Did you know the foods you eat can help protect your skin from sun damage from the inside out? Or that chocolate is the perfect cover for that potent earthy green powder taste? These are just the type of tips we expected to pick up from superfood chef and NYT best-selling author, Julie Morris when we asked her to share her daily habits for optimal nutrition.

No surprise here, but Julie’s ideas are remarkably accessible, which is why we count this superfoodie as one of our own tribe. And her growing range of superfood-related books are part of every health-foodie’s kitchen library. Take just one of Julie’s six ideas to heart and you’ll be on your way to a healthier you by end of month…

Spice up your life:

Herbs and spices, many of which are already hiding in our cabinets, are some of the most underutilized healing tools on the planet. There is not a one that is without truly incredible medicinal and preventative powers. 2015 was the year of turmeric, which was so nice to see come into the forefront for its anti-inflammatory activity. One of my personal favorites is sumac powder, which offers a flavor that’s a cross between a mild chili and lemon, and has truly insane amounts of antioxidants – far more than I’ve ever seen in any other food, period. A little pinch added to any kind of savory food, like hummus, salad, soup, or roasted vegetables is all it takes to boost the nutrition (and flavor!) dramatically.

Skin protection from the inside out:

There is no age too early (or too late) to start protecting the skin. It’s something I do from two angles. I protect the outside using natural and clean products like Suntegrity. However, I also make sure that I’m consuming foods that offer skin support and antioxidant protection from the inside, like organic cacao powder and goji berries. I also take BioAstin, an algae that offers high amounts of the super-antioxidant astaxanthin, which promotes skin health remarkably well.

Sneak in the greens:

Though there is no such thing as a perfect or “best” food, I am convinced green foods are absolutely imperative to true wellness. But don’t just wait around until you can sit down for a salad! I regularly rely on greens powders, (a go-to for me is Hawaiian spirulina – obsessed!), which are so easy to sneak into all kinds of treats! I make chocolates with these powders, whip up homemade energy bars, shake them into a bottle of salad dressing, and stir them into dips like pesto and guacamole. You don’t taste it, and you’ll get the micronutrients of sitting down to a big plate of leafies at the same time. Win.

Smoothies every damn day:

Yes, truly, every day. Freshly baked chocolate cookies or too much wine happen, but superfood smoothies are our opportunity to do at least one great thing for our bodies on a daily basis, ensuring that we get a powerful stream of nutrients regardless. Start out with a delicious recipe, like the crazy-good ones in Superfood Smoothies, and then alter them to make your own depending on how you feel. A little stressed? Add some extra maca. Need an immune boost? Add some reishi. You get the idea.

101 uses for Coconut oil:

I don’t even know why people even bother to use butter anymore. Or lotion. Or lip balm. Coconut oil is like 50 products in one, and couldn’t be more delicious, healthier, and better for the planet. This should be in every kitchen cabinet, bathroom, and bedroom. Even my favorite body care products, like Osea Body Balm, still have a base of coconut oil – it’s just the best.

It's all about the process:

I get it, we’re all busy. I also get that not everyone loves to cook! But learning at least a few basics around cooking and how to make what you cook healthier is more than just a crafty practice: It gives you a better understanding of what, exactly, is going into the foods you eat. (Am I the only one whose had a moment of horror when pouring in the quantity sugar into a classic cookie recipe? Makes a person think twice before picking up that second cookie.) This knowledge leads to better choices in the long run – from choosing what to make for dinner, to what foods to order at a restaurant. Making your own food is the epitome of “knowledge is power.”

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