Over the years I have read a number of beauty books that have taught me how to look my best using makeup. Kat's book is unique. It teaches you how to achieve greater health so you transform your looks, need minimal makeup and have a radiant glow.
I stumbled across Kat's website using an internet search. Intriqued by what she shared I ordered her book. I am so glad I did. The information it covers is totally unique and is helping me make changes in my life that have greatly improved my health and appearance.
Kat begins by telling you to focus not on looks but on health. She suggests you change your diet, exercise and the products you use. Not through willpower or discipline, but by making "upgrades" that you will enjoy.
Many of the changes she suggests are simple but have enormous positive consequences. For example she says to use a water filter in your shower to filter out the chlorine and other contaminants. I picked up a $20 filter at a local hardware shop.
After the first washing my fine blonde hair was fuller, and shinier than it had been in years. And this has continued from one wash to the next. This tip alone has totally transformed my hair.
The book is packed with information on the best and gentlest ways to treat your whole body so that you become healthy and as a delightful side note as gorgeous as possible!
The book includes 3 parts. Part 1: Uncovering Your True Radiant Potential which includes chapters on overhauling your dawn to duks routines and the process of shedding. Part 2: Feeding and Cultivating Beauty with chapters like drink yourself beautiful, and reclaiming the joy of eating. Part 3: The Makeup-less Makeover including the bathroom-cabinet makeover and how to purify your potions and paints. Kat's book also includes a comprehensive living beauty resource section and a bibliography.
If you are ready to make lasting changes and capture your glow, "The Truth About Beauty" will help you uncover your personal best!
on November 29, 2003
I absolutely LOVE this book! So many beauty books recommend ways to cover up your imperfections - or they suggest complicated cleansing routines with a myriad of products. Not this book. Kat James tells her story of her own personal transformation - done not with surgery or body breaking workouts - but with whole foods, vitamins and a positive attitude. Her theories are sound and it is obvious she has done her homework. The list of resources in the back is worth buying the book for! This book is so jam packed with good info, I find myself rereading parts - and keeping it handy when I visit the health food store for my supplements. I have also taken her suggestion and ordered a shower filter. I can't wait to see the results!
Thanks Kat James for a fabulous book and for the inspiration! I would also like to recommend Absolute Beauty by Pratima Raichur in addition to this book. Both of these women are on to something!
Edited to add: I finally bought the shower filter - and I am truly amazed. My hair, which was once coarse and tangly - is now smooth and I am not having to use the extra conditioner. My scalp is no longer flaky, dry and itchy. But the difference in my skin is wonderful - I have had red, blotchy, itchy skin for the longest time. I even thought I had rosacea. I tried every single skin care line imaginable to cure this - but to no avail. I was constantly hiding my skin behind foundation. After a week of the shower filter, my skin is a NORMAL color. No more redness, no irritation, no soreness, no dryness. I am so happy that I followed this suggestion - it has made the biggest difference! Only two weeks into her suggestions on supplements and the shower filter and I look A LOT better! Thanks again!
on February 7, 2005
After talking to a friend about my concerns over my son's acne and my own thinning hair, it was suggested by two different people to get my hands on Kat James' book "The Truth About Beauty". Of course, being a guy who likes facts, I immediately went to the charts in the book that list both the conventional and the non-drug options for dealing with these issues. I was amazed at the diverse collection of information, not only on those, but on so many other issues I had been dealing with, including sensitive, dry skin and even the over the counter drugs I'd stocked my medicine cabinet with. I also liked the medical references in the back. The information was so compelling, I couldn't help but venture outside the skin section to the section on food, which was clearly the author's first passion, as she had transformed herself dramatically with the very unusual principles that made up these great chapters.
After reading this book, I find myself irreversibly affected in my choices, which began to change from the first day after reading it, and have continued to change. First, I quit coffee and am now addicted to Teeccino, the brewable coffee dead-ringer that has me feeling so much better. I am also off my morning juice and using better products on my thinning hair, taking supplements that are giving me a marked increase in energy, and even a serum on my face, which has made my skin feel much better.
