Feeling good is not about having a picture-perfect life with a flawless body, job, and family. We can have those things and still feel deeply unhappy. Joy and true confidence come by finding a level of inner peace in our messy, perfectly imperfect lives.
In this beautiful, inspirational, and highly anticipated new book, Kimberly Snyder shares not only her amazing new food recipes but also practical tips for living a happy and fulfilling life. As Snyder teaches, the key is to live beyond labels, heal body shame, and move past self-judgment. By embracing life's ups and downs and learning to tune into our intuition, we can ultimately claim our right to feel good, just as we are.
With dozens of life lessons and more than 100 plant-based recipes for smoothies, soups, snacks, and entrées, Recipes for Your Perfectly Imperfect Life invites us to find inner peace and acceptance, and teaches us how a healthier mind and body can give us strength to thrive in all parts of our lives.
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About the Author
She is a passionate wellness authority whose philosophy includes her principles around proper food combining, optimizing digestion and eating an all or mostly plant-based diet. Kimberly is a recurring nutrition and wellness expert on The Today Show, The Dr. Oz Show and Access Hollywood and has been featured on many other national shows and publications, such as Good Morning America, The New York Times, Vogue, Elle, InStyle, The Wall Street Journal and Vanity Fair, among many others. She was selected to be a member of the Wellness Council of Well + Good. She was named by Vogue as one of the top “results-oriented nutritionists.”
Kimberly is also a sought-after speaker and has been a keynote speaker on the topics of health, beauty, wellness and personal empowerment for many top companies and conferences across the country. Kimberly is on the Board of Advisors for Visionary Women, a non-profit organization dedicated to the support and empowerment of women. Her popular website and blog at KimberlySnyder.com shares her philosophy, information and products to community members in over 150 countries around the world.
After graduating magna cum laude from Georgetown University, Snyder didn’t choose an ordinary path. Instead, she embarked on a three-year solo journey spanning over 50 countries. This exposed her to a wide range of health and beauty modalities, conventional and unconventional teachers and approaches from different cultures, inspiring her to pursue an extensive career in the field of nutrition and wellness. Kimberly also completed a three-year Ayurvedic Practitioner program at the American University of Complementary Medicine (AUCM).
A passionate practitioner of Kriya and Vinyasa yoga and meditation, world adventurer, and Mama, Kimberly has dedicated her life to inspiring others to discover their own light and true beauty.
Read an Excerpt
Laying out the life detox plan
There’s a two-thousand-year-old adage that says, “It’s not what goes into a mouth that damages a person; it’s what comes out of the mouth that damages a person.” While I, and just about every scientist in the world, would disagree with this statement—there are plenty of carcinogens and terrible foods that do damage to our bodies—there is an element of truth to these words. No matter what we put into our bodies—organic vegetables, superfoods, the purest water—it’s the thoughts we think, the words we use, and the actions we take that help define who we are and that ultimately shape our lives.
Personally, I know a lot of people who eat the best foods and have what many would call a perfect body (especially in carefully posed Instagram photos), but they aren’t the nicest people. They can often be petty, mean-spirited, and downright miserable. I’ve also met a lot of people over the years who basically live on processed food, use toxic products, and can barely move without getting out of breath, yet they are the sweetest people with the biggest hearts. As a nutritionist, I would never want anyone to sustain themselves on junk food, but whom would you want to hang out with? I think you know what my answer would be.
I am not passing judgment, and, of course, most people aren’t so polarizing. I just want to illustrate that we all have parts of us that need mending. None of us have it all. And if you pay attention to advertisement messages, clearly you’ll see that marketing people know this as well. Ads may show someone who has a so-called ideal shape, a beautiful family, and flawless skin, but there is always an implied “you are missing (this one thing) . . . ,” too, so companies can sell it to you and ultimately turn a profit.
I’m here to tell you that you’re not missing anything. You don’t even need this book, but I hope you’ll read on because what I have to say is important.
Here in the West we are conditioned from an early age to think that we’re imperfect on the deepest level. Sometimes that comes from advertisers, as mentioned above, sometimes from faith traditions, sometimes from the rules of society, sometimes from our own family and friends (who are also conditioned to believe they are incomplete and missing things).
