As a beauty editor, Jolene Hart had access to all the best products. From anti-aging ointments to flawless foundation, if it was new and effective, Hart had tried it. Unbeknownst to those who took her beauty advice, however, she was hiding a surprising secret under all those layers of cream and color.
"I'd been living with cystic acne, eczema, sensitive skin and digestive issues for years, but I never let on," Hart explains on her website. After being called out by a well-known facialist, she made up her mind to find a real beauty solution--something that went beyond acne products, pills and treatments.
"Eat Pretty: Nutrition for Beauty, Inside and Out" is the recently published result of more than three years of Hart's research and testing. Now a certified beauty and health coach, Hart's book connects the dots between what we eat, how we look, and perhaps most importantly how we feel. "Eat Pretty" is a message of hope and a handbook for those who've been locked in a never-ending battle with food.
"Ladies, food is your most powerful beauty tool, NOT your enemy," says Hart. "You can deepen your lifelong beauty and find simple ways to pamper yourself by shifting some of your everyday habits, starting with the foods you eat." Below are some of our favorite highlights from "Eat Pretty."
Deeper Than Skin Deep
Hart has far more experience in the beauty and cosmetics industries than I, yet I immediately identified with her frustration. We're sold countless products, designed to individually address this blemish or that chronic problem. I hated wearing the mask of makeup that only corrected issues temporarily, and often contained harmful chemicals that only made things worse in the long run. "When I realized that I had just about every beauty product in existence at my fingertips and yet I wasn’t a step closer to looking and feeling my best, I started searching for an answer beyond the beauty aisle," writes Hart. "I needed real solutions, and the conventional lineup of treatments, products, and prescriptions had already failed." She soon discovered that looking and feeling our best means exploring good digestion, healthy hormones, restful sleep, emotional health and, as the foundation of it all, foods that support our beauty and wellness. When we FEEL good because we're internally healthy, it can't help but spill over into our outward appearance.
Food is Your Ally (Except When It's Your Enemy)
When it comes to our looks, weight is almost always at the top of the worry list. For too long we've villianized food, starving ourselves because we think we can solve all of our problems by dropping two pants sizes. The problem isn't eating too much, it's eating too much of the wrong thing. One of my favorite sections of "Eat Pretty" is the one in which Hart lists 12 foods that, when eaten in excess or too often, sabotage our internal health and outward beauty.
How To Assemble A Pretty Plate
Once you're ready to view food as an ally for creating total body wellness, it's time to zero in on the foods that go a long way toward achieving the beautiful skin, hair, nails, and countenance that we all want. In a chapter called "Beauty Nutrition 101" Hart breaks down assembling a Beauty Toolkit--only instead of creams and foundation, this one contains only food. She breaks down the building blocks of beauty (carbohydrates, fat and protein) before moving on to a comprehensive beauty nutrition glossary. My favorite part is the section where she identifies dozens of "beauty foods" along with the essential nutrients and benefits they provide. In a nutshell: eat whole, colorful foods as close to their natural peak season as possible.
Stocking a Beauty-Enhancing Pantry
After laying all of the scientific and nutritional groundwork, Hart gets to the heart of the matter (couldn't resist). If you're ready to focus on attaining outward beauty through inward health, Part Two of "Eat Pretty" will become your Bible. It contains a massive list of foods (and a few recipes!) that should take up permanent residence in your kitchen (many of them replacements for the beauty saboteurs mentioned earlier). I was especially impressed with a section called "Glow Getters" that explains 16 anti-aging herbs and spices. There's also a section on eating pretty with the seasons, including a list of Spring Beauty Intentions that are perfect for using the warm weather as a catalyst for change.
"'Eat Pretty' is the book I needed so desperately when I was trying to find my own path to beauty and wellness!" says Hart. "It gives you the tools to understand what's going on in your body, how your choices (food, lifestyle and otherwise) affect your appearance, and how you can create your very own lifestyle of beauty."
Want to learn more? "Eat Pretty" is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and direct from the publisher.
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