The Beauty Detox In a Nutshell: A Book Review

By Julie Sews - 4:01:00 PM

It's been soooo cold here lately (below zero actual temperature cold), so I've been snuggled up reading a lot lately.  I just finished reading the book, The Beauty Detox Solution:  Eat Your Way to Radiant Skin, Renewed Energy and the Body You Always Wanted, by Kimberly Snyder.  I was immediately drawn to this book when I realized she was talking about some things I had come across in my health research (food pairing for digestion and maximizing digestive enzymes, and alkaline vs acid bodies) that I found interesting but had not researched further.  She also had really good examples that made deeper concepts quick and easy to grasp.  So it was a really easy read that was made for the lay person (your average person), and not text book like.  I was excited reading this book at first and jumped right into some of her concepts and meal plans while still reading it.  Now that I've had some time to reflect on the book and it's concepts and have tried out her plan for a few days, I've come to the conclusion that while I agree with some of her principals (which makes this book worth reading), but I also disagree with some of her ideals and therefore I would not suggest following this program completely, but I think you could take away a few ideals that would be much easier to incorporate into your life than her program anyways!  Let's take a closer look at what the book argues and then we will look at what I plan to incorporate in my life and why.

Beauty Detox in a Nutshell 

Kimberly’s philosophy is based on eating a mostly raw, plant-based diet, and continually detoxing, to bring give our body more  "beauty energy" as she describes it.  What she's really saying is that when your body isn't needing to constantly focus on digestion so your enzymes in your body can work on other processes in your body (some are beauty related like building collagen in our skin).  She says that the toxic environment we live in, along with the processed, acidic foods that we eat, prompt the need for continual detoxification.  Detoxing comes from a combination of avoiding toxins (not eating them or putting them on your body in the form of beauty or hygiene products), and eating an abundance of fruits and vegetables.  

Here are some highlights of her philosophy:
  • We will slow down the aging process and look younger if we limit our intake of animal protein and increase our intake of plant foods.
  • Always eat fruit alone (except with leafy greens).  It digests very quickly in the body and when we eat it in unison with carbs or protein, it can cause a traffic jam in our bodies (she compares it to to sending a Ferrari down a roadway after a Mack truck. The truck will move slowly, blocking the way while the high-performance Ferrari gets stuck behind it with nowhere to go).
  • Eat tons of greens. She recommends getting your greens in the morning through her glowing green smoothie.  80% of our diet should be fruits and veggies and 20% protein, starches, and fats
  • Cleanse on an on-going basis through the use of probiotics, digestive enzymes, and magnesium-oxygen supplements.  When we’re cleansed, we get more nutrients from our foods…and we look prettier!
  • Eat from light to heavy throughout the day to avoid a traffic jam of digestion. Basically eating light is eating non concentrated foods (ripe fruit and non starch veggies), eating heavy is concentrated foods (grains, starchy veggies, meat, fish, seeds, and nuts).
  • Aim for an 80%/20% balance of alkaline to acidic foods in your diet. Your body has a narrow range of pH at which it functions in a healthy manner, and when you eat foods that are metabolically acidic, you throw off that balance. Plant foods are highly alkaline and should make up the bulk of your diet.  The more acidic your body is, Snyder says, the more your health diminishes because the body doesn't function as well, there's not as much oxygen in your system and you age faster.
  • Very limited amounts of fats and no refined fats (mostly in the form of avocado and flax meal)  
  • Eat something raw before every meal and take a digestive enzyme pill before lunch and dinner
  • Eat only until we are 3/4 full, not stuffed!
  • Eat only organic, animal and veggies.  No argument here! 
  • Avoid snacking as much as possible, eat enough at meals to feel  full (this is one I need to work on!)
Avoid These Foods 
(I've already been following all of this for awhile)
  • Dairy
  • Gluten containing foods
  • Refined sugars and Starches
  • Artificial Sweeteners
  • Canned and microwaved foods
  • unfermented soy products
  • processed foods (with aditives and artifical ingredients)
  • table salt (I use pink salt instead)
  • packaged juices
  • fried foods (they have carcinogenic chemicals in it from the cooking process)
  • refined or heated oils
  • alcohol

