Celebrity nutritionist Kimberly Snyder makes detox delightful, and shows us how to sparkle from the inside out.
If green smoothies had an official muse fronting their campaign to get people healthy and beautiful, Kimberly Snyder would be it. The nutritionist to the stars is behind the healthy bodies—and minds—of the sexiest celebrities around. Drew Barrymore, Channing Tatum, Reese Witherspoon, Rooney and Kate Mara, Dita von Teese and Kerry Washington all rank among her many fans. She’s a regular on national TV and has been name-checked by Vogue. Back before kale was cool and chia was just a pet, Snyder was making green smoothies and fermented cabbage glamorous. Her approach to wellness begins with her signature Glowing Green Smoothie and involves diet, exercise and emotions. She makes traditional Ayurvedic medicine sexy and now has all of Hollywood eating—and drinking—their veggies. She’s a New York Times bestselling author of The Beauty Detox Solution, The Beauty Detox Foods and The Beauty Detox Power, and still sees personal clients when she’s not jet-setting across the globe. At home in LA she’s the owner of healthy hotspot, Glow Bio, which serves up smoothies, juices and other green gourmet treats. Snyder follows a plant-based, gluten-free diet with proper food combining, but she’s less concerned with labels and more concerned with chakras than calories. Her nutrition strategy, typically reserved for Hollywood A-listers, is accessible to everyone. Candid about her own struggles with self-image and health, she uses her personal experience to literally feed her passion for wellness. The inspiring nutritionist, chef, yogini, prolific author and world traveler shares her tips for radiating energy from the inside out:
Your approach to beauty falls into the “you are what you eat” category—skin, hair and silhouette are a reflection of what’s going on inside the body. How does digestion affect our skin?
Guess what? “You are what you eat” simply isn’t true. Not the whole truth, anyway. You are actually what you absorb and assimilate from what you eat. If you spend a lot of money eating organic foods but aren’t actually absorbing the nutrients from them, then you aren’t getting the benefits you think you are. Chronic bloating, gassiness, and other aspects of poor digestion are also signs that you may not be properly absorbing the nutrients from your food. They’re absorbed through your gut, for instance, not your stomach; so if congestive foods stay in your stomach for long periods and make you bloated, some of their nutrients will be de-natured before they even reach your gut and you won’t reap the benefits. When you do absorb the nutrients in your food properly, your circulation improves, your skin has a healthy glow, your hair becomes thicker and shinier, your energy levels rise, and it becomes easier to maintain your weight.
Your Beauty Detox Power book is more like "you are how you eat." Explain this mindful approach to eating?
The Beauty Detox Power offers a new way to think about the role of food in our wellbeing. We’ve been conditioned to think of food as the primary factor in weight and health. This book tells you about the factors that lie beyond what’s on your plate—how aligning your thoughts, words, actions (such as what you eat), and core beliefs (such as thinking it’s hard to lose weight and keep it off) is the key to success in looking and feeling the way you want. You’re guided through what to do to create this alignment, just like aligning your spine.
People tend to associate detoxing with starvation or drinking only juice or cabbage soup. What’s your definition of a detox?
My approach maximizes beauty energy and increases the beautifying vitamins and minerals you eat daily. It’s about abundance, rather than restriction. It’s not just about the foods we eat, but also the order and combination in which we eat them. The variety of fruit and vegetables and other beauty foods that I encourage help flush toxins from the body. But I’m not asking you to go on a liquid diet that leaves you tired and hungry—you inevitably regain any weight lost as soon as you return to your old habits. No, you’ll eat real, satisfying, delicious food and you’ll be cleansing on an ongoing basis, which is the only long-term effective way.
How do you define beauty?
Outer beauty is a reflection of inner health. It’s also a reflection of your true power, which arises from the alignment of your thoughts, core beliefs, words and actions. It’s this alignment that enables you to become sufficiently powerful to shape the body and life you want. Then you’ll be able to exceed perceived limitations in all areas of your life, including how you look and feel, your weight, health, energy and beauty.
How do you personally start your day?
Meditation, hot water with lemon, and a Glowing Green Smoothie. Establishing regular rhythms are key to health and beauty.
And how do you end your day?
Meditation, reading (real books, not e-readers), herbal tea, and cuddling.
What’s the biggest mistake women make with regard to their diet and beauty regimes?
Thinking that calories are all that matter! While it’s true that eating too many calories can cause you to gain weight, there’s more to food than just calorie counting. Calories (actually kilocalories) are a measure of thermodynamic (heat) energy. In short, a calorie is the energy needed to raise the temperature of 1 gram of water by 1°C. While we often refer to calories as food energy, in fact it’s a measure of energy for all simple thermodynamic machines. But here’s the problem: your body isn’t a simple thermodynamic machine—if it were, calories would be a very accurate, one-size-fits-all way to measure how food might make us gain weight. The human body is a complex biological unit, and measuring weight loss/weight gain potential solely by calories is a gross oversimplification of something that is remarkably complex.
Okay, no calorie counting, then—so how should we assess foods?
Instead, we need to look at their nutritional content. Our body takes macronutrients (protein, carbohydrates, and fat) from food, as well as micronutrients (vitamins and minerals). Loading up on low-cal foods filled with artificial sweeteners and other chemicals, for instance, won’t help you lose weight in the long run. Nutritional content is far more important than calories; however, that doesn’t mean you can eat as much nutritious food as your heart desires—too many calorie-dense nutritious foods can also make you gain weight. That’s why I recommend eating low-cal foods that have a great nutritional pay-off: vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. You can also eat small amounts of more nutritionally dense plant foods, like nuts and seeds, although I recommend just one or two ounces (30g–60g) per day to help keep your calorie and fat consumption manageable.
