I begin the practical part of my book (Part II: Feeding and Cultivating Beauty), with one of the physical acts we engage in most frequently, and thus, which can dominate our health if the choice is poor: Our beverage choices. Upgrading the water you drink from tap to purified, or finding equally appealing upgrades (not just second-rate substitutions) for favorite, convenient beverages like coffee or bottled iced teas and sodas can have tremendous payoffs, even affecting our moods and our enjoyment of life in addition to our skin and our shape. The "Beverage Makeover" chart in my book provides upgrades for every taste, as well as science-based "beauty incentives" for making the change.
Upgrade Your Coffee Break
A chronic coffee drinker who upgrades to herbal coffee, like Teeccino (the best-tasting one in my opinion) can expect a gradual recovery of real energy, improved sleep and even an improved ability to lose weight, as coffee has negative impact regarding several issues that affect our weight, including insulin, blood sugar levels, DHEA and cortisol. These benefits of weaning off coffee are discussed in more detail in The Truth About Beauty.
Another way to get gorgeous quick is to go "low glycemic". It's a little more specific than just going "low-carb," though low-carb foods are always useful tools in a low-glycemic diet. Eating low glycemic takes food combinations into account rather than just carb counting, because combining low-glycemic foods - like fat, fiber and proteins - with higher carb foods can lessen their impact on blood sugar and improve insulin activity and weight loss.
Many people see a difference in the mirror in as little as one day if they upgrade sugary beverages and carb-y foods to sugar-free, low-carb versions or low-glycemic combinations across the board. Puffiness in the face and abdomen go down very quickly and the stage is set for perhaps the most profound physical improvements possible.
From Depleted and Denatured to Real and Decadent
It's not all about just sugar or going low-glycemic, either. It's also about going REAL. Like upgrading the typical salad bar, piled high with hydrogenated croutons, thousand island dressing, colorless tomatoes, and canned garbanzo beans to a mouth-watering, "body-decadent meal-salad" of dark, spicy greens, pear or Granny Smith apple slices, toasted walnuts, red onion, gorgonzola cheese, olive oil and a touch of Balsamic vinegar. Or "giving up" hydrogenated, artificially flavored snack cakes and candy bars for fine sugar-free Belgian Chocolate, or homemade ice made with organic cream and a healthy sweetener, such as stevia, Lo Han, xylitol or the new natural stevia hybrid called SoooLite, which does not have the aftertaste some stevias have.
The list of food and beverage tweaks that can impact both your appearance and your quality of life is endless… From choosing berries over bananas, to using a healthier cooking oil (they aren't always the ones we think!), to stepping up the use of spices that actually have therapeutic effects, to low-carb pasta… These are not the sacrifices of yester-year, like giving up pasta, chips and sweets altogether. And once you've strategized your most pleasing upgrades, there will be no more suffering or self-denial; no more "shoulds" or "shouldn'ts". You are home free. I affectionately call such a state "beauty nirvana"… when what you desire has become one and the same with what is what is best for you. And for someone who waged a twelve year, life-threatening battle with food, it's a revelation.