Sunday, November 18, 2012

Book Review: The Diva’s Guide to an Acne-Free Life

By: Michelle Hershman
All the books I’ve reviewed so far for Capital Cooking have been cookbooks. This book, however, is more of a self-help book that involves changing your diet. The book consists of author Dawn Amador’s journey from “zitty to pretty.” Amador, a licensed aesthetician and owner of Skin Logic, begins by telling readers about her troubled childhood and her obsession with skin care, which increased drastically during her battle with acne in her twenties. Like most people who suffer from acne, Amador zealously tried every skin care regime and anti-acne fad and diet she could find. Nothing worked until she discovered the Alkaline Principle and changed her diet and lifestyle.  The Alkaline Principle is based off your body’s need to have a proper balance of alkalinity and acidity. However, the modern diet is laden with foods that leave an acidic residue in the bloodstream, hindering detoxification.
In support of the Alkaline Principle, Amador gives readers a list of alkaline foods (cucumber, avocado, almonds) and acidic foods (corn, bacon, cheese) and dishes out a few alkaline recipes. Not enough recipes to call this a cookbook, just enough to get readers started on their own journey. First, she provides a recipe for an Apple Cider Vinegar cocktail which is alkaline in nature and supposed to detoxify your body. Then, she discusses the main dietary culprits that can cause acne such as gluten and dairy. This is the reader’s warning that there will be no recipes containing gluten or dairy. Bummer if you were hoping for a cheesy pasta recipe!
Chapter 6 is called “Simple, Mind-Blowing, Anti-Inflammatory Meals.” This chapter has four smoothie recipes, two juices, and one snack recipe – none of which constitute a meal in my mind. But the snack, Sweet Potato Bites, does sound appealing. The next chapter discusses Amador’s favorite super foods, including maca root and chia seeds and bone broth. This chapter contains her recipes for chia seed pudding, tomato basil soup and bone broth delight. The only recipe that really caught my eye was Dawn’s Super Granola Bars which are a yummy-sounding, gluten-free snack that seem relatively easy to make.
If you’re looking for a book filled with tasty recipes that are skin-friendly, this is probably not the book for you. But, if you’re looking to start your own acne-free, anti-aging journey then you might want to check this book out. There’s a ton of research out there on the link between diet and acne and how supplements and herbs can help prevent future disease – it can get overwhelming. This book is an easy starter version that gives a good overview of most of the products and theories behind living an acne-free life without taking antibiotics or using harsh chemicals. It goes into just enough technical detail to explain, for example, why probiotics are a good acne fighter, but doesn’t get too bogged down that it becomes a snoozer. The book also contains a sample daily menu and a 28-day food and skin journal to help readers start their own journey.
Amador is admittedly eccentric and her journey to become, not just acne free, but mentally, physically, and emotionally balanced, is not an easy one to follow. She even has a “space suit unit” (as described by her son) which is actually an FAR infrared thermal energy heat sauna blanket which is supposed to help the body rid itself of heavy metals and toxins, aid in weight loss, promote cellulite reduction, ease insomnia symptoms, and reduce the negative effects of stress.
Some might say that Amador is a little too obsessed with what she looks like, but there is something to be said for feeling great inside and out, and she has definitely worked hard to achieve an emotional and spiritual balance along with great-looking skin.

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