The runaway success of The Healing Power of Essential Oils showed that there is a growing interest in using essential oils to heal the body. Now, in The Essential Oils Diet, Dr. Eric Zielinski teams up with Sabrina Ann Zielinski (“Mama Z”) to teach readers how bioactive plant compounds--those found in essential oils and in foods like matcha green tea, chia seeds, almonds, and avocados--can aid in weight loss, boost energy levels, and trigger the body's natural immune defenses to fight chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes and autoimmunity.
The Essential Oils Diet features a sensible, evidence-based, two-phase program—first, the 30-day essential fast track, which helps you banish excess pounds quickly, followed by the essential lifestyle, a gentle, practical maintenance program you can follow for life. Featuring delicious, easy recipes, meal plans, and strategies to keep you on track, you’ll learn how to harness essential oils and bioactive foods to help your body reach the homeostasis necessary to help you achieve and maintain a healthy weight and abundant health.
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About the Author
SABRINA ANN ZIELINSKI is a certified group fitness and martial arts instructor, health coach, lactation consultant, and a natural health guru. The mastermind behind the allergy-friendly food recipes and do-it-yourself remedies featured on their website and in this book, she’s known as “Mama Z” to many fellow moms who are looking for natural ways to care for their families.
Read an Excerpt
Why “Diets” Fail but Transformation Works
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—His good, pleasing and perfect will.”
Are you impatient to get to the recipes and guidelines for the Essential Oils Diet? Are you eager to start using essential oils to support your weight loss? Are you hoping that this combination of food and essential oils may be the magic bullet that finally allows you to take control of your eating habits?
Whoa! Let’s slow down for a moment. Jumping in too quickly without understanding the strategy behind our program could all too soon turn your enthusiasm to disappointment. Our recipes are delicious, easy to prepare, and nutritious, and the use of essential oils to assist in weight loss is backed by solid research. We even have an exercise program that you can quickly incorporate into your daily routine. Our approach is flexible enough to fit any lifestyle and food preferences. And we are excited to share our wonderful essential oil blends to moderate hunger, salves to help massage away belly fat, and the exercises Sabrina has designed to tone your body.
All well and good, but without a firm mind-set transformed to focus on success, a commitment to make these new habits a way of life, and a belief in the outcome of your actions, you may wind up a few months from now discouraged and searching for yet another magic bullet to banish your extra pounds.
That is the last thing we want you to experience. Instead, we want to encourage you to embark on a transformative journey.
So, slow down and let us explain the underlying principles that ground the Essential Oils Diet. Trust us, doing so will significantly increase your likelihood of succeeding on the program. In fact, the changes we are talking about are nothing less than transformational. Both of us have experienced such dramatic and lasting changes in our own lives, which we shared in the introduction. Our hope and our belief is that this book will provide the blessings of such an experience to all who read it and commit to our program.
If you’re a page skimmer or simply skipped the preface and/or introduction, we urge you to go back and pay special attention to that essential content. You will get so much more out of this book—and we’re not just talking about taking control of your weight, we’re talking about changing your life—if you understand where we are coming from and follow the steps we have laid out.
Two Sides of the Same Coin
At its core, this is a healthy living book. Live a healthy life and you’re going to lose weight just by virtue of being healthy. And as part of this commitment to health, you’ll learn ways to accelerate weight loss. For example, we’ll explain how matcha green tea contains fat-burning compounds called catechins. Another example: You’ll learn how simply inhaling lime essential oil can help burn body fat.
We understand that initially the goal of transformation to good health is rather abstract, while seeing excess pounds melt away is a more immediate and exciting transformation. Fortunately, the Essential Oils Diet achieves both goals.
Need to Gain Weight?
When you eat bioactive-rich food and incorporate essential oils into your life, your body achieves its ideal weight. That means that the Essential Oils Diet is equally effective if chronic illness, an overactive thyroid, injury, or other issues have made it difficult to gain weight. If so, you should skip the Fast Track and go right to the Essential Lifestyle. The same applies if you’re happy with your current weight but want to improve your overall health.
The Truth About Diets
We hate to break it to you, but weight-loss diets almost always fail, but not because you cannot stick with a certain program, have a genetic tendency to be overweight, have a burdened metabolism, or suffer from a damaged microbiome. We know that this statement flies in the face of what you have read elsewhere. Some of these supposed causes are myths, others apply to very few people, and still others are a result, not a cause, of weight gain.