But, the truth is you are perfect regardless of all the imperfections you might have. Why? Because you are alive and you are here in this very moment. The fact that you have life means you have dignity and you are part of this community we call humanity. You have the capacity to give and receive love, which is the most powerful, limitless, perfect force. The love that is inherently within you is your perfection.
It’s not necessarily what we eat or how big or small our butts are, but what we think about ourselves and the world around us that often makes us feel connected, whole, validated, and strong. But these are just thoughts and perceptions. And guess what? Often thoughts and perceptions change in the blink of an eye. Have you ever been superhungry and moody and felt crappy about life, only to eat a fresh lunch and feel elated about something you were depressed about just an hour ago? Eating healthily and taking care of ourselves, like getting enough sleep, surely help to make us feel better in many ways. But that is not all there is to wellness.
We’ve learned over the past one hundred years that how and what we think influences all parts of who we are. Not only that, but simply changing the way we look at ourselves and the world around us can lead to powerful emotional, physical, and psychological transformations.
Hence, Recipes for Your Perfectly Imperfect Life is a guide to inner and outer transformation, which may not be instantaneous, yet it can happen relatively quickly, as we’ll see in the pages ahead. This is a book that contains useful news on nutrition, life lessons, and recipes to help you embrace your perceived imperfections—whether they include being ten pounds over your desired weight, having a too-large nose or rough skin, being easily annoyed or not assertive enough, not being in the “right” place in your career or family life, or simply not feeling good enough. Ultimately, I want you to experience the perfection already present in you and in your life. This book will teach you how to stay anchored to a permanent inner source of power, allowing you to clear “life blocks” so you can experience your most beautiful life.
Part I includes a number of Life Detox Recipes, which are practical tips about life and food drawn from my own personal stories and those of people I have worked with over the years (with names changed for privacy, of course). These are offered to detox your life on a deeper level, helping you break through emotional and mental blocks that have an effect not only on your physical health and beauty but also on your ability to be truly happy. I share some of my most vulnerable parts with you on my bumpy path to self-acceptance, including through the stories of my son’s not-as-planned birth story, showing emotion in public, and rehabbing the perfectionist addict in me. This is all in an effort to show you that life can sometimes be a mess (that is, I can be a mess!). And that’s okay, because it’s in that mess that we discover who we are.
Part II includes more than one hundred delicious recipes that are nutrient-dense, energizing, cleansing, and nourishing on many levels. All these recipes are plant-based, gluten-free, and properly food combined, a concept based in making digestion easier in order to free up more energy (see page 84 for more info). No matter your current diet, working these recipes into your life is an easy, surefire way to raise your vitality, health, and happiness. Last, if you want to learn more about the studies, articles, and books I mention in Recipes for Your Perfectly Imperfect Life, go to mysollunadotcom for details.
I’m so excited to be on this journey with you. Detoxing self-doubt and confusion clears the way for you to enjoy your amazing, delicious, perfectly imperfect life more than you ever realized possible.
Table of Contents
Part I The Perfectly Imperfect Like 9
Introduction: Laying out the Life Detox Plan 11
Chapter 1 Clearing the Blocks that Hold Us Back 15
An "And" Life 15
A New Way of Looking at Perfection 17
My Journey to Healing 20
Your Incredible Journey 23
Chapter 2 Flowing (Rather Than Drowning) 27
Impostor in Rome 27
The Feelings-Inflammation Link 31
Curing Self-Judgment 36
Chapter 3 (Truly) Loving Our Bodily Temples 39
Letting Go of Bloating-and Letting Go in Life 39
Our Amazing and Imperfect Bodies 45
When Eating Gets Disordered 49
Going Not So According to Plan 53
Chapter 4 Raising Our Vibration 57
Beauty Sears 57
Approval Addicts 61
Chapter 5 Happy, Not Perfect 65
Nope, I Don't Always Eat Perfectly 65
We're All a Mess (At Least a Lot of the Time) 68
Guilt Cleans 69
Chapter 6 Everyone We Meet Is on a Journey, Too 75
Peace, Family, and Food Choices 75
Dealing with Bitchiness 78
Closing Thoughts on Life 81
Part II Recipes 83
Smoothies and Bowls 97
Starters and Side Dishes 133
Soups and Stews 159
Kids' Corner 231
Desserts and Bars 247