Baby Steps to Better Health

My health has improved in leaps and bounds over the past ten years, and it has even improved significantly in the last 15 months. I have never been wholly unhealthy, at least in the sense that I have never had any major diseases, required extensive hospitalization, or broken any bones. Plus, my height, weight, and standard doctor’s office measurements (blood, thyroid, liver, kidneys, etc.) have always fallen within the “normal” range. (But what does “normal” mean, anyway?)

I’ve been doing a lot of reading on diet and nutrition recently, and all of this ‘new’ (to me) information has encouraged me to re-examine what I put into my body as far as food is concerned. Sure, I could probably continue on indefinitely without altering a single thing about what I eat or how I eat it, but at this point, I’m simply curious about the effects that certain dietary changes could have on my body. I’m not interested in undertaking any particular changes with the sole purpose of losing weight– I’m actually at one of the lowest weights I’ve ever been at during my entire adult life and adolescence right now– but I am interested in improving my ever-challenged digestion. Besides: the Latent Science Nerd in me never really got a chance to shine in school, and now she is (geekily) asking her turn. Can we please use the scientific method together, Dana? Please please? Pretty Puh-leaze???

My major motivation to make some changes has come in the form of a wonderful book: “The Beauty Detox Solution” by Kimberly Snyder. I have been following Kimberly’s Health & Beauty blog since January 2010 (when I cut dairy out of my diet), and she recently released a comprehensive book about her dietary recommendations, food combinations, and freeing up digestive energy for beautifying and cleansing purposes.

Kimberly Snyder demonstrating her impressive yoga skills. Image borrowed from http://www.kimberlysnyder.net/blog

I don’t know about you guys, but to me, Kimberly epitomizes the very definition of radiant health. (Doesn’t it seem like she’s literally glowing with health, beauty, and positive energy? What an inspiration! And way to lead by example!) She has extensive (and occasionally overwhelming) knowledge about nutrition– yes– and sometimes it can feel like there are so many little things to keep track of when it comes to diet– yes– but if there is even the slightest chance that some of her suggestions can work for my body and render me into a shimmering goddess of proper nutrition, then I’m willing to try it out. Healthy glow, here I come! 🙂

See? She's glowing! I will be, too. (Image borrowed from http://www.kimberlysnyder.net/blog)

Luckily for me, I am not starting right from Square One. I have already incorporated many of her recommendations into my daily routines without even realizing it– I don’t eat dairy anymore, and my meals are comprised of a whole lot of fresh vegetables and smaller amounts of whole grains. I actually consume ground flax seeds on a daily basis, and I already know what mysterious foods like “quinoa”, “millet”, “amaranth”, “dulse”, and “chard” are. That gives me a leg up, so to speak, but I’m also planning to take this opportunity to test out other recommendations of hers. It will not be a complete overhaul of my diet and lifestyle (at all), and I’m planning to incorporate her suggestions gradually, not overnight, so I can minimize any potential shocks to my body.

I am so excited to try this, though!

I’m going to create a new page at the top of my blog that is specifically targeted to the Beauty Detox Solution. (When I get around to it), I would like to make a list of most of the main suggestions that Kimberly outlines in her book, and then– as I incorporate them into my own lifestyle– I’ll cross them off like they’re on a Healthy To Do List and let you know how it goes! 😉

Like I say, this is not simply a weight loss endeavour; it’s a more holistic attempt to transform my body for the better, from the inside out. I get very excited about good foods (as you might have already guessed from my humble blog), and I’m so inspired by Kimberly’s own true beauty that I’m ready to embark on this new program myself. Baby steps to better health, indeed– wish me luck!

 

15 responses

    • I’m planning on it! 🙂

      Latent Science Nerd: Please, miss– can I get a turn? I can impress you with my mad titration skillz and knowledge of Styrofoam calorimeters. Me: Oh, alright…. Nerd.

  1. I’ve always believed it is much easier to maintain good health than it is to overcome a problem; the old ounce of prevention truism.
    Just look how many people struggle to lose weight and find it creeping back on.
    In theory, whatever direction a habit is taking you should continue that way.
    Good health habits, diet/exercise – good health.
    I really need to follow your dairy experience … alas, it has a lifetime of habit behind it.

    • Mine did, too– but once I got over the main roadblocks of feeling extremely sorry for myself and wanting to eat nothing but cheesecake, all was well! 🙂 Cutting out dairy has literally done wonders for my body. I easily dropped 10 pounds from that change ALONE (no exercise, no cutbacks on sugar, etc.– just dairy), and it’s been amazing to track the changes in my skin and energy levels. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing, either (at least when you’re starting out). Cutting back on dairy a little bit each day can work just as well, as long as you stay committed to the goal. You can do it!

    • She’s pretty much my heroine. I definitely can’t incorporate ALL of her suggestions (because there are a lot of them!), but I’m looking forward to making small changes here and there.

  2. You know what was interesting about what the Chinese doctor said to me was not to have any cold/raw things – or even room temperature. Something like that has drastically improved my digestive health and my energy! Water? Even room temperature was not good on my poor tummy. Now I take my water warm or have tea. Not green tea though, that’s a yin element and I have enough of that. Black tea mainly which is a yang. It’s all about balance for your own body.

    Looking forward to hear how this one goes for you!

    • Thanks! I couldn’t handle any cold or raw foods for a long time as well, but recently I’ve figured out it’s because I was combining them with heavy foods and/or poor food combinations. I’d have a salad with chickpeas on it and I’d feel all bloated afterward (most likely because of the chickpeas and not due to the lettuce!), or I’d make a salad with 8 zillion ingredients on it, which meant my body had to work really hard to digest everything all at once. I’m doing OK with some raw foods now, but I still can’t give up my steamed greens. YUM!!

  3. i love kimberly’s blog and i want to get her book!! i don’t know if i’m going to be able to get up early to make the glowing green smoothie when i have to be at work at 5 am and don’t get home till 10pm. the freezer will be my friend!

    • Definitely– she says it’s AOK to make a giant batch of the smoothie and freeze it for later. I can’t wait to incorporate more of her information into my day-to-day routine! (BTW: The book is an awesome companion to her blog– it contains all of the really important information and reiterates it in such a way that I somehow missed when reading post to post online. If you like following her blog already, I’d HIGHLY recommend buying the book, too.) Let’s be virtual Beauty Detox buddies! 🙂

    • I’m thinking about it, but maybe not down to the last possible gram. I don’t eat a ton of wheat or gluten right now (the occasional rye cracker and/or barley soup are notable exceptions)– but I’m contemplating taking the big culprits out. That said, if I eat something that has an iota of gluten in it, I’m not going to worry too much. Life is too short…

      Are you still off gluten? How’s that going?

  4. I found out I have celiacs about 9 months ago and went gluten-free cold turkey… its tough and there may be an occasional cheat but overall I feel so much better! Just a little change in the diet can make such a difference. Good luck trying the new recommendations! I cant wait to see your added info!

    • Thanks very much for the well wishes! My friend also has celiac disease and found the transition away from gluten to be tough but well worth it. I don’t eat a ton of gluten myself, but I’m willing to try anything to feel great and healthy. 🙂

  5. Love that I found your Beauty Detox diet. I just started mine about a month ago, slowly incorporating Kimberly’s rules. And drinking immunity tea. It’s healing me inside out from an autoimmune disease. Though I don’t think I will get completely cured, it’s kind of ridiculous how much improvement I’ve made. Will be reading what’s you’ve been through.

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