Lookin’ Good Girl — Food for Your Face

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By Vanessa Vaillant

Here at Fat Girl Food Squad, we’re always talking about delicious food. We all love to nourish our bodies with food, but it can also be great for nourishing our skin! Often when you think of foods that are good for your body, they will have properties that are nourishing to the skin as well. Feeding your face and body with food-­based ingredients is a fun and healthy way to take care of yourself.

Green Tea

We all know that green tea is good for the body but it’s also fantastic for your skin. Green tea is very high in antioxidants and also has antibacterial properties. Antioxidants help to fight against free radicals that are all around us, coming from a variety of sources like pollution and cigarette smoke. An easy way to get green tea into your skin is to simply brew up a cup and tone your face with it. Toning your skin before adding moisturizer will keep your skin more hydrated, and you won’t need to use as much moisturizer. You can also use matcha green tea powder mixed into a face mask.

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Papaya

Papayas are not only delicious, they are also jam packed full of vitamins for your skin. They’re full of vitamins A, B, and C, contain powerful alpha hydroxy acids, and also their own powerful papaya enzymes. Fruit enzymes are a great way to naturally exfoliate the skin without actually scrubbing it because they’ll eat away at dead skin cells. This is especially good for anyone who has a sensitivity to exfoliating. The naturally occurring alpha hydroxy acids and papaya enzymes will brighten up the skin and help to remove dead cells. You can also look for fruit enzymes in facial cleansers, masks, and moisturizers.

Lush Cosmetic’s The Sacred Truth face mask combines papaya, matcha green tea, and fresh wheatgrass to pack a foodie punch to your skin!

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Beet Root

Eating a rainbow of colourful foods is what you often hear about when aiming for good internal health. If you’ve ever prepared beets before, you will know that they are incredibly pigmented. Beets also contain a high amount of vitamins and phytochemicals. Beet juice can be used to naturally stain the skin — you can use it all on its own as a lip or cheek stain. The colour that beets give is very natural looking on the skin, and can be layered for a bolder look.

Small-batch organic skincare company, Fat and The Moon, make a great lip and cheek stain that
uses beet root for pigment.

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Peach

Peaches were once thought of as the fruit of immortality, so it’s no wonder that peach kernel oil (and as apricot kernel oil) is often used in “anti­-ageing” products. Peach kernel oil is extracted from the pit of the fruit; this oil is naturally high in good fatty acids, antioxidants, and vitamins A and E, meaning it’s great for keeping skin looking fresh and youthful. This type of oil is also easily absorbed into the skin, so it won’t feel heavy or greasy. Look for apricot or peach kernel oil in moisturizers for the face, lips, and body.

Tony Moly makes a super adorable peach hand lotion!  I picked mine up at Pacific Mall.

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Honey

Honey has been used topically on the skin since Ancient Egyptian times. It has both antibacterial and soothing properties, which makes it exceptionally good for anyone with skin conditions like eczema. It’s wonderful for healing because it will sooth the skin and encourage the growth of healthy skin cells. You can apply honey directly onto your skin, or look for skincare products containing honey in the base. You can also make your own body scrub by mixing honey with an exfoliating base like sugar, salt, or ground coffee.

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A Toast! DIY Holiday Cocktails

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The holidays are almost upon us and with them brings a plethora of family, food, and hopefully, drink. With that in mind, we’ve put together 3 festive cocktail recipes to keep you warm & cheery into the New Year.
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First up is a Chai Spiced Bourbon Cider. Whether you serve it hot or cold, this little gem is sure to keep you toasty all the way down to your toes, even on the coldest of winter nights.
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Ingredients:
for chai concentrate
– 3 scoops/bags of a good spicy chai tea
– 1/2 cup water
– 1/2 cup brown sugar
for cocktail
– 1 oz. bourbon
– 3 oz. apple cider
– 3 tsp chai concentrate
Instructions:
– To make chai concentrate, bring water & brown sugar to a boil in a small saucepan. Remove from heat and add chai tea. Let steep for 6-8 minutes, then strain.
– To make cocktail, combine ingredients in a saucepan and heat until simmering and serve warm, or combine in a tumbler over ice.
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When I was growing up, my dad told us about how Christmas was the only time he ever got to eat oranges. They were only available in England around the holiday season and the expense made them a special, once-a-year treat. My family, and many others, still put oranges in the toes of our stockings every year. To honour this tradition, I created this Satsuma Sparkler cocktail. It’s a bit of a refreshing change from some of the heavier, traditional holiday drinks.
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Ingredients:
for simple syrup
– 1/2 cup honey
– 1/2 cup water
– 3-4 sprigs fresh thyme
for cocktail
– 1 oz. gin
– 1 oz. freshly squeezed satsuma juice
– 2 oz. club soda
– 2 tsp honey thyme simple syrup
Instructions:
– To make honey thyme simple syrup, bring honey and water to a boil. Remove from heat and add thyme. Set aside and let steep until cooled (approx. 2 – 3 hours).
– To make cocktail, combine ingredients in a tumbler over ice. Garnish with fresh thyme or a satsuma twist.
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Of course, I’ve saved the best for last. Every sip of this cocktail is like imbibing the very essence of holiday spirit. Naturally, it’s called The Dickens.
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Ingredients:
for simple syrup
– 1/4 cup cranberries
– 1/8 tsp cinnamon
– 1/8 tsp cloves
– 1/2 cup water
– 1/2 cup brown sugar
for cocktail
– 1 oz. bourbon
– 3 oz. ginger soda
– 2 tsp. spiced cranberry simple syrup
Instructions:
– To make spiced cranberry simple syrup, bring water and brown sugar to a boil. Reduce heat to low and add cranberries, cinnamon, and cloves. Simmer on low heat for 10-15 minutes or until cranberries begin to break down. Remove from heat and let steep for 30 minutes to an hour. Strain and set aside cranberries.
– To make cocktail, lightly muddle a few of the cranberries set aside from the simple syrup in a tumbler. Add bourbon, ginger soda, spiced cranberry simple syrup, and top with ice.
Happy Holidays!

