I’ve been getting a lot of search terms and hits to do with Kimberly Snyder’s Beauty Detox Solution lately. People want to see before and after shots of others who have undertaken Kimberly’s diet recommendations, and even more people just want to know, plain and simple, if the program works. Should they buy the book? Should they make the Probiotic and Enzyme Salad (aka Countertop Sauerkraut) recipe? Are Glowing Green Smoothies delicious or gross-tasting? Do they really need a Vita-Mix blender?
I started the Beauty Detox Solution program last April (2011), and I even set up a separate page on my blog so I could document my progress and keep all of my posts on that topic in one, easy-to-access hub. I gradually started incorporating Kimberly’s principles into my lifestyle and noticed both subtle and significant changes in my health almost immediately. Weight was lost. Skin was cleared up. Energy levels were boosted. Sleep was sound and restful. Digestion and elimination became efficient to super-heroine levels.
And then I got sidetracked– seriously— when my work took over my existence last summer. (Excuses, excuses– I know.) I abandoned most of the specific principles of the Beauty Detox Solution and many of the foundational tenets of Basic, Commonsense Nutrition as well. Take-out food was consumed every day. Not surprisingly, weight was gained– a lot of it, too: 20-odd pounds! Sleep was sacrificed. Energy levels were in the dumps. Skin still looked okay (because I maintained my no-dairy stance), but everything else related to my body was terrible.
Well. Heroic journeys are all about redemption after descending into darkness, right?
I have ever so slowly started back on my Personal Beauty Detox journey; however, I’m not the most dedicated pupil and still retain a lot of flexibility (cheating?) regarding what I eat. (Diet Vigilantes would call it cheating– I’m calling it “moderation”.)
When we first moved to the cabin in December, I felt very chilly every day, so the thought of consuming Green Smoothies and raw salads was incredibly unappealing. (In the spirit of listening to my body, homemade soups and steamed vegetables over grains became my go-to meals of choice.) Besides, I was still weaning myself off of copious amounts of sugar, salt, and fats from those wretched summer months, so unfortunately, whole foods seemed kind of bland for a while. I needed a serious Palate Cleansing/Overhaul. But lo! Things are getting better and I am feeling much peppier these days, health-wise and energy-wise.
What Principles of the Beauty Detox Solution Am I Following?
1. Zero dairy in my diet.
I started this process a year before the BDS book was released and have reaped incredible rewards (significant weight loss, complete elimination of my acne, better digestion, and way less congestion) because of it. I’m not going to lie– taking dairy out of the diet completely is hard, especially if you buy any pre-packaged foods or restaurant meals whatsoever. (Of if you love cheese, which I did x 1000.) Dairy is in everything! However, it’s not impossible to do and I am a firm believer that the benefits are well worth the challenge. Seriously.
2. Slim-to-none amounts of caffeine and zero meat in my diet.
I have some green tea that I got as a gift, so I drink a cup of it every now and then. Also, I’m still eating local, free-range, organic eggs on occasion. I could take them out of my diet if I really wanted to, but I happen to like eating eggs every once in a while. So there! 🙂
3. Soaking grains, nuts, and seeds before consuming them.
I confess that I never used to soak anything before eating or cooking it. Now, I’ve gotten into the habit of soaking things overnight (or for 24 hours) before I need them in recipes. Do I notice a difference? In texture, yes, but in terms of digestion, not really. Maybe it’s just me?
4. Taking out as much soy as possible.
I’m not a soy person in general. However, this summer involved a whirlwind rebound relationship with soy milk, facilitated by our matchmaker, Starbucks. The truth is that soy milk makes me feel *almost* as gross as cow milk does– I get super phlegmy, bloated, and congested when I drink it. (Alas, Starbucks was only a skip away from our harbour booth, and I had a summer filled with the sickening convenience of Soy Coffee Fraps. Let’s all keep our fingers crossed and hope that this never happens again!) Soy is mostly out again, save for some dashes of Bragg’s Liquid Aminos and miso.
5. Glowing Green Smoothies/Probiotic and Enzyme Salad consumption.
After recovering from the initial shock of the fresh mountain air up here, I’ve started drinking between 3 and 5 Green Smoothies a week, and I also have a 1/2 cup of Probiotic and Enzyme Salad (aka raw sauerkraut) every few days. Both of these recipes make me feel incredibly clean and healthy; however, I still haven’t worked up to consuming either of them on a daily basis. Confession: as much as I love the green smoothies in particular, I find it challenging to drink them and still have enough time left over to eat all of the other meals I want to on a given day! (I’ve been sleeping in like a sloth every day, so by the time I eat breakfast, most people are just about ready for lunch. That doesn’t leave a girl a lot of time to down her soups, salads, and other delectable food items before dark! So much delicious, homemade food– so little time!)
6. Focusing on the process vs. on the end result.
The Beauty Detox Solution isn’t a race or a competition. I don’t feel pressure to incorporate all of Kimberly’s principles right away or even ever. I’m just doing what works for me and feeling thankful for the health I have because of it. I know that I could be “more successful” (read: thinner, toned, famous, and probably rich, too) if I were to stick very closely to the program. Certainly, I could lose more weight, feel super-human amounts of energy, and feel rested on 4 or 5 hours of sleep a night. I just don’t feel the need to get there just yet– for once, I’m actually fine with who I am, as I am right now. Go, me!
So Does It Work?
In a word: yes. I believe that any move toward a plant-based, whole foods diet will yield significant health benefits, and The Beauty Detox Solution is one way to get there. If people are just looking for an easy, quick-fix solution to weight issues alone, and are wondering if a diet of 100% Green Smoothies can do the trick, the BDS can still work, but undertaking it specifically to LOSE A MAXIMUM AMOUNT OF WEIGHT, RIGHT NOW! is really missing the point. This is a gradual (and hopefully permanent) shift in lifestyle. Yes, it works, but you do have to be invested in the principles that underpin it first. After reading this book, and now The China Study, I am really beginning to sense the urgency of maintaining a plant-based, whole foods diet for overall health and quality of life. It just makes sense on so many levels (but maybe I’m more receptive to this message, having been a vegetarian for most of my life and having already taken dairy out before the Beauty Detox Solution book came out).
Do You Have Any Before/After Photos?
Hmmm… I looked through our archives and noted with suspicion that I had “lost” or “accidentally deleted” most of the less-than-flattering pics of myself. (Either that, or I’m not exactly jumping in front of the camera when my clothes aren’t fitting properly. Look at my thighs! They’re gigantic!!)
That said, you can get a really good “before” shot of my acne-ridden complexion in this post. (My “after” skin shot is just up above in the current post– that shot was taken a few days ago.) I still consider myself to be in the early phases of the program, especially because I started and then stopped so spectacularly for half a year. Maybe I should take a current, full-length pic and use it as my “before” shot. Fabulous, fashionable “after” shots will come in a few months, then. 😉
I hope this information helps! As always, if you have any questions, please feel free to ask me in the comments section or e-mail me privately. I’m happy to share my personal experiences and pitfalls in the spirit of making the journey that much easier for somebody else. 🙂