By Sue Knorr
The Zone Diet is still the foundation for achieving optimal wellness and performance some 20 years or so after it’s inception. Zone 1-2-3 as it’s called consists of three distinct parts, the Zone Diet, omega-3s and polyphenols. Together they provide unparalleled nutritional support for controlling cellular inflammation for a lifetime. Follow these simple tips to make the most of what the Zone has to offer.
Take the AA/EPA test to determine your actual level of cellular inflammation.
Elevated levels of inflammation are the underlying cause of weight gain, faster aging and the development of chronic disease. The test results demonstrate how well your current diet and fish oil dose are addressing your inflammation and point to what changes could improve your wellbeing. Know where you really stand to give a new-found focus and direction to your plan.
Watch the Lifestyle Video Tips
These six short videos provide excellent information to get you started or to brush up on the basics.
Make Zone pasta meals a part of your daily menu.
These meals allow you to experience in less than one day what it takes a week to accomplish with the traditional Zone Diet. The cross-linking of protein and carbohydrate in the pasta is what allows these meals to give the excellent appetite suppression they are famous for. As Dr. Sears describes, a Zone pasta meal is like an empty palette to which you can add your favorite spices, Zone-friendly sauces and vegetables to make it your own (just don’t mix in sugary sweets!). No worries about exact amounts on the add-ins because the pasta is doing the real balancing act in these meals. Zone pasta meals are the perfect vehicle for getting more polyphenols into your diet in the form of colorful vegetables. There are literally thousands of combinations. Start with a Dr. Sears Zone Fusilli Alfredo meal and mix in onion powder, black pepper, nutmeg, 1 teaspoon grated parmesan cheese and 1/3 cup cooked spinach. I call this one Fusilli Alfredo Florentine. It’s delicious! (See Dave Schreck’s story for many more pasta variations.)
Add some maqui to your life.
The maqui berry is a South American blueberry that grows in the region of Patagonia near the southern tip of South America. These berries are the richest source of delphinidins known to mankind. Delphinidins are unique polyphenols that have anti-inflammatory and anti-aging properties and also aid in blood-sugar control. Dr. Sears’ Zone Polyphenol XT contains the highly purified polyphenol extract of the maqui berry. One capsule of Polyphenol XT has the same amount of delphinidins as found in 100 bottles of red wine, 20 bars of dark chocolate, or 5 pounds of blueberries. I happen to have a very fragile metabolism (i.e., I’m very carbohydrate sensitive). Including maqui in my diet has done wonders for my blood-sugar control. If you cringe at the thought of adding more supplements to your daily regime, simply break open a capsule or two of Polyphenol XT and add it to your favorite smoothie or yogurt. Paul Wilk, one of my fellow Zone coaches, discovered you can make an awesome cup of tea by stirring the contents of one capsule into a cup of hot water. Maqui is also a prime ingredient in the Dr. Sears’ Chocolate Shakes with Maqui.
Get some physical activity each day.
It doesn’t have to be an organized or rigid program. Basically, the more you are on your feet, the better it is for your body. Take care not to overdo. Too much exercise raises cortisol levels, which increases cellular inflammation.
Practice some form of meditation.
New findings regarding meditation show that in just one hour there are positive changes in gene expression. Combining stress reduction with sensible exercise and the Zone Diet elevates these simple every-day things to the cutting edge of gene expression and molecular biology.
The Zone is always evolving so stay tuned for new developments. Happy Zoning.