The O2 Diet: The Cutting Edge Antioxidant-Based Program That Will Make You Healthy, Thin, and Beautiful

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9781605291673: The O2 Diet: The Cutting Edge Antioxidant-Based Program That Will Make You Healthy, Thin, and Beautiful
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As seen on CBS's The Early Show, The O2 Diet - by Keri Glassman, MS, RD, CDN with Sarah Mahoney - translates cutting-edge science into an easy-to-do program that will leave you energetic, healthy, and beautiful—inside and out.

For once, it's not about counting calories or restricting what one eats; it's about eating more of the
right things. The O2 Diet includes a 4-day cleanse that promotes rapid weight loss, improved appearance, and confidence-boosting results; a 4-week plan that includes do-it-yourself options and preplanned menus; and a 6-step, fail-proof plan to ordering from restaurant menus.

The O2 Diet in paperback also includes all-new recipes and diet strategies that rev your metabolism and sate your appetites to help you lose weight and feel great for life!

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About the Author:

Keri Glassman, MS, RD, CDN, has a thriving nutrition practice in New York City and helps millions as a contributing editor to Women's Health magazine. She counsels individuals on a broad range of challenges – from weight loss to improving energy. A distinguished expert in the field of nutrition, she has appeared on the Today show, Good Morning America, The View, The Doctors and Dr. Oz. Glassman holds a Masters of Science degree in clinical nutrition from New York University. She was an All-American lacrosse player at Tufts University and has completed the New York City Marathon and several triathlons. She resides in Manhattan with her husband Brett and their children, Rex and Maizy.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

1

The Science of the O2 Diet

Trans fats. White sugar. Aspartame. Sodium. Isn't it strange that we spend so much time talking about the many ways "bad" foods hurt us? We know how red meat raises our cholesterol and the ways pastries make us fat. But few people--even my most savvy clients--can explain how healthy foods truly help us.

Sure, you've read a lot about how eating well leads to greater health-- everybody knows you are what you eat, right? But to you, isn't that some vague, abstract idea? In your mind, aren't you just saying, "Blueberries help my blah-blah"? Don't you think if you actually knew what those blueberries did for you, you'd be more motivated to order them for dessert? Once I get my clients eating delicious foods packed with nutrients, they still seem shocked at how these foods have the power to change them right now. Stunned, they'll say, "I have lost 12 £ds, but I can't believe how great my energy is, and everyone is commenting on my gorgeous skin!"

It's as if any benefit to eating well--beyond weight loss, that is--is a total mystery. But it shouldn't be that way. Of course, one of the right- here, right-now payoffs for eating great foods is shedding excess £ds, and these days, many people are right to be focused on that. But the other perks of eating good-for-you foods--glowing skin, more energy, a sharper mental focus--are just as predictable, just as immediate, and every bit as important. You deserve them in your life, too!

That's why I came up with the O2 Diet. It's a satisfying 32-day plan that will help people get over that disconnect. If you can feel good and focus on enjoying healthy foods instead of focusing on the scale, your energy will be off the charts. Your skin will look great. You'll sleep soundly. Then you will want to continue to eat well, which means you'll continue to lose weight, keep it off for good, and enjoy your life along the way. I want to teach you that yes, you really are what you eat, and I'll show you how learning to love the right foods--not just avoiding the wrong ones--can reshape your health from the inside out. As you learn to use these foods to their full advantage, you'll be amazed at how powerful you will feel. With so much nutrition at your fingertips, you'll wonder why it took you so long to fall head over heels in love with healthy eating.

Eating nutrient-rich foods will perform minor miracles inside your body, from reducing the plaque in your arteries to preventing your brain from slowing down--you'll always remember to shave both legs! (Oops, am I giving too much away about my own multitasking overload?)

And there will be big exterior changes, too. Yes, you'll lose weight, and your love handles will disappear. But your skin will get softer and glow. The tiny lines in your face will be less noticeable. Your hair will shine, and your nails will be stronger than ever. Your partner will love the way your libido has perked up. You'll sleep better, relax more, and stress less.

In short, you'll be able to wake up every morning and love how you feel and like how you look. And the best part? It is simple! If you focus on the fact that you need to eat more of the right foods, you will be healthier. You will feel better. And you will look great.

