What you see in the mirror depends on what you see in the fridge. Food's magic power to boost our natural beauty is the philosophy behind The Beauty Detox Solution by nutritionist-to-the-stars Kimberly Snyder, out on March 29 (check out the cover blurb by Drew Barrymore!).
"I've traveled around the world and found that women in the poorest cultures had such beautiful, healthy, radiant skin ... that they looked far younger than us Western women — despite our diets, gyms and make-up," she says. For her clients, who range from celebs to busy moms, Snyder integrates the secrets of other cultures into a holistic approach to eating (read: no food restrictions or counting calories). "Being beautiful isn't about micro-managing to the point of pulling out a calculator at dinner," she said. Instead, it's about unlocking the energy that's often hogged by one thing: digestion.
The less energy we tie up in digestion, the more energy we can "unlock" to spread through our bodies and confer beauty benefits: supple skin, shiny hair, glowing complexion, strong nails and increased energy to hit the gym. "If we unlock that energy, our bodies will radiate from the inside out."
And her secrets may surprise you. "A lot of people think they're doing right by eating chicken and brown rice, then fruit for dessert," Snyder says. "But eating fruit after protein is like putting a Ferrari behind a Mack Truck on the highway; it causes a traffic jam." Because protein takes a couple of hours to digest, "the fruit will start to ferment and bloat you out. It's a total waste of digestive energy."
Snyder shared with SHAPE the recipe for her "Glowing Green Smoothie," the go-to beauty drink for Barrymore, Olivia Wilde and Jenna Dewan (not to mention Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn!). "Every time I work on a movie set, the whole cast starts to drink it," she says. "It's a ton of nutrients, condensed and blended into a juice so your body doesn't waste energy breaking it down. The vitamins, minerals and amino acids will flow right into your system to rejuvenate you. And it's full of fiber, so you're not reaching for that bagel or that second cup of coffee between meals." Give the egg-white omelet routine a break, and try this instead for breakfast.
Kimberly Snyder’s Glowing Green Smoothie
-1 1/2 cups water
-1 head organic romaine lettuce, chopped
-3-4 stalks organic celery
-1/2 head of a large bunch, or 3/4 of a small bunch of spinach
-1 organic apple, cored and chopped
-1 organic pear, cored and chopped
-1 organic banana
-Juice of 1/2 fresh organic lemon
-1/3 bunch organic cilantro (stems okay)
-1/3 bunch organic parsley (stems okay)
Add the water and chopped head of romaine to the blender. Starting the blender at low speed, mix until smoothi. Gradually moving to higher speeds, add the celery, apple and pear. Add the cilantro and parsley, if you are choosing to add them. Add the banana and lemon juice last.
The fruit and lemon cut right though the grass taste. Feel free to mix and match different greens and fruits, as these two specific food groups combine well.
Melissa Pheterson is a health and writer and trend-spotter. Follow her on preggersaspie.com and on Twitter @preggersaspie.