As we progress into the colder months, the change in weather may also lead to a change in the condition of our skin. The changes to our skin health may be caused by the drop in temperature, and/or changes in our routine during the winter months.
At Kurami, we aim to provide nourishment to our beloved customers through our delicious and nutritionist-approved meal paths. However, to take our mission one step further, we want to advocate what the importance of finding balance and building a positive relationship with food has for our health. We partnered with psychodermatologist, Dr. Alia Ahmed, in our series “The Beauty of Balance” where she and Kurami’s nutritionist discuss the importance of finding balance in food and lifestyle, and the impact that this has on the skin.
We return with another Beauty of Balance Instagram Live where Kurami’s nutritionist and Dr. Alia discuss their favourite ingredients and recipes to support their skin.
G: Good morning, Dr. Alia! We are pleased to have you back for another episode of our Beauty of Balance Series. This is a passion project, that stems from our shared belief in a holistic understanding of the body. During this series, we will uncover different topics that all point to the different ways in which skin and nutrition are intrinsically related. This week, we will be focusing on our favourite recipes for skin health. Before we begin, let us introduce ourselves. I am Georgine, Kurami’s nutritionist. In my role as a nutritionist I work closely with the kitchen to deliver a wide variety of meal items for our customers, to make sure that they are as exciting and as seasonal as possible. Dr. Alia, can you please introduce yourself to our new viewers, and would you be able to describe your role as a psychodermatologist?
I am a dermatologist, and I have a special interest in chronic skin conditions, as well as the psychological impact of these skin conditions; I marry the two terms together, explaining my title as a psychodermatologist.
G: We will be discussing ingredients and recipes today, all of course linked to skin health! As we have discussed in our previous Beauty of Balance Instagram Lives, nutrition has a large role to play in managing skin health. Would you like to explain more about treating the skin through a more holistic lens?
This is a topic that I am personally interested in, however it is commonly led by patients. I notice that people do not solely want the doctor to prescribe them with a medical treatment, they want to learn more; with regards to their diet and their lifestyle. It is because of the patient's questions, as well as my own interest, that I began to research this further, and now I practice a more holistic approach, alongside my medical approach.
I now ask patients questions about their diet, lifestyle, sleep, work atmosphere, and so much more. These questions can be quite prolonged and personal. When I know more about how the patient is living day to day, I am able to get to the crux of the problem and treat them more effectively.
G: What are your favourite easy recipes or ingredients for those who are looking to eat more nutritiously in order to support their skin?
Firstly, what I usually advise to my patients is hydration! You can incorporate this when cooking and altering recipes by including high-water content foods. In terms of water intake, it may not be exciting to think about having to drink 2 litres of water, so what I enjoy doing is incorporating lemon juice into a glass of warm water; this a fun way to begin the day with hydration. I also advise my patients to bring water with them everywhere that they go; this can encourage you to drink more water throughout the day. You can also flavour the drinks that you have. What I love, personally, is a blend of almond milk with a natural sweetener; I use date sugar, and a dash of cinnamon. Nuts are amazing for our skin as they contain natural oils, alongside a range of vitamins such as Vitamin A, C, and E. This drink can be consumed in the evening to help you wind down before sleeping.
I also like to make a quick bowl of porridge in the morning. I use a blend of oats, chia seeds, and nuts. I usually use plant-based milk. I top this bowl with blueberries and nut butter, as these ingredients are filled with skin-supporting nutrients, and natural sugars. Walnuts are also in season this time of the year, and they have supporting properties for the skin. You can use this as a delicious porridge topper as well!
A: As a nutritionist, what ingredients do you believe are important for not only maintaining skin health, but overall wellbeing?
Water is definitely important; when we are drinking more water, adding more water whilst cooking our meals, or simply increasing our daily water intake through the foods that we eat, this can also help us feel fuller for longer whilst maintaining a lower energy density. Overall it can contribute to maintaining nourished skin.
We love plant milks and nut butters at Kurami, and these ingredients are also easy ways to make meals much more exciting. We have many different yoghurt pots created using plant milks as part of our delicious meal plan, which we regularly update.
Additionally, I believe that we should focus on the idea of making use of our ingredients more intelligently; minimising food waste, and re-imagining how we can use our foods to incorporate them in meals, making them as vibrant and nourishing as possible.
G: We know that having pre-prepared ingredients can be very handy, however the idea of eating a balanced diet usually goes hand-in-hand with taking up time. I believe this is not always true. How do you help patients understand this?
I think the best way to advise others is talking about your own experience! I love freezing foods; I freeze any food that I can! This is one of the many tactics that I share with my patients. Meal planning is also great, as well as eating the same variety of meals as this can lead you into a routine.
I also recommend adding fun flavours to certain meals, to make it more appealing to certain patients. For example, a salad: I love dressing, and I usually mix olive oil, balsamic vinegar, mustard, salt, pepper, and shallots together to serve with my greens. I leave this in the fridge and it lasts me for at least 3 days.
I also have a wall planner to help me with my meal planning! I write what meals I am going to have from Monday to Friday, which may sound strange, but when you practice little habits such as these, it can make life so much easier.
G: At Kurami, we deliver chef-crafted, nutritionist-approved meals to doors around London! We have also created a special meal path for Christmas Eve filled with delicious, nutritionist-approved Christmas classics. Would our service be something that you would recommend to your patients in order to help support their skin health, and what are your 3 top tips with regards to skin health during the winter?
This sounds delicious, absolutely! Staying on the topic of holistic health, our skin regenerates at night and it follows a natural rhythm—it has a waking and a sleeping cycle. Whilst sleeping, your skin is getting rid of the damage and creating new skin cells, therefore getting the right amount of sleep, as well as sleeping at the right time, is so important; I recommend at least 8 hours of interrupted sleep.
I also recommend hydrating yourself well, through both foods and fluids.
Additionally, eat the right foods for you and maintain a balanced diet. Eating an abundance of vibrant foods that support the correct functioning of the gut is beneficial for your skin health, as well as your overall well being.
As we know, nourishing ingredients and foods can benefit the health of your skin, however there are many more factors that come into play. Hydration, sufficient sleep, and an organised routine can be just as vital as eating an abundance of nutrient rich foods. It all comes down to balance.
KURAMI is a premium meal delivery service with a unique focus on gut health. All KURAMI meals are nutritionist approved, and chef crafted, to ensure clients receive balanced and delicious meals ready to eat, right at their doorstep.
Dr Alia sees NHS patients in the Frimley Health Foundation Trust. She consults privately at The Bridge Clinic (Maidenhead) and Epsom Skin Clinic. Please click here to find out more about Dr Alia, or follow her on instagram here.