Over the years, Willow Spa has stressed the importance of clean eating and its role in staying healthy. We are constantly challenging ourselves to try new foods & lifestyles that will better ourselves. Over the past few months we having been moving toward a plant based diet to boost our antioxidant intake and help protect our entire body from signs of aging.
We just love this meme! It really stuck out to us because some days we are more successful than others and, like anyone else, we also struggle with the temptation of cupcakes and other treats. We’ve been reading Eat Pretty, by Jolene Hart (more on this book in another post) and it’s been so inspiring to read about the science behind a plant based diet and how it positively affects your skin and hair.
This Cooling Cucumber Chickpea salad has been our favorite lately. It is so simple to make and really refreshing and delicious. Bonus: For those of you watching your spending, this salad is budget friendly too! It tastes good the next day, so it’s great as leftovers for lunch. Plus there are all these healthy benefits below:
Cucumbers: Both liver and kidney cleansing, cucumbers keep us hydrated and prevent water retention. They are rich in the beauty minerals silicon, magnesium and potassium, and Vitamin K. Make sure to buy these organic, because the skins are packed with Vitamin C and a good source of chlorophyll.
Tomatoes: This sun defense vegetable contains lycopene and beta-carotene, which are important in protecting our skin from UV damage, which is the main cause of wrinkles, lines, and age spots. Pairing tomatoes with olive oil, that is rich in Vitamin E, amplifies the damage protection of Vitamin C found in tomatoes.
Chickpeas: These legumes aid in the absorption of other beauty minerals. They are high in anti-oxidants and phytochemicals boosting our immune system. They are high in protein, fiber, folate and trace minerals, zinc, copper and manganese. Finally, chickpeas are a rich source of complex carbohydrates, which helps stabilize blood sugar levels. Excess sugar molecules attach themselves to collagen fibers, which causes them to lose their strength and flexibility, so the skin becomes less elastic and more vulnerable to sun damage, lines, and sagging.
Red Onions: Red onions contain the mineral chromium, which plays a key role in regulating the blood sugar in the body. So, like chickpeas, red onions help to prevent aging caused by excess sugar levels.
Cooling Cucumber and Chickpea Salad
1/4 cup red onion
1 can rinsed chickpeas
3 tablespoons of olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
Salt, pepper, garlic to taste
Chop up & throw together! The nice thing about this dish is its so refreshing & easy to make ahead. You can eat as is or it can be a nice side dish. During hot weather, when you just don’t want to turn on the oven or stove, this just may become your favorite salad. It has definitely been our go-to summer salad.