My Week in Food: Dr Stefanie Williams

21 July 2014
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My Week in Food: Dr Stefanie Williams

My book ‘Future Proof Your Skin - Slow down your biological clock by changing the way you eat’ , features the ground-breaking FutureFood Plan.

Over the years, I have been painstakingly researching the scientific literature on how to slow down our skin's ageing process at a cellular level. International research confirmed that it’s not all about the set of genes you have been dealt with, but that the correct type of lifestyle can significantly slow down skin ageing (and a lot of it is quite the opposite of common sense 'healthy' eating!). However, I was even more intrigued to find that this this 'skin-friendly' lifestyle can not only make us look younger, but also healthier overall and can even prolong our life span! I was hooked and determined to put a system into practice, which combines skin, health AND longevity, essentially fusing Aesthetic Dermatology with true Anti-Ageing Medicine.

Once I assembled a comprehensive system based on the outcomes of my research, I started changing my own lifestyle accordingly. After only a few months, I started seeing impressive changes and can now honestly say that I have never felt better in my life. My skin looks great (a photographer told me last week that I look younger than two years ago, when she last photographed me - and she didn’t even know anything about my lifestyle changes!) and I am hardly ever ill now.

‘My Week in Food’ aims to give some insights into my eating plan and the recommended foods that I eat (and don’t eat…) in order to prevent premature skin ageing and (hopefully) live longer. Intrigued? Then read on...

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For breakfast today I had mixed nuts (lots of good fats! I like to soak them in water overnight to reduce phytic acid content), organic blueberries (low in sugar and rich in antioxidants) and full-fat sheep yoghurt hidden underneath (I prefer sheep yoghurt because it contains A2 protein, rather than the A1 protein in standard cow’s milk). I don’t have much dairy, but when I do, I always go for full-fat…

Was in clinic the whole day, so in the morning I quickly threw together whatever I found in the fridge for lunch: two boiled eggs, one avocado pear, olives, red pepper and cucumber. Sprinkled some pine nuts over it and drizzled with olive oil, salt and pepper. I use lots of olive oil on my cold dishes – love the taste, but also because it contains antioxidant polyphenols and beneficial monounsaturated fats. My diet is very high in good fats, as our skin needs fat. A low-fat, high processed carbohydrate diet is the worst thing you can do for your skin (and general health for that matter).

Grain-free battered cod for dinner (I used ground nuts instead of flour). Served with this interesting vegetable called samphire (plus some mushrooms) – tastes very salty and is perfect to accompany fish. I just fried this in some coconut oil. Coconut oil is one of my favourite oils for cooking – stable at higher temperatures and contains beneficial middle-chain saturated fatty acids. I advise my patients against using omega-6 rich polyunsaturated oils (such as sunflower oil and other crop and vegetable oils), as we have too much omega-6 in our diet as it is. Omega-6 rich polyunsatured fatty acids are inheredly unstable and can be pro-inflammatory.

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I am a big fan of intermittent fasting for anti-ageing purposes (it improves cell repair). I have been doing it for a couple of years now (twice weekly for 24 hours each) and I love it. Today was one of my fast days.

That means I didn’t have anything to eat until dinner (no breakfast and no lunch). However, I drank lots throughout the day (water and unsweetened teas). I also try to get some variety by adding flavours to my water. This one is one of my current favourites: filtered water with lemon and a bit of cucumber - tastes much better than it sounds!

After getting home from clinic in the evening, I had salmon with a huge pile of cavolo nero - black cabbage (courtesy of my husband Jay, who was cooking today), plus some raw carrots and tomatoes on the side. I tend to eat carrots raw if possible, as their GI (glycaemic index, i.e. impact on your blood sugar level) is lower that way. Higher blood sugar levels equal accelerated ageing…

As a treat for dessert I had one of these homemade, sugar-free chocolate lollies (extra virgin coconut oil and cocoa butter, raw cacao powder, pure powdered vanilla bean, a pinch of cinnamon and xylitol to sweeten). Raw cacao powder is packed full of health promoting compounds such as antioxidant flavonoids – great for our skin!

