Motivated by her own struggles, and those of her friends—weight gain, skin troubles, stomach aches, frequent sickness, migraines—Talia knows that eating a plant-based diet packed with all-natural, nutrient-rich ingredients makes body issues a thing of the past. With a fresh, engaging voice, Talia inspires readers to nourish their mental and emotional health, too. She places a strong emphasis on inner beauty, and offers advice on how to maximize their social lives, and care about the world around them.
With nutrition tips, actionable advice, and delicious recipes, this mind-body manual offers a fun, simple roadmap to a vegan lifestyle, and proves that loving your body—inside and out—can be positively delicious!
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About the Author
Read an Excerpt
Loving Your Body Begins on the Inside
True beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul. It is the caring that she lovingly gives, the passion that she knows.
What's true beauty? Well, at first glance it can be superficial. Just tune in to Fashion Week in New York City and you'll see plenty of eye-catching beauties (modeling some gorgeous outfits)! But I'd argue that even if you look like a supermodel, it's pretty tough to feel attractive if that so- called perfect body hides a snobby, selfish, cynical personality. The first and most important component of true beauty is self-confidence. It's impossible to love your body and think you're beautiful if you don't feel good on the inside. A rock-solid confidence is more valuable than any designer dress! And it's something you wear every single day. Genuine self- esteem and self-love starts with nurturing your spirit--developing a kind, positive demeanor toward yourself and the world around you. As you begin to trust and love yourself, you'll find that others start to find you more attractive, too.
The truth is, the most beautiful people possess a combination of confidence and sincerity that shines out through their toned physiques, clear skin, and bright smiles. Just like choosing the healthiest, most nutritious foods to eat, we should choose to "feed" ourselves with honesty, compassion, and enthusiasm! And by surrounding ourselves with vibrant, enthusiastic, compassionate, intelligent people, we'll maximize those traits in ourselves, too. Without a doubt, the only way we can genuinely look and feel our best is to actually like who we are, inside and out.
When we love who we are in our hearts and souls, it's easier for us to accept all the parts of ourselves, imperfections and all. Being comfortable in our own skin is one of the best gifts we can give ourselves. I'm telling you, it's way better than a pair of Jimmy Choo heels and a rich piece of dark chocolate—combined! (And that says a lot, considering how much I love dark chocolate.) Trust me, it's that awesome to feel relaxed and at peace with yourself and what you believe in.
Dr. Joel Fuhrman (aka my dad!) created a pretty cool formula for how to reach our optimal health potential:
Optimal health = nutrients consumed/calories consumed
Well, I'm going to propose a total beauty formula that goes a little something like this:
Total beauty = (inner beauty x 2) + outer beauty
It's really simple. So how can we all get gorgeous from within?
Components of Inner Beauty
Inner beauty is all about vivacity, compassion, love, kindness, and gratitude. I thought long and hard about the qualities that are at the heart of a truly beautiful person. These are the things I see radiating from those with an authentic love of life and everything that's in it.
Behold my inner beauty list:
• Appreciation for your life
• Recognition of beauty in the world around you
• Recognition of beauty in other people
• Thankfulness for what you have
• Peace with where you are in life
• Finding strength in setbacks
• Belief that you can face any battle with courage
• Passion for all that life has to offer you
• Enthusiasm for each day
• Belief in yourself that you can be the person you want to be
• Care about the welfare of other people, and usefulness to others
• Striving to protect the environment and health of our planet
• A network of close, supportive friendships to make your life richer
Think about your own life and how you can incorporate these qualities. This kind of inner body loving is an essential component of achieving peace from within and enjoying a happy, healthy life. When you embrace and love yourself, you'll exude the kind of happiness that radiates to others and attracts like-minded energy. Allowing this kind of inner beauty to shine will reflect right back out at the world—no makeup or fashion accessories required!
These qualities can be practiced and achieved no matter what life's circumstances bring. Even if your parents just got divorced, you had a falling out with a best friend, or you lost your job or got a troubling diagnosis, you can still sparkle with positive energy. Always begin with the mind-set that nothing will hold you back from living your best life. We may not be able to control everything that happens to us, but we can control our reactions. We owe it to ourselves to maximize the good and minimize the bad.
