A Quick Chat with Jolene Hart, Author of Eat Pretty
Jolene Hart is the author of a new, and much needed book, Eat Pretty. Her book is all about the foods we eat and how they can benefit our skin. A beauty editor, author and nutritional coach, she chatted with us and shared her favourite beauty food, her best beauty advice, and told us about having a baby and publishing a book - at the same time!
1/ Tell us a little about yourself and what you do.
Jolene: I wear many hats, but everything I do in my career focuses on one goal: teaching women to create a diet and lifestyle that helps them look and feel their best! I’m a health coach and founder of the coaching practice Beauty Is Wellness, a beauty editor, freelance journalist and author of Eat Pretty, and the Director of Education and Co-Founder of the Nutritional Aesthetics Alliance. I’m also a mom to a 19 month-old. I take an integrative approach to beauty— which I consider to be not only the radiance of our skin and the luster of our hair, but our energy, moods, and complete wellbeing— in all of my work, from coaching to writing to product reviews.
2/ What is something surprising about you that most people don't know?
J: Early in my career I worked as a red carpet reporter, interviewing celebrities for a weekly
magazine. I interviewed everyone from Madonna to Angelia Jolie— but it definitely wasn’t the
right job for me!
3/ What made you want to write your book, Eat Pretty?
J: I felt strongly that nutrition needed to be a part of our everyday conversation around beauty. For decades, products and treatments have been our go-to ways to ‘beautify’ ourselves, but there is an incredibly strong, direct link between beauty and our diet, mindset and daily habits. Working as a beauty editor, I wanted to create a more well-rounded look at what makes us look and feel beautiful, and empower women with the knowledge that they have enormous influence over their beauty. Of course, it was also a personal journey for me, since I spent almost a decade trying to find a product or treatment to cure my cystic acne and eczema before experimenting with changes to my diet— out of total desperation, which led me through a true skin transformation.
4/ Did you have any hurdles or challenges while writing your book?
J: Besides a short deadline, everything went pretty smoothly! But I know that’s because, by the time I wrote the book, the experimentation, groundwork, and much of the foundational research was already complete. One of the big challenges around the book was actually that it hit shelves in the same month that my son was born! Two of my babies entered the world at once, and the book didn’t get much of my attention for quite awhile afterward. Fortunately, it was okay on its own.
5/ What is your #1 favourite and most effective beauty food?
J: I have to say lemons; they’re such a fabulous beauty food. I always have a bowlful in my fridge for use primarily in dressings and in my daily ritual— warm lemon water with fresh turmeric and ginger. Lemons are cleansing to the liver, high in collagen-boosting vitamin C, and highly alkalizing, to help balance the many acidic foods in the average diet. Daily lemon water is one tiny step toward more radiant skin that I recommend to many of my clients.
6/ What is one thing that anyone could do today to better their skin?
J: Slow down, breathe deep and de-stress. Create an opportunity for self-love and self-care. And, of course, skip the sugar and processed foods.
7/ Do you have any advice for shopping and cooking healthy beauty foods?
J: Go with what’s in season. It’s incredible how the foods that are fresh in any given season directly address the primary needs of your skin and body during that season. For example, we’re about to enter the fall season, and our skin has seen some stress from sun, heat, chlorine and salt water. But we have beta carotene-rich squash and pumpkin in season, foods that deliver skin-healing, balancing vitamin A. Apples are also in season, and they are naturally cooling and detoxifying as we move toward winter. Each season of the year offers unique skin and beauty benefits.
8/ What beauty-filled recipe are you totally into right now?
J: I’ve been making smoothies with raw beets for a few weeks now, and I just continue to crave them. Beets have an incredible range of beauty benefits, from support of detoxification and lymph flow to a boost in the antioxidant glutathione, to sun defense and a good dose of anti-aging vitamin C. They are one of my beauty foods of the moment!
9/ As a nutritionist, do you have any guilty pleasures you indulge in?
J: I definitely have a sweet tooth, and I love baking, so I try hard to come up with recipes for sweets that will satisfy me and remain skin-friendly. Dark chocolate, of course, is always a guilty
pleasure, but it has skin benefits when it’s at least 70% cocoa and low in sugar.
10/ Any skincare tips or favourite natural products to share?
J: I think regular, gentle exfoliation is so important to maintain glowing skin at different ages and in varying climates. I love raw honey masks or natural enzyme exfoliants, which loosen dead skin cells and smooth skin without the need for scrubbing. Some of my favorite masks for gentle exfoliation are Tata Harper Resurfacing Mask, Laurel Whole Plant Organics Honey Berry Enzyme Mask and Naturopathica Pumpkin Purifying Enzyme Peel.