“Beauty Food Pairing” For Digestion Rules

Here's a quick cheat sheet for food pairing if you want to see Kimberly's full list check this out.
Starches DO mix with veggies (y’all know that sweet potatoes and salad is my dinner about 5x a week!)
Proteins DO mix with veggies
Proteins and Starches DO NOT mix
Different Starches DO mix
Different Proteins DO NOT mix
Fats DO NOT mix well with protein; pair moderately
Fats DO NOT mix with starches
Fruits should be eaten on an empty stomach (they digest the fastest of all foods- they are the Porsche!)
Fruit DOES mix with raw greens (except melons)

Basically, simple meals digest best; incorporate as few food groups in the meal as possible; and green vegetables combine with everything..

 Beauty Detox Meal Plans

While she has meal plans and recipes in her book, here is her basic meal plan formula in a nut shell:

First Thing:  A cup of hot water with the juice of half a lemon and one probiotic supplement with one full pint of water.
Breakfast: Only eat when your hungry and Start with a Glowing Green Smoothie (see above photo) followed by raw oat groats (if you are still hungry or transitioning from heavy breakfasts)
Lunch:  Take a digestive enzyme and eat salads and veggies paired with avocado or some healthy soups or grains at lunch.
Dinner: Take a digestive enzyme.  For your dinner you should always start with a raw salad (with a tablespoon of flax meal) and you can include “heavier” items or dishes (and this is where your animal protein would go, if you eat it), as you have until the next morning to digest it. Just be sure to eat dinner 3-4 hours before going to bed. 
Before Bed:  One probiotic supplement, 2-4 capsules of a magnesium-oxygen supplement 

Principals of the Beauty Detox I agree with

Why Is Digestion Important?
While researching health initially I came across the topic of digestion, and realized just how important it is to make sure we have proper digestion.  I started my quest for health with the thought that I wanted to know what foods had the most nutrition and how can I incorporate it into my recipes and what are the best supplements we should be taking.  After all we live in a fantastic time when we can get the best food from around the world no matter where we live now, why not right?  The thought of putting great things into my body and not getting the nutrition I assume I am by consuming this great nutrition never occurred to me.  So to me it makes sense to focus on optimizing digestion along with focussing on puttening as much good nutrition into our bodies as possible.

How I learned About the Power of Enzymes
Later in a round about way I learned about the amazing power of enzymes in the body (systemic enzymes). Last year I was having many odd menstrual connected symptoms and I was trying to find out possible reasons why.  I felt convinced that my heavy flow (one of many symptoms I was having) had to be because of fibroids (non cancerous tumours in the uterus)  because my mother had issues with that.  It turned out that I didn't and that it was most likely due to PCOS (a hormonal disorder).  But while researching possible natural treatments for fibroids I found that many women who have suffered with fibroids found that taking the protein digestive enzyme bromelin (found in the stem of pineapples) along with others, actually got rid of the tumors.  Why?  Well it turns out enzymes primary function in our body is to help us digest, but when they're not digesting food they're helping to clean out our body and do all kinds of cool stuff you would want them to do like getting rid of tumors.  Cancer cells are covered with fibrin (the same stuff scar tissue is made of).  This thick protective coating is designed to prevent the bodies' own defenses (i.e. Natural Killer cells, White blood cells or Oxygen) from getting inside the cell or tumor and destroy it.  Proteolytic enzymes digest fibrin such as bromelin (from the stems of Pineapple), and papin (from unripened papaya).  The ideal of using enzymes to fight cancer go back to 1911 with John Beard's The Enzyme Treatment of Cancer and Its Scientific Basis.  You can read more about it at News With Views.

