Recently one of my cooking class students gifted me a The Beauty Detox Foods: Discover the Top 50 Beauty Foods that will transform your body and Reveal a more Beautiful You book by Kimberly Snyder. My student said she loved the book, and thought that I would love it as well. But it's taken me a long time to write a review of this book, because even though I think it's interesting, there is something about the book that I just cannot buy into.
To start, let me make it clear that I think Synder has written a great book, full of helpful information about the natural healing power of foods. According to The Beauty Detox Foods, the basis of truly beautiful health is a focus on fresh, organic, raw fruits and vegetables. She recommends an unprocessed, gluten-free, dairy-free, and meat-free lifestyle that improves digestion, eliminates inflammation and helps us flush toxins from our body in a natural way. She especially encourages green drinks, like her signature Glowing Green Smoothie and including digestive enzymes and fermented foods everyday. Eating a diet like this, rich in plant foods, enzymes and high fiber content, helps us feel better and literally cleans out our systems each day. This glowing internal health manifests as glowing skin, healthy hair and a radiant beauty.
Each chapter is filled with information about foods that nourish our body from the inside out. She has chapters devoted to healthy skin, hair, eyes and 'inner glow,' and it's all great information. Did you know that one of the best solutions for dark under-eye circles is celery, with its balanced sodium-potassium ratio? And that bee pollen, sunflower seeds and sprouts, and microgreens like chlorella and spirulina can help bring out your brightest inner glow by bringing trace minerals and enzymes throughout your body? The nutrition information about each fruit, vegetable and supplement is rounded out with sidebar information from reputable sources, and it's clear that ample research grounds this book. There is also a whole chapter of recipes, featuring a host of delicious snacks and meals like green wraps, healhty versions of Sheppard's Pie and pasta, and desserts sweetened with coconut nectar and stevia. You can get four of her most popular recipes here (but you do have to sign up for her newsletter).
But here's the critique: there is something too perfect about Snyder that I just can't get my head around. In between the name-dropping of her celebrity client-friends like Drew Barrymore and Channing Tatum, there are dozens of pictures of Snyder, in full make up costume and looking like a pin-up version of a chef and yogi. There are no candid shots in the whole book, and it makes everything seem just too contrived. Her website and even her Instagram feed are similar- almost all the photos are over-the-top gorgeous. This reminds me a lot of Chef Chloe Coscarelli, who not only looks shockingly similar to Snyder, but whose cookbooks and websites feature so much over-the-top gorgeousness and perfectly photographed food that it seems totally fake.
It's hard to write a review like this and not seem just, well, bitchy. Both Snyder and Chef Chloe are incredibly gorgeous, and obviously they are smart business woman. And who can blame them for making the most of their fantastically proportioned attributes to further their career? But both are published authors and have made multiple appearances on television and have active websites and Facebook accounts. Snyder even has her own line of supplements available and is currently in Africa doing volunteer work, sharing gardens and green smoothies with Rwandan orphans. And upon further research it seems that Snyder's health plan is really real: here's her article about her personal transformation into her glowing self, which is amazing indeed. Though Snyder and her recipes may seem too-good-to-be-real, my guess is that with this honesty behind her story, the success of her health transformation and that of her friends, and her honest approach to eating, she's going to remain successful for a very long time. I look forward to seeing the next book!