Brace yourself, friends. For many of us, the torture is about to begin. Harsh fluorescent lights, shame, confusion, and finally, utter humiliation. It’s time to try on bathing suits. But this year, we can get a jump with a couple of great eating plans, and a little help getting organized.
A friend of mine swears by THE 17 DAY DIET. Dr. Mike Moreno assures us that we can achieve rapid results with “A simple plan that targets both belly fat and visceral fat, and produces fast results that last!” Dr. Mike, as he’s known, is a popular family doctor in San Diego. He first self-published his book; since it was picked up by Free Press, it has become a bestseller, spending eleven weeks at the #1 spot on the New York Times list. This is no crash diet, but instead, a system for helping to adjust your body’s metabolism. There are rules for cycles, but not a lot of difficult food restrictions involved.
To make taking off the weight more appealing, Dr. Mike Moreno also has written THE 17 DAY DIET COOKBOOK, which promises “80 all new recipes for healthy weight loss.” The dishes are divided up into the diet cycles used in the diet plan. They’re geared to take about a half-hour to prepare, and to not taste like the usual weight loss fare. There are mouth-watering color photos, and instructions for preparing such delights as “Creamy Smoked Salmon Rolls,” “Slow-Cooker Cuban Ropa Vieja,” and “Grilled Pineapple With Vanilla Ricotta and Pistachios.” In the interest of completely honest journalism, Dr. Mike is quite a delectable dish himself.
Ani Phyo is worshipped by believers in the philosophy of eating raw food, so I can’t imagine that many of her fans have weight issues. This aside, ANI’S 15-DAY FAT BLAST touts “The kick-ass plan to get lighter, tighter, and sexier…super fast.” Oh Ani, you had me at kick-ass plan. Like Dr. Mike, Ani breaks her diet plan down into phases. In this case, her three stages help detoxify the body, replace unhealthy choices with foods that are good for us, and give us a blast of energy. For those who don’t like to cook, this is ideal. In addition to recipes, Ani includes tips on how to store food smartly and safely, advice on buying foods with which we may be unfamiliar (alfalfa grass juice powder, anyone?), and lets us in on her secret weapon (hint: it’s cinnamon). My feeling is that in fifteen days, I’ll be more than two weeks older either way, so why not give Ani’s method a try?
Ani addresses such issues as inflammation in the body, which led me to the thought that this would be an appropriate time to introduce THE HEALING REMEDIES SOURCEBOOK, by C. Norman Shealy, MD, Ph.D. Dr. Shealy is also committed to guiding us in the path of more organic remedies for our bodies. Included in his book are “over one thousand natural remedies to prevent and cure common ailments.” No small thing, this is also a much less expensive way to maintain good health than by shelling out a lot of money for medications. Instead of pharmaceutical drugs, Dr. Shealy uses eight holistic methods, including: traditional folk and home remedies; herbalism, aromatherapy, flower remedies, Ayurveda, and homeopathy. All are carefully explained, along with the ailments they help cure or prevent. An easy to use sourcebook.
Whenever I strive to get my body back in working order, I also experience a need to clean up my act in other areas of my life. THE 8 MINUTE ORGANIZER is author Regina Leeds guide to help us simplify our lives, and achieve more of what we need most: time. In my parents’ house, we used to have what we called the “broken crayon drawer.” This is where all the junk gets thrown, never to be cleaned out until the blessed thing just won’t close anymore. Enough! Everything is broken down into eight minute segments. Leeds has some great, practical solutions for every day annoyances. For example, put photo labels on toy bins, so that even the littlest members of the household can help clean up. And that broken crayon drawer? Throw out what you don’t need, leave just what you do need, and the rest, store in zip lock bags.
We should now be able to face bathing suit season with less trepidation. One bit of wisdom, however. Unless you’re under twenty-five, a supermodel, or someone rich enough to have it all sucked and tucked on a regular basis, do not be fooled into thinking you don’t need to drop a bundle on a suit that’s well constructed. Just trust me on this one.
Michall Jeffers is an accomplished Cultural Journalist and an avowed bibliophile. She writes extensively, both in print and online. Her eponymous cable TV show is syndicated throughout the tri-state area, and features celebrity interviews, reviews, and commentary. Michall is a voting member of National Book Critics Circle. www.michalljeffers.com