Vanity Report: Eat Pretty
When you experience nine months of pregnancy, 51 hours of labor and the grueling first months of breastfeeding, it’s easy to reward yourself for all the hard (and miraculous) work your body is doing. You’re tired, uncomfortable, or in some sort of pain, and you reach for the ice cream, the cake, and all the food that everyone brings over to comfort you and make your life easier. And maybe this is just me, but I wanted to make up for the margaritas I couldn’t have with some other reward – more sweets, more ice cream. Because, in reality, I was burning 500+ calories a day feeding my baby, and I needed the fuel, right? Exactly.
But then came the bizarre mood swings, the irritability. And then the dreaded hair loss. My skin lost its luster, and with less time for anything but my baby, I also began to neglect myself. And the weight, of course, which was initially the least of my worries (I had just had a baby), until I realized how unhealthy I actually felt.
Just a few pages into Jolene Hart’s Eat Pretty: Nutrition for Beauty, Inside & Out, I was nearly in tears. Even though I was aware that hormones were to blame for a lot of what was happening to me (and excuses I kept making, let’s be honest), Jolene explained so clearly how the foods you eat and the amount of sugar you consume can interrupt how your hormones work. This is part of the chapter on Beauty Betrayers. I felt a severe guilt, but contrary to how I react to most books that try to tell me how I should eat, I did not close this one and toss it out the window, scoffing. I kept reading. And two days later I made some changes. I put an end to the excuses and decided to take better care of myself through food. And slowly but surely, I feel things coming together again. My hair isn’t as brittle, the mood swings have definitely improved, my skin is bright again and I am slowly shedding some pounds, an added bonus. Overall, I feel happier and prettier, indeed.
Jolene Hart spent years as a beauty editor, using product after product to address skin concerns, until she later decided to approach beauty through nutrition. She’s now a beauty and health coach and, in her book, maps out everything from those Beauty Betrayers (including foods and chemicals in skincare and makeup products), to how to have a pantry and refrigerator stocked with whole beauty foods. She includes suggestions by season and even features recipes to boost your overall beauty and health. Beyond the plate, she addresses managing stress through exercise, sleep and massage for a comprehensive approach to wellness and beauty. It’s a quick read, and one that’s also beautiful for display in your kitchen where you can grab it to reference as you cook and prepare shopping lists. And if you want to more closely document your journey and have another resource full of checklists and a beauty food glossary, her new guide Eat Pretty, Live Well is also on shelves.
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