What really surprised me was the author's uncanny understanding of the average American palate and sensibility. She doesn't expect everyone to like unsweetened yogurt or plain green tea, which is why she offers tastier options like alternatively (not synthetically) sweetened yogurt, or green chai, Earl Grey green or even the hard to find vanilla green tea (the rare source for which she lists in the incredible resource guide, which is alone worth ten times the cost of the book). Consistently anticipating every craving and "itch", she also lists "upgrades" to soda and to coffee, and even the best artisan chocolates that are all far healthier, and far better tasting than any "health food" I ever imagined. I feel that my intrepidness toward both "health food" and dowdy health food store body care products were abolished, and completely taken care of here, and for that reason I feel that my lifestyle changes are permanent, because I have no reason to go back to making the choices I did before, or feeling and looking the way I did before. I feel that as someone who has never gotten around to getting informed about this stuff that I have just jumped painlessly to the head of the class (the book is an easy, entertaining read), and am indebted to the friends who recommended this amazing book.
on October 12, 2009
I first met Kat James at a Body Mind Spirit Expo in Raleigh NC. She was the headline speaker there, and I was just trying to waste some time. Her story surprised me... She had a clue what it meant to have out of control cravings... How could she? She was beautiful, real, compassionate, and probably a size 2. I connected with her story.. I had lived it. I purchased her book, took it home, and read it cover to cover immediately. Her words rang true with me. Although there are many low carb recipes, Kat makes it VERY clear that this is NOT about counting carbs... The main focus of any of her recipes are about eating well while avoiding blood sugar spikes. If you like rice, try the hemp seed substitute. She even has recipes for ice cream. For anyone who doesn't think this is groundbreaking, then I challenge them to find anything that is more comprehensive. Rosedale does an excellent job explaining blood sugar and the need for low glycemic diets... but I had read his book, and didn't really get the health aspect that I got from reading and living the words in Kat's book. She walks you through the steps to get sugar spikes out of your life... and to get on track with getting healthy.
Here's what I took away from Kat's book. This is NOT about weight. This is about getting healthy.. It's the first time I've ever gotten that from any book... and I've read a ton of them. And, for the first time in my life, I realized that my previous inability to stop the cravings was simply a chemical reaction to what I had previously subjected my body to... No one can compare my cravings to those who haven't beaten up their adrenal glands or mistreated their body as I had. Sure, for those of you who haven't done this.. you may not need a book such as this. If your adrenals are in perfect order, don't work or live around toxins, have little inflamation, and sleep well... Then hey... you may do very well without this. I completely disagree with the previous review that implies that this book blames you.. In fact, it's one of the few that don't. Seriously.. I finally let myself off the "blame hook"... and put my focus not on blame.. but on taking care of myself... from the inside out.. just as the book requests...
There are many things in the negative reviews that I completely disagree with.. but I'm not going to get into a he said/she said battle... Choose to believe what you wish.. Find me.. and talk to me.. if you want a real life story.. But most of all, I urge everyone to read it for yourself. If you took nothing more out of it.. then to get off of liquid sugar.. then it's worth the price of the book.. And, the glory of it is that she offers so much more than this. By the way, if you are a soda-holic.. She gives you so many other choices... If you are addicted to coffee... buy her book and read why you might care. Are you serious about getting healthy, aging well, taking care of yourself? If so... make up your own mind about this book.
I also have both revisions of the book.. and I highly recommend the second. Here's why... not everyone can just get off sugar without some substitute. Kat gives you choices.. You don't have to choose them, but they are there for those who want them. The resource guide in the back of this book, alone, are worth the cost of this updated edition. And finally, the stories in the book are real. I went to one of Kat's retreats.. and I met one of the women she highlighted in her book. She's real. The stories are real. And I've seen people transform their lives because they choose to really live her principles. I've also seen Kat without her make-up.. and I have to say, her beauty is on the inside and the outside.. and it has NOTHING to do with makeup.
For those who say that the supplements are too expensive....start with the things that are the most helpful to you. She never asks you to take them all.. She simply gives the information, and assumes that you'll make the choices that are right for you. I for one am honored to have met her.. thankful to her for giving me the information to make informed changes in my life. I am finally on the right path... I might slip from time to time.. but I wouldn't even be on track without her book.
