My Food Is Not Only For Cooking | Valentina Cirasola | Author and Designer

Fortunate kid I was to have known all eight of my grandparents and great grandparents. My memories with them are grand. They gave a lot of love to us kids but not material things. They were playful and often stern. They lived through two great wars, depressions and life adversities and never lost a sense of direction or a flair for life. Unconsciously they thought us how to save, reuse, upcycle and make it do with what we had. Creating my skin care from kitchen products has been one of my grandparents’ teaching. Following their examples I have made a lot of their suggestions and created my own.

A daily skin-care regimen is necessary more than the occasional visit to the spa for a special facial treatment. All women want to look young and vibrant with a natural skin glow. As we age unfortunately it takes an extra effort to maintain a beautiful skin. Before I go into the details, it goes without saying that a healthy diet plays the main role in maintaining a glowing skin. No fried food, no processed food, no refined sugars, eliminate heavy consumption of salt and drink plenty water daily. Drink the “spirits” and smoke sensibly if you must. To this add plenty rest, eliminate stress and protect your skin from the element of weather. Skin is a filtering system, designed to keep toxins out and let oxygen and nutrients in, moisturizing it daily is like creating a barrier between you and the pollutant floating in the air, which can deplete the antioxidant system of the skin causing premature aging.

Please understand I make absolutely no claim to cure any skin diseases. If your skin has serious problems a visit to the dermatologist is a MUST.

Food x Beauty
Milk is one of the vitamins our skin needs. Cleopatra bathed in the milk of donkey and so did my grandmother. Many times she put me in the free-standing bathtub full of that white stuff I didn’t like and we bathed together.

Make a Face Detergent:
Plain Yogurt (no flavors, no fruit in it) about 1 cup
2 teaspoons of lemon juice
4-5 drops of essential oil: chamomile, eucalyptus or lavender
2 drops of oil enriched with vitamin E
Mix, apply to face, neck and hands (if you like) and rub, wash with warm cloth and splash cold water on the skin. Keep it refrigerated in a glass container for no more than 10 days. On this site you can find a variety of pure essential oils. (I am not an affiliate of this site, it is merely a suggestion. You are welcome to find you own essential oils)

Make a Face-Body Exfoliant:
2 Cups of brown sugar
3 Espresso cups of ground coffee
1/2 Cup of olive oil
1/4 Cup honey
Whisk, well and apply the goop to the face and/or all over body. Rub it, rinse with warm water, then splash cold water. I assure you will have a silk face-body skin.

Make Body-Hands Scrub:
Coarse sea salts make a variety of body-hand scrubs. Just add olive oil, lemon juice (orange, lime or tangerine juice OK), fresh lavender and rosemary. You can mix in also the grated peels of any citrus fruit. Keep it refrigerated. If you like coconut oil, please use it in substitution of olive oil. You will not even need a cream after this application.


Make a Face Mask:
1 Avocado
1 Egg albumen beaten
Grated lemon peel
Grated Ginger
Make a paste, spread it on face, keep it on 15-20 minutes, wash with warm cloth and then splash cold water.

Get Rid Of Oily Hair:
Beat lemon and egg yolk, apply to hair, keep it on for 30-45 minutes, then use a shampoo for normal hair. Repeat treatment once a week. Your hair will become very luminous and will lose the greasy look.

Tan With Beer:
Pour, spray or brush any dark beer all over body and drink some, why not? You will tan easily and get a natural golden color. Beer has no sun protection so you need to stay in the sun less time, but the tan effect is quicker.

Fight Constipation:
First Solution – Olive oil stimulates the digestive system and kicks it into gear. Take a tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil on an empty stomach first thing in the morning, then every 3-4 hours until it happens. Some people don’t like to drink olive oil, add a teaspoon of lemon juice.
Second Solution – mix 2-3 teaspoons of pink rock salt and/or baking soda in a cup of warm water, squeeze the juice of ½ lemon. Drink on empty stomach and wait until it happens.

Fight Stomach Acidity:
Baking soda is an acidic salt. Add a spoon of baking soda in a cup of warm water, allow it to fizz to expel carbon-di-oxide, then drink up and burp.
Ginger mixed in food helps stomach acidity; banana contains potassium, it helps alleviating acid reflux; eating 4-5 almonds at night will also help this problem.

Treat Cracked Heels:
Grind a handful of uncooked rice until you get coarse flour. Add a few spoons of honey to the mixture with apple cider vinegar enough to obtain a thick paste. If the cracks are very deep, add a spoon of olive oil. Soak feet for 20 minutes in warm water and gently massage with this paste until feet become smoother. Rinse and use your favorite cream.

House Cleaning Without Detergents:
Soak orange peels in vinegar for two weeks in a sealed mason jar then pour the vinegar into a spray bottle. Use it as for any surfaces. It smells so fresh.
Lemons – after using lemons in your food, use the peel to clean kitchen and bath plumbing fixtures. Water marks will disappear, metals will shine and the room will smell deliciously fresh.
Lemon tree branches are beautiful when decorated for the holidays and smell good if you burn them in the fireplace.

My Lemon Tree

My Lemon Tree

These are only a few suggestions, my repertoire is huge. My kitchen is a great source for beauty products and cleaning agents as my grandparents taught me. They lived a long life, perhaps their world was not polluted and simpler, or perhaps the food they ate was healthier and also simpler. We must protect ourselves from the industry pushing food that are more and more artificial, but mostly we must find time to create good food and other products using food instead of chemicals. My food is not only for cooking.

Time is now, remodel your “exterior” and make it ready for spring. Ciao,

Copyright © 2015 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

Val FruttaValentina Cirasola has been in business as an interior designer since 1990 improving people’s life by changing their spaces. Most often she designs kitchens and wine grottos; outdoor kitchens and outdoor rooms; great rooms and entertainment rooms. Her deep interest in food led her as an autodidact in the studies of food in history, natural remedies, nutrition and well-being. Finally she wrote two books on Italian regional cuisine and one book on color theory, in which she included one recipe for each color. Get your copy of Valentina’s books on


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