The dark bags under my eyes said it all. Lack of sleep, wine and worry etched permanent lines in my face and I felt worse than I looked. My separation was not only throwing me down the rabbit hole of life, but it was killing my looks. A week away from our next meeting on how best to undo what had taken 14 years to create, I decided that if I couldn't feel better, then I was going to do whatever I could to look better. Bring on the best revenge.
Taking care of yourself post-divorce is vitally important to help you manage the stress involved in such a cataclysmic life event. Eating in a way that supports mood stabilization and restful sleep will go a long way towards helping you approach the most challenging days of your life with a measure of equanimity.
I'm sure you know this. Yet knowing it might not be enough of a mobilizing force to get you to do it. Revenge is certainly a great galvanizing force though. Rather than some esoteric idea of feeding yourself for greater calm, revenge has a mission and like all great causes, it has the energy behind it to fuel action.
Wanting him to eat his heart out was a great motivator. Throughout that week, I ate only the cleanest foods that would help nourish my skin and lessen the dark circles. And it worked! Even he said "wow!" when he saw me.
I came to see that eating in this way was also helping me feel so much better. I was calmer and sleeping better which was more satisfying than just looking good for a short time. I began to approach my diet from the broader arc of feeling well over the long haul. This helped me get through my divorce not only looking my best, but also feeling as good as I could. From there, the challenges that I faced were a lot easier to manage.
These five recipes were integral to my revenge action plan. Six years later, they are still part of my diet. Not because of the way they make me look, which is certainly a bonus, but because of the way they help me feel.
Asian Chicken Salad
This salad is loaded in nutrients that can improve the appearance of skin. The carotenoids in cabbage and carrots have been shown to enhance looks.
- 1/2 cup shredded carrot
- 3 cup shredded cabbage
- 3-4 scallions, sliced thin
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
- 1/8 cup slivered almonds
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- ¼ cup Cilantro
- few dashes of low-sodium tamari
- Juice of ½ lime
- Salt and pepper to taste
Combine ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to an hour to allow flavors to blend. Enjoy!
Astaxanthin, the nutrient that gives shrimp its pink color, is a powerful antioxidant that is not only great for your skin but also for your heart.Walnuts are a great source of Omega-3 essential fatty acids that are great for moisturizing skin from the inside out. Red onion and dill provide great flavor and added nutrition as well. Serve this on endive leaves or on a bed of greens.
- 1 Cup shrimp (peeled and cooked). Get organic when possible.
- 1/4 Cup chopped walnuts
- 1/4 Cup chopped red onion
- Himalayan salt
- Lemon juice
- Olive oil
- 2 Heads of endive lettuce
Place all the ingredients, except for the endive lettuce, into a mixing bowl and mix well. Use the olive oil, salt & pepper to taste. That's it! You can serve on it's own, or enjoy with crackers. My favorite way is to scoop it into the leaves of endive lettuce!
Nori is seaweed packed with micronutrients that will help the look and feel of your skin while also supporting thyroid function and improved immunity. The nutrients in avocado, watercress, carrots and cucumber will also add moisture and hydration to help your skin glow. This dish is also low in calories. Nori rolls are a terrific lunch or dinner option and is a fun dish to make with your kids. Set up all the ingredients and have everyone build their own nori rolls! Healthy and fun!
- Toasted Nori Sheets
- 2-3 cups cooked brown rice (cooled to room temp)
- Avocado, sliced thin
- Julienned carrots
- Julienned cucumber
- Scallions, sliced thin
- Cilantro leaves
- Low sodium Tamari
- Sesame oil
Blend 4 tbsp tamari with ½ teaspoon sesame oil (or to taste preference). Lay Nori sheet on a clean surface, rough side up. Place ¼ cup rice in a diagonally on bottom right corner of sheet, leaving about ½ inch of space in the lower right hand corner. Top with choice of fillers. Roll by tucking in the lower right corner first, then roll the nori into a tight cone. Seal the nori by dabbing some water onto the nori. Drizzle sauce into the cone of the Nori roll and enjoy!
Sesame Cucumber Salad
Cucumbers are loaded in water, making them an excellent vegetable to include in your diet to hydrate and soften skin. They are also great for reducing bags under the eyes.
- 1 Cucumber, peeled (if using organic, you can leave some of the skin for added nutritional value) and sliced thin
- 1 to 2 handfuls of raw, unsalted pumpkin seeds
- 1 tablespoon black sesame seeds
- Few dashes of sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar (or whit vinegar)
- Himalayan or sea salt and pepper to taste
Combine all the ingredients and toss until blended. Enjoy!
Need a quick turn around on your looks? Grab a juice! And not the sugary, pasteurized version that comes boxed at your local grocer. Instead reach for the nutrient packed, green drinks that are becoming as popular as your custom-made coffee. Fresh vegetable and fruit juices are the very best way to get loads of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and enzymes that have enormous health and beauty enhancing benefits.
Need to reduce the bags under your eyes for an unexpected meeting with your ex? Get a juice featuring cucumber, ginger and lime. For problematic skin, try a juice with carrots, beets and ginger and add some flax oil for the benefits of the essential fatty acids. You can either make your own or pick one up at your local Juice Press or Juice Generation.
I have a couple of recipes I turn to regularly to freshen up my skin and keep my weight steady:
- 1 medium Cucumber
- 1 small head of Bok choy
- 8 asparagus stalks
- 1 small broccoli stem
- One lime, peeled
- Ginger to taste preference (this is something I load up on but it might be too much for you if you are not used to juicing ginger. Start with small quantities and work your way up from there)
- One green apple for flavor
*I know this sounds like it would be way too pungent with the concentration of vegetables, but the ginger, lime and apple mellow out the sulfur properties of broccoli and the other vegetables. If you need to make it with more apple initially to make it more palatable, then go for it.
This is a great recipe for problematic skin such as eczema, psoriasis and acne because the carrots and beet contain powerful antioxidants called carotenoids that have been shown to improve the appearance of skin.
- 6 carrots
- 1 cucumber
- 1 small beet, cleaned well
- Ginger, to taste
- One-inch turmeric root