My second exposure to the power of enzymes came when I thought I had an oral candida(fungal) infection because my tongue tends to be white (turns out testing came up negative and my dentist also said my tongue was just normal).  I started taking alot of probiotics and found that alot of candida supplements had digestive enzymes for breaking down cells (cellulase) and starches (amylase).  The reason is that the cellulase break down the walls of the candida so your body can more easily get rid of it.  The amylase enzyme is helpful because starches turn to sugar in the body and candida feeds on sugar, therefore if your body digest starches faster there is less food for the candida.  Cool huh?  If you want to learn more about digestive vs systemic enzymes (enzymes acting in the body on non digestive functions) below is a video explaining how they work.  

                                                       Enzymes a fun introduction (4min)

Enzymes can be used systemically (therapeutically in the body), as described above or for digestion.  Below is a great video explaining the difference.  When foods are not cooked they have they retain their enzymes which is believed to help in digestion.  This is why Kimberly advocates eating a mostly raw diet and at least eating raw food before a meal (such as a salad or smoothie).  Kimberly follows the thought dervied from Dr. Edward Howell  that we have a set amount of enzymes at birth and deplete it through less than optimal digestionWhile many doctors have accepted this theory, some question it.  We do know that we have less enzymes as we age.  I think the good question (which I plan to research) is why do we have less digestive enzymes as we age?  Is it as Howell proposes or do we lose them for other reasons?  

                          Digestive Enzymes vs Systemic Enzymes (7 min) 

What I Plan to Incorporate into my Life From the Beauty Detox and Why 

There are some things that Kimberly advocates that I have already been practicing for awhile now, that I obviously agree with (see the above mentioned avoid list). Basically eating a whole food organic diet without refined sugar and flour, dairy, and gluten, bad fats (refined oils soy, canola, etc), and unfermented soy.  Below is what I plan to start adding to my diet and lifestyle as a result of reading this book.    
Digestive Enzyme Supplements
So as you can see I agree that digestive enzymes are very important to have in our bodies.  The question I'm left with to explore is what is the best way to increase enzymes in our bodies?  Kimberly Snyder argues that it is through eating raw food and taking digestive enzymes.  Is that the best way?  Maybe maybe not.  Until I do more reaserch I can't say for sure.  But I do plan to start to use digestive enzymes in supplement form before lunch and dinner and at night (2 pills is recommended to digest meals with what I take) to help make sure I have enough enzymes to help my body repair overnight.  If you are taking blood thinning drugs like coumadin you just consult your Dr before taking any digestive enzymes.

Glowing Green Smoothie for Breakfast

I've lately been hearing about research showing great things about Intermittent fasting, or so-called scheduled eating, such as normalizing your insulin sensitivity and ghrelin levels; boosting human growth hormone (by as much as 1,300-2,000 percent); lowering triglyceride levels; reducing inflammation, and lessening free radical damage.  This makes sense to me, since so many cultures have fasting as a huge part of their traditions I can only assume it must have some physical benefit.  The easiest way to do this is to not eat dinner too late and to eat breakfast a little later.  This is pretty easy for me because I'm not usually hungrry right away when I wake up.  Kimberly says that by also having a very easy to digest meal as your first meal of the day you are also helping to extend the bodies cleasing time.  This makes sense to me and is easy to incorporate into my daily life.  I have tried the glowing green smoothie and it's actually pretty good.  I used less greens and celery for taste and I skipped the apple only because my blender isn't high speed and it was too chunky.  If you want to try a different green smoothie Dr OZ has one you could try.  I haven't tried it yet, and it looks like it would work best with a high speed blender as well so I'd probablly skip the apple and carrots (wich work great together as juice).

Try to Eat More Alkalizing Foods
I've heard in previous books I've read that an acidic body is more prone to disease as well as cancer grows well in an acidic body.  Based on this I have been wanting to learn more about maintaining a healthy acid to alkaline body, but have yet to study this. Reading this book makes me want to learn even more about this now, so look for articles to come soon on this topic.

