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400g of chicken thighs
½ onion, finely diced
2 cloves of garlic, finely diced
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 cup of Chicken Bone Broth
1 ½ cups of sauerkraut (homemade or bought)
6 kale leaves, chopped
1 large sweet potato, peeled and chopped into chunks
1 handful of fresh spinach
1 handful of Italian parsley, roughly chopped

2 servings


In a large lidded frypan, add olive oil and brown chicken on both sides over a medium to high heat. This should take about five minutes each side. Remove chicken and turn heat down to low. Add onion and garlic and cook for five minutes. Add bone broth, sauerkraut, kale and sweet potato and simmer for five minutes. Add chicken back into the pan, place lid on and simmer for a further 20 minutes.

Add in the spinach and parsley, stir, simmer for another two minutes and serve.

Serves 2


Want more delicious recipes like this? You’ll find them in The Gut-Skin Connection.

  • April 29, 2020

The power of your beliefs on your physical body and your ultimate reality is only just being understood. 


Beliefs or mindsets allow us to react to recurring situations in our lives without having to re-analyse them each time we encounter them. For example if we find ourselves in a dark alley in a questionable part of town, we may automatically react as if we are in danger without even much conscious thought. Our bodies will flood with adrenalin, our heart will pound and we will become hyper alert. This is a perfect example of how a belief can impact physically on your body.


Alia Crum, a psychologist and researcher at Stanford University, and her team have done a lot of work in the area of beliefs and their impact on our physical reality. They have even shown that drinking a smoothie you believe to be high in calories, will decrease the level of hunger hormones in your blood much more than drinking one you believe is low in calories. Even when number of calories is exactly the same in both drinks! Now that is the power of the mind.

Our beliefs are powerful!  We now know they influence our bodies responses and our physical reality. But some beliefs are damaging and it’s now thought that our mindset around stress could be one of those negative beliefs.

What is your mindset about stress?  Do you believe that stress is debilitating, undermines your health and should be avoided?  Or do you believe instead that it is protective of your health, helps you grow and learn and should be embraced?


Whatever your belief is, the physical outcome of your stress is likely to reflect your mindset.  This was first discovered in one rather famous study carried out in 1998. In this particular study 30,000 people were questioned about the amount of stress they had experienced in the past year and their beliefs around that stress. They were then divided into three groups:


  1. Those that experienced little stress
  2. Those that experienced a lot of stress and believed it to be negative for their health
  3. Those that experienced a lot of stress but believed it to be positive for their health


Eight years later, researchers looked at the results, who still lived and who had died. Not surprisingly those people who had experienced very little stress over this time lived longer than those who had experienced a lot of stress but, here’s the catch. This was only true if those stressed people believed that stress was bad for them! Much to the surprise of everyone, the group that suffered the least fatalities of all groups was the people who had experienced the most stress but believed it was good for them.

The take home message from this study was that stress kills, but only if you believe does! If you believe it offers benefits to your health, you are likely to live longer.

The power of our beliefs is becoming more evident. They’ve the ability to influence your health and wellbeing. If you think your beliefs around stress need a re-think, read ‘The Upside of Stress’ by Kelly McGonigal or alternatively here’s a link to a free 45 minute online intervention. It’s free to do through the Stanford University.


This quick little activity will ensure you get the very best out of stress!

  • April 2, 2020

Well, I’ve had to eat my words! For years I’ve dismissed claims that collagen powders help the skin produce collagen. The basis for my distain came from the fact that any food or supplement once consumed will be broken down into its smallest nutritional units and then remade into whatever the body chooses. The idea that a fibre of collagen from a cow or pig could make its way into your body and then deposit itself in the skin was preposterous to me!

Then along came my health crisis and my opinion changed. What I discovered while healing my gut was that collagen powder, while good for the cells lining the gut were also great for our skin!

What was it that changed my mind? I learnt that collagen can be absorbed across the intestinal barrier and into the blood in short chains of three amino acids. These little peptides, while a long way from being full collagen fibres, give the skin a head start in the collagen making process. 

However, that isn’t even the most important thing about collagen powder! Learning more about the two main amino acids that make up collagen completely swayed me. These amino acids are proline and glycine. They are both considered to be non-essential because technically our bodies can make them from other amino acids. However, in reality your body can’t make enough proline and glycine to meet its own demands. This means we DO need to get them from our diet and unfortunately, they are both very hard to source in any meaningful quantity. The only known sources providing good amounts of proline and glycine are bone broth and you guessed it, collagen powder!

So the upshot of this is yes, collagen powders do work!

