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Nina and Randa Nelson’s The Clear Skin Diet

Nina and Randa Nelson’s The Clear Skin Diet


  • Book Review by Char Nolan

Nina and Randa Nelson, identical twins, are the authors of The Clear Skin Diet (Hachette Book Group, 2018), and believe it or not, this is a book that you cannot put down. It is a heart-warming story of two very creative and exceptional young women whose careers in the entertainment industry were sidelined by acne. But, their fortitude, resourcefulness and grace help them seek the road to clear and beautiful skin, as well as re-discovered self-confidence.

Their empathetic approach in understanding and living with acne comes from their very own experiences when a bout with the flu left them eating a diet high in fat–merely nut butter sandwiches on toast. A breakout in bulbous acne can affect one’s morale and self-esteem, and learning how Nina and Randa handled their situation is indeed eye-opening. Vegans for all of their lives, they turned to the allopathic side of modern medicine where antibiotics and topical ointments were the prescribed course of treatment, however, without the results that Nina and Randa were seeking.

A road trip with their parents, Jeff and Sabrina Nelson, was filled with discussion about the condition of their skin and what possible “cures” were available to them. An internet search lead them to acclaimed plant-based physician, John McDougall, MD; a long a family friend, Nina and Randa decided McDougall’s platform of a whole-foods, plant-based diet that was also low in fat was the ideal prescription to alleviate symptoms and return their skin to an acne-free state. In this case, a very low-fat diet also indicated abstaining from nuts, nut butters, avocados, and other higher fat plant-based foods.

According to Rip Esselstyn (yes, the developer of the Engine 2 Diet and Healthy Eating Partner with Whole Foods Market® and a good friend to the Nelson family), “This well-written book is for anyone afflicted with acne. I truly believe that Nina and Randa’s book, The Clear Skin Diet, can provide the reader with a poignant and simple-solution road map to something that can be downright debilitating for teenagers and young adults.” Rip’s heartfelt comments reflect his own passion for the “plant-strong” way of life.

The cover of the book pretty much speaks for itself, in terms of a cure. Nina and Randa’s glowing skin and warm self-confidence jump off the cover. The core of the book speaks to a study group that the Nelson twins organized. Adds Rip Esselstyn, “My favorite component of the book is the pilot study they did with dozens of teenagers suffering from acne. The dramatic results they achieved in just six weeks were unbelievable.” It’s said that “a picture is worth a thousand words,” and Rip is right; this book’s writing is so heartfelt that I found myself in tears many times as I read each page.

Why This Book?

It’s easy to say that the contents of the book are the primer to better health. Aside from the study group and recipes, the authors assembled “The Clear Skin Diet Team.” Peruse the all-star team list from Neal D. Barnard, MD, to Jane Esselstyn, RN, Jeff Novick, MS, RD, and more, and you’ll see that Nina and Randa were serious about getting the best and most current information as it pertains to the benefits of a whole-foods, plant-based, low-fat diet. This powerhouse team of experts lead the charge, for sure. With an extensive list of positive health outcomes, following this plan can also benefit one’s cardiovascular health, as well as promote weight loss.

This book has a fun, young and hip vibe to it, but the reality is that no matter one’s age, this book covers all bases for improved, general health at any stage of life.

The Recipes

We’ve got to get teens and young adults into the the kitchen with more frequency, and this book is exactly the tool needed! Recipes are succinctly written and have fun names like “Spot the Carrot Dog,” “Cauli-Fredo Sauce,” and “I Like it Like That Lasagna.” Simple ingredients, basic and easy-to-follow recipes, and this book’s pages will soon be filled with splatters and thumb prints, because it will be a family fave that is used often.

One of the things that you’ll love about the book is that you do not have to go on a grocery store scavenger hunt to get ingredients. Lists are basic, no-frills and economical, from fruits, vegetables, whole grains , spices and legumes.

This entire book is warm and engaging. And, Nina and Randa encourage readers to “jump in with both feet.” And, I echo their sentiments because this book is filled with hope, love, and has all the ingredients to truly change lives.

Where This Book

Needs to Be Here’s a list of sites where the book needs to be because it can be a resource for everyone!

  • In Middle and High Schools: From the nurse’s office to the school counselor’s office, this is a must-have “teen staple” resource for all.
  • Pediatrician’s Office: This book will support a physician’s approach to acne reversal in a holistic way. Good for CRNP’s, PA’s and more.
  • College RA Support: With so much going on in college, this book is a good reference for any RA who’s dealing with all the nuances of college life, especially for entering freshman;
  • Dermatologist’s Office: How great would it be for allopathy and a plant-based diet to work together as one?
  • Adolescent Specialist: Any therapist, counselor, or individual who works with teens and young adults will benefit from this book. 
  • Libraries: Give a copy to your local library; it will become a well-respected resource for teens.

Read this book and the search has ended in understanding the emotional impact of acne AND how a whole-foods, plant-based diet (that is also low in fat) can benefit any reader. Make it a family affair, because everyone will gain from the book and its recipes.

Let this book become a primer for improved health for everyone you know; the book is just that powerful.

For More Information

After finishing the book, extend your interest and passion to Nina and Randa’s website: http://ClearSkinDiet.com. Once there, you can find access to a closed Facebook group which is a community of young men and women who have found relief from acne by following the pillars of Nina and Randa’s book.

Nina and Randa on YouTube

Their wildly popular channel on YouTube is filled with great information. Peruse the channel for useful, practical and fun information: www.youtube.com/user/NinaAndRanda

You’ve just got to love them!

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