Lentils instead of meat – a skin-healthy meat substitute

lentils instead of meatIf you participated in the #healyourfacewithfood challenge recently – winners coming soon! – we ended the challenge with a few “meatless weeks”.

I could go on and on about the negative effect that meat might be having on your skin, but every body is different.

If you think that the meat you’re eating might be negatively impacting your acne healing journey, I wanted to share 3 ways you can start to substitute lentils for all and any meat products (beef, pork, lamb, chicken, etc.).

First things first, lentils are legumes that are harvested from small plants called Lens ensculenta.

Historically, Central Asia is believed to be their place of origin – they’re one of the first foods to be cultivated! Today, you can grab dozens of varieties of lentils available in different colors even, like green, brown, red, yellow, black.

If you are trying to get off meat for a little – to test and see if it helps your skin – lentils can serve as an excellent substitute for all of your meaty desires (tee heee heeeee “meaty desires” (ok, get yer mind out of the gutter Jill) ).

They take the same exact amount of time to cook as beef, and possess a similar protein, folate and iron content. Lentils are also 10X cheaper to eat and much more environmentally-friendly, requiring almost 100 times less the amount of water to produce as compared to beef.

Here are 3 ways you can substitute lentils, for meat, below:

Meat-free soups and stews

For broth-based soups and stews, golden or ivory lentils are a perfect substitute for meat and retain their shape even when they’re cooked for long periods of time. They can also be used to supplement the meat in bean soups and minestrone. Here is a lentil chill recipe that I just ADORE.

Meat-free lentil burgers

For using lentils as a burger base, cook lentils with spices like oregano, cumin, salt and pepper, and toss the mixture in olive oil.

Make a thick puree of these in a food processor (very important step, haha!) and garnish with onions and walnuts.

Refrigerate for 20 minutes, form patties and cook in a pan with olive oil till a golden brown color appears. #YUM

Meat-free burrito fillings

To create a meatless taco and burrito filling, boil lentils in water for about 20-25 minutes. Add spices like paprika, chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper for the extra flavor.

Add 1 tbsp. tomato paste and garlic. Make a puree using a processor and your meat-less burrito filling is ready!

But before you start cooking, here are a few tips for maximum yumminess-lentil-making:

  • ¾ cup lentils equals one pound of ground beef.
  • Since lentils are more moist, compared to meat, add water slowly to your recipe until you reach the precise amount. You can always add water in, it’s MUCH harder to remove it:)
  • For best results, cook the lentils in salt-free water as it helps them soften:).
  • Add vegetable broth, salt, and extra spices to punch up the flavor while using lentils in lieu of meat.

 Including lentils can really support your skin healing journey:

  • Lentils are a good source of protein, which plays a significant role in collagen and elastin production, which promotes an oh-so-radiant-and-supple-skin-texture.
  • It also supplements the body with the mineral zinc which functions to speed up the overall process of skin renewal. (Zinc levels contribute to activities in your sebaceous oil glands; messed up levels of zinc might actually be causing your acne.) (Read more about whether or not zinc helps acne, here.)


lentils instead of meat
who doesn’t love a good DIY mask, huh?

Not only are lentils great for inside acne healing, they can also be useful for outside acne healing.

I’m a huge fan of at home DIY treatments, I think they can be a great way to figure out exactly what types of treatments work on your specific skin, without spending hundreds of dollars of products.

I’m sharing 2 DIY face masks below; they’re completely herbal/homemade and might help you see some changes, specifically in the scar relief arena, and also if you have large pore problems (join the club:(!):

Lentil skin brightening face mask:

How to prepare: 

  • Soak lentils in water for 4-5 hours.
  • Make a thick paste by grinding and adding almond oil and 1/3 cup raw milk. (Note: Use rose water instead of almond oil if you have extra oily skin)
  • Apply to your face and leave it on for 25 minutes.
  • Rinse it off slowly with light scrubbing action using fingers.

Lentil acne treatment face mask:

How to prepare: 

  • Soak 1/2 cup lentils overnight.
  • Prepare a paste of lentils with 1 tbsp. glycerine, 2 tbsp. almond oil, and 2tbsp. rose water.
  • Apply it to your face and leave it on for 20 minutes.
  • Wash face with cold water and pat dry.
  • Use 2-3X a week for maximum effects.

 If you’re worried that the meat you’re eating might be causing your breakouts, don’t worry, I’m with you (it might!) so try a few of the recipes above as well as the DIY items and let me know how it goes!




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