Western Caribbean - March 15-22: Unfortunately, the Old Farmers’ Almanac was correct once again. The annual winter summary for Boston was colder with above normal snowfall. We had more snow in a 25-day period since the late 1800s, plus the prolonged cold has allowed the snow to pile up. As I write this, we have surpassed the all-time snowfall record of 107.6 inches. That’s more than 8 feet! But I’m in the Caribbean on the Zone Cruise.
This year’s Zone Cruise theme: Turning Back the Hands of Time.
We are living longer; unfortunately, most of us are not living healthier due to our eating habits that have accelerated the development of chronic disease. From his latest book, “The Mediterranean Zone,” Dr. Sears revealed how it is possible to reduce the effects of inflammatory genes while enhancing the expression of our anti-aging genes. The Mediterranean Zone is more than going to the Olive Garden and ordering a glass of red wine. It’s consuming a lot of colorful, non-starchy vegetables, limited amounts of colorful fruits and legumes, low-fat protein and a dash of monounsaturated fat like olive oil at every meal; also consuming small amounts of omega 6s (vegetable oils/processed foods), saturated fats, and reducing or eliminating grains and starches. This will have a dramatic effect on your health, guaranteed! These changes turn a good diet, the Mediterranean diet, into the Mediterranean Zone, a superior anti-inflammatory diet.
Dr. Sears explained how simple lifestyle changes will help control cellular inflammation, the primary cause of weight gain, chronic disease and premature aging. By following these simple Zone guidelines, you’ll think, perform, look and feel better as you go through life.
The Zone guidelines are:
1. Follow the anti-inflammatory Mediterranean Zone diet.
2. Supplement with a concentrated and ultra-refined omega-3 like OmegaRx that helps reduce inflammation.
Why? Dr. Neil MacFarlane, a leading authority on fish oil purity, discussed the inherent contamination and oxidation problems with virtually all omega-3s. As you concentrate the omega-3s, you also concentrate the PCBs and increase oxidation, forcing companies to add flavors that mask the bad taste and smell. Why should you avoid PCBs? Studies indicate that individuals who are regularly exposed to PCBs, such as when supplementing with omega-3s, are at greater risk for a variety of health problems, i.e., developmental disorders, cognitive defects in children, reproductive disorders, endocrine disruptions, depression of the immune system and an increased risk of cancer. Plus, new research from Harvard demonstrates that PCBs increase heart disease. So the omega-3s (EPA/DHA) are good for the heart but consuming high levels of PCBs are bad for the heart. Trust but verify. Zone Labs’ OmegaRx has the lowest levels of PCBs of any omega-3 on the market, 0.08ppb (parts per billion). Other omega-3s: Lovaza = 5.4ppb. Krill 7.4ppb. Chinese fish oil 25.1ppb. How do you know you’re getting a product with the lowest levels of contamination (including all 209 PCBs) and oxidation? Demand a 3rd-party independent certification and compare it to Zone Labs. We post every OmegaRx lot number.
3. Supplement with a polyphenol product that’s high in delphinidins, a group of polyphenols found the Maqui berry. Benefits of delphinidins:
- Have a positive effect on controlling insulin. They seem to even out insulin spikes.
- Have a greater impact on AMP Kinase (the anti-aging enzyme) than other polyphenols.
- Powerful anti-oxidants – protects omega 3’s from oxidation
- Improves circulation
- Enhances the immune system
Zone Lab’s PolyphenolRx has 75mg of Maqui extract providing 20mg. of delphinidins. The MaquiRx has 300mg of Maqui extract providing 80mg. of delphinidins. Why Zone Labs Maqui berry extract?
- Standardized process – levels of delphinidins are guaranteed
- Stability and purity based on European standards
- Manufactured by the global leader in botanical derivatives
- Additional links related to polyphenols and delphinidins.
4. Exercise - On the cruise, Dr. Sears suggested the 80/15/5 rule. Success on the Zone is 80% diet, 15% exercise and 5% stress reduction and meditation. Following a moderate exercise plan of no more than 45 minutes daily is all that is required. This is best achieved by doing interval training that includes strength training and aerobics warm-up for 3-5 minutes, and work hard for 30 seconds (you should be breathing rapidly). Repeat 8 times. Cool down. Also, don’t sit for more than 15 minutes at a time. Get up and move around. Research shows that sitting is harmful to your health!
In conclusion, Dr. Sears reinforced that the underlying cause of obesity, chronic illness and aging is diet-induced cellular inflammation. If you want to live a longer, healthier life, you must follow an anti-inflammatory diet for a lifetime. You can achieve this with the Mediterranean Zone diet, OmegaRx, high-quality polyphenols, smart exercise and meditation. Visit our website or give us a call. We’re here to help you.
Read Part 2, where Dave will share pasta recipes that were served on the cruise with us.