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Had a day full of meetings all over town (and some patients in between for good measure). So had to grab some lunch on the high-street (not easy when following my FuturApproved food plan, but do-able!). This was my selection from Pret-a-Manger: tomato soup as a starter, then crayfish salad, and naked nuts for dessert. Also had an unsweetened tropical green tea. Then took a couple of simple hard-boiled eggs as a snack for later. Glad to see that there are now some high street shops starting to offer clean, truly healthy food for on the go (forget sandwiches!).

For dinner, I made this modified Bolognese sauce from organic pork and beef mince with courgette and aubergine. On the side, green asparagus. Instead of ‘normal’ rice I made FuturApproved ‘cauliflower rice’ by briefly frying grated cauliflower in some macadamia nut oil. I always try to make the vast majority of food on my plate vegetables – they have been shown in scientific studies to improve the appearance of our skin and are of course longevity friendly too.

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For breakfast I had scrambled egg with a mixed salad today. I love adding organic blueberries to my scrambled egg (but don’t fry them with the eggs, otherwise they will get all mushy!), as it makes the dish taste less savoury (I am not a fan of savoury stuff for breakfast).

Today is my second 24-hour fast this week, so no food after breakfast (this time I do ‘inverse’ fasting, i.e. no lunch or dinner, only breakfast). Had lots of unsweetened green and white tea (high in antioxidants and great for our skin and for longevity also). I was seeing patients in clinic the whole day, so because I didn’t have my usual lunch break, I locked myself in the consultation room and did the 20min. ‘Future Proof Your Skin’ meditation – so refreshing!

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Lunch today was this avocado, anchovy and caper salad. I adore avocado pears – full of good fats – great for our skin and longevity.

Friday evening – my favourite time of the week! While my family treated themselves to some Papa John’s Pizza, I made my own FuturApproved pizza: the base was grain- and sugar-free (made with coconut and almond flour). As toppings I chose mushrooms, yellow pepper and anchovies (seems to be an anchovy day…). I like them anyway, because they contain complete protein and are low in toxins, as they are low in the nautical food chain). Our body can’t really store protein in meaningful amounts, so we need to make sure to eat sufficient protein on a daily basis.

For dessert I made sugar-free strawberry ice-cream (organic strawberries and double-cream, powdered vanilla bean and some birch wood derived xylitol). I like to use xylitol as a sugar replacement, as it has very little impact on my blood sugar level, is a prebiotic and has even been shown to increase collagen content in the skin.

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Was invited to Wagamama’s for lunch. As I don’t eat noodles (I like my carbohydrates to come from lovely, nutrient-dense vegetables and non-processed foods like sweet potatoes), I chose this ‘Lobster Super Salad’ with mixed leaves, shredded pink cabbage, carrots, cucumber, fried shallots, chillies and coriander cress as my main. As a starter I had grilled pork belly, red onions, and beansprouts, ready to be wrapped in a baby gem lettuce.

We had Jay’s family visiting in the afternoon, so I needed a cake! Because I don't eat sugar or grains, I baked this FuturApproved chocolate cake with coconut and almond flour. Plus raw cacao powder to get a chocolatey flavour, xylitol to sweeten, eggs and the usual suspects. Served with organic raspberries. Was very popular…

For dinner we enjoyed a barbecue in the garden – variety of grilled meats and fish, served with different salads. Lots of kids happily running around – they particularly loved the cherries after dinner.

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Such lovely weather this weekend – had to have a barbecue again. This is my plate with grilled pork, two chicken pieces and a mixed salad. Added olive oil, raw apple vinegar, salt, pepper and dried chervil to season (plus some roasted seeds).

Lastly, it’s strawberry season! I made some sugar-free chocolate for my kids Elias, Cyrus and Kaia – and me… (recipe similar to the chocolate lollies above). Tastes exquisite drizzled over fresh strawberries!