Start Fresh: Choosing Safer Seafood

Seafood features prominently in the 28 Day Diet and with growing concerns around toxicity, I’ve found the Environmental Defense Fund to be an indispensable tool for selecting the safest varieties of seafood. It also specifies if  wild or farmed is preferred.

  • Abalone
  • Anchovies (European)
  • Clams, soft-shell
  • Clams (farmed)
  • Clams Crawfish (U.S.)
  • Cod (Alaskan, longline)
  • Pacific Halibut
  • Lobster, spiny (Cabaja)
  • Lobster, Caribbean spiny (U.S.)
  • Mahimahi (U.S. troll/pole)
  • Mullet
  • Mussels
  • Oysters (farmed)
  • Prawns (Canada)
  • Sablefish/Black Cod (Alaska)
  • Salmon, canned
  • Salmon, wild
  • Sardines, Pacific (U.S.)
  • Scallops, Bay (farmed)
  • Shrimp, pink (Oregon)
  • Squid, longfin (U.S.)
  • Striped Bass farmed
  • Tilapia (U.S.)
  • Trout (farmed)

Which varieties of seafood do you most enjoy cooking with?

The Inflammation-Insulin Connection

What is the single most important anti-aging step you can take to make sure that you age beautifully, by protecting lean muscle mass and eliminating unwanted body fat?

Learn how to prevent an insulin response!

To prevent an insulin response, we need to understand: The Inflammation-Insulin Connection.

Insulin is a critical hormone—however, too much of it circulating in the blood stream will lead to inflammation and:

  • accelerate aging both internally and externally
  • promote weight gain and obesity by putting a “lock” on body fat
  • and shrink muscle mass in both face and body, resulting in a tired, droopy, sagging face, eye area, neck, jaw line, and the loss of that healthy toned look from good muscle tone in upper body, midriff, thighs, etc.

To read about the effects more in depth, see my Inflammation Theory of Aging.

What anti aging steps do you take to age beautifully?

Sampling the 28 Day Diet

The 28 Day Diet is not a fat-free diet. Fat-free diets are a one-way ticket to trouble! Fats and oils provide essential anti inflammatory and antioxidant protection. Though it’s true that certain fats, like those found in red meat, are not ideal, it is easy to learn which fats to eat every day and which fats to eat sparingly. For example, on Day 1 of the 28 Day Diet, we see healthy fats from olive oil, chia seeds, raw nuts and Wild Alaskan Salmon.

3-4 oz smoked Nova Scotia salmon
1/3 cup slow-cooked oatmeal sprinkled with cinnamon with 2 tablespoons blueberries
1 teaspoon Chia seeds
Green tea or water

4-6 oz broiled turkey burger (no bun)
Lettuce and tomato
White bean and Asparagus Salad with Watercress

Afternoon Snack:
2 oz sliced turkey or chicken breast
4 hazlenuts
4 celery sticks

2-6 oz broiled salmon
1 cup Creamy Artichoke and Watercress Soup
1/2 cup steamed spinach
Green tea or water

Which foods do you incorporate to ensure you are getting enough healthy fats in your diet?

Fight Fat with Red Hot Chili Peppers (and green, yellow and orange too)

Chili peppers deserve a place of spicy distinction when it comes to keeping weight in check. These colorful superfoods contain phytonutrient compounds called capsaicinoids. One of these—capsaicin—is the most abundant and beneficial capsaicinoid in chilies.

There are four ways that capsaicin aids weight control:

  • Suppresses appetite.
  • Raises our metabolic rate temporarily, which stimulates your body to release adrenaline, thus increasing your body’s propensity to burn stored body fat and sugars (glycogen).
  • Stimulates thermogenesis.
  • Inhibits spikes in blood sugar for about 30 minutes after it is ingested, thereby reducing the risk of an insulin response.

A great way to up your hot pepper intake is to have a side of salsa with eggs, cottage cheese, grilled fish, poultry and other fundamentally bland foods. A healthy dash of Tabasco® sauce will also do the trick and liven up soups, salads, sauces, stews and a wide variety of savory dishes.

What is your favorite way to eat chili peppers?

The Future of Anti Aging

Although I often use the term “anti-aging,” my goal is not to erase the positive attributes that accrue with age or to suggest that aging is in itself a bad thing.  It is simply to keep the negative signs of aging at bay while helping you to be healthy, active and looking great regardless of age.

Thanks to so many emerging technologies, the future looks very positive when it comes to rejuvenation of all organ systems, including the skin.

I believe that there will always be a place for a wide variety of procedures, both surgical and non-surgical, but I do not believe that the future of youthful looking skin lies in an acceleration of invasive treatments, injectible fillers, neurotoxins or radical surgery. Great breakthroughs are being made in which safe yet genuinely transformative methodologies not only help restore damaged, aging skin to youthful suppleness, but reinvigorate the entire body, as well.

Stay tuned for information about Start Fresh 2012: Dr. Perricone’s 28 Day Total Skin & Body Challenge to Restore, Regenerate and Energize kicking off in January.

