Kimberly Snyder is a holistic nutritionist for many of the entertainment industry’s top celebrities and has worked with clients on some of Hollywood’s biggest film sets.
But what’s more impressive than her roster of celeb fans is her holistic approach to nutrition and her appreciation and connectedness to the earth and the people she meets. A three year odyssey trekking around the globe gave Kim a unique and fresh perspective on health and beauty which she shares in her bestselling book The Beauty Detox Solution.
I caught up with the nutritionist, author, globe trekker and yoga instructor while she’s working in New Mexico on yet another movie set. In between counseling actors, actresses and the crew, as well as practicing yoga each evening overlooking the mountains, Kim shared how the world became her classroom, why “diets” simply don’t work and how each of us can unlock what she calls our “beauty energy.”
Lindsay: Most recent college graduates pull a resume together and go job searching but you went on a very different journey post graduation. Can you tell us about your world travels and how they prompted you to discover your calling in life?
Kim: In my early twenties, I backpacked the world for 3 years across over 50 countries. How did that happen? Well I was working in Sydney, Australia, where I had landed my first job after graduating from college. I met an amazing Australian nutritionist that changed my life by exposing me to the powers of detoxing and natural health, and I wanted to learn more about how it was practiced across the world.
One day I walked into an STA travel office and bought an around the world ticket with 15 stops over 5 continents. I planned the trip right on the spot, and left everything behind 2 weeks later to travel the world alone. I never looked back. I circled the world once, bought another around the world ticket, and circled it again, this time by a different route. And then again… Some of my favorite countries include India, Thailand, India (especially the North and Kashmir), Laos, Zimbabwe, Nepal, Mongolia, the Philippines, Peru, Australia and Tanzania.
I lived off the money I saved while working. Since I had been paid in US dollars I was able to save some travel money. I camped practically all the months I was in Africa, and was able to survive on dollars a day in Asia living in guest houses, bungalows and ashrams. There were a lot of close calls- and looking back I do gasp at some situations… but nothing really bad ever did happen.
My life changed in every possible way. I would never be where I am today had it not have been for this experience. I learned what I really value in life, and how little I need to be happy. I would travel anywhere, and feel instantly connected and at home with the new people I encountered. I traveled alone much of the time, but I always made new friends no matter where I was. I experienced firsthand that we truly are all connected.
I was exposed to a vast assortment of environments as well as health and beauty practices from different cultures. Being able to experience first-hand the indigenous health practices of diverse, local communities was invaluable and totally eye-opening. The world was my classroom, and that is how I discovered my calling in life, which is to help people improve their lives through proper nutrition.
Lindsay: So how would you sum up your food and nutrition philosophy?
Kim: To sum it up in a few sentences: I believe the word ‘health’ is synonymous with the word ‘beauty.’ My definition of beauty is that it’s deep, lasting and magnetic, and grows from the inside out.
My program focuses on the powerful link between beauty, health and energy. The key is unlocking our Beauty Energy, the potential energy we all have inside us that can rejuvenate skin, reduce wrinkles, melt away pounds and give us newfound energy. A staggering 50-80% of our energy is spent digesting, and the more energy we spend digesting, the less energy we have to rejuvenate our cells and fight aging. With the Beauty Detox Solution, you can free up this Beauty Energy, so you can use it to create beautiful skin, hair and nails. And you’ll even have the energy to go to the gym and play with your kids at the end of the day!
Sure, there are many programs out where you can lose weight- at least for a time. But what’s the good in being a size 4 if you look 10 years older? My program is not only about losing the weight, but having amazing skin, feeling energized and looking younger, too!
Lindsay: Your first book came out this past March “The Beauty Detox Solution.” Congratulations! What will readers gain from the book? I love the fact that your book can be easily tailored to any lifestyle, be it vegan, vegetarian or carnivore!
Kim: Thank you. And yes, my program works for absolutely everyone–whether you eat meat or are a vegetarian or vegan. I don’t believe in restrictive, confusing diets that force us to micromanage what we are eating all the time. The idea is to increase the Beauty Foods you are eating and maximize Beauty Energy. As I explain in The Beauty Detox Solution, vegetarian does not necessarily equal healthy—there are some very unhealthy vegetarians who eat mainly starches with limited greens, fruits and vegetables. My plan is about abundance, and approaching how we eat foods in a different way. The beauty of the program is that it teaches readers how to eat meat in the best way possible so that you can reap the benefits of the program without giving up your favorite foods.
Lindsay: I understand that a portion of the proceeds of your book go to SeeYourImpact.org. Can you tell us about this organization?
