Book Review: Eat Pretty

Today, CNE program graduate Caitlin Iles is sharing her review of Eat Pretty: Nutrition for Beauty, Inside and Out by Jolene Hart.

I’m not going to lie; I initially picked up Eat Pretty because it looked so darn beautiful on the shelf. But don’t let this book’s jazzy cover fool you: It is jam-packed full of scientifically sound nutrition information.

As the title suggests, this book is geared towards teaching women how to eat the foods that promote optimal beauty from the inside out. Jolene Hart worked in the fashion industry for years before realizing that all the creams, potions, and lotions in the world couldn’t make up for a poor diet, lack of sleep, and insane amounts of stress. She then discovered that that tired old adage “you are what you eat” was truer than she had previously believed. From there she commenced a wellness journey that included getting certified through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and the American Association of Drugless Practitioners and which culminated in the founding of Beauty is Wellness and Eat Pretty.

Her book is handily divided into 3 parts that cover all aspects of creating beauty from the inside out:

Part 1—Rethink Beauty

This section contains 3 chapters that discusses common beauty betrayers, the Eat Pretty Philosophy, and a thorough description of the components that make up the foods we eat.

Beauty Betrayers are defined as those foods that wreak havoc on our bodies, hair, skin, and nails. These foods include: conventional dairy, fried foods, alcohol, caffeine, foods from BPA-lined cans, gluten, grilled and overcooked foods, conventional meats, pesticide sprayed produce, processed foods in general, soda, and the mother of all inflammatory foods: SUGAR!

After discussing the foods that harm our bodies, Jolene explains the Eat Pretty philosophy, which is predicated on the creation of a healthy relationship with food free from restrictive habits and guilt. She explains that we have become disconnected from our bodies and the signals they send us when they’re out of balance and teachers us how we can start to listen to our bodies’ messages once again.

“Nourishment takes many forms in your body. Beyond nutrition, beauty is fed with your thoughts, and the way you sleep, move, feel, and even digest” (34).

From here Jolene goes into detail about specific macro and micronutrients, antioxidants, minerals, phytochemicals, vitamins, enzymes, and electrolytes and how they function in our bodies to send the messages that create vibrant health, the side bonus of which is glowing skin, shiny hair, and strong nails. This section is great as reference material when explaining to clients the basics of food science.

Part 2: Four Seasons to Eat Pretty

This section is perhaps the most useful of the entire book. It is broken up into the four seasons and goes into detail about what foods are in season when, which nutrients they contain, and how they promote healthy skin, hair, nails, etc. Each section also contains a selection of delicious recipes that take advantage of the seasonal produce previously discussed. I will often use this section as a reference when I’m deciding which foods to recommend to clients (or myself!) for specific concerns.

Part 3: The Essential Beauty Players—Beauty Beyond Your Plate

This section provides a fantastic ending to the book as it goes into detail about all the other super important aspects of health and beauty that many people overlook, even when their diets are perfect. She discusses how we’re not necessarily only what we eat, but also what we absorb and thus explains the importance of proper digestion and assimilation. The role of the liver, healthy gut bacteria, mindfulness, and specific digestion supportive herbs in promoting beauty is thoroughly defined and Jolene includes tips you can incorporate into your daily routine. She also discusses the importance of hormonal balance, adequate and restful sleep, emotional health, and of course exercise in creating a body and glow that all your friends will envy.

Ultimately, I absolutely adored this book and it rarely makes it to my bookshelf because I refer to it so often in my day-to-day life and nutrition practice. It contains enough science to keep us techie nerds happy, while remaining approachable and relevant to those who are just looking to make their lives and bodies more beautiful. All in all I definitely recommend this book to practitioners and clients alike, as I think there is tons of fantastic information on how to create a balanced body and lifestyle that is applicable to everyone, not just those seeking glowing skin.

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