The team and I have been concocting a world class formulation. So keep your eyes on the Facebook page for an exciting announcement coming soon!

  • March 9, 2020

It’s easy to assume that if we eat fairly well that our skin will therefore be provided with the nutrients it needs to be healthy and glowing. 

But there are two major problems with that assumption.

Firstly, the skin is one of the last organs of the body to receive nutrients. It is the last station on the nutrition train line! It only receives whatever nutrients are left over after the train has passed through all the vital organ ‘stations’ like the heart, the liver, the kidneys, etc.  So, because of this the skin is also the first to show deficiencies. This can appear as dull, lifeless or prematurely aged skin and in some cases more serious conditions such as rosacea, eczema, dermatitis and acne. 

Secondly, in the Western world, most people are nutritionally malnourished. This might surprise you, but it’s true. We have an abundance of processed food but most of it is high in calories and low in nutrients. When you combine this with the poor quality soil our produce is grown in, the fact that it is often harvested before it’s properly ripe and the long periods of time it is stored and transported – you end up with produce that is a lot lower in nutrients than our grandparents used to eat.  This contributes to our modern malnutrition. 

How Your Diet is Letting Your Skin Down! | Bestow Beauty | New Zealand

Lots of people are deficient in nutrients. Let’s look at the research. One study that looked at the diet of 16,000 people found that:

  • 70% of the population don’t consume enough Vitamin D
  • 60% of the population don’t consume enough Vitamin E
  • 45% of the population don’t consume enough magnesium
  • 38% of the population don’t consume enough calcium
  • 34% of the population don’t consume enough Vitamin A
  • 25% of the population don’t consume enough Vitamin C

These are very concerning statistics but this is other people right? Surely it can’t be referring to those of us who eat fairly well. It must be referring to those people who eat poorly or who are experiencing problems with their health? This is what we can easily think when we look at these statistics. But I personally didn’t realise just how hard it is to get all the nutrients we need for health until I made myself the subject of an experiment.  

I eat a healthy diet, and a couple of years ago I decided to measure my nutrient intake. I found an app called Cronometer that measures the nutrient intake of everything you eat. They have done the hard work of testing the nutrient levels of the average food found in our supermarkets and even some organic foods. You record what you eat each day, and the app shows if you reach the RDI (Recommended Daily Intake) of each nutrient.

It is interesting to note that the RDI is the minimum level of any particular nutrient needed to avoid a deficiency disease in an average healthy person.  In order to enjoy optimum health and anti-ageing benefits, you would need to exceed the RDIs for each nutrient. 

To give you some background, I eat a wholefood, mostly organic diet, rich in fruit and vegetables and very low in processed foods. Surely I would blitz the RDI’s, or so I thought! I removed the Bestow products from my diet that week so I could do the experience just from what I consumed without supplementation.

So over a week I recorded everything I ate and drank. I felt quite confident but I was in for a rude shock. I did not meet the minimum levels for calcium, iron, vitamin D, manganese and phosphorus. To top it off, I only just managed to reach the RDI for zinc, magnesium, foliate and thiamine.  These nine nutrients are essential for overall health and beautiful skin.

It really bought home to me how hard it is to get the nutrients we need. If I struggled to get all my RDI’s on the diet I eat, imagine how drastic the shortfall is with less healthy diets. So how do get the nutrients we need these days?

Firstly, we need to adopt a healthy way of eating – rich in whole foods, fruit, vegetables and good quality protein. A good base diet and lifestyle is extremely important and should be the primary focus of getting nutrients in. 

However, as my experiment shows, these days it is not enough.

I believe we need to boost our diet with superfood blends that are rich in key skin nutrients. That’s where smoothies come in. Bestow smoothies are the perfect way to sustain your energy and get your daily dose of Bestow, which offers your body an incredible feast of nourishing nutrients. They help you reach the Recommended Daily Intake (RDI) of key nutrients required for skin health and general wellbeing. 

Check out our Light and Bright Smoothie Refresh programme here. In this smoothie refresh you will find 5 recipes that will inspire you with delicious smoothies that you can prep ahead and have on-hand at any time. 

  • March 9, 2020

5 blackhead myths busted!

Blackheads are caused by dirt stuck in my pores.

Blackheads are formed when the oil your skin produces mixes with dead skin cells and forms a blockage in the pore. The surface of these blockages turns black as the air oxidises the normally colourless oil.

