A few years ago I visited a friend who was living in the genteel English city of Bath. We had lunch together with her four-year-old daughter. I was amazed to see the little girl tucking into carrots, blueberries, broccoli and even spinach. I can't get my children to eat anything that is remotely healthy and if it is green, forget it.
"How do you do it?" I asked her.
"I tell her it's 'Beauty Food'," she replied. "Works every time."
Beauty food is food that makes you beautiful. As opposed to food that does nothing but fill a need (emotional or otherwise) such as a doughnut. Garlic,for example, may not help you to make friends, but it is good for reducing wrinkles. It apparently restores skin tissue.
And instead of buying expensive creams containing Retin A you can munch on carrots, which do the same job of protecting the outer layer of your skin.
Creams with collagen in them are a waste of money; collagen cannot be applied topically. You need to ingest it (or inject it). So eat citrus fruitsor drink citrus drinks because citrus fruits form collagen. If you're after smoother skin bake a sweet potato or two. These spuds are extremely high in vitamin A so are a great source of skin food.
If you suffer from spots then you should try some wheatgerm. Add it to your hot chocolate, cereal, yoghurt, whatever you like. It's a miracle worker.
The renowned anti-ageing expert Dr Nicholas Perricone has long advocated eating things that are antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. "Antioxidants can impede and even repair the damage to skin cells that come with ageing," Perricone writes in his book The Wrinkle Cure. "Soft, radiant, younger-looking skin is the gratifying result." He suggests we live off foods such as blueberries (great if you live in Scandinavia or Canada but expensive here) and wildsalmon, which is rich in omega-3 essential fatty acids. Omega-3s help to keep skin young, supple and radiant. Wild salmon also contains astaxanthin, a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. If you're not a fish person then nuts are a good substitute, especially almonds and walnuts. He also advocates leafy greens, asparagus and at least an apple a day.
If you're feeling ambitious (or desperate) you can try his wild salmon diet. You basically eat just that for a couple of weeks. Friends of mine have tried it and swear they looked 10 years younger, although they never want to see another salmon.
Bring on the beauty food, I say. I'm convinced. Now I just need to convince my children.
Jo Malone Lime, Basil and Mandarin cologne
We at M are big fans of Jo Malone, mostly because her fragrances smell good enough to eat. This Lime, Basil and Mandarin cologne is another example that doesn’t disappoint. Though the word “cologne” suggests it’s intended more for men, this is a scent that can be shared or in fact fought over. It has a light, zesty smell that immediately conjures up memories of balmy sunny days, and the scent lasts on your skin for about six to eight hours. This is possibly the perfect early spring fragrance as well as a wonderful mood enhancer. But don’t save this one for a holiday; treat yourself at your desk.
Jo Malone, Dh440, Dubai Mall, 04 339 9807; Mall of the Emirates, 04 341 7057