The O2 Diet includes a groundbreaking 32-day plan. Each day, you'll consume foods so jam-packed with nutrition that you'll get about 30,000 points of what experts call ORAC value. ORAC stands for oxygen radical absorbance capacity (yes, it's a mouthful!). It's a scale that measures how well the components of a food mop up the free radicals in the bloodstream. Eating about 30,000 ORAC points will boost the antioxidant power of your blood at least 10 to 25 percent.1 This is one of those rare nutritional areas where more is better: For the first 4 days, you'll consume 50,000 ORAC points daily, then you'll take in 30,000 units daily for the remainder of the plan- -almost all of them from some of the healthiest fruits and vegetables available.

With the O2 Diet, you won't have to count calories, grams of fat, or fiber-- I'll just ask you to keep track of ORAC points of certain healthy foods. Why? Because while researchers are still learning precisely how these foods work, they do know that foods high on the ORAC scale can help you lose weight, improve memory and cognition, prevent cancer, reverse heart disease, lower stress, and protect joints. They minimize your skin's lines and intensify its glow. What's more, just by learning to navigate among these very healthy foods--and feeling empowered by doing so--you'll end up at your healthy body weight. You'll be your smartest, most energetic, healthiest, and most beautiful you--inside and out!

Before you can dive into the O2 Diet, eating the healthiest, most scrumptious foods on the planet, you need to understand exactly what these foods do. That way, you'll appreciate their power and grasp why it's to your best advantage to put as many of these healthy, natural com£ds into your body as possible, every single day.

how antioxidants work

As much as I want to race right into the good stuff--explaining how much you can do for your health with yummy things like cherries, avocado, and even chocolate--we have to start with a quick chemistry lesson. (If we can get a little cerebral right now, the concepts will stick--and I promise the lesson will be over soon!)

The cells in our bodies are made up of molecules, and molecules are made up of atoms. When we're young, right through our teenage years, all those little bits and pieces renew themselves at a fast clip, and cell renewal is brisk. We're at our athletic peak. Our skin is plump and smooth. Even if we stay up all night or push ourselves in a hard workout, we shake off the aftereffects and bounce right back the next day. Remember when you could pull off an all-nighter, then spend the day at the beach, then still go dancing that night?

But as we begin to age--and I mean as early as our twenties--cells start breaking down faster. When a cell dies, it releases a lonely little oxygen molecule known as a free radical. These tiny homeless bits of oxygen are what cause so many health problems: They have been linked to premature aging (hello, crow's-feet!), heart disease, cancer, a host of other illnesses, poor immune function, and even Alzheimer's disease.

How can oxygen be bad? you're probably wondering. Isn't oxygen good for us? Don't we need it to stay alive? After all, it's in the air we breathe and in the water we drink. You're right--oxygen is absolutely essential. Oxygen equals life. But it has to be that beautifully balanced O2 molecule. It's so important I'm naming this book after it!

How do single oxygen molecules (aka free radicals) cause so much mischief? Think of a free radical as a pinball careening around inside your body, constantly smashing into other cells, or think of it as somebody who keeps bombarding you with e-mail jokes you've seen 20 times. The free radical disrupts normal cell functioning--the cells can't do their jobs properly because this little guy keeps storming the gates. The fatty acids in our cell membranes are especially vulnerable to these assaults, as are the core components of DNA. We can see evidence of oxidative damage all around us: It's what causes metal to rust and what turns a newly sliced apple brown in a matter of hours.

What do brown apples and rusty nails have to do with crow's-feet? It's all the same oxidative process. A certain number of free radicals is absolutely normal. Even the healthiest people--living in the purest communities, eating a perfect organic diet, and meditating all their stress away--have free radicals piling up in their bodies. The reality is that aging is 100 percent natural and 100 percent inevitable.

In a perfect world, we'd all be well protected against oxidative damage. We would consume basic levels of antioxidants, including vitamins A, C, and E, as well as dozens of other phytonutrients found in common foods. We would be protected from sun and environmental damage, sleep restfully each night, and never stress. The antioxidant chemicals would enter the bloodstream and do a great job of eliminating free radicals.

In a nutshell, free radicals cause damage; antioxidants protect us from them. Here is an illustration that shows how antioxidants pair with free radicals to form a balanced O2 molecule.

You don't need to memorize dozens of long chemical names to follow the O2 Diet. Just know that antioxidants work in many different ways. They can:

. "Quench" the single oxygen molecules by destroying them. . Help the homeless oxygen molecules bind with other molecules in a less disruptive manner. . Prevent the breakdown of the molecule in the first place, so that the free radical is never created. . Encourage the body to crank out more of its own arsenal of antioxidants, such as lipoic acid.

