Five days and a green smoothie. That's all it took for Kimberly Knox to realize food is the most important medicine.
In the early 2000s, Knox was working at her marketing company when she started to notice signs in her body of fatty liver.
“I had signs of getting a little bit of fatty liver, just because I was eating more than I was doing things. And it only takes a small amount to start messing your body up.”
She realized that she had to change her diet completely and stop eating processed foods to stay healthy and live a long life.
Knox grew up on a farm in Vermont with a love for cooking and fresh foods. After lots of research on the power of healthy eating, Knox discovered the power of the green smoothie five-day cleanse in 2010. This green smoothie taught her that rebuilding your diet with only simple and organic ingredients, such as those in the smoothie, will completely change a person’s energy, health and lifestyle.
“When I started doing the green smoothie, the whole technique that I teach on my first day is called hypernourishment to the cells in your body,” said Knox. “It means the cells are getting healthy because the cells know exactly what to do. They just need the tools. Most people don't give the cells what they need so they feel like they're starving, overfed and tired.”
Feeling inspired, Knox went back to school at the age of 50 at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in New York and completed advanced certifications in hormone health. She moved to Sarasota in 2015 and is now a certified integrative health coach and organic bioenergetic chef. Her main mission is to help people re-create their diets with only clean organic ingredients and remove processed foods that don’t provide energy to the body.
Knox partners with the Holistic Healing and Wellness Center of Longboat Key to teach the importance of eating only clean and organic food. She held several cooking classes here that connect to the energy-centric mission of the center.
Knox said that this lifestyle change wasn’t possible without learning the science behind the importance of eating clean.
“I used to be falling asleep at the wheel,” said Knox. “This was 10 years ago. So what was going on there? It's cortisol, it's insulin. It's all of these things with sugar and carbohydrates and processed foods. It's all the toxins. Because there's toxins in the food that start to affect the cell. The mitochondria is where you're going to get energy. That's if it's working. The insulin has to make the energy from the glucose. So if insulin is resistant, meaning we've been eating so much sugar, now the insulin says ‘Forget it, I'm done.’ Because the body doesn't really like being high insulin, and we're always feeding, feeding, feeding. So the cell always gets inflamed.”
“Simple Cooking for Vitality” is Knox’s guide to learning the reasoning behind eating clean and how to do that with different recipes. The book was self-published in 2021 and is available on her website or as an e-book on Amazon.
“My book is a humble creation of how I learned about health and how things turned around when the light bulbs came on,” said Knox. “When I was going to natural doctors for a while and they said, ‘You need to stay away from processed food.’ And I thought I ate pretty healthy but how do you actually do that? The book focuses on removing the inflammatory factors of the body.”
Knox provides a variety of services for clients. She usually performs an assessment of their diet and daily lifestyle first and then creates a plan to modify them where needed.
She said that the most important thing when it comes to her clients is education and accountability. Knox educates them on the importance of clean food and what it does to their body, teaches them how to personally include it in their lives and then checks in on them as they go on their healthy eating journey.
Knox also has a five-day program that provides the basics and background on everything she does. She said this is the most affordable way to make use of her services.
“When I coach people, it's going to be cooking and coaching,” said Knox. “I do a four-session program. And then I continue checking in because you need accountability. You can't just tell me you're going to do something. And it's not a diet. Diets are built to fail. This is a lifestyle, a change that comes in slowly and your body adjusts to it.”
The first Lunch and Learn hosted by Knox will be Oct. 27 at the Healing and Wellness Center of Longboat Key. She will provide guests with a natural food spread and then show them how to make chicken salad using simple and organic ingredients.
“People have so much power they don't realize their health is so involved in what they're eating every day,” said Knox. “They are fully empowered over their health. So what I want people to know is they have so much power in their hands for their health. And that clean food is all the body. The healing property of food is so everything.”
Petra Rivera is the Longboat community reporter. She holds a bachelor’s degree of journalism with an emphasis on reporting and writing from the University of Missouri. Previously, she was a food and drink writer for Vox magazine as well as a reporter for the Columbia Missourian.