As we alerted you in the preface, this is not a conventional diet book. By that we mean food is not at the core of the problem—nor is it the solution. If you follow the Essential Oils Diet, we can all but promise that you will find your body’s ideal weight. Most people will lose weight. If you need to lose a lot of weight, you will do so relatively quickly. We know that obesity is directly linked to the development of cancer, diabetes, and autoimmune disorders, so once you begin your transformation, you won’t be as susceptible to these diseases. Bonus!
The Essential Oils Diet is a two-stage program. As the name implies, the Essential Fast Track helps you banish excess pounds quickly—think readying for your daughter’s wedding, a Caribbean vacation, or a college reunion—but more importantly, it is the gateway to the Essential Lifestyle. The startup lasts for thirty days, or longer if you have more than ten pounds to banish.
Now let’s take a good, hard look at why most if not all weight-loss diets fail.
Useless and Misleading Information
The Nutrition Facts panel on food labels is of no real help in telling you whether a food item is worth eating. Do you really know what constitutes a gram of sugar, fiber, or carbohydrate, other than the fact that it is a tiny amount? And does looking at the numbers of grams and percentages of calories and fats really tell you whether something benefits your health or will help you control your weight? Of course not.
The only part of packaged food labels that is remotely helpful is the ingredients list, although that usually just alerts you to the fact that there are numerous ingredients you’ve neither heard of nor can pronounce because you don’t have a degree in toxicology!
In 1980, the US Department of Health and Human Services and the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) jointly released Nutrition and Your Health: Dietary Guidelines for Americans in an effort to educate the public about how to eat. The food pyramid was designed to be a visual representation of the dietary guidelines, but it was equally incomprehensible, which is undoubtedly why it was laid to rest a few years ago and replaced with a graphic called MyPlate. This is equally unhelpful in determining what to eat and how much of it. But here’s the kicker: Guess when the rise in overweight and obesity began? You guessed it—1980. And it has continued to climb stratospherically ever since.1
The food pyramid was incorrect, and nutrition labels remain useless because they focus only on “essential” nutrients, meaning such things as protein, carbs, vitamins, and minerals your body cannot make on its own but are essential for life. Neither the food pyramid nor nutrition labels focus on so-called nonessential nutrients such as bioactive compounds, which provide an abundant life of vibrant health. Yes, essential nutrients are necessary to keep you alive. You could stay alive on a feeding tube, but it wouldn’t mean you’re truly alive. More on this distinction in chapter 2.
A food label provides only a bare minimum of information. A minimalist attitude connotes just squeaking by. What’s the least I can do? Diets fail because their approach encourages the human tendency to do the bare minimum, not to go above and beyond. Diets don’t offer an abundant mind-set. It’s like “What’s the lowest possible grade I could get on this test to pass the class?” The fact that we’re still talking only about vitamins and minerals and protein and carbs just shows us that, as a society, our understanding of nutrition is archaic.
Most egregious of all, the recommended daily value (RDV) percentages that you see on food labels are based on a 2,000-calorie-a-day diet. First off, most people do not even realize this. Secondly, even if they did, they wouldn’t know how to make this knowledge even the slightest bit useful!
Case in point: Do you know how many calories you should be eating each day? How about your spouse? Your youngest child? Your teenager? Do you know how much they should be consuming? If you did, would this change the foods you served your family?
Truth is, you have no idea and neither do we, because no one knows! It’s literally impossible to calculate your caloric needs on a daily basis. And making your food choices on RDVs should not—we repeat should not—determine your food choices.
To watch a video shopping tour in which we show you how we read food labels and choose the best foods in supermarkets, go to EssentialOilsDiet.com.
The number of calories required to sustain a healthy, abundant life depends on your age, weight, height, metabolic type, activity level, and a slew of other factors that would make your head spin if we listed them all. Suffice it to say that your caloric needs on any given day will definitely not be the same on any other given day. Not to mention that the same applies to each member of your family!
To base your daily intake of vitamins, minerals, and macronutrients (carbs, proteins, and fats) on the percentages listed on your food labels is utterly illogical. This count-by-numbers approach has dominated the field of nutrition for decades, replacing common sense.
Diets Are Unsustainable
Another reason so many diets don’t work in the long term is that they are unrealistically restrictive. Their focus is on short-term abstinence for quick weight loss, not long-term transformation.
If you have followed a low-carb diet that eliminated or drastically cut down on fruit, grains, and other carbohydrate-rich foods, you probably saw some pounds fall away. Low-fat diets tell you to eliminate or drastically reduce fat intake. Ketogenic diets advise just the opposite: eat lots of fat. Paleo diets are typically fat and protein heavy. This conflicting information is enough to give you a severe case of diet whiplash!