Kim: We’re all connected, and it was very important for me to give back to the incredible communities I encountered and learned so much from along my journey around the world. I donate 10% of the proceeds of every book sold to home gardens projects associated with See Your Impact.org, which focuses on sustainable agriculture and microenterprise ventures by giving families in the Africa, South America and the United States the tools, sproutlings and training to grow their own organic vegetable gardens. What’s so great about SeeYourImpact.org is that when you donate a garden (which only costs $25), you receive pictures and letters from the family you are impacting.
Lindsay: Does it tick you off that “dieting” is a billion dollar industry? Everyone’s dieting and yet America is fatter than ever. Go figure! What’s going on here and how do you hope to change this with your book?
Kim: There are a lot of beauty and diet books and programs out there because our society makes health and beauty seem so confusing! Many programs focus on what I call the “surface” evaluations of foods- how many calories, grams of carbs, protein, etc. a food has. And too many women feel like they have to micromanage and count everything they eat in order to look their best. That’s simply not true!
Many of us are stuck in this vicious cycle where the food we think is healthy and helping us look our best is actually aging us more. I bet if you opened up your fridge you’d see foods you think are good for you, like low-fat yogurt, free-range chicken, cage-free eggs. But when you look in the mirror in the morning– and this is especially ladies, before we put on layers of foundation and concealer–you’ll see just how aging these foods really are in the form of dull skin, dark circles, and fine lines and wrinkles you see staring back at you!
The Beauty Detox program encourages a more natural, holistic approach to food. On the program, you’re encouraged to eat an abundance of healthy foods that are easy for the body to digest, freeing up your Beauty Energy to fight the effects of aging and help you lose weight. For instance, increasing evidence shows that the heavy amount of protein we eat all day long is actually very aging. My clients start to look younger and feel much better just by swapping that egg white omelet in the morning with my Glowing Green Smoothie, a delicious blended drink made with vegetables and fruits which is one of the foundations of my program. It tastes like the sweetness of fruit, and has all the Beauty Minerals you need to rejuvenate every cell in your body and face. It provides a fantastic boost of energy and chock-full of belly-filling fiber to satisfy your hunger, so by 11 am you’re not reaching for that skinny latte or half a Danish at the office.
Lindsay: I’d imagine you live a fairly low impact lifestyle. How do you go beyond food and nutrition and integrate your core beliefs and philosophies into other aspects of your life?
Kim: Everything action we perform, including the way we eat, the way we live and way we treat others is including in my lifestyle philosophy. There isn’t a separation of the consciousness with which you would buy organic food for instance, which is better for the soil, the earth and your body, and the way you would be kind and compassionate for all those who you come into contact with, as we are all part of the same universal spirit. I try to leave as little a carbon footprint as possible, by buying local and organic food, and being conservative with energy resources like water and electricity. I walk as much as I can.
I also have a section on my website where I discuss some of the yogic philosophies I live by, and my teachers.
Lindsay: I know that you’re quite the traveler, but where do you call home?
Kim: I really feel at home where I am at the present time. Because I backpacked for so long, I’ve really lost attachment to feeling like one particular place is home. The whole world feels like home to me now, and the actors and film crews I so closely work with as the nutritionist for months become parts of my family. I just finished a film in New Orleans, and the hotel room I stayed in for three months became my home. Now I’m in Albuquerque, New Mexico on another film, and I practice yoga every evening looking out over the Sandia Mountains. It sure feels like home to me too.
Lindsay: Can you confirm or dispel whether or not we should should drink water with our meals?
Kim: It is important to drink water when we wake up and throughout the morning so we start our day hydrated. Ensuring we are hydrated like this will give us more energy. Drink significant quantities of water at least half an hour before your meals or an hour following meals. During mealtimes, drink as little as possible. Too much liquid with meals dilutes our digestive juices and delays digestions considerably.
Lindsay: Would you share just one recipe from “The Beauty Detox Solution?”
Kim: Yes, here is my favorite one and the staple to my program – the Glowing Green Smoothie!
1 1/2 cups water
1 head organic romaine lettuce, chopped
3-4 stalks organic celery
1/2 head of a large bunch or 3/4 of a small bunch of spinach
1 organic apple, cored and chopped
1 organic pear, cored and chopped
1 organic banana
Juice of 1/2 fresh organic lemon
1/3 bunch organic cilantro (stems okay)
1/3 bunch organic parsley (stems okay)
Directions: Add water and chopped head of romaine to blender. Blend at a low speed until smooth. Add celery, apple and pear and blend at high speed. Add cilantro and parsley. Finish with banana and lemon juice.
Lindsay: Kim, many thanks for your time. I wish you and your book great success!
Kim: Thank you! All my best to you and you readers as well.