Drinking Lots of Water with Lemon Throughout the Day But Not With Meals
I had read previously that drinking water with lemon is very alkalizing and supportive of the liver, but have yet to drink it regularly (preferably in between meals so you don't dilute your hydrochloric acid in your stomach which helps in digesting your food).  I use Lakewood organic lemon juice for convenience sake.  I know its not as good as freshly squeezed but sometimes that's not always practical and that's OK.  I plan to have lemon juice throughout the day and with herbal tea in the mourning instead of hot waterHot water with lemon just doesn't sound good to me.  Also making sure your hydrated is a good way to ensure proper elimination of toxins both through going # 1 and going # 2.  As an extra bonus being well hydrated helps fine lines go away and your less likely to have dry skinWhy?  If you are dehydrated your body will pull moisture from other less important areas like you skin or poo (which leads to constipation).

Beauty Pairing or Food Pairing and Eating Light to Heavy
Beauty Pairing is described above and eating light to heavy means you start with a late light breakfast and then a slightly denser lunch and then for dinner you can go with a heavy meal if you choose.  You can always go for a light meal instead at any meal instead.  I don't know much about this yet, but it makes sense to me.  I do plan to try this as much as possible, and I will practice this however, I think this will be hard for me to do. While I can avoid alot of carb and protein combos (eating mostly Paleo helps with this a lot), some times  I do miss certain food combos like a hamburger on a bun I know that you can make buns with out grains but 

most of the substitutes for flour in baking like nut and seed flour, coconut flour, and bean flour would be considered a concentrated food and therefore should not be eaten with a protein, also lots of non grain bread products rely on lots of eggs which would mean you would have two protein sources.  Another no no of beauty pairing.  Could I limit these types of foods?  Sure no problem, but not have a burger again?  Or real lasagna ? She offers a raw version which I would try but doubt it will replace the real deal.  I also had a hard time having a fairly light lunch.  She often suggest having a salad (only with veggies) and vegetarian soup, which is fine most days but I got really bored with this quickly.

Apparently Marilu Henner follows food pairing as well.  She talked about it recently on the Dr Oz show.  She basically said the same things as Kimberly but she said that you can combine starches and proteins if you have legumes.  Which is interesting since I was wondering where legumes fit into all this since they are proteins and starches.  At least this makes it a little easier to follow long term.
What I Don't Plan to do From the Beauty Detox

I do not plan to eat a vegetarian mostly raw diet as she advocates.  
While I respect those who chose that lifestyle, I do not feel it is for me.   I do like that she makes the plan more inclusive to those who do not want to became a raw vegetarian, however the thought of having over  2/3 of my diet being raw and vegan does not sound like something I would want to do.  Since all breakfasts and lunches on her plan are vegan and mostly raw, I am finding it hard to think of what to eat.  Her recipes do not sound appealing for me.   Although you are able to have meat at dinner even in the first phase of her program (there are 3 levels to her program), you are ideally suppose to only have 2-3 servings of meat or fish for dinner a week.  

Since trying her program for only a few days I am dreaming of dinner, so I can have some meat or seafood.  The thought of only having meat or fish 3 times a week seems impossible for me.  I have already reduced things in my diet that I think has good reasoning behind it (refined sugar, dairy, gluten, grains, bad fats) and have not found it to be to difficult culinary wise and have hardly missed it at all.  Meat I would miss.  It adds so much variety and flavor and I don't see any reason nutritionally to limit it as much as she has.  I'm not saying go crazy on meat, but I believe having small portions of grass fed meat or wild seafood with veggies is a perfectly healthy meal and I don't see any reason to not have.   

