Geri Giagnorio: Three Greens To Eat Today For Better Skin
A visit to licensed Aesthetician, Certified Nutritional Consultant, Make-
After spending 2 hours on our skin, she encouraged us to email questions or text her photos of the ingredients on skincare products, so she can determine if the products are good for our skin. A visit to her is a game changer, as is the information she shares below.
INTERVIEW WITH GERI G.
What is your approach to skincare?
A. Skincare is truly more than what the eye sees. I look at the story the skin reveals by its texture, color, clarity and sensitivity. I’ve been able to help clients with many types of skin issues, so I firmly believe there’s no such thing as a hopeless skin problem. Unfortunately, many skincare outlets focus solely on treating symptoms. I believe not only in correcting the symptoms, but preventing them from recurring in the future.
Education is the key to good skin; knowledge is your best investment. I try to give both to my clients and as well as to those who come to me for advice.
What are nutritional greens and why are they essential in a healthy diet?
A. Nutritional greens are the powerhouse of improving and maintaining an alkaline body. Being alkaline is the key to looking and becoming a healthier you. Kamut Wheatgrass, Cracked Cell Chlorella, Blue Green Algae (spirulina), Alfalfa and Barley are the most nutritious nutritional greens on earth. I feel that having these greens in addition to a healthy diet of protein, vegetables and water will improve anyone’s health and skin.
How important is it to eat organic greens?
A. Organic is always best. If you eat non-organic foods, you risk consuming harsh chemicals. Remember, whatever the plants were fed, you are being fed. Same goes for any flesh-food like eggs, animals and fish. As for nutrients? I would say eating the foods closet to their raw state will help ensure that you receive and digest more viable nutrients compared to cooked foods.
What are the 3 most important greens for healthy skin?
A. Kamut Wheatgrass, Cracked Cell Chlorella and Blue Green Algae. As for actual table food, I eat Kale, Spinach, Parsley and Pumpkin Protein Powder (made from pumpkin seeds) on a daily basis, for a nutritious, tasteful and satisfying meal.
How long does it take for someone to see a difference in their skin once they begin consuming daily greens?
A. If taking more concentrated powdered greens the body will respond very fast. Many people don’t realize how acidic their bodies have become. Powdered greens correct the acid-alkaline balance very rapidly. The catch is that you never want to eliminate acidic foods, especially foods rich in protein. Your body needs those foods for alkaline minerals to repair tissues and aid in proper nutrition. That is why I am not a proponent of juicing. It completely negates the process, creating more issues than it solves. People who can metabolize acid foods will have fewer skin issues than those who cannot. But if someone is suffering from acidity, there are ways to help and control it so it does not interfere with the health and integrity of the skin.
What can replace traditional sweets for desserts?
A. I recommend that you never say never, or no, to a taste of a once a year bite of sugar or two. One of my favorite things to bring to potluck parties is a tray of oat bran shortbread cookies with coconut cream topping and shredded walnuts on top. Other healthy treats include “skinny raw” fudge, and raw cookie bars. To make your own chocolate bar, just use carob or cocoa powder, coconut meat, coconut oil and vanilla. Stick it in the freezer and you instantly have amazing decadent chocolate! I have recipes in my book as well, “Eating For Better Skin: 10 Simple Steps.”
You analyze a person’s skin and determine a specific plan for each individual. Is good skin more than just clear skin?
A. As babies, we all have perfect skin because of an abundance of hyaluronic acid. This ingredient endows soft, dewy skin as well as mobile, flexible joints. As we age, the body stops producing this ingredient. My GLOW Moisturizer product contains hyaluronic acid, enabling you to restore its qualities to your skin.
Next, we focus on protein intake which should be around 40 grams for women and 70 grams for men. Without protein, the body can’t keep up making collagen, which naturally starts to decline. Supplementing collagen is great, as well has having regular LED, Oxygen Treatments and Ultherapy, since these all assist the body in making its own collagen. I recommend proteins that are least acidic.
Also important is WATER, WATER, WATER! I can’t stress enough that drinking more water will help all aspects of the skin from the inside out. It will aid in digestion, brain clarity, mood, and, of course, internal and external hydration levels.
“Think about what a baby needs – food, water and sleep. We never stop needing those essentials, no matter how old we are.”
You mentioned that drinking coffee regularly can make a person’s skin acidic. Why?
A. Coffee is acidic in nature, but I don’t try to force people to give it up. I know for some, it is a part of their mental being. For many people, coffee acts as a springboard to starting a productive day. It opens the capillaries to allow for more oxygen to the brain, which can help people think more clearly and feel more productive. End result: for many people, coffee is a happy drug.
“However, to compensate for the acidic effect coffee has on the skin, I ask clients to drink at least 4 glasses EXTRA of water for every 8oz of coffee they drink.”
Yes, that means you will be drinking a lot of water throughout the day. But it’s necessary if you want to drink coffee without giving up the quest for health and beautiful glowing, dewy skin.
What are your tips and some skincare products to fight stress and stay healthy?
Rule #1: Easily digestible foods are the best way to keep stress away from all parts of your body and mind. Don’t eat when you are the least bit stressed. Food won’t break down properly and you will have more stress on your body than before you ate.
Rule #2: Eat to be healthy, not to be social or to make someone else happy!
My personal daily routine:
I start each morning with Essential Daily Greens with Probiotics & Digestive Enzymes and wait 15 minutes. Then I eat 2 tablespoons of Raw Aloe by Herbal Raw Aloe Force, plus 1-2 tablespoons of Fresh Bee Pollen. My morning snack is my vegan meal replacement.
What I do for lunch, and advise my clients to do, is keep a huge bowl of salad already made in your refrigerator at all times. It’s there when you need it and there if you come home and have the munchies. I also recommend bringing a salad with you to a dinner party. Even if you are the only one that will be eating it, who cares, as you will be happy, healthy and proud of yourself for staying on the right track. The key is to always having options with you.
“Don’t expect others to be in your head of health.”
For an afternoon snack, have more greens or green tea. My favorite dinner is a big bowl of salad containing kale, spinach, parsley, celery, nutritional yeast, cucumber, cabbage, leeks and pumpkin seeds.
As far as my personal skin care, of course I have my preferences from my line. For stress breakouts, my go-to solution is Clearasil 4-Hour Breakout Treatment Creme. It contains 10% BP, but it is in a gentle formula, which should not make the skin irritated like most over-the-counter BP’s. Those I don’t recommend.
Finally, I recommend something which brings joy into your life. This is different for each of us, but it’s such an important part of self-care. Dance if you love to dance, or spend time with your spouse, your children, your animals-whatever lights that inner flame of happiness for you. As Sophia Loren once said, "beauty is how you feel inside, and it reflects in your eyes."
Geri Giagnorio is a licensed aesthetician, make-up artist, product developer and Certified Nutritional Consultant and Coach, who attributes her personal success to an epiphany that “real cellular repair occurs below the skin.” She practices in Los Angeles and Chicago.