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How to Be More Beautiful In Six Short Weeks

The secret to looking and feeling younger is easier than you think.

If I told you that there was a simple, non-invasive, cheap procedure that could essentially turn back the hands of time, would you do it? I bet you would. Most women past their thirties want to be considered as someone who “doesn’t look even close to their age.”

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How to Be More Beautiful In Six Short Weeks

My “procedure” is an easy one. It won’t require you to buy an expensive cream or have a needle go anywhere near your face. It just means choosing wisely when it comes to all things that pass your lips. If you’re ready to not only look younger but feel younger as well, then you’re ready to rise to the occasion and try “eating pretty” for six weeks.

QUIZ: Do You "Eat Pretty?" Measure Today's Diet

Next to good genetics and staying out of the sun, diet remains one of the most important factors when it comes to looking youthful, regardless of age. Why the six-week time frame? It stems from a recent study in the journal PLos ONE.  Researchers ran two experiments and found that ingestion of carotenoids (the components that give fruit and vegetables their vibrant color) over the course of just six weeks was associated with “healthy looking” human skin color that participants found to be “attractive” in the opposite sex.

In addition to enhancing skintone, carotenoids also help to protect our tissues from oxidative stress. That means fewer wrinkles and less overall aging. Additionally, a 2009 study in the journal Molecular Nutrition and Food Research found that polyphenols (also found in large amounts in fruits and vegetables) may contribute to artery elasticity and better blood profusion to the skin.

MORE: Eat These Carotenoids For Glowing Skin

Yet again, it shows that better beauty is correlated to getting your fruits and veggies in. This may seem easy for some but downright daunting for others. For the latter, I say sneak your fruit and veggies into your diet instead. You can do it easily: Stir pureed spinach or kale into basic pasta sauce; mix sautéed mushrooms into turkey or black bean burgers; or make your own “fruit on the bottom” yogurt using my recipe below.

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How to Be More Beautiful In Six Short Weeks

Beautiful Berry Sauce Recipe

Puree in blender 1 cup frozen raspberries, blackberries, blueberries or strawberries with 1/2 teaspoon of agave nectar or honey and 1 teaspoon of chia seeds. Mix in with plain non-fat or low-fat yogurt and top with toasted almonds or walnuts—and you’ve got a gorgeous breakfast or snack that’s low in calories and sugars and high in fiber and beautifying ingredients.

Beauty can also come in the form of fat as well. I’m not talking about the fat that becomes solid at room temperature, but rather the fats the remains liquidy and beautiful at any temperature—mono- and polyunsaturated fats. You can find them in foods such as fatty fish, nuts and seeds. These fats may help our complexion look more youthful by keeping skin cells healthy, leaving us with hydrated, beautiful skin.

MORE: Five Beautifying Smoothie Recipes

Peanuts in particular may be one of the most beautiful foods around. They contain healthy monounsaturated fats, are low in carbohydrates and high in fiber and protein. They’re also easy to transport in your purse or gym bag for a quick snack. Instead of spending my money on expensive “energy bars” I make my own “peanut butter balls.” They’re cheaper, highly satisfying and provide me with the energy I’m looking for midday. If you’ve got dry, dull skin, try this recipe:

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How to Be More Beautiful In Six Short Weeks

Peanut Butter Balls Recipe

Start with a great tasting chunky or creamy natural peanut butter. Natural peanut butters are those that contain only peanuts or peanuts and salt as their ingredients. Mix in a small amount of dried fruit of your choice (I like unsulfured apricots because they are void of added sugars and colors). Then add in ground flax seed (this will help you sneak some omega-3 fatty acids into this snack) and a little agave nectar or honey. Form into 1 tablespoon balls and place in a glass container. Keep in the freezer until you’re ready to enjoy.

In the name of youthful skin and increased energy, are you ready to take the six week challenge?

MORE: Healthy Foods to Satisfy Your Cravings

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