Blackheads are not from having dirty skin but more to do with the oil your skin produces being too thick and sticky. The key is to improve the quality of your skin’s oil and keep it flowing which prevents it from getting stuck in the first place. To do this you need to replace foods that degrade the quality of your oil like cheese and chocolate with more supportive alternatives (see our list). It is also important to include the Bestow Beauty Oil in your diet as this has been formulated to improve the quality of your oil and help prevent it blocking. BUT remember this needs to be in conjunction with reducing your intake of congesting foods! (read more about congesting foods here!)

Having blackheads means I have oily skin.

Anyone can develop blackheads regardless of how oily their skin is. It is not about the amount of oil your skin produces but more about the thickness of that oil and/or the tightness of the pore. The thicker the oil or the tighter the pore, the more likely it is that it will block, and a blackhead will form. 

So the key is to make sure you have really good quality oil that flows well. Taking the Bestow Beauty Oil supports this. It is also important to avoid congesting foods which can thicken the oil in your skin, making it more likely to block the pore. Topical hydration is also very important to reduce the occurrence of blackheads. You skincare routine needs to support hydration to keep your skin soft and supple, allowing the flow of oil naturally out onto the skins surface. 

I get lots of tiny blackheads on my nose and in the crease of my chin.

Chances are these aren’t blackheads. We all have slightly larger pores on the nose and some parts of the chin. The inner walls of our pores are constantly sheading skin cells and this helps protect us from infection. If harmful bacteria find their way into our pores, chances are they will find themselves on a very unstable surface. As helpful as this is, it does mean that larger pores, combined with a little bit of oil and shedding cells leaves you with slightly darker pores. You can squeeze something out of if you try but honestly, don’t try! It will be back within a few days and you risk permanently damaging the pore opening. Remember these are not blackheads, which are actual blockages in the skin.

To help minimise the look of these slightly larger pores, work on keeping your skin hydrated. However, drinking water is not enough! You need a topical approach to hydrating the skin. We recommend bathing the skin with a Bestow soaking cloth before locking in that precious moisture by applying a good quality oil or moisturiser, depending on your skins needs. This will help refine your pores AND prevent your skin cells from building up.

It doesn’t matter what I do, I’m just more prone to blackheads.

Good news! There are definitely things you can do to prevent yourself getting blackheads. It is a two-way approach of treating the skin, looking at what you are feeding your skin (or not feeding it!) and also what you are putting on it. 

The oil produced by the skin needs to be of good quality and of the right consistency to be able to flow naturally onto the skins surface where it acts as a barrier. To do this you need to make sure you’re consuming an essential fatty acid supplement such as Bestow Beauty Oil. Bestow Beauty Oil is blended to meet your skin’s needs for EFA’s. Unfortunately, relying on food to provide this doesn’t cut it these days. Alongside EFA’s we always recommend a vitamin B supplement as this helps support the EFA’s to do their job. We recommend the Bestow Beauty From Beneath which has been formulated with your skin in mind, giving you the correct balance of B vitamins it needs. 

There are also certain foods that contribute to blackheads by degrading the quality of the skins oil and therefore causing it to block. See the list of these below and how to replace them with skin friendly alternatives. 

Topically the key is to keep the skin hydrated. This can easily be done with a good skin care routine which includes bathing the skin and then the application of good quality products. The Bestow Soaking cloth is a great tool for bathing the skin. Following this step we encourage you to apply a very hydrating gel or serum and then immediately locking all that precious moisture with a quality moisturiser or oil. Doing this skin care routine religiously morning and night will keep your skin hydrated and healthy. 

Having blackheads means I am not cleansing or exfoliating enough.

It’s the exact opposite! You may be over cleansing and over exfoliating your skin which causes dehydration. Many of us feel when we get blackheads that our skin needs a good clean and we approach this in a variety of ways. Firstly, we are tempted to cleanse morning and night or double cleanse at night. The skin only needs cleansing at the end of the day to remove makeup, chemicals and pollutants and it usually requires this to be done only once. When we cleanse the skin twice, we risk removing the protective barrier of the skin leaving it open to all those nasties we are trying to protect it from and causing it to become dehydrated. 

You can also want to give the skin a good scrub, convincing ourselves that the harder we scrub and the harsher the exfoliant the cleaner our skin will be. FALSE! Over exfoliating the skin will strip the protective barrier away and can leave it feeling dehydrated and tight – trust us, not a good thing!

A skin that is dehydrated from over cleansing or over exfoliating is more likely to experience tightening of the pores and therefore blackheads. Instead we recommend cleansing once in the evening with a gentle lotion or cream cleanser and using a gentle exfoliant every few days. 

  • November 29, 2019