When we hear the word beauty in today’s popular culture it can be somewhat draining because we often think of the celebrities who seem never to age, are permanently thin, perfectly tan and perpetually toned. Great. Well, you know what? I would be too if that were part of the demands of my job.
I recall the exact moment when the word “beauty” evolved into something far more important than simply having my hair done in the most posh style or maintaining a petite figure. I was staying with a friend’s daughter for a week while both parents were out of town. The daughter was 9 and was a very talented dancer in a local competitive club. I will never forget when she was helping me feed her 5-year-old brother breakfast and said to him, “You can go ahead and eat mac and cheese for breakfast! You can use the calories. I can’t eat junk like that though, too fatty.” I immediately walked to the freezer, breaking her mother’s rules, and we ate popsicles for breakfast. And for dinner? Pizza.
What is beauty? That question haunted me for weeks afterward because a 9-year-old thought beauty meant to be rail thin. Well, good luck with that when you hit puberty. It gets rough. Since that moment, “beauty” and “health” became synonyms to me. When I stumbled across the book “Eat for Beauty” by David Wolfe, I knew I had to read it because I believe that’s where it all begins!
If you put bad food into your body, how can you expect to have great skin or hair? How do you expect your body to get its nutrients? Don’t misunderstand me--I supplement (vitamin C, iron, biotin and a daily multi-Vitamin), but I’m only human! I have nights where the idea of cooking a nice healthy meal is as daunting as asking me to run a marathon…or a half marathon…or a 10k…5k…okay, fine, even a mile exhausts me! My fiancé and I always have a couple of frozen pizzas in the freezer for nights when all we want to do is watch some TV and veg out. And I am, shamefully, a chipaholic. I seriously can’t say no to chips. If they are near me, I will eat them. I lose all decorum and self-discipline.
David Wolfe’s “Eating for Beauty” uses a fresh food diet to cleanse, nourish and beautify based on the simple saying, “You are what you eat.” The book focuses on educating us on the difference between acid and alkaline foods, food classes, detoxification, beautifying foods and recipes and how all of this affects anything from our skin to our voice!
My review? I found this book to be incredibly enlightening as well as educational. Maybe it’s just me, but I do love to know what each food is capable of contributing to my body. That being said, I’m not sure how practical eating a raw food diet is for the “every day Joe” because frankly, it’s hard! I attempted to “eat raw and fresh” for a week and was really hungry! Trust me, I felt great! But I do think there is something to another concept touched upon in this book: balance.
I’m a firm believer that with balance and moderation you can achieve your health goals or beauty goals without feeling like you’re forever abstaining from things that make you happy. I say this with a side note: I work out, I eat well 90% of the time and only drink water, coffee and wine. Overall, I do consider myself a healthy woman. But I do need that 10% for sanity purposes.
One of the ways David Wolfe backs up a lot of his claims that raw food contains vastly more potential for natural energy is with Kirlian photographs of cooked fruit or vegetables next to their raw counterparts, and it’s pretty hard to deny he’s on to something. The more we process our foods, the further away they are from their raw potential. These images are eerily beautiful and kind of made me want to run out and eat raw corn.
However, between the “eating raw and fresh” diet and the hugely popular “Paleolithic diet,” I have been utterly convinced of one thing: It has never been more important to eat naturally. By this I mean eat things as closely to their natural form as is possible. Vegetables? Stop dressing them up with spices and oils and enjoy them as close to their natural form as possible! Meat? Keep it simple: bake it solo and stop smothering it in creams and butter. Carbs? Keep them whole and keep them complex.
I don’t believe sticking to one diet is good for us mentally, but I do think if you take what works for you from multiple sources, you will find something that lasts for you for the long run. And when possible, go organic, all natural, cage free, and/or free range. Always keep various forms of exercise in your life. David Wolfe is a huge proponate of yoga and I’m with him, but I would suggest a bit of cardio in there as well. That is my humble opinion based on my own experience.
To succinctly conclude a rather verbose review, David Wolfe’s knowledge on the benefits of eating raw is undeniable and I will forever bring my raw fruits, vegetables and nuts to snack on at work because I believe him! But I also take something away from his section on the Psychology on Beauty:
“There are many suggestions in this book and in this lesson chapter. The best idea is to take in the foods and beautifying strategies that you can use and leave the rest for another time. Everything comes in its own time. Enjoy the process.”
Mr. Wolfe, I couldn’t agree more. I will eat my fruits, veggies and nuts for my snacks, but I will go home and cook a meal with my fiancé that will likely contain dairy and bread and we’ll probably finish strong with chocolate and wine. I will enjoy the process to a healthy life, without defining my strategy as raw, Paleolithic or wheat-free. But thank you for the education on the benefits of the food I consume, your belief in exercise and the encouragement to live a beautiful life through my thoughts as well as my actions.
So tell me what you think of David Wolfe's ideas? Do you follow a particular diet, and if so why and what has been your experience so far? Do you ever cheat like me and leave that 10% for indulgence in "junk foods" and laziness on a weekend night? Post your thoughts below.