In a perfect world, this process would happen on its own. The problem, though, is that few of us live in that world, and we have lots more than simple aging to worry about. We live in cities full of pollution, cigarette smoke, and radiation. We work stressful jobs that alter our bodies' chemistry for the worse, and then we deprive ourselves of the sleep that would heal us--if only we had the time. Some of us take medications to stay healthy, but they, too, can cause cells to break down.

As the free radicals build up in our bodies, the health consequences can become serious: These highly reactive cells have been linked to many illnesses, including heart disease--the number-one killer of men and women in America--a variety of cancers, dementia and other cognitive problems, poor eyesight, and even arthritis. Free radicals take a toll on us physically, causing skin to wrinkle and sag before it should. And perhaps the sneakiest effect of all is that too many free radicals means we just don't feel well, and that makes us less likely to eat right, exercise, and enjoy sex the way we're supposed to--all the things that keep us feeling at the top of our game.

The good news is that Mother Nature is smarter than all the 21st-century health risks we face, and she has engineered many ways for us to fight this damage--just by picking up our forks. Even though antioxidant research is still a relatively new field, researchers have already identified hundreds of these healthy com£ds in the foods we eat, and many researchers believe that there are likely thousands of these beneficial micronutrients.

I like to picture antioxidants as little molecules flying through our bloodstreams, wearing capes like superheroes (I do have a 6-year-old boy, after all!). The vast majority of these "free-radical fighters" are found in plants--including fruits, vegetables, and delicious whole grains--and in healthy fats like nuts. Small amounts, though, are in other healthy foods, which you'll also be getting plenty of on the O2 Diet: fish, eggs, and dairy.

To me, the bummer is that the average person--looking to lower cholesterol, increase energy, and, of course, be thin--doesn't know much about any of these foods. Sure, people can talk about Splenda, Lipitor, or high-fructose corn syrup. But ask them what makes a walnut wonderful and they draw a blank. It's disconcerting that we've deprived ourselves of the natural protections found in food, often in the name of maintaining a healthy weight: Most people are stunned when I tell them that obese people are more likely to be deficient in key micronutrients, or that 25 percent of all menstruating women routinely deprive themselves of enough iron,3 compromising the body's ability to fend off oxidative damage. And yes, that deprivation absolutely contributes to their risk for diseases, decreased energy level, and signs of aging--not to mention their constant struggle to control their appetite.

Your O2 Moment:

Two things to try today

1. Settle down in a comfortable chair with a cup of green tea while reading this book. An 8-ounce mug has 3,000 ORAC points.

2. Take 10 deep breaths, counting your exhalations. Neuroscientists have confirmed that people who meditate have significantly lower levels of oxidative stress damage.2 Yes--that means fewer free radicals.

My plan isn't about popping pills or zero-this and zero-that foods. It's not about avoiding bad foods. It is about eating--eating more real food! By learning to crank up the number of foods that are high on the ORAC scale, you'll feel better. You'll have all the energy you need but be able to relax when you want. You'll feel strong and focused--you'll be in the zone! Will all those tempting lousy foods disappear from your radar forever? Sorry, no--I can't rid the world of curly fries and cupcakes. But the changes you'll notice in the way you look and feel will be so significant that unhealthy choices will be much less enticing.

Eating more of the right foods may seem like a subtle shift, but it's not: When you realize you have the power to boost your health with every food choice you make, you'll see that daily 4:00 p.m. struggle with the vending machine's salty chips in a whole new light. (You know the cycle I'm talking about. You either eat the chips, feel bad, then overeat at dinner because the whole day is ruined. Or you resist the chips, feel bad, and then overeat at dinner because you feel deprived.) Once you understand the variety and the power of ORAC foods, your idea of splurging will shift from utterly uninspired junk food to a handful of delicate, fresh blackberries or a tablespoon of tangy tomato sauce with fresh herbs.

My hope for you is that as you follow the O2 Diet, you'll develop a brand- new philosophy of eating, one that is so much bigger than the struggle between you and that bag of potato chips. I know it sounds a little corny, but you will begin to realize that just as you are the author of your own life, you are also your own personal wellness coach. That means you are your body's best caretaker and guardian, not someone who wants to sabotage it with empty calories. I love to eat, too, and even I am not immune to the wrong kinds of foods--my personal weakness is chocolate-chip cookies, straight out of the oven. But for the most part, I see food as an opportunity to nourish, and it's very satisfying for me to see people "flip the switch" on their own thinking.

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