Jennifer Hanway

Enliven Your Lightest, Brightest You

Jennifer Hanway is a Holistic Nutritionist, Bio Signature Modulation Practitioner and Certified Personal Trainer, originally from London but now living in Newton Centre and working in Back Bay, Boston.

Filtering by Tag: beauty

My Top Five: Beauty Boosting Foods You Already Have at Home

  Our Instagram and Facebook feeds are full of exotic looking superfood smoothies and acai/moringa/matcha/unicorn horn bowls, that promise glowing skin and endless energy, but what about the humble kitchen staples we all have in our refrigerator and panty?

There are many 'everyday' foods we already have at home that can deliver the same results as these 'superfoods', but that are easily accessible and a fraction of the price! Here are my top five everyday 'Glow For It' foods:


My favorite fruit, and I'm living proof that an apple a day does keep the doctor away!  Apples are a antioxidant powerhouse (they have the second highest levels of antioxidant activity of commonly consumed fruit in the US), containing host of phytochemicals such as quercetin, catechin, phloridzin, and chlorogenic acid.

How does this translate to beauty benefits? Quercetin acts an anti flammatory for the skin, reducing free radical and UVB damage, and it also has anti aging properties. Apples are also a great source of pectin, a soluble fiber found in the cell walls of plants. This type of fiber is super gut friendly (remember great gut health is one of the keys to great skin), has been shown to help balance gut bacteria, helps to keep you satiated, and has a detoxifying effect.

The key to getting the most of benefits from an apple - eat the skin as this is where the majority of the nutrients are housed. I love to munch on apples as a snack, and they are a staple of my green smoothies (including the skin) on a daily basis.

Apple Hearts
Apple Hearts


Where do I start with the beauty benefits of avocado? Full of wonderful monosaturated fatty acids (the good fat), avocados are a great source of oleic acid, an omega 9 fat that can help with lowering inflammation within the body. They contain lutein, an antioxidant that is important for both skin and eye health. Avocados are rich in fiber, Vitamin E which keeps skin cells strong and hydrated and B Vitamins that are essential for energy production, and that assist in lowering redness and inflammation in the skin.

Avocados are also a budget friendly beauty food as they are one of the 'Clean 15' - meaning you can buy conventionally grown avocados (as opposed to organically grown) as their thick skins are a great barrier to pesticides.

Something you may not know about avocados - you can actually eat the pit! The pit (or seed) is where you will find 70% of the avocados's antioxidants, and avocado pit oil can increase collagen formation, keeping skin young, firm and wrinkle free! A word of warning though - you need a heavy duty blender to handle these!

I eat avocados with my breakfast, throw in my smoothies, even use them as a face mask! I also love them as a dessert food - check out my Avocado and Cacao Mousse recipe here! 

green avocado on the dark wooden table
green avocado on the dark wooden table


Oats contain a double whammy of fiber - soluble and insoluble, both of which are fundamental to great gut health and digestion (a healthy gut is the foundation of beautiful skin). Although they are a carbohydrate they are have a very low glycemic load due to their high amounts of fibre and protein content, making them a great option for sustained energy throughout the day.

Their beauty benefits? They are rich in minerals, including manganese, which is important for healthy hair and vibrant hair color, iron, for strengthening hair and nails, and selenium which is essential for skin elasticity.

Oats are absolutely one of my staple foods, from traditional oatmeal, baking with oat flour, overnight oats and as a component of my go to beauty snack: Glow Bites!

Just like avocado, oats are also wonderful for your external beauty, and one of my favorite green beauty products to contain oat flour is from SW Basics:

on a wooden spoon oat flakes
on a wooden spoon oat flakes

Olive Oil

Olive oil has fallen out of fashion recently to its hip cousins coconut oil, ghee and grass fed butter. Whilst those are all wonderful options, olive oil still has a myriad of beauty benefits that we can enjoy on a daily basis.

Due to its high content of Omegas 3's, olive oil is a natural anti-inflammatory agent, which can help in reducing puffiness and redness in the skin, as well as improving body composition (the body's muscle mass to fat ratio). Its high in anti oxidants (including phenols) and Vitamin E which can protect the skin from harmful UVA rays and helps to strengthen skin membranes.

Olive oil is great for using in salad dressings and for drizzling on veggies - a little fat helps the body to absorb all the amazing vitamins and minerals from your nine (!) a day.

Not all olive oils are equal however, choose wisely and always pick an organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil for beauty betterment! Most importantly, save olive oil for post cooking only as heating it can alter its structure and can change it from an anti inflammatory to a pro inflammatory food source.

Olivenöl, Fleur de Sel und grüne Oliven, Draufsicht
Olivenöl, Fleur de Sel und grüne Oliven, Draufsicht

Sweet Potato

My number one when it comes to carbohydrates for beauty. The beautiful orange color is an indication of the high amounts of beta-carotene present, that converts to Vitamin A within the body. Also containing Vitamins B and C, these 3 vitamins keep skin smooth, ensure cell turnover, and regenerate collagen. They are also a low GL carbohydrate due to the huge amount of fiber they contain, ensuring an energy boost but not a blood sugar spike. Yams however are different from sweet potatoes, and are nutritionally inferior, so choose carefully! 

Some of my clients complain that sweet potatoes take forever to cook, but a great tip is that you can throw them in the slow cooker! Just wash and piece the skins, and throw in your crockpot on low for about 4 hours. You will then have perfectly cooked sweet potatoes that you can eat whilst warm, save for cold, or even freeze for another time.

