Michael van Straten
Michael van Straten

Eat Yourself Gorgeous For The Summer

. . . It’s Easier Than You Think!

How the right food can help prevent skin damage, improve hair, strengthen nails and zap those wrinkles.

Your eyes may be the mirror of your soul, but health and beauty are the reflection of what you put on your plate and in your cup and glass.

I was lucky enough to meet Julie Christie during the 60s and she’s even more beautiful today thanks to her interest in healthy eating. As a practitioner and thanks to my work in journalism and my own radio programme, I’ve met many of the world’s most radiant women.

Naturally it isn’t hard to be radiant if you’re young and beautiful, but the most striking are the older women who just exude a magical type of radiance. A lot of it is always due to their personal energy and magnetism, but beautiful skin reflects a healthy attitude to food.

Most memorable were women like Goldie Hawn, off on holiday in the Spanish hills for her annual mind and body detox; Raquel Welch who on her fiftieth birthday said that the sexiest part of any woman was her brain – but then she could afford to say that couldn’t she; the wonderful Angela Ripon whose legendary legs have skin as good that on her face; Tova Borgnine who radiates calm, peace and beauty.

What you need are foods which help skin and hair, so eat two avocadoes a week – no they’re not fattening but rich in vitamin E and B vitamins – the second highest fruit source of B6. They are a good source of iron and phosphorous, one of the best fruit sources of protein, and the second highest fruit source of pantothenic acid. They are rich glutathione, a powerful antioxidant that protects your skin.

Get your oats every day from porridge or muesli; they’re great de-stressing foods – less stress, less wrinkles. They also contain silicon - important for maintaining collagen that fills out the shape of your face. Eat lots of cherries and strawberries for vitamin C and essential bioflavonoids that protect the tiniest blood vessels and prevent unsightly thread veins.

Protecting your joints, ligaments and muscles is a must as there is nothing as certain as pain to dull your natural radiance. Eat oily fish three times a week as they have a specific anti-arthritic effect. Have at least half a pint of soya milk, a portion of tofu or soya beans each day, the plant hormones counteract the problems of the menopause and protect against osteoporosis.

Eat tropical fruits like pineapple, mango, kiwi, paw paw and passion fruit for their vitamins and natural skin protective enzymes. Don’t forget spinach, kale and pak choi, for antioxidants and large amounts of carotenoids, which are also good for skin and eyesight – there’s nothing worse for crow’s feet than straining to read.

For many women the battle to manage work, children, shopping and housekeeping, means almost constant stress and fatigue. These are both enemies of your skin and youthfulness, but the one supplement that can help is the herb Rhodiola rosea.

Rhodiola, or golden root as it is often referred to in ancient legends, is well known for its hardy properties. With its striking yellow summer flowers, it thrives close to the Arctic Circle in the dry mountainous areas of Scandinavia, Siberia, Northern China and Canada. It is thought to help boost physical and mental health and such are its reputed powers that it is recognised as an official medicine in Russia and Scandinavia for treating fatigue, memory loss and poor concentration.

A traditional herbal medicinal product used for the temporary relief of symptoms associated with stress, such as fatigue, exhaustion and mild anxiety, it is available as Vitano, a standardised extract from www.schwabepharma.co.uk


Whether you use this as a routine regular beauty boost or you’ve just had a weekend of rich food and too much alcohol, it’s really worth the effort. If you have a juicer, use it; if not just mix the best juices you can buy.

On waking:

Hot water with a slice of lemon.

Hot water with lemon
A glass of Skin juice (carrot, apple and celery, fresh if you can)
A cup of mint tea

Mid morning:
Hot water with lemon

A large glass of tomato juice with garlic and spring onions
Mint tea

Mid Afternoon:
Hot water with lemon.

Mango, kiwi and pineapple juice
Nettle tea

Carrot and beetroot juice

Lime blossom tea

General Instructions

First thing in the morning make up a jug of parsley tea, (chop a good handful, add boiling water, and stand for ten minutes, strain and cover). Keep in the fridge and drink small glasses of this gentle diuretic, throughout the day.

