Lee (Living Luxe Gluten Free, 2015) combines extensive research, inspiring photos, and a build-your-own-meal approach to counter the effects of aging in this wellness book.
At first glance, this book’s many pages of research and explanations may appear excessive to readers who are just looking for a quick fix for aging skin. But Lee’s logic and analysis—combined with a personal history of tanning beds, sun worship, and polluted city air—are organized, entertaining, informative, and, in the end, convincing. She structures her book around “The Six Principles of Eating for Young Skin,” including “Anti-oxidation,” “Anti-inflammation,” “Pro-Collagen/Pro-Elastin,” “Pro-hydration,” “Anti-stress,” and “Non-allergenic.” The author cites studies, offers charts, graphs, and tables, and lays out a plan for skin improvement designed to provide measurable results, including “a 39% increase in skin microcirculation…9% increase in skin hydration…[and] 16% increase in skin density.” After establishing a sound, scientific, and general approach to better eating to support a healthier life (including eating more oats and drinking more tea), the book provides detailed recipes designed to make such changes in culinary habits seem attractive, necessary, and possible. She aligns “flavor ‘wants’ with…health needs” to provide structure and flexibility to her plan; her “Build Your Own” charts use core ingredients as bases for fast meals and offer numerous options to provide variety. A month’s worth of daily meal plans offers a place to start, and Lee divides further recipes into logical chapters (“Beverages,” “Lunches,” “Afternoon Snacks,” and so on). The recipes cleanly present lists of ingredients next to detailed instructions, professional photographs, and detailed nutritional information; “Science & Nutrition” extras follow with citations. Recipes such as “Procollagen Sweet Potato & Eggs” provide a level of detail that will be helpful to new cooks, but experienced cooks will easily find the recipes’ unusual elements and may even pick up a tip or two along the way. The final chapter of skin treatment recipes is truly the icing on the cake. Lee’s thoroughness and willingness to “dive into…studies and distill my answers from what the research tells me” mean that readers won’t have to do so.
A beautiful, highly specific guide to achieving better skin.