From Stress to Bliss
An Interview with The Slim, Calm, Sexy Diet Author Keri Glassman – & New Video!
Keri Glassman says she was born to do exactly what she is doing today. Even in seventh grade, the author and founder of Nutritious Life™ had nutrition on her mind. “My childhood friend tells me she remembers me being in science class and saying, ‘My body is craving vitamin E, I am going to eat almonds!’” recalls Glassman. “Barf! Was I that dorky?” It was a youthful dorkiness that turned into a life passion – not for dieting, but for being good to her body. And it led her down a path of helping others do the same.
Today, in her private practice in New York City, she works with five other Registered Dietitians to preach the Nutritious Life™ mantra, an approach to diet and wellness that considers the whole body. She is also a recognizable face on TV, a contributing editor for Women’s Health magazine, and the author of three books. The latest is The Slim Calm Sexy Diet (Rodale 2012) a whole body diet strategy with a three-prong focus – losing weight, feeling good, and conquering stress, a feat that in Glassman’s hands seems remarkably achievable.
A New Role for Weight Loss
One of the messages of The Slim Calm Sexy Diet is that weight loss doesn’t have to be a diet’s central focus. Instead, it is a “side effect” of other good choices such as reduced stress, balanced hormones, and increased activity. It’s a message Glassman says people are just beginning to receive. “Most people focus on diet, diet, and diet to lose unwanted pounds. And, sometimes, diet and exercise,” she says. “But, often they don’t put enough emphasis on the importance of sleep, managing stress, or simply being properly hydrated.”
For example, Glassman says the most common reason people are sluggish in the afternoon is due to dehydration, and she recommends starting each day with a drink of water with lemon. She is strong in her conviction that simple changes in things like water intake and sleep habits can make a significant difference in our health. “When you sleep well, your hormones are in a better place to help you lose weight,” she says. “The same goes for when you manage stress. By focusing on these other life factors, a person begins to feel a whole lot better and lose weight.”
“I Can Eat Blueberries!”
While fruits and veggies are crucial to living the slim, calm, sexy life, limitations are not. In a recent Nutritious Life newsletter, Glassman writes that her number one chill-out indulgence is a margarita with guacamole and chips. It may not sound like the musings of the author of a popular diet book, but it fits perfectly with Glassman’s philosophy of what she calls “eating empowered, not deprived”. She strives for stress-free living, including plenty of time for pampering (treats provide emotional and physical benefits) and for eating things she loves. Recipes like Raspberry Ricotta French Toast, which shows up in The Slim Calm Sexy Diet, sound indulgent, and they are. But as with all the recipes in the book, the ingredients are nutrient dense, so they are also flavorful, satisfying, and functional. The French Toast is made with multigrain bread, chopped pecans, honey, eggs, and cinnamon – all foods that provide body benefits.
An important principle of eating to be slim, calm, and sexy is changing our relationship with food: ending the on-and-off dieting and making eating a conscious, harmonious, enjoyable experience. Glassman knows first-hand about the starving/overeating roller coaster. Her struggle was with just 15 pounds, but it was enough to blow up into a war. “It made me mental,” she says. But gaining control of yo-yo dieting created a calm that in turn empowered her to remain in control of all her eating. Her own epiphany was a moment in which her negative mantra of “I can’t eat the cake,” turned into the more affirming, “I can eat blueberries!” and her quest to eat plenty of delicious, indulgent foods while maintaining health turned into a mission.
One of the ideas that threads through The Slim Calm Sexy Diet is that being hungry only contributes daily stress, which increases stress hormones responsible for weight gain, heart disease, cancer, and diabetes, among other health problems. The book includes healthy tips, weekly workout plans and easy-to-prepare recipes that use nutrient-dense foods that help steer the reader toward mind and body bliss and keep us calm, slim, and inspired to turn on the sexy. Calm foods include berries, for example, because they are rich in vitamin C and combat stress by lowering blood pressure levels and cortisol levels. Slim foods include those that deliver fiber for few calories, such as artichokes, or that increase “burn” like chilis, and sexy foods include those that increase fertility (peaches) and boost libido (watermelon).
Glassman, a certified nutritionist, has always supported her diet recommendations with solid scientific evidence. “When you understand the science behind why blueberries are good for your heart health, your mind, and your skin, you are more motivated to want to eat blueberries and guess what? Weight loss also follows,” she says. The O2 Diet, (Rodale Books 2010) her previous book, an antioxidant-based diet that turns research into something accessible and easy to implement.
The O2 program acknowledges the importance of antioxidants in health and disease prevention. Because antioxidants protect against free radicals, they are crucial in preventing forms of cancer, heart disease, and symptoms of aging. Glassman uses the ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) scale for the basis of the program. ORAC is the measurement of antioxidant protection provided by foods, and it’s an important measurement to keep in mind when it comes to making healthy food decisions. It’s also one that can sometimes elude consumers as they shop for foods at the grocery store. Glassman says the easiest way to start increasing the ORAC scores of the foods in our diet is to start with some simple changes. First, she advises ramping up veggie and fruit intake, focusing on healthy fats, and switching to only whole grains. Next, she advises focusing on the darkest, most colorful veggies and fruits. With these small steps, she says, we’ll automatically be getting more antioxidants, and our ORAC quotient will climb.
Slim, Calm, Sexy Wild Blueberries
Wild blueberries not only serve as an excellent “calm” food due to their influence on the brain, they are an indispensible part of Glassman’s vision of the balanced life. (See the video of Keri Glassman discussing Slim Calm Sexy with a Fox News affiliate in Michigan.) Wild blueberries provide the high antioxidant content that is the key to health and disease prevention, and Glassman also likes them because they are loaded with fiber, which aids digestive health and keeps us full. “And of course, because they just taste so good!” she says. Her favorite combination is wild blueberries in a kale salad with pine nuts or mixed into a side dish of quinoa, which offers powerful flavor, satisfaction, and nutrition.
As part of a diet plan for achieving slim, calm, sexiness, wild blueberries figure prominently in Glassman’s recommended three meals and two snacks per day. For breakfast she recommends wild blueberries combined with protein-rich cottage cheese. She also recommends revisiting wild blues in the afternoon as a wonderful way to indulge mid-day. There’s no need to limit yourself to just a sprinkle – instead, she recommends eating blues by the spoonful, layered between yogurt in a parfait dish and topped with a bit of chocolate.
If being slimmer, calmer, and sexier sounds like a recipe for a great summer, Glassman offers the incentive of losing up to 20 pounds on her diet the first six weeks. But the promise of a new relationship with food extends to all seasons. After understanding how food can put your life in blissful balance, you may never find that twenty pounds again. Instead, you can look forward to a sexier, calmer, if smaller, you.
You can learn about Keri Glassman’s book, or find out more about her philosophy of healthy eating and living at NutritiousLife.com
Find out More about The Slim Calm Sexy Diet at Women’s Health Magazine.