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Beauty Detox

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With April just around the corner, getting in shape is becoming more of a priority (whether it's for prom, a wedding, or bikini season). From the Master Cleanse to juice fasts, there are lots of detox diets out there that claim to help you lose weight and look better, fast. Beautylish sat down with celebrity nutritionist Kimberly Snyder (Drew Barrymore, Olivia Wilde, Haylie Duff, Owen Wilson, Vince Vaughn, Josh Duhamel, and Channing Tatum are just a few of her clients) to get the skinny on what really works.

Q & A: Kimberly Snyder, Clinical Nutritionist

Q: Detoxing is such a buzzword these days. What does it really mean?

50-80% of all our energy use is taken up in digestion. By changing how we eat, not necessarily just what we eat, you can boost your energy, rejuvenate skin, and slim down. Many foods that people think are healthy actually accelerate the aging process. What good is being a size 2 if you look 10 years older? Lines, wrinkles and dullness are all signs of food showing up in your face--the wrong food.

Q: Wow, so what kind of foods make you look 10 years older?

A bowl of berries is healthy, but if you eat it for dessert, it'll ferment and rot in your stomach before you have a chance to absorb the nutrients.

Q: Gross. So you shouldn't eat fruit for dessert?

Fruit is one of the fastest digesting foods. It takes 20-25 minutes to digest, while animal proteins take hours to digest. So if you have fish for dinner and then fruit for dessert, it's like sticking a Ferrari behind a MACK truck on the freeway. The fruit will just sit on top of the meat in your stomach, causing a backup in the digestive system that causes bloating and wasted energy. While it's waiting to be digested, the fruit rots and loses its nutrients, which aren't absorbed until the fruit reaches your small intestine hours later.

Q: Yikes, does that mean we all have to become vegetarians?

Not at all. It's fine to eat animal protein for dinner, but if you're having fruit or vegetables, eat them first. Ideally, you have a salad and then the meat.

Q: What about soup vs. salad?

Unless you're just having the soup for lunch or dinner, it's better to have salad and then other food. That's because liquids dilute your digestive juices, which will slow down your system. If possible, avoid drinking liquids with your meals and have them 25 minutes before or 45 minutes after you eat.

Q: What are other common dieting mistakes?

Many of my clients started their day with a egg white omelettes but still had trouble with their energy levels and losing weight. That's because it takes hours for the egg whites to digest, which saps energy.

Q: So what's a better breakfast choice than an egg white omelette?

The morning is the best time to cleanse because your body hasn't eaten for hours and is naturally detoxing--that's why your breath stinks and your tongue feels coated. If you drink a green smoothie instead of eating an omelette for breakfast, the enzymes and nutrients from the fruits and vegetables will energize you. The nutrients go right into your organs and skin and cleanse out the toxins.

Q: How does the toxin cleansing work?

When digested, all foods are either acid- or alkaline-forming in your body. Alkaline foods help bring more oxygen to the tissues, which is energizing and detoxifying. [Acids are toxins in toxins in the body and are proven to cause diseases like cancer.] The body tries to protect its vital organs, so it stores toxic acid in fat cells--that's why it's difficult to lose weight. Animal products are acid-forming, but raw greens and ripe fruit are two of the most alkalinizing ingredients you can eat, so starting a day with an alkaline green smoothie will help balance out any acidic foods you eat later in the day.

Q: Like a cheeseburger?

Exactly. You want your digestive tract to be like a waterfall instead of a stagnant pond. The green smoothie helps keep your digestion efficient. Sometimes we eat because we're not getting the nourishment that we need. If you drink the green smoothie on an empty stomach, when you first feel hungry in the morning, you'll be getting more nutrients and will feel less hungry throughout the day.

 Kimberly Snyder is a Los Angeles-based celebrity nutritionist and author of The Beauty Detox Solution. She began her work after journeying through 50 countries and six continents, learning about health and beauty from many different cultures. With a philosophy rooted in the belief that outer beauty is a reflection of inner health, Kim now works with clients such as Hilary Duff, Olivia Wilde, and Drew Barrymore. Get lots of health and beauty tips by following her on Twitter at @kimsbeautydetox.