Gratitude Is the Key to a Happier, More Beautiful You
Many of the components of inner beauty I mentioned above involve the expression of gratitude. People who show the most gratitude are indeed much happier than others who are less thankful. This makes total sense, right? To me, feeling appreciative for all the good in my life is like feeding my soul with the healthiest nutrients. And trust me, there is always something to be grateful for. It can be as simple as the light shining through your window on a beautiful summer day or spotting an array of colorful flowers at a local farmers' market. There is so much beauty in the world, and it's up to you to see it and feel it. If I am having a bad day, all I need is to think about or make a list of some beautiful things I appreciate—it's an instant pick-me-up! That might sound corny, but I assure you that it is one heck of an effective remedy. Gratitude to other people, and expressing that, is a critical component of showing gratitude to the world.
Truly beautiful people can see sunshine even when life dishes out a Category 5 hurricane. I was walking through an airport terminal recently and noticed a teenage boy in an electronic wheelchair traveling along with his family down the corridor. He was smiling and laughing, despite the fact that he had neither hands nor feet. I felt my face lift up into a smile of admiration. Somebody else in his position might have given up on happiness, but this inspiring dude was enjoying his life with gusto. He's what I call a true hero. I make an effort every day to respect and appreciate the good in others, and in myself.
You can actually practice being grateful, which in turn boosts your happiness, confidence, and total-body beauty! Think of one thing you love about your life or an attribute of your own that you are proud of. It can be anything from "I'm a really good cook" to "I love my parents" to "I live in an amazing, vibrant city." Start small and work your way up to a feel- good list. Write it down and refer back to it anytime you feel down. It's up to you to be your own coach and root yourself on! Practicing gratitude allows you to take stock of the positive energy all around you and channel it into your own inner beauty.
Practicing gratitude is important because science shows that it's easy to forget all the positive things in our lives. In a study published in Psychological Science,1 psychologists tested how grateful students were for their cars (if they already owned cars) or how much they wanted a car (for non-owners). The students who owned cars eventually adjusted to their good fortune, and they appreciated their cars less as the novelty wore off. But the students who didn't have cars continued to express their desire for one. Whether it's a car, a computer, a cell phone, a relationship, or our health, it's easy to take things for granted if we don't actively remember how lucky we are to have them. (Especially our health, which is part of why I wrote this book.) Eek! We cannot let this happen to us!
It's a no-brainer that we feel happy when we get something we want (in this case, a car). And it's easy to forget how great it is if we have access to it all the time. The point is that we should begin to examine the things that we do have and quit taking them for granted. We should show thanks every day for what may seem like the simplest things: waking up in a warm bed; yummy, healthy food; a loving family. And it certainly shouldn't be a chore to show thanks. Verbalizing this gratitude, especially to the people in your life, helps you appreciate them more and strengthens your soul.
Open Life like a Gift
People who view life as a wonderful gift and actively appreciate things experience life more deeply and with greater intensity. A work of art becomes more beautiful, hot tea makes you feel more relaxed, and a friendly hug feels more special. It's kind of like breathing in deeply when you cook with delicious-smelling ingredients! The entire process becomes more meaningful and fills you with confidence and joy. It doesn't have to take a brush with danger or a health crisis to see life as a priceless gift. Start right now! Your outlook on life is all yours to own, and you have the power to change your attitude at any moment. (Hey, there's something else to be grateful for.) Be thankful for the body that moves you and the heart that leads you—and you'll find yourself on the right path.
Expressing gratitude makes you happier, too! A Hofstra University study surveyed 1,035 students from ages 14 to 19 and found that grateful students had better grades, enhanced life satisfaction, better social integration, and less envy and depression than their peers who were less thankful and more materialistic.2 Sounds good to me! Research overwhelmingly shows that those who are more grateful reap the rewards of a healthier psyche and healthier social functioning. Practicing gratitude helps you focus on self-improvement and maintain a strong, supportive social network.3 Yes! I'm certainly grateful for this study, which not only scientifically proves my point, but reminds me how important gratitude really is. (By the way, I'm grateful you decided to read this book and get all this knowledge, too!)
When you feel content with the wonderful aspects of your own life, it's easier to share your beautiful outlook with others, too, whether they are family, friends, or just people we interact with on a daily basis. Additionally, those who are grateful actually have more positive perceptions of peer and familial support, which is a self-fulfilling prophecy4—when we are happy in our relationships, the relationships themselves actually become more fulfilling and rich.
