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Salad recipes

Summer hydration salad with kombucha dressing

Prep time 20 minutes
serves 4 people

Photography by Tracey Creed
Recipe by Amandine Paniagua and Tracey Creed
Words by Tracey Creed

Published March 29 2024


Kombucha dressing
13 cup kombucha
juice of 1 lemon
12 cup olive oil
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, minced
sea salt to taste
cracked black pepper to taste
1 head of radicchio, leaves torn
2 grapefruits, roughly torn
4 heirloom tomatoes, thinly sliced
6 radishes, thinly sliced
1 cucumber, thinly sliced
1 red onion, thinly sliced
2 avocados, cubed


In a small bowl, whisk together the kombucha, lemon juice, olive oil, mustard, garlic, and salt and pepper until emulsified.

In a large bowl, add torn radicchio leaves, torn grapefruit segments, tomato, radish, cucumber, red onion and avocado and toss with enough dressing to lightly coat.

This meal will keep in the refrigerator for one extra day.

The transcendent quality of simple ingredients, prepared with attention and care, encourages us to choose the best and let the ingredients speak for themselves. Giant salads at dinnertime alkalise our system and cool us down from the inside out, flush the body of toxins and hydrate our systems, which is vital—our bodies are 60 per cent water, and every aspect of your health will benefit. Including your skin. Here, I am celebrating the vibrancy of our summer season. Ribbons of cucumber, juicy heirloom tomatoes, red onion, citrus, radicchio, radish and avocado are tossed with a simple dressing of olive oil and ginger kombucha. Adapt the ingredients to your regionality. I served this substantial mineral-rich salad alongside baked potatoes, and I have enjoyed it on other occasions. This is one salad that helps me feel my most hydrated.

Unlocking seamless digestion and achieving clear [or clearer] skin

As a hormonal acne sufferer, I understand controlling breakouts can be challenging. Root causes for acne vary from person to person, but imbalanced insulin and blood sugar levels, gut dysbiosis and poor digestion further complicate the problem and more often than not, multiple imbalances are going on simultaneously. Inefficient liver detoxification and dysregulated hormones, especially estrogen and progesterone imbalances and high levels of androgens, also contribute to acne. And don't forget stress can be a huge contributing factor.

Acne that is gut-related tends to show up on the forehead, temples and eyebrows. Irregular bowel movements, how well our elimination organs get rid of waste, and gut dysbiosis (gut infections and an absence of proper beneficial gut bacterias) can contribute to acne. Adequate blood levels of vitamins A, B-complex and magnesium can sometimes remedy digestive issues. A slight deficiency in these nutrients can mimic different digestive disorders. It’s not what you eat; it's what you absorb. If you have digestive issues, these nutrient deficiencies should be on your radar immediately.

Try to include six-plus cups of leafy greens daily

Make leafy greens the star of all your meals. Leafy greens contain sun energy, cleanse, and build healthy blood and their slow release of water into your system reduces inflammation. Beyond cellular hydration, they also deliver organic fibre that the microbes in our digestive systems thrive on, supporting elimination and promoting plump, resilient skin. Sun-synergising dark leafy greens such as spinach, kale, and collard greens are not only water and fibre-rich but also increase crucial Vitamin A (retinol, retinoic acid) in the body. Retinol converts to retinoic acid, then sends messages to retinoic acid receptors on fibroblasts specifically designed to receive a variety of messages—make more skin cells, make more collagen, induce collagen breakdown, normalise skin cell development, regulate sebum among many other things.

Eat healthy fats and high-quality oils

Look to healthy fats—like nutrient-dense oils, coconut, avocado, nuts, and seeds—to flood your body with Omega-3 fatty acids: three healthy fats (ALA, DHA, and EPA). These essential fatty acids shield the skin from below the surface, regulating inflammation, balancing hormones, supporting healthy cell membranes, and protecting the skin’s natural oil barrier. The vital Omega-3 fatty acids are EPA and DHA. These two fatty acids are the only ones that matter in reducing inflammation and chronic breakouts—yet most will turn to fish or fish oil supplements to get them. But fish get their Omega-3 fatty acids from plants, and so can we. Look for microalgae supplements to support energy, immunity, skin hydration, digestion, and radiant health.

Trust your gut to transform your skin. The more living, water-rich foods you incorporate into your diet—like cucumbers, romaine lettuce, berries, and citrus—the more regular your elimination will be, which is necessary for pushing out stagnant waste and toxins and the happier and more hydrated your complexion. Lately, my skin has suffered from an increased workload and moving, but I know there is a solution, and it will get better. If you are struggling with acne, have patience and stick with your vitamin supplementation and dietary rituals. I have been contemplating introducing aloe vera gel, which I have read is incredible for digestion, detoxification, and muscle and joint function, among other things. Topicals, ingestibles, and education have been my approach to [mostly] clear and healthy skin. What works for you? What are you struggling with? Our inbox is always open.

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