Are there five all-time, can’t-live-without beauty detox foods that everyone should consume daily?
Glowing Green Smoothie
This is the ultimate energy and beauty booster. It's laden with greens and vegetables (plus fruit to sweeten), and packs a mega-punch of vitamins, enzymes, minerals, amino acids and fiber, making it a great choice for breakfast or mid-afternoon snack. Its high fiber content combined with enzymes help to flush pollutants and toxins out of your body, which is important for long-term vitality and youthfulness.
I strongly recommend taking a good probiotic every day. Probiotics help to maintain a healthy digestive environment and play a critical role in our digestive track, as well as immune system. There are many ways to add them to your daily diet. For example, the Probiotic & Enzyme Salad: raw, cultured vegetables that have been chopped and preserved in airtight containers at room temperature for a few days. This allows the beneficial lactobacilli and enzymes to flourish, creating a probiotic-rich combination. Raw sauerkraut also teems with probiotics and enzymes, both of which cleanse your system. (I know cooked kraut is popular in Germany, but I’m talking about the raw, unpasteurized, uncooked kind.) It’s in health stores, refrigerated, or you can make your own (instructions are in The Beauty Detox Solution).
For a glowing, blemish-free skin, add lemons to your daily diet. Although they have natural citric acids, lemons are actually alkaline-forming upon digestion, helping digestion by increasing the secretion of bile from the liver. They also act as a strengthening agent for the liver’s enzymes—any support given to the liver, which is our primary detoxifying organ, helps acne. Lemon also supports digestion in the colon, promoting the efficient, regular elimination of waste, plus it acts as a blood purifier and a cleansing agent, flushing out bacteria and toxins. These properties make it helpful for long-term weight loss, too. Start your day with a mug of hot water and lemon, and add fresh lemon juice to your water throughout the day.
Eat more pineapple! It’s a wonder food when your skin needs to look amazing, improving your digestion, reducing inflammation, forming collagen and removing toxins from the body. What’s more, it tastes incredible.
Everyone wants glowing skin, but everyone is busy. Any tips for “glowing on the go”?
Almonds are easy to pack. They contain vitamin E, B vitamins, magnesium and iron, all of which can boost energy. To spice it up, throw in some goji berries and you’ll have a healthy trail mix. A banana is also a great source of energy—it digests fairly quickly, and contains fiber for sustained energy, along with some B vitamins.
Also, we ship nationally. You can place an order at www.myglowbio.com. You can also visit us at 7473 Melrose Ave. in Los Angeles, California. Our boosters start at $4, and our 100% organic juices and smoothies range from about $8 to $9.
What is your favorite travel-friendly beauty meal?
Raw seeds like pecans are a great idea because they’re high in minerals such as zinc, amino acids to build protein, and fiber to fill you up. Again, I’m a huge fan of carrying bananas around—satisfying, nutritious, with natural sugars to zap sugar cravings and make you less likely to reach for candy or sugary drinks.
You recently launched yoga videos. How does yoga affect inner and outer beauty?
Yoga stimulates the lymphatic system, which helps to flush out toxins. Drink plenty before and after your practice to ensure that toxins that start moving are pushed all the way out of your body. Do this together with your regimen of digestive probiotics, and your body will feel lean and clean. What’s more, all those twists are good for more than flexibility—they stimulate your digestive tract, making elimination easier. I recommend doing a few twists when you wake up in the morning just to rev everything up and ensure that you start your day feeling lighter, not weighed down. Yoga also has the ability to alleviate depression and anxiety, and to help with the mood swings that go with PMS and menopause.
Most nutritionists tend to lean towards the “breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dine like a pauper” approach, but you don’t advise this. Can you explain?
Heavy breakfasts weigh you down and suck vital energy. You need to extend the cleansing that has started from not eating since the night before, rather than get weighed down again. Even in ancient health systems like Ayurveda, heavy breakfasts are frowned upon.
What is your all-time favorite meal or food?
Dharma’s Kale Salad, which is my go-to recipes from The Beauty Detox Solution. I pair it with baked sweet potatoes or sometimes a veggie soup or a nut paté, but it’s my favorite base for any meal, and I eat it often.
What foods should we avoid?
Processed and fast foods (including packaged protein bars) that contain chemical ingredients—they clog up your intestines with acidic toxins that can contribute to acne. Stick to organic when possible. Dairy can be very difficult for many of us and creates a lot of toxicity in the body. Think of it as rust in a bicycle wheel—it’s so much harder to pedal with wheels clogged with rust. Toxicity contributes to weight gain, wrinkles, breakouts, and dull skin, hair and nails. The good news is that we can derive all the nutrition found in dairy, including calcium, from plant foods.
Any exciting upcoming projects?
I’m launching my new podcast, Beauty Inside Out, on November 2, with interviews, candid conversations and answering questions in a fun format. Be sure to check it out.
Do you have favorite recipes for fall?
Yes, my Beauty Detox Pumpkin Spice Smoothie, which is easy to add to your routine, and a great option for a midday snack, a light lunch on the go (especially if you’re planning on having an early dinner), or even a post-dinner dessert. If you have a sweet tooth and need a light but satisfying way to calm the cravings, then get blending! Try this instead of a usual cacao/dark chocolate-flavored treat:
Beauty Detox Pumpkin Spice Smoothie
• ½ cup pumpkin purée (freshly cooked preferred, or from a carton)
• 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
• ½ tbsp pure maple syrup or coconut nectar, more or less to taste
• ½ tsp gluten-free, alcohol-free pure vanilla extract
• ¼ tsp cinnamon
• ⅛ tsp nutmeg
• ⅛ tsp allspice
• ½ tsp freshly ground ginger
• 1 frozen organic banana
Blend all ingredients until smooth