You must keep your fluid intake up to a minimum of 1.5 litres a day, but no canned drinks.


Day One

This is a special rice day, and like fasting, Naturopaths use it as a cleansing treatment. First, prepare rice for the whole day. You’ll need 3 and a half oz dry brown rice cooked in a pint of water, or cook half in water and the other half in vegetable stock for a more savoury flavour.

3 oz cooked rice with 5 oz stewed apple flavoured with honey, cinnamon and grated lemon rind.
Hot water with lemon.

Mid morning:
Hot water with lemon.

3 oz cooked rice with 7 oz steamed vegetables - celery, leek, carrot, tomato, spinach, broccoli and shredded cabbage.
hot water and lemon.

Mid afternoon:
Hot water with lemon.

3 oz rice mixed with soaked dried apricots, raisins, sultanas, and the flesh of a pink grapefruit.
Hot water with lemon.

Bed time:
A cup of camomile tea with a teaspoonful of organic honey

Day Two:

An orange, half a grapefruit, a large slice of melon
A glass of unsalted vegetable juice
A cup of herb tea

Light meal:
A plateful of raw red and yellow peppers, cucumber, tomato, broccoli, cauliflower, celery, carrots, radishes and lots of fresh parsley. Add extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice.
A large glass of unsweetened fruit juice.

Main meal:
A baked sweet or ordinary potato with a large mixed salad with extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice. Lettuce, tomato, watercress, onion, garlic, beetroot, celeriac, fresh mint and any herbs you like.

A large glass of unsweetened fruit juice or unsalted vegetable juice.

Day Three

Sliced blood oranges and pink grapefruit. Low fat live yogurt, with a teaspoon of chopped nuts and a teaspoon of honey.

Light meal:
Scrambled eggs with mushrooms
Dried Fruit Compote

Main meal:
Peppers Stuffed with Rice and herbs
Large ripe paw paw

Day Four

Dried Fruit Compote with low fat live yoghurt and an orange.

Light meal:
Gratin of mushrooms and potatoes - no they are not fattening!

Main meal:
Tofu, Vegetable and Cashew Nut Stir Fry
Apricot and Almond crumble

Day Five

Hot whole wheat rolls with a little butter. A banana.

Light meal:
Risotto of fresh vegetables and parmesan

Main meal:
Strips of carrot, celery, cucumber, fennel, sprigs of cauliflower with hummus and Tsatsiki.

Meat balls (or Vegeballs), in tomato sauce.

Day Six

Dried Fruit Compote with low fat yoghurt.

Light meal:
Half an avocado, sliced, with watercress, tomatoes, cucumber, on mixed leaves with a generous squeeze of lemon juice.
Crusty whole wheat roll.

Main meal:
Vegetable soup.
Root vegetable and chickpea Casserole with chillies and spices.

Day Seven

An orange, apple and banana. Low fat live yogurt.

Light meal:
A large mixed salad.

Main meal:
Green lentils cooked with onions, mushrooms and garlic then sprinkled with grated cheese, topped with sliced tomatoes and put under a hot grill.

Dried or fresh apricots cooked with cinnamon and honey

Day Eight

A large glass of fresh orange and grapefruit juice. Cold apricots (yesterday’s) with low fat live yogurt, 1 tablespoon oats and three brazil nuts.

Light meal:

Pasta salad with bean sprouts, spring onion, soy sauce and fresh ginger

Main meal:
Homemade Beef and Sage Burgers with tomato and mozzarella salad
Orange, kiwi and apple slices with a little cream.

General Advice

To guarantee maximum gorgeous effect, these supplements will help.

Antioxidant Selenium with vitamins A, C and E
Beta-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthine and other carotenoids
Yakult for gut-friendly bacteria
Ginkgo biloba for thread veins, varicose veins and poor circulation
Evening primrose oil for dry scaly skin and eczema
Magnesium for nail problems
Silica and Saw palmetto for thinning hair.


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