FYI, Kat also has a very informative radio program, a newsletter, and offers a retreat where she helps each person individually. She's a wealth of information, and I sincerely hope that anyone interested in getting off of the diet wheel will give this an honest effort. Kat helped me with things that I thought were just part of my life... such as carpel tunnel syndrome, numb feet, rosacea, occasional dizziness, waking up at night. I thought these things were just part of getting older. But, after just weeks on her plan, these things were part of my past.. and no longer just part of life. I owe my health to Kat James, and I am quite grateful.
on April 25, 2004
For those people missing something and searching, Kat James may be the facilitator that can bring it all together. If you are a dieter and quick weight loss is all you are looking for, this book is not for you. If you are into outside fixes while leaving the inside a disaster, this book will not work for you. However, if you are looking to break the yo-yo cycle she offers a lifetime of positive changes for those people interested in doing the work. That means simply, no more band aids for symptoms of health and wellness. She encourages and inspires a mentally ready individual through natural means. If you are prepared to absorb even just one piece of Kat James and her life experiences the book is worth its price in gold. Believing this because the first action usually leads to more, I know because I was the overweight sugar addicted woman who bought her book 6 months ago. One change leads to another. I have lost 12lbs. the healthy way, I enjoy life, I look better, feel more energetic, and exercise has become a necessity instead of a chore. For me, it's like the best kept little secret to life was shared and I can't believe I've been missing out for so long.
on May 24, 2004
Where was this book when I needed it years ago, as a younger woman who spent way too much on cosmetics that did more harm than good, physically and emotionally? Why do women waste so much money on so-called dreams that don't come true?
THE TRUTH ABOUT BEAUTY is well-written, informative, and totally sane -- the author strikes an admirable balance between new-age enthusiasm for organic products and her (well-researched) distrust of the pharmaceutical industry.
Her book encouraged me and inspired me to go through my food cabinet as well as my medicine chest and cosmetics cases. I have since tossed out the tainted products I'd been hoarding and began to replace them with many of the healthy foods and cosmetics Kat suggests. (Her resource section is amazingly helpful if you can't find the items at your local Whole Foods Market or health food store, they are available online and she gives you the Web addresses!) I have been keeping track of the changes in my looks and my moods -- and they are indeed remarkable. Plus, I have a lot more space in my bathroom.
Best of all, her work is a wonderful companion to that of Dr. Christiane Northrup, whose work I also admire, as well as that of Dr. Weil and others in the complimentary medicine fields.
Again, Thank you, thank you. This IS the truth about beauty. I would love to see more books like this !!
on October 5, 2009
I was actually a huge fan of the old version of this book. But I almost regret ordering the new version.
Kat called her old way of eating "real food eating". She may still call her way of eating "real food eating", but the new version has gone EXTREMELY low carb. The change is obvious in all the edits she made to this book. For instance it used to be good enough in the old book to eat whole grain sprouted bread as long as it was consumed with fat like avocados or almond butter. Now the bread must also be low carb, even when it is consumed with fat.
Now I'm not a strong defender of bread. But when you can't even eat a piece of fruit without first dunking it in full fat yogurt to lessen it's glycemic impact, I definitely don't call that real food eating! And forget about ever eating beans or any grain again, ever, no matter how or what you prepare them with. They just aren't real food.
Maybe some people who are pre-diabetic or significantly overweight need this advice. But even though many people in this country are pre-diabetic or significantly overweight, for heavens sake, not everyone is! I know there are other diets that are in agreement with some of the ideas in this book such as no grains. An example would be the paleo diet, but it more readily allows some fruit, and doesn't require you to eat massive amounts of dairy (which my system doesn't much like). By the way some researchers say that dairy also spikes insulin. How about that?
I also don't call putting things like xylitol in everything real food eating. Maybe as a temporary step to get off sugar, or in small amounts to benefit your teeth, but as a lifestyle? You call that real food eating? Xylitol isn't exactly a traditional food. And really, I'm not sure hemp seeds in large quantities are either. And yet they are in nearly every recipe in this book.
In short I think the new book is fanatical in the perfectionism this diet demands. I guess a bulimic turned orthorexic, would have perfectionist tendencies though.
