Don’t you just love finding a book that’s been stored away on your shelf, pulling it out and realizing that you’ve been hiding a treasure?
That’s what happened to me this weekend as I was doing some early “spring cleaning” in my room. I found this:
As a student, my mind is open to the different perspectives and thought trains that are held about the nourishment we give our body. The thoughts we have about food and our world are constantly changing and are subject to all kinds of speculation. Rather than fearing differing perspectives and only adhering to specific dogma, I think that there’s something that can be learned from every philosophy and way of thinking. And because nutrition is such an intensely personal thing, one must listen to what resonates with them and what they individually need. However, exposing yourself to all kinds of information allows you to make an informed choice about what advice you want to follow.
In David Wolfe’s Eating for Beauty, a raw, plant-based food diet is being praised for its beautifying abilities. It’s not as superficial as you might think. The author makes a good point that the foods that we choose to eat quite literally become us. We are what we eat, and the food that we eat is digested and assimilated as new cells and tissues. So it should make sense that providing our bodies with the foods richest in vitamins and minerals will have the most impact in nourishing our organs and sustaining all of our biological processes.
Apparently, proper nutrition can lend itself to qualities in an individual such as symmetry and ‘magnetism.’ Wolfe suggests that because beauty is often synonymous with the symmetry, then we should mostly be taking in “geometrically harmonious” foods that are based on the golden ratio, or phi. Naturally, raw fruits and vegetables are among the most symmetrical foods on the planet. Wolfe also mentions the phenomena of the encounters we may have with people that have magnetic personalities, almost as though an aura or radiant glow surrounding them. This glow is called electromagnetic radiation and can be made visible through Kirlian photography. Closer inspection of raw produce through Kirlian Images shows that these plants, too, glow extraordinarily. It is then suggested that “raw-plant food” is ideal for obtaining a natural radiance.
Specific foods are highlighted in the book as they are potentially some of the most beautifying on the planet. Such foods are Aloe Vera, Arugula, Burdock Root, Coconuts and Coconut oil, Cucumbers, Durian, Figs, Hemp Seeds, Macadamia Nuts, Nettles, Olive oil, Onions, Papaya, Pumpkin Seeds, Radishes, Turmeric, and Watercress. All of these foods are highly concentrated in essential minerals that are favorable for beauty: silicon, sulfur, MSM (methyl-sulfonyl-methane), zinc, iron, and manganese. They create a basic, alkaline environment in the body, have anti-parasitic effects, high levels of antioxidants (especially vitamins A, C, and E), and have anti-inflammatory properties.
The book talks about the inclusion of these foods as well as the exclusion of others. Such foods are cooked meats, some grains, legumes, refined sugars, dairy, and soda. It explains the adverse effects that these foods have on the body and subsequently one’s beauty. The author advises that we eschew fats that come from animals from the diet, and mentions Dr. Weston Price’s studies that “fat-soluble vitamins found in raw fats/oils promoted the beautiful bone structure, wide palate, flawless well-spaced teeth, ad handsome, well-proportioned faces that characterized members of isolated traditional cultures.” Funny, Wolfe neglects to mention that the people in Dr. Weston Price’s study were drinking raw MILK! It raises my eyebrows a little bit. I also wonder about the validity of his claim that carbohydrates like cereal grains and other starches, having the ability to contribute to an increase of mold and fungus (candida) in the body. It is curious to think about. The book says that though these carbohydrate-rich foods provide sugar (the body’s preferred fuel source), they also lack the key minerals that we need, so it depletes us of energy.
I think it’s most important to consider adding more good foods to your regimen than to worry about taking away problematic foods at first. Once a person finds the foods that make them feel best, then they’ll know which ones are ‘draining them.’ While it’s interesting and exciting to hear about the power of these superfoods that are mentioned in the book, I don’t think that 100% of one’s eating pattern must solely be derived of them. And I certainly agree that soda and candies and “refined carbohydrates” don’t work best for me, but every person is different. Some people may find their happiness in a packet of skittles, which helps them achieve that happy glow that may not come if they feel restricted of their favorite once in a while treat.
I don’t subscribe to a raw vegan plant-food based diet, and don’t plan to abolish foods like eggs, cheese, legumes, fish, meat and bowls of oatmeal from my life any time soon. However, the book reinforces the notion that fruit and vegetables are truly life-bringing and eating them can bring more beauty and natural radiance than any skin cream or foundation.
Stay tuned – there may be a part two of this ‘Eating for Beauty’ blog-post! Though I don’t totally ‘buy’ all of the advice in the book, there was a lot of really cool nutritional information about the super foods in this book, as well as some really yummy sounding recipes. Maybe I’ll discuss ‘raw food diet’ trend on the food science/food production industry?