Friday Foodie Five

Every Friday we bring you our favourite foodie sights and sounds. Everything from food packaging and food inspired art, to recipes and reviews. 

1. Fruit – Pretty Pink Raspberries & White Currants

What a heavenly treat. Are these just young berries, or is this a variety? I need to get my hands on some.

2. Food Art – Meet Me at the Market by Katie Daisy

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I would love this hanging in my kitchen (if I could find the wall space). See more works from Katie Daisy on her site.

3. Drink – Honey & Sage Gin Fizz

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I don’t particularly like honey or sage and my body doesn’t seem to like breaking down gin anymore, but I would try this pretty drink in a heartbeat.

4. Street Food – The K-Dawg from Halifax’s The Food Wolf

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We’re reorganizing our boards on Pinterest and the newest board to follow is Street Food. There’s not much in there now, but the first thing we pinned was this baller hot dog from The Food Wolf via Eat Halifax.

5. Local – Toronto: LIT Espresso Bar

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Ama, Simon and I signed up for one of LIT’s free weekly coffee tastings a few months back. Our week ended up being cancelled because the dude who facilitates them was in New Zealand for the world barista competition. We weren’t mad though! We got to sit and have what was my very first sip of joe using the Chemex method.  See more photos here.

 

Fat Girl Gone Vegan

Hi, I’m Traci and I eat and make vegan food! Now, I’m not going to call myself vegan. I don’t eat meat, but I haven’t given up the whole cheese thing. However my boyfriend is vegan, so every meal I make for both of us is vegan. (Except that one time I put honey in our smoothies. I was uneducated, I didn’t know!)

I felt inspired the other night, so I went a little crazy. Baked marinated tofu, with creamy avocado pasta! We finished it off with strawberry-blueberry pie, topped with sweetened coconut cream!

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If you haven’t tried avocado as a pasta sauce, you’re missing out. The trick is to get the perfect avocado. You know, the ones where they almost taste like butter? Mash that thing up with some lime juice, olive oil, basil, garlic, and mix it in with cooked pasta. It’s so good!

We usually fry our tofu, or mash it to make fake egg salad (really good by the way) so I wasn’t sure if baking it would give me the results I was looking for. But holy crap, it was better than I expected! It was still soft on the inside, and slightly crispy on the outside! I made a simple marinade for it, and it matched the pasta pretty well. I added some hoisin sauce, olive oil, lime juice, basil, garlic, and a tiny bit of agave nectar to sweeten it. A little agave can go a long way. It made the tofu sweet, and even a little sticky, like a good BBQ sauce. A great protein to go with our pasta!

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And then the pie! I love pie. It’s sweet, but not too sweet. The crust is buttery and flaky, and the filling is luscious and rich. This was my first pie ever. I know it sounds crazy, but I’ve never made a pie crust before. And how does one make a vegan crust buttery and flaky?? Three words my friends: Becel Vegan Margarine. It has made my morning toast so much more enjoyable, not to mention my baking. The pie was filled with juicy strawberries and blueberries, and I finished it off with a drizzling of sweetened coconut cream! I don’t think they will be any pie left for my breakfast tomorrow.

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I definitely don’t cook like this all the time. It’s hot, and I’m lazy, and going to Harvey’s for a veggie burger is much easier. But it’s so rewarding when I can successfully make a tasty vegan meal that even non-vegans will love!