DREAM IT, BELIEVE IT AVOCADOLADA GRATITUDE SMOOTHIE
Makes 2 servings (5 cups, 2 1/2 cups per serving)
1 ripe avocado to celebrate being ALIVE
2 cups (11 ounces) diced pineapple for PURE INSPIRATION
2 cups coconut water for COMPASSION
2 tablespoons ground chia seeds for CREATING OPPORTUNITY
2 tablespoons lime juice for LIGHT and ENERGY
1 tablespoon vanilla extract for VITALITY
1/2 cup ice cubes for feeling *extra* REFRESHED (while ice cubes are optional, feeling *simply* refreshed is not!)
Blend all ingredients and relish the creamy flavor with gratitude, optimism, and peace in your soul. A smooth sea never made a skillful sailor, but a smooth smoothie will always taste refreshing!
No Need for Bling: Sparkle with Passion and Enthusiasm
A perfectly airbrushed face may look pretty, but a face that radiates with energy and passion is truly beautiful. Passion researcher and positive psychologist Robert Vallerand defines passion as "a strong inclination towards a self-defining activity that one likes (or even loves)." This is my kind of passion! It's the kind that encompasses the things we love or the ideas that are important to us.
Vallerand explains that passions develop when we use what we love to do as a form of defining ourselves. For instance, many people love to play the piano or tap dance, but these only become passions when you begin to classify yourself as a piano player or tap dancer. When we love what we do, those interests or activities become a part of us. I played tennis when I was growing up and always thought of myself as a tennis player--when I spoke about it, I was my most animated and energetic self. What are your passions? What gets you the most excited when you talk about it?
If you can't think of a specific passion that defines you, that's okay! Our friends and family also define us, as do our interests, like fashion, photography, or sports, for instance. Some people are passionate about what they study in school, their jobs, social justice, the environment, or even spending time at their local farmers' market (and who could blame them?). We don't have to be experts in our passions, we just have to love pursuing them. The important thing is letting ourselves discover what we love. Trying new activities is a great way to discover more about who you are and what gives you the most joy. Who knows, you might just discover you are passionate about growing your own garden, biking, or trivia night!
I, for one, love fashion, even though I'm not a fashion designer (or able to spend $$$ on a Chanel bag). I still love flipping through Lucky magazine or InStyle and follow a collection of fashion blogs. My passion for fashion is one way that I define myself, and it enriches my life when I get to have a fun conversation about current trends or the latest H&M collaboration. It may not be breaking news, but it's dear to my heart, and I wear it as proudly as I would any high-end accessory!
Make one of your life's goals to find all your passions; do it patiently and enthusiastically and be open to changing your interests and learning new things. Pursue them just because you want to. Discovering your passion is like searching for that intangible pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, but so much better, because unlike that fictional pot of gold, you can really find it and enjoy it for your whole life!
Believe That You Are the Person You Want to Be
Okay, girls, this should be pretty obvious. We need to be confident in order to live our best life and reach our maximum inner—and outer—beauty potential. But, my goodness, the act of living confidently is not always easy.
I wasn't always comfortable in my own skin. Growing up, I had no real reason to hate my thighs, loathe my frizzy hair, or worry that another girl was better at making friends. However, these were legitimate concerns at the time! They produced a crazy, huge, totally uncool ball of stress and self-doubt within me. I had to figure out how to practice confidence. It's like maintaining an exercise regimen or keeping up with a healthy diet-- confidence-building is a finely crafted, continuous process that must be nurtured every day. I like to think that confidence is the art of crafting a perfectly balanced, objective view of myself, using a paintbrush dipped in self-love. Whatever mistakes we make are just learning experiences as we continue to improve and reach our greatest potential.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 Loving Your Body Begins on the Inside 1
Chapter 2 Friendship 17
Chapter 3 Let Go of Body Hang-Ups and Feel like Hot Stuff Forever 37
Chapter 4 Nutrition Basics for Body Lovin' 59
Chapter 5 Radiant, Healthy, Blemish-Free Skin 93
Chapter 6 Power Up Your Brain 111
Chapter 7 How Healthy Fat Makes You Thin 135
Chapter 8 The Skinny on Nature's Candy 159
Chapter 9 The Three Most Misunderstood Foods 191
Chapter 10 The Valuable Truth: Crazy Nutrition Myths Busted 219
Chapter 11 Save the World by Eating Right 249
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Makes you think about how good you are as a person. Once you understand the meaning of inner and outer health and beauty, life can be more tolerable