I read this book recently & while it’s not technically about being eco-friendly it does fit into the general ethos of the community. I like to boil it down to this one phrase: “getting back to basics.” Or if you subscribe to reduce, reuse, recyle, this book focuses on the reduce part of the phrase.
About the author:
Kat James was a sought after beauty expert & celebrity makeup artist in the 90’s. But she had a number of health issues that got so severe it led to a health crisis. She went to numerous doctors but they would only advise her to go on drugs she didn’t want to be dependent on for the rest of her life. So she had to take a different approach to healing her body. One by one she healed her health issues & this book is the result of her journey.
Published in 2004, this book is still very relevant today. The media still tries to sell us the “magic pill” for everything, be it skin issues, weight issues, etc. I liked this book because James emphasizes getting back to basics. She promotes minimalism. For example, more supplements or more beauty products are not going to help you if you’re not eating healthy food or taking care of your body in a general sense. She goes through the most common things people do that rob them of health. Chapter 1 is all about drinks that harm the body like caffeine, sodas, alcohol, etc, & then she suggests what you can replace those drinks with that would actually add to your health. Same goes for the rest of the chapters she talks about bad foods, food addiction, supplements, cosmetics, chemicals in cosmetics, etc. In Chapter 13 she talks about minimizing your beauty wild cards:
- learn about your health issues
- don’t risk your health with standard care
- take a look at integrative medicine –> get a real check up to know where you currently stand health-wise
- learn about your hormones & options
- strategize against stress, sleep & mood issues
All very wise advice I think. She also advises people to “make life an authentic beauty ritual.” To her, the real beauty splurges aren’t products. Real beauty splurges are: pure, healthy food, pure water, pure air, pure personal products, high quality supplements & high quality healthcare. She does give a list of products & brands that she thinks are good. I agree with some of them but not all of them. I liked her method of presenting beauty myths & then debunking them. One of those myths is about counting calories. It’s not just the amount of calories that you eat which are important but what kinds of calories. I’ll give you a really obvious example. Compare the calories from an alcoholic drink vs a green smoothie. One is obviously more healthy than the other despite the fact that a green smoothie could have more calories than an alcoholic drink.
Anyway, I think this book would be a real eye opener for someone new to being eco-friendly or holistic. It’s not just about using eco-friendly cosmetics or wearing eco-friendly clothing & shoes. It’s also about taking care of yourself in a natural way. A lot of people don’t think the way that Kat James does, but more people are getting that way. More people are realizing that we can’t always trust the general governmental guidelines for healthy eating or that corporations like McDonald’s have our best health in mind. Basically Kat James is telling us to make our own decisions to getting healthy by listening to what our bodies are telling us. I don’t think you can go wrong with that.