There are nutritional reasons to eat meat and cooked foods on occasion.   Meat is a good source of protein which is needed in our diets contrary to her insistence otherwiseKimberly keeps saying that protein is not as necessary as we think saying that Gorillas and Elephants are huge and strong and are herbivores.  Well yes, but they eat ALOT of veggies and Gorillas do eat insects as well.  My research so far has showed me that you want to get adequate protein for your body weight but not an excessive amount because it triggers the mtor pathway, which isn't good.   I won't go in detail about it to keep this article short and on topic but check this out if you want to learn more.  But you do need protein, you body can't make it and it's need to build muscles and collagen (so your skin looks great and has less sagging and wrinkles!)  Another reason is by eating a diet void of high zinc foods (mostly meat and seafood) you can create a copper and zinc imbalance (they need to be at a specific ratio to each other for good health).  Meat is also a great source of b vitamins, so vegetarians need to supplement B12.  So in conclusion if you do plan to follow her advise and go vegan, just make sure that you do a lot of research to learn how you can ensure you can get proper nutrition being a vegan.  Do not make such a big life change without the help of a nutritionist.  

As for eating raw,  for some foods raw is better nutritionally, while some foods have more nutrition available when cooked (like beta carotene in carrots or lycopene in tomatoes).  My conclusion so far is that raw food is pre digested making digestion easier, but cooked food while devoid of enzymes can make digestion easier by breaking down starch molecules into more digestible fragments. According to the baseline of healthfoundation,
"cooking "denatures" protein molecules, so that their amino-acid chains unfold and digestive enzymes can attack them more easily.  Heat physically softens food  making it easier to digest, so even though the stuff is no more calorific, the body requires fewer calories to break it down.  I think having a diet in both raw and cooked seems wise to me, as long as the temperature of cooking is as low as possible and with some liquid."
So it probably makes sense to eat a diet of both raw and cooked to get a larger variety of nutrition, as long as the cooking temp is low and with moisture.   The reason for this is because food cooked at high an dry temps seem to create bad chemicals that increase cancer.  That doesn't mean all cooked food is bad just be careful of how it's cooked.  Some methods of cooking that likely have carcinogens is fried foods, barbeque, carmelized foods, and foods baked at high temps without liquid.  Some methods of cooking that avoid these problems are crockpot cooking, baking foods in a dutch oven on low, and steaming or poaching foods.   

I do not plan to limit my fat to 1 tablespoon a day
Basically what she is recommending is a high carbohydrate low fat diet.  I believe a low fat high carbohydrate diet is not as healthy as our culture believes Health is all about balance and eating the right kinds of carbs, fats, and proteins. 

The reason I'm not a fan of the low fat diet is it trains your body to burn carbohydrates.  Your body has a limited storage capacity for burning carbohydrates as glucose so when you eat more than it can burn it shuttles those calories to fat, then when you use up your carbohydrates (which happens quickly since you can't store much) you become hungry again for more carbohydrates.  When your body is trained to burn fat you don't get hungry as often because your body burns your fat when it runs out of it's glycogen stores. If you want to read more about this check out Dr Rosedale's page. Or watch the video below of Dr Doug McGuff speaking at a conference about the biochemistry of diets.  So basically I don't believe in a low fat diet for these reasons, but I do agree with her in eating healthy fats.  I agree with her to get your oils from coconut (organic extra virgin) and extra virgin olive oil.  I also believe that grass fed butter, and even lard if it's from a pasture only raised animal can be a good fat  because if it's grass fed it has good fat (high in omega 3's) and it is not easily oxidized.  She did not recommend any animal fats.  Just remember fat does not make you fat. We all need to eat fat, just the good kind!  

6 min in Dr Mcguff starts to talk abut the biochemistry of the metabolic syndrome.  (48 min)

Dr Doug McGuff author of Body by Science talking about the biochemistry of the metabolic syndrome,  He starts talking about the biochemistry of diets about 1 hr and 3 min into the video.   (1hr 38 min)

For more info on the beauty detox check out an interview Kora Organics had with Kimberly Snyder .  Have you read this book or done a detox?  If so I'd love to here your thoughts!

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I am not a doctor. I have ZERO medical training and NO formal nutritional training.  The information provided on this site, such as text, graphics, images, is for informational purposes only. It is not to be construed as medical care or medical advice and is not a replacement for medical care given by physicians or trained medical personnel.  Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider(s) when experiencing symptoms or health problems, or before starting any new treatment.

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