Dual-purpose foods help post-break blues

Ever feel like the world is crashing down on you? That is how I feel about being back at school after what should have felt like a fairly long spring break. But not to worry, Trojans, summer is only six weeks away, and then your freedom begins.

Spring break was awesome: I went to the beach and even got some color — albeit at the cost of a sunburn and the lovely threat of skin cancer. Though Los Angeles might not be its usual sunny self at the moment, the arrival of consistent sun and heat is just around the corner — so preparation for protection is in order.

I am a fan of multipurpose items: cleaning supplies, furniture, articles of clothing and, most importantly, food. Multipurpose items help college kids save money and time, of which we have little. There is a scene in Disney’s The Princess Diaries where Mia Thermopolis gets a makeover — her nails are done, her hair is cut and shaped, her eyebrows are tweezed and cucumber is placed on her eyes. Her stylist, the funny and very Italian Paolo, eats one of the cucumbers during Mia’s spa treatment while telling his assistants that there is no point to the vegetable and that it is just something that people made up for the sake of relaxation. Cucumbers, however, are actually a very versatile vegetable. They are wonderful for beautification and also for a healthy snack. So, sorry Paolo, they do have a purpose.

Ever heard of avocado facials? Exactly. Long story short, food is not only food in your stomach, but also on your face and for your face. Here are three useful ways that I protect my skin and satisfy the munchies, brought to you with the helpful advice of Fitness Magazine.

I never used to be a yogurt person — ask my mother, I was a complete struggle when it came to eating breakfast — but with time, I learned to love it and now I eat yogurt with granola, honey and sliced banana every morning. Not only is yogurt healthy, providing a good 10 grams of protein to your diet, but the lactose-laden dairy product also prevents wrinkles — talk about multitasking.

Picture this: It is a lazy Sunday morning and you just got out of your long, refreshing shower and you look for some healthy breakfast grub. Then, you realize that you are out of lotion, so you put your breakfast on your face. OK, kidding, I do not recommend doing that — it will not serve a purpose and will make you look silly — but feel free to take a selfie and send it my way if you do. Regardless, the protein in yogurt helps firm skin and ultimately makes your complexion smoother. One serving a day will keep your face not astray. To my lactose intolerant friends, do not fret — a lack of yogurt in your diet will not prevent you from having clear skin.

Next week it will be April and the sun will be out and shining — we are pretending that April showers do not exist in California, but if they do, this next drinkable item is sure to cure the heat and humidity’s effect on your face as well as warm your heart. Green tea is full of antioxidants, and several studies have proven that it helps fight inflammation. Think of it this way: If the weather stresses you out, you can cuddle up with some warm tea that makes you look great. Now that is multitasking.

I have a small obsession with bell peppers. They are great and extremely versatile. Bell peppers are good in salads, sautéed, fried, baked and even as desserts — when I am trying to limit my dessert intake, I just eat a bell pepper because the red and orange ones are so sweet. Not only are bell peppers tasty, but they are also beneficial in preventing crow’s feet — that is, the squinty part of your eye that wrinkles up when exposed to the sun. In California, that potential is very real. Just think of the number of times you go to the beach — sure, sunglasses serve a purpose, but wouldn’t you rather munch on something refreshing at the beach and maintain your movie star good looks? I know I would.


Alegra Hueso is a sophomore majoring in creative writing.  Her column, “In Love With the Edible,” runs on Wednesdays.


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