From increased energy levels to clearer skin, nutritionist and naturopath Elizabeth Peyton-Jones believes changing the way we cook is the secret to looking and feeling youthful. Here she shares five tips to try out in the kitchen, along with one of her favourite anti-ageing recipes from her second book, Cook Yourself Young

Elizabeth Peyton-Jones

1. Eat the ‘new normal’ and drop addictive food. By the new normal I mean whole grains, fresh fruit and vegetables, beans/ legumes, herbs and spices and new normal flours such as brown rice, buckwheat, hemp and millet to name a few.

2. Cook younger. This means high-nutrition cooking which should retain the maximum nutrients, antioxidants and anti-inflammatories in our food. This should sustain us and keep us looking and feeling younger.

3.  Go nuts! To practise successful youthing for life, you need to switch from being a predominantly dairy eater to being a nut eater. Make it part of your mission to become plant-powered!

Cook Yourself Young

4. Get therapy with healing herbs and spices. Herbs and spices pack an industrial-sized nutrient punch. Herbs are antioxidant, alkalising and anti-inflammatory. They are free-radical fighters, immune-boosters and detox helpers.


5. Wash your insides every day. You need to give your body a daily ‘wash’ using water and some metaphorical ‘soap’, followed by a nice cleansing rinse. Start the day with 500ml of a whole lemon squeezed into warm water or a green juice. If you are low on energy, juice a mix of beetroot, carrot, ginger, spinach and lemon to pep you right up.

Barley is an under-used, under-valued grain, but it’s a great weapon in your youthing armoury. It helps control blood sugar, reduces cholesterol and visceral fat (the health-damaging stuff that wraps around your internal organs). It is low-cal and leaves you feeling fuller for longer. This salad is a combination of delicious, digestive, antioxidant and alkalising… how youthing is that?


Barley salad with figs and rocket

  • Serves 2


100g pearl barley
4 fresh figs, quartered
50g rocket leaves
2 spring onions, sliced
leaves from a small bunch of flat leaf parsley or coriander, roughly chopped
30g almonds, roughly chopped
juice of 1 lemon
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
50g feta cheese or half an avocado, optional
Tip the pearl barley into a sieve and rinse well under cold filtered water to remove the excess starch. Pour into a pan and cover with cold filtered water. Bring to the boil and simmer on a medium-low heat for 40-50 minutes until tender but with a slight bite. Drain and run under cold filtered water until cool. Drain once more. Set aside in a large salad bowl.
Combine the figs, rocket, spring onions, herbs and almonds with the barley. Toss through the lemon juice and oil, then crumble over the feta or slice over the avocado, depending on which you are using.

By Elizabeth Peyton-Jones

Cook Yourself Young by Elizabeth Peyton-Jones is published by Quadrille, available from 2 July, £14.99.