Dr. Jeanette Graf, M.D., is an anomaly. She’s a dermatologist, and the author of Stop Aging, Start Living: The Revolutionary 2-Week pH Diet That Erases Wrinkles, Beautifies Skin, and Makes You Feel Fantastic, a bestseller based on the food-skin connection—making her a practitioner of western medicine and eastern philosophy.
For this reason, Dr. Graf prescribes acne medication with a dose of health coaching and nutritional advice, testing her clients’ pH levels to make sure they are optimally alkaline (7.5 is perfect), and prescribing greens if their levels come up low. She’s also seriously anti soda.
After taking one look at Dr. Graf’s refrigerator, we knew she walks the talk.
What a colorful refrigerator! Did you just fill up on vegetables at the farmer’s market? They look particularly vibrant.
Yes! I love supporting local farmers—the people you’re buying from are making the decision about whether the produce is ripe, so the quality is much higher. Seasonal foods are more nutritious. The radishes were inviting; they’re perfect for a summer salad. I’m a juicer so the beets were small enough to manage—I just use one beet in a juice because of its high sugar content. And most people throw away the greens of beets, but I’ll juice them, too. They’re such a blood purifier! I also eat a lot of kale. It’s the most alkalizing vegetable.
What’s the bottle of lime juice for? Surprised it’s not the real thing.
Two reasons I have the bottle: I’ve either not had the chance to juice them or I’ll use it when the limes are too hard for juicing. The best ones are key limes. When they’re in season, you can get enormous amounts of juice. And I buy tons of lemons—I juice them all the time and make fresh lemonade. I’ll use Stevia as a natural sweetener.
The Greens First bottles are curious considering how many veggies you eat. How do you use them?
It’s my favorite powdered green drink—so well-made. One scoop equals ten servings of organic fruits and vegetables. If I know I can’t eat a real meal, I’ll drink it. I might have a green drink a few times a day between meals for extra energy, my first being at the start of my day. I don’t have a lot of time, but this way I get some raw (and super alkalizing) foods in my diet effortlessly.
Why the two different types of flax?
The refrigerator is always changing because I base it on what’s fresh or interesting in the store, so I’ll end up with variations of the same thing. I just add the flax to oatmeal or cottage cheese. There’s not enough essential fatty acids in flax though—only omega 3’s (no 6), so I use Barlean’s fish oil capsules.
You’ve got dairy products but also some vegan alternatives. Why both?
I eat cottage cheese as an exercise protein. And I love eggs—the whole family eats them. I buy them from the farmer’s market. I’m not vegetarian, but I’m moving in that direction. I only eat meat that has not been in captivity. A farm called Grazin’ Angus Acres in Union Square is the only animal meat supplier recommended by the Animal Welfare Institute. I’ll buy steak from them because the animals are cared for in a very humane way with no antibiotics. It’s the energy of the animal you’re consuming. Whatever you’re consuming becomes a part of you and influences you.
As a leading dermatologist trailblazing the food-skin connection, anything we should know about it?
When I was doing injectibles on my patients, I noticed their skin wasn’t really improving in the way I’d expected—I saw a lot of grey and pasty skin tones. I started asking what they were eating. They were always in their exercise clothes and assumed they were doing everything they could for their health. But a lot of them were drinking Diet Coke or missing basic whole foods in their diets like leafy greens. If there’s one thing you should never consume, it’s soda. Soda is an extreme acid-forming substance which will lower your pH level dramatically. If you’re going to eat junk food, balance it out with a green drink. In fact, eat greens any way you’d like (raw, juiced, steamed), they’ll impact your energy and benefit your skin more than anything else. —Jennifer Kass