Virgin Coconut Oil
SIMPLY DIVINE BOTANICALS
C-Weed Sample Pack
Clearlight Infrared Essential Sauna
Natural Bristle Body Brush
Sarma Melngailis' Essentials
The phrase “beautiful inside and out,” transcends beyond the figurative notion. What we put in our bodies—directly by the food we eat, superficially by the products we slather on our skin—has a clear correlation to our appearance. It’s undeniable that a diet high in raw foods leads to optimal health, including ideal weight and luminous skin.
We recently caught up with raw food pioneer Sarma Melngailis, owner of Pure Food and Wine (New York City’s first upscale raw food restaurant) and One Lucky Duck juice bars and boutique, and asked her to share her secrets on how to get glowing skin. She’s written two raw cookbooks about it after all: Real Food/Real World: 100 Recipes to Get the Glow and Living Raw Food: Get the Glow with More Recipes from Pure Food and Wine.
Read on below for our exclusive interview with Sarma where we discussed everything from her daily skincare routine to fitness regimen. Afterwards, scroll through the slideshow above to learn more about—and shop!—her go-to essentials.
How has eating raw and organic changed your life?
I always thought I was a pretty healthy eater, until I stumbled onto the idea of “raw” and tried it for what I thought was going to be a two week experiment. After only a few days, I already felt so much better. I slept better, I had much more energy, and it even felt like a fog was being lifted, like I was waking up. I also researched the topic and was so surprised I didn’t know about it earlier and wondered, why doesn't everyone eat this way all the time? I was 30 at the time and only wished I’d started earlier.
I’m also grateful for the way it’s opened up my life in so many other ways. I just live a cleaner life in general and am more aware of my choices and their impact.
What are you some of your daily essentials?
Virgin coconut oil, face the day and plump up the volume skincare products by Simply Divine Botanicals, Swan Greens Juice from One Lucky Duck, my infrared sauna, RMS’s "un" powder, a body brush and a rebounder. *Editors note: scroll through the slideshow above to read Sarma’s explanation for each.
What is your daily skincare routine?
I drink a big glass of filtered water with lemon as soon as I wake up every day. I also spray seaweed serum on my face first thing just because it feels so refreshing (my face wants a drink first thing too!). In the mornings, I sometimes don’t cleanse at all but when I do, I use something really gentle like S.W. Basics or Black Velvet. I use Simply Divine rose du Jour in the morning followed by a sunscreen, and RMS "un" cover-up. At night I use a heavier cream like Dr. Alkaitis night cream and then always an oil, whether it’s Dr. Alkaitis nourishing treatment oil, plain coconut oil, argan oil, or RMS beauty oil. I also use my skin brush before getting in the shower, and use coconut oil for shaving and as a body lotion. Or when I want something that smells really good, I love how now brown cacao body butter—it makes you smell like a Hershey’s kiss.
You’ve written two books on how to get glowing skin. What is your favorite juice and smoothie recipe to get the glow?
For juice, I always drink Swan Greens, probably three a day. It’s my favorite from our juice bars. Like everything we make, we use all organic ingredients. This one is made from cucumber, spinach, dandelion, grapefruit, pear, spearmint, tarragon, and yuzu. It’s has just a little bit of fruit sweetness to balance the “green.” I definitely don’t have time to juice myself so I always have a few bottles of this in my fridge.
For shakes, I like using a coconut water and fruit base. Papaya is really good for your skin (you can just mash it up and use it as an enzyme mask) but it’s great in shakes as well, with pineapple, strawberries, and of course a spoonful of coconut oil too. I always add a tiny pinch of Himalayan pink salt to my shakes and usually a touch of stevia and a pinch of vanilla powder.
Best beauty advice?
Everyone says things like “drink lots of water” or “wear sunscreen every day” but everyone knows that. The most entertaining beauty advice I ever got was more about appearances… my friend Rose-Marie from RMS Beauty once told me, “Honey, as you get older and your skin sags; remember, don’t ever be on top. You don’t want to be looking down at your man with a saggy face. Always be on the bottom.” Thanks Rose-Marie!
What is your fitness routine?
I see a trainer usually twice a week if I can for strength training, and I like running on the treadmill at the gym, or kickboxing, and taking my dog for long walks. He’s a pit-bull mix and needs a lot of exercise so that gets me out the door even when I don’t feel like it. The colder it gets out the more I use my rebounder indoors, and I have all kinds of free-weights lying around my office and home. So when I’m on a conference call or watching something on TV, I do sets of arm curls or other exercises. This sounds ridiculous, but I also do squats when I’m flossing and brushing. I’d have a tendency to rush through my oral hygiene too fast otherwise, so doing a certain number of reps means I’ll do a thorough floss/brush job too. It’s a win-win. I’m always trying to squeeze in exercise wherever I can since I don’t feel like I have as much time as I’d like to do a more regular routine.
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