces appetite, detoxes the liver, promotes healthy hair growth and skin glow
• Half a tablespoon of chia seeds- High fibre, protein, magnesium, calcium and potassium content, rich in Omega 3 ALA, extremely rich in antioxidants
• Half a tablespoon of flaxseeds- High in Omega 3, burns fat, rich in vitamins, anti-viral and anti-bacterial
• Protein powder of your choice* Optional
• Flavored yoghurt with live cultures* Optional- This is to add in probiotics
-Blend in the milk, fruits and protein powder together.
-Add in a scoop of yoghurt to the mixture. *Optional
-Sprinkle the chia seeds and the flaxseeds at the end to the blended mixture. Chia seeds are considered superfoods packed with nutrients, minerals, proteins and antioxidants.

Credited to Sanjna Ravikrishnan

Credited to Sanjna Ravikrishnan

3. Pineapple, Lemon, Papaya smoothie- Rich in vitamins, great for skin and hydration!

• 2-3 slices of papaya
• 2-3 slices of pineapple
• Half a lemon
• Water
-Blend the papaya and pineapple with the water in the blender.
-Squeeze half a lemon to the blended smoothie.

Credited to Sanjna Ravikrishnan

Credited to Sanjna Ravikrishnan

4. Oats and Chocolate- A warm smoothie for a cold day! Packed with sufficient proteins as well as fibres.

• 15g of dark chocolate
• 20g of rolled oats
• 1 ripe banana
• 150ml-200ml of almond milk
• 6-7 almonds- Enhances the creaminess of this drink!
• Half a table spoon of chia seeds
• Half a table spoon of flax seeds
• Half a tablespoon of Acai powder- Strengthens immune system, contains anti-aging properties, promotes energy, cleanses the body, improves vision, supports a healthy heart and blood environment
• 20ml of cold water

-Pop in the dark chocolate slab on a heating pan/ container with almond milk and stir until the mixture is warm and the chocolate has melted.

-Keep a fifth of this almond/chocolate mixture aside to let it cool before adding it in to the blender. (Take the necessary precautions against warm liquids in plastic blenders)
-Add the banana, rolled oats, almonds, a fifth of the warm almond/chocolate mixture to the blender.
-Add in a splash of the cold water to ensure the almond/chocolate mixture is not too warm.
-Blend on high until consistency is smooth.

-While the mixture is blending, ensure the remaining mixture of the almond/chocolate and milk is getting heated (not boiling).
-Keep adding in a little of the warm almond/chocolate mixture and the remainder of the cold water to the blender until the entire mixture has been blended entirely. *
-Sprinkle the chia seeds, flaxseeds, some extra rolled oats and acai powder on the top of your smoothie.

*Additionally, you could save some almond/chocolate mixture to pour over the smoothie.


5. Herbal Detox Tea- To be drunk after meals to flush out toxins, aid digestion and to maintain hydration levels.

This recipe is super simple and adds flavour to the rather bland water. This recipe, which has existed for over a 1000 years, is very ancient one in the Mediterranean countries and Asia. It has been documented as a relaxing spice to calm an anxious mind. It’s a drink to swear by according to Ayurveda, a traditional system of medicine in India.

• Half a tablespoon of coriander seeds- Skin benefits,
• Half a tablespoon of fennel seeds- Remedy to curb bloating, weight gain after eating. Freshening up the breath is just another added advantage.
• Half a tablespoon of cumin seeds- Aids digestion, balances blood sugar, source of iron and manganese: The more cumin you add, the stronger the taste of this concoction.
• Cinnamon *Optional
• Ginger slices *Optional
• 1 cup of water

-Bring water to boil over a saucepan/container.
-Add in the dry ingredients. (Optional- Grind the ingredients until they form a powder using coffee grinder or a pestle and mortar)
-Let the mixture boil for another 1 minute.
-Bring to a simmer for around 5 minutes.
-Add cinnamon and ginger.
-Strain through a fine mesh metal strainer.
-Drink immediately!
Avoid drinking caffeine 2 hours prior to and post consuming this drink.

Credited to Sanjna Ravikrishnan

Credited to Sanjna Ravikrishnan

6. Veggie smoothie- Get in all your greens with this balanced drink rich in iron and nutrients!

• 1 cup spinach
• 1 cup kale
• Half a cucumber
• Half an avocado (Peeled)
• Fresh organic coconut water (Try to avoid packaged coconut water)- If unavailable, substitute with ice cold water. Amount of coconut water or water you use depends on serving size.
• Half a cup of grapes
• A slice of lemon/lime
• 1 frozen ripe banana
• Half a teaspoon of chia seeds *Optional
• Ginger*Optional
• Honey *Optional for added sweetness

-Blend all ingredients until smooth.
-Sprinkle in Chia seeds *Optional

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7. Infused waters- Work great if you want to drink flavored water throughout the day. Add in a few slices of your desired fruits to a Mason jar and make sure to take sips throughout the day.

For best results, soak the fruit slices in the jug of water in the fridge overnight. The longer it is kept to soak, the more the flavour of the drink gets enhanced.
Get creative with your concoctions by adding in some mint leaves, cilantro leaves and basil. You’ll have no excuses but to stay healthy and hydrated!

Getting 8 hours’ beauty sleep is critical to avoid your under-eye bags and puffy eyes through the winter. Personally, I find playing meditation music absolutely relaxing while I am going to sleep. I generally enjoy keeping some scented candles in my room, just for the therapeutic effect.

Decorating your place with some potted plants (preferably fake, so they do not wither in the winters) or anything aesthetically will really boost your mood and appeal to your senses, whilst you study or even relax.

Credited to Sanjna Ravikrishnan

Credited to Sanjna Ravikrishnan

About Sanjna Ravikrishnan

s.ravikrishnan@student.reading.ac.uk'

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