Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Spoil Sport

Spoil Sport
Originally uploaded by Bloomington Girl.
Do you recognize this man? If you watch Oprah (which I do not) or listen to NPR or watch PBS, you probably have heard/seen him. Or, if you've been to the bookstore, no doubt you have seen his many books on the topic of aging skin and lately, weight loss. He is Dr. Nicholas Perricone a dermatologist from, where else? Connecticut. The most important thing to know about him is that he may have ruined the martini for me. No small feat.

I don't know what possessed me last week when I bought his book, THE PERRICONE PRESCRIPTION- A PHYSICIAN'S 28-DAY PROGRAM FOR TOTAL BODY AND FACE REJUVENATION. I don't ever buy this kind of stuff - okay, maybe I used to- but I haven't in years. The last self-help book I can remember buying was, well, I can't even remember. Probably WOMEN WHO LOVE TOO MUCH in the aftermath of my disastrous impulsive engagement in my twenties. But, that is a story for another time...after a couple of martinis, if I can ever drink one without great anxiety about my health again.

Anyway, I bought this smirking man's book. Why? Well, it was in paperback and on sale but we all know that wasn't the reason. Why then would I shell out cash for this book? Because I WANTED to believe that in 28 days, I could achieve a total body and face rejuvenation. I wasn't thinking that at the time, but looking back, why else would I buy it? Why would anyone buy it? It's because we want to believe it. Wouldn't it be grand? A TOTAL rejuvenation. Not partial. TOTAL. In just 28 days.

To sum it up, Perricone's premise is your face is what you eat. Well, let me be more specific. Your face LOOKS LIKE what you eat. In his book are two "diets". First, is the "Three-Day Nutritional Face Lift." He claims (and has before and after shots to back it up) that if you follow his plan to the letter for three days, your skin will look better. Key to getting results is eating salmon twice a day. Wild Alaskan salmon if possible. (According to the doc, Salmon has DMAE, some chemical that tightens up your muscles and actually lifts your face.) On this regimen, there is no coffee (by some weird pathway it increases stomach fat and must wreck your young looking skin to boot), no alcohol (especially hard liquor which is apparently the Antichrist), no bread or any other similar starch, no dairy...in short, you pretty much eat egg whites, salmon, a few nuts, salad, cantaloupe or blueberries and drink green tea. Oh, yeah, you can have half a cup of oatmeal for breakfast but only after you eat some protein. And, you drink a bazillion glasses of water a day, or eight or something like that. Tell me again why this is better than surgery?

"The 28-Day Wrinkle Free Program” comes next. This is the plan that promises to give you that TOTAL rejuvenation. It is much like the 3-day program except it allows more kinds of foods. The regimen includes exercise, vitamin supplement and facial care recommendations. Conveniently, he sells supplements and facial products on his web site, which, is listed in his book. Perricone shows before and after photos for this program, too.

While I have to admit that I am pretty much your average flaky woman in a mid-life crisis about her looks, I do take these miracle cures with a grain of salt because I was trained as a scientist. I read Perricone’s book with a skeptical and critical eye. I started thinking that his claims were outlandish and not backed up by enough clinical data. The complete collapse of my faith came when I browsed his skin-care web site and found a small bottle of some miracle serum for sale there for the whopping price of $574.00. Okay, I thought, the guy is just trying to sell something.

But, still, some of his ideas DID seem to make sense. Why not try it for a few days? What did I have to lose? Maybe a few pounds and some edema around my eyes? Okay by me. I could certainly give up wine and martinis for three days.

Well, that was a week ago. And I am amazed to say that my skin looks a WHOLE lot better than it did when I started this thing. True, it is probably just from not drinking and eating sugar, but who cares? Plus, I have lost some weight, which always makes me feel like a million bucks. The downside is that I can no longer pour myself that perfect martini with abandon anymore. At least for now. (Anyone who knows me knows that this too will pass.) The reason for this should be that too much alcohol is just not good for your liver and other cells. But, just between us chickens, I don’t care all that much about that. It’s the facial puffiness that I don’t want. No martini = no puffy eyes in the morning. WHEN DID I BECOME SO SHALLOW AND VAIN???

Okay, I have calmed down now. Seriously, I have to admit that this guy might be on to something. Not only for your face, but for your body as well. I am not following all his suggestions to the letter, but I do think he has some good things to say about health and disease and proposes ways to eat to minimize the factors that might cause excessive aging and diseases. I am eating much healthier than I was leading up to the holidays (who isn’t, right?) and I feel better.

But, I admit it. I miss the martini. Maybe one a week?

1 comment:

Valerie said...

The fact of the matter is.........that I wouldn't enjoy my life without a little (and sometimes more than a little) hard alcohol. Is it fattening? Yes. So give up an occasional piece of cheesecake or a creme brulee. Geeze, Joni. Give yourself a break. You are pretty, and in great shape, and smart as a whip, and funny as hell............so.........what more is there? Life is short, girl. Just enjoy each day the way you want to, not the way wealthy authors of pathetic self help books say you should! Wow, this is a blog unto a blog!