The supplements are bound to be massively expensive even if they are less than some people spend for clothes (you get the feeling Kat hangs in super high class circles though. What about people with more ordinary incomes?). I agree with using natural body care products where possible, I agree with buying organic when you can afford it, I even agree about the evils of sugar and white flour. It's just that the previous book actually seemed doable and this book seems crazy perfectionistic. And Kat leads her cult claiming not to look her age at all. How would one know? She is afterall, a makeup artist, which means she knows all the tools of the trade. Plus who knows what else she has had done, like lasers and so on.
on April 6, 2010
This is my first review, I apologize if I'm long-winded.
I've read both editions of this book. Although I do not follow her eating plan to the letter, I've lost 14 lbs. so far (over a 4 year period) by incorporating more and more of her suggestions each year. As I am now weaning off of sugar and white flour; I feel lighter, happier and more clear-headed.
Some of the suggestions that I have already began are as follows:
-I no longer eat at fast food restaurants and eat at more natural food cafés
-Make more decadent meal salads
-Eat more organic whole foods (dairy and eggs; frozen fruits and vegetables, because they're more affordable to me than buying all fresh organic fruits and veggies)
-Bring my own toasted pumpkin seeds into movie theaters and share them with my love ones.
-Eliminating sodas and fruit juice with drink upgrades. This has transformed me into a tea enthusiast.
-Taking a food-based multivitamin. Since I began taking them, I no longer crave sugar-sweetened processed foods, just organic fruit!
-Bring my own homemade low-impact snacks with me on road trips with my family
-Use a shower filter and water filter pitcher. I drink more water and I have fewer acne breakouts
-Eating natural nut butters. So far MaraNatha Macadamia Butter is my personal favorite.
-Use affordable natural body and skincare products. Although she has several expensive body & hair care products in her resource guide, I researched the ones that cost under $20 bucks and bought those. The olive oil soap by Kiss My Face has helped my skin the most. Even when I broke out with a horrible case of eczema (I ate a cake made with commercially produce red dye and sugar! I know, know. Not a good decision on my part), that soap and drinking plenty of tulsi tea has diminished my rashes greatly.
-Eating hemp bread from French Meadow Bakery. Their Woman's Bread is my favorite bread thus far.
Anyone can gradually began to eat like this. At first my husband and I could only afford to buy organic eggs and dairy. Thankfully, with many organic companies offering coupons, we are able to buy more organic frozen and canned wholes foods. Every now and again, we are able to buy fresh organic whole foods, too. So to those who say they can't afford to eat this way, just start gradually like we did. Believe me, if family like ours that makes currently only $30,000 a year can afford to buy more organic whole foods, so can you!
on February 1, 2007
Even before I read The Truth about Beauty, I already bought a lot of natural and organic products, shopped at health food stores, and used traditional Chinese medicine. But despite being generally attuned to the problems with chemicals, overly processed foods, pharmaceuticals, etc., I still had some blind spots, especially when it came to issues of "beauty." For example, with my skin I was still using the old "search and destroy" method. But this book opened my eyes, and I have had much more success since I gave that up and started following James' advice about fixing the skin from the inside out.
The book does a great job of connecting health with beauty and explains a lot of concepts that even a natural food consumer might not know a lot about. For example, I had always thought of low-carb diets as being a lot of baloney (so to speak), but the way James explains the glycemic index makes total sense. I especially like her idea of "upgrading" and the specific examples she offers, like drinking spritzers instead of soda.
The resource index is also really useful, although some of the products may seem expensive. If you shop at Wal-mart for all your food and toiletries, yes, you will pay more for natural products. But if you buy department store brands like Clinique, you will be able to find plenty within your budget. Also, I find that I use a lot fewer products in general now that I've started following the kind of simple regiment James prescribes.
All in all, I would recommend this excellent book to anyone who has beauty issues.
on January 29, 2004
With so much hype and false imagery surrounding weightloss, beauty, fitness and health, it's so refreshing to have information. James' book equips me with knowlege I can use in every day decisions about what I eat, etc. I've really started watching out for sugar, and my energy level is already more consistent. Just one idea out of hundreds has made a difference. Best thing is, I've moved from the surface level "dos and don'ts" to understanding how I'm affected by various foods or chemicals. It's the self-respecting approach.