If I'm in a rush post workout I love to throw cubes of frozen sweet potato into a vanilla protein smoothie for a beauty boosting blast that tastes like a milkshake!

Sweet potatoes season
Sweet potatoes season

And there is one extra booster that I have to mention: Water!

Water is such a simple component of beautiful skin that sometimes it gets forgotten about in these types of lists! Up to 60% of the human body is water, and, unlike the other foods in the list here we can feel and see the results of not drinking enough water in a matter of hours.

Consider a water goal of 0.7 ounces per pound of body weight, and even more if you train hard or to tend to be a ‘sweater’!

Weekend Wellness Round Up 11/14 - Focus on the Well Summit 2015

Put the kettle on for turmeric tea and curl up in your cosy chair because its time for this weeks Weekend Wellness Round Up!

Read More

Weekend Wellness Round Up

Grab a coffee or a green juice and take a seat on the couch! Every Saturday I will be posting links to five of my favorite blog posts of the week in the fields of nutrition, health, fitness, wellness, beauty and self care to help you learn even more about these topics, and to introduce you to voices in the wellness sphere you may not have heard of... Amy Myers MD is a Functional Medicine doctor based in Austin, Texas. I have just finished reading her book, The Autoimmune Solution, and I learnt so much that I intend to implement in both my nutrition plan and that of my clients.

Danielle La Porte is like the strong, feisty, no B.S. big sister I wish I had. I first came across her work in her book The Desire Map, which focuses on setting 'goals with soul'. I have followed her ever since, and love this post with Kate Northrup about a topic that definitely falls into the 'self care' category: money.

Madeline Shaw is a fellow Brit who is having huge success in the UK and beyond. Her website is filled with beautiful photos and delicious recipes that prove that eating clean does not mean being deprived.

Hip and Healthy is another website from across the pond that I have had the pleasure of guest blogging for in the past. I love this article addressing lower back pain as I find this is a common thread among my training clients due to their sedentary jobs.

And finally, a little weekend fun! Ben Greenfield is a personal trainer and author with extensive experience in the fitness and wellness industry. I love his podcasts and always learn something. This post however, is something a little different than Ben's usual material, and is best read in private!

All Treats, No Tricks, from Brand I Love, Shamanuti

Beth was one of the first contacts I made when I moved to the area, I was consulting for a health food and supplement store at the time, and Beth came in as a customer. She began to tell me about her organic, locally made skincare range, and kindly gave me some samples to try. I was hooked! As an advocate of organic skincare I'd been disappointed with some of the brands I'd tried in the US as they lacked effectiveness, but the products from Shamanuti were beautifully packaged, smelt great, and made my skin look and feel amazing!

So of course I wanted to feature Shamanuti as one of the Brands I Love, and introduce you all to this wonderful range of face body, hair and make up products in my interview with Beth:

How and why was Shamanuti born?

The simple answer is that I saw a missed opportunity to celebrate and champion native American ingredients and their diversity in the United States.

Natural beauty sits at the intersection of my two greatest interests, science and creativity. I have always studied plants closely and observed that they are important

natural allies in healing. My professional work has been centered in the fine and decorative arts and this meeting point of nature and aesthetics resonated with me. A Shaman is a spiritual guide with expert knowledge of medicinal plants, so in the name Shamanuti, or Shaman + Beauty, what we're conveying is the spirit of beauty through natural healing.

Can you explain in your own words the importance of organic skincare?

Before I got into the field I used skincare products that left my skin stripped and suffocated. Now that I am educated about ingredients I have skin that is hydrated and breathing, and have no risk of toxicity or adrenal failure, not to mention scarring or other disfiguring possibilities which can be associated with some skincare. I'm not trying to cure cancer but I am trying to prevent it and I truly believe using some products can create carcinogenic effects, but that's me. I think I'm backed up by the Environmental Working Group's database, Skin Deep, but obviously everyone has to make his or her own choices about personal care.

One of the reasons I love your products is how well they work. Can you explain why Shamanuti's products are so effective?

A combination of smart formulation and highest quality ingredients. We also use minimal processing in order to employ the purest extraction methods, e.g., no denaturing at all and often cold processing using clay slabs to extract oils and juices in the most gentle way possible. As small batch manufacturers we can create product in this way and it makes all the difference.

How do you find the inspiration for your products? For example, I love your charcoal cleanser, how did that product come into being?

I am inspired by so much in the natural world as well as by some of the few iconic skincare products I have loved. One of these was the Erno Laszlo bar soap made from charcoal and sea mud, that developed a cult following over the years. I recognized how elemental and effective a combination of seaweed and charcoal could be but adapted them to a modern formulation. And all my formulas are inspired by the inherent virtues of original natural ingredients.

What is your personal favorite product/s in the range?

Not a fair question! All are favorites...depends on the needs of the day.

What is coming next from Shamanuti?

Gift bags as well as a Winter Retail Boutique. Our gifting is being organized around ingredient terroir: Ocean, Mountain, Meadow and Forest.

Any tips you can share with us for looking after our skin during these cold New England winters?

I think this is a great article to read as we move into winter.

I also think it's important to use face oil as a supplement for deep replenishment as temperatures drop and to use a slightly heavier moisturizer like our Golden Light Cream. Winter is also

a good time to alternate cleansers with one that's very creamy. We've created an oat and tea-based formula that will be ready in November.

As the seasons change its a great time to switch up your skincare routine, so I've teamed up with Shamanuti to offer my readers a 10% discount on all products available from the website. All you need to do type in the discount code SKINFIT at the checkout (offer vaild Oct. 30- Nov. 13).