5 Tips to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain

The holidays are notorious for overindulgence in both food and drink.  To help you stay slim through the New Year, follow these 5 tips to help you cut down on saturated fat and calories:

  1. Enjoy a cup of hot soup before meals. This will greatly decrease hunger and ensure that you eat less during cocktail parties or heavy holiday dinners.
  2. When cooking, choose organic free range poultry that is free of hormones. The hormones are designed to fatten the birds and can end up fattening you as well.
  3. Eat artichokes!  They not only protect and regenerate the liver, they provide an entire day’s worth of fiber.  This ensures that you won’t overate and that you will maintain a healthy digestive tract.
  4. High fiber foods such as dried beans and lentils make great dips.  Beans and lentils prompt more burning of body fat, stabilize blood sugar more strongly, and pack much more protein than any other plant food family.
  5. Enjoy spicy salsas made with Jalapeño peppers.  The capsaicin in the peppers will accelerate metabolism, speed up fat burning and decrease appetite.

What are your tips to stay slim during the holidays?

Keeping it Spicy

I’m a huge fan of adding spices to all dishes, not only for the boost in flavor and added complexity, but for the numerous health benefits, like reducing inflammation and managing blood sugar levels. However, spices can lose their nutritional value if not stored properly. Here are some tips to ensure that your spices are still at their most potent:

1. Look at the color. Does it still look richly pigmented? The nutrients are most concentrated when the spice is bright.  Old spices and herbs lose color over time. If it looks old and faded, it probably is.

2. Crush or rub the herbs and spices between your fingers. The smell should be strong and pungent.  If it’s lost its punch, they are likely too old to cook with and have probably lost a good deal of their beneficial properties.

3. Is it clumpy or cakey? Chances are moisture got into the container and the flavor anti-inflammatory activity may be reduced.

Here are some general storage guidelines- enjoy your spices in good health:

  • Whole & Seeds: 3 to 4 years
  • Ground Spices: 2 to 3 years
  • Leafy Herbs: 1 to 3 years
  • Seasoning Blends: 1 to 2 years

Which are your favorite cooking spices?

Skip the Cocktails for Beautiful Skin

While it’s tempting to overindulge in alcohol during the holidays, too many cocktails can become apparent on your skin.  Alcohol causes small blood vessels in the skin to widen, allowing more blood to flow close to the skin’s surface which produces a flushed skin color and a feeling of warmth.  While this may give you a temporary holiday glow, it can lead to broken capillaries on the face.  Alcohol-induced dehydration also makes the skin more prone to fine lines and wrinkles.  And since alcohol alters blood flow to the skin, it will give you an unhealthy appearance that can last for days.  So opt for a glass of antioxidant-rich red wine, and be sure to hydrate with plenty of water for healthy skin that will last well into the New Year.

What are your favorite non-alcoholic beverages for the holidays?

Sneaking in Exercise

Today, Perriconista Kimberly shares her tips for incorporating short bursts of exercise.

As a busy working wife and mother, I often try to get creative with how I incorporate exercise into my hectic holiday schedule- especially if I’ve been straying from the anti-inflammatory diet! Here are some of my favorite, unconventional tips:

  • Jump rope-I jump rope while I’m cooking something on the stove top or in the microwave.
  • Lunges-While I’m blow drying my hair, I do forward lunges.
  • Run in place-Before I bought a treadmill, I would run in place for 60-90 seconds as fast as I could.  Now, I will get on my treadmill for 5-10 minutes if I don’t have a lot of time and will do an intense walk or run during that time.
  • Leg lifts-When sitting at my desk while at work, I often do leg lifts.

What are creative ways you incorporate exercise in your busy day to help stay motivated?

3 Fat-Fighting Tips to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain

Today, guest blogger Perriconista Kimberly works shares her tips for staying fit during the holidays. Stay tuned for tomorrow’s entry on clever at-home exercises to keep your metabolism revved.

I recently  was shocked to read a report that said Americans gain an average 6-15 lbs. of between Halloween and New Year’s Day. I’d like to share some tips with you that I use to help stay energized and prevent weight gain during the holidays, even during days where our diet might not be 100% Perricone friendly.

1. Increase your Omega 3’s! Dr. Perricone recommends taking up to 9,000 mg of Omega 3’s per day for optimal fat burning. If you know you’re going to be consuming additional calories, this can only help. Added bonus: during these dark winter months, Omegas help keep your mood positive.

2. Drink Up! Drink lots of cold water before your meals.  We know that drinking water helps to make us feel full, but the coldness of water helps to burn more calories, so add more ice.

3. Do an Interval! Practice short bursts of exercise.  On days where my calendar is too full to make it to the gym, I do strength training and cardiovascular activities at home.  Even 60 seconds of intense effort throughout the day can significantly improve your metabolism and maintain your weight throughout the holiday season.

What are creative ways you use to keep your weight in check during the Holidays?