Cutting out almost all fat or carbohydrates is just plain unrealistic for the vast majority of people. (Nor is it healthy or natural to overeat protein and/or fat.) When you follow a rigid program, you may be missing out on important micronutrients essential to good health. And after a while, even if you can stick with such a restrictive program, your body adapts to it and weight loss ceases.
The bottom line is, if a way of eating isn’t satisfying and enjoyable, you’re more than likely going to revert to what you’ve enjoyed in the past. (And if you are the main cook in the family, preparing one meal for yourself and another for the rest of the gang gets old fast.) That’s why most “diets” work for a few weeks or a few months, until a person is impelled to “cheat,” gets discouraged, and goes back to her old way of eating, with predictable results.
We cannot stress enough how flexible our program is. If you have certain food sensitivities or allergies, simply avoid those foods. If you’re a vegan or a vegetarian, no problem—in fact, this is a plant-centric program. If you hate such and such a food, no one is saying you have to eat it. When it comes to essential oils, each person’s response to a specific oil is different, and we’ll help you find the ones that work best for you.
Unless a diet becomes a lifestyle, as you’ll learn that the Essential Oils Diet does, it is almost invariably doomed to failure.
Beware of the Yo-Yo Effect
All too often people regain all the lost weight or even add on a few extra pounds when they return to their “normal” diet. This is referred to as the “yo-yo effect,” and it happens a lot with low-carb, high-fat diets.
Of all the various food plans out there, the yo-yo effect is most profound in the ketogenic diet—an approach similar to the Atkins diet in that it heavily restricts the consumption of fruits, grains, and legumes, with the result that 5 percent of your energy intake comes from carbs, 15 to 25 percent from protein, and about 75 percent from fat. It’s important to realize that a vast majority of research trials evaluating keto’s effect on humans have lasted only a few weeks or a couple of months at most. There is no way to determine the long-term weight-loss benefits from current studies. Animal studies, however, are more robust and suggest that the weight loss achieved is relatively short-lived.
Longer-term animal studies reveal that weight loss ceases after eighteen to twenty-two weeks on the ketogenic diet, at which point weight starts to return to normal and then gradually increases2, 3. This is not to say that humans will gain weight after following a keto approach for five or six months; we’re simply pointing out that the literature does not support long-term benefits for people following ketogenic and other low-carb diets, and it also suggests that the weight-loss benefits will be relatively short-lived.
The Absence of Abundance
The Healing Power of Essential Oils was all about helping you use essential oils to enjoy an abundant life. Another reason why diets fail and why transformation works is because the restriction inherent in diets completely ignores the concept of abundance. We can deny ourselves satisfying tasty food for only so long. There are numerous ways the Essential Oils Diet enables you to have your cake and eat it, too, including a recipe for the healthy, naturally sweetened, abundant-life-giving Our Carrot Wedding Cake (page 271).
Denial is unsustainable. No one in her right mind wants to remain in boot camp the rest of her life. We know that the Essential Fast Track isn’t sustainable for a long period of time, just as a low-fat or low-carb diet isn’t. No strict program is satisfying long-term. Instead, the Essential Fast Track morphs into a natural and abundant way of eating you can enjoy for the rest of your life.
Time Is of the Essence
All too many diets boast that you can lose ten, twenty, thirty, or some impressive number of pounds in as many days. This is completely unrealistic and sets you up for failure. Initial weight loss almost always slows over time. Conceivably, someone who is extremely overweight and restricts her intake dramatically for a month could lose thirty pounds, but that is hardly the norm. That’s why most thirty-day diets fail. It is simply not enough time to take off weight and maintain that loss when the person returns to her old way of eating. You need to continue beyond thirty days, which is why we have you transition into the Essential Lifestyle, which is designed to be a permanent way of eating, after the Essential Fast Track.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I am a longtime reader of Dr. Eric Zelinski’s website and his previous book The Essential Oils Revolution, so I was very interested to read this new book, The Essential Oils Diet. As a certified nutritionist I am very well educated in healthy eating and living principles. I am always on the lookout for new books that will be of help to my nutrition clients and website readers. There are some worthwhile things in this new book. I agree with most of the nutrition prinicples in this book and I also agree that essential oils can be a helpful adjunct to a whole foods diet. However, I do not agree that pasture-raised pork or wild caught shellfish are unhealthy foods. There are many excellent nutrients in shellfish, especially, and as long as you get them from a healthy source they can be part of a healthy diet. Animal foods, in general are not a problem in a healthy diet. This book is actually mis-titled in my opinion. It is more of a healthy lifestyle and eating guide and not truly a diet book. I would have appreciated a little more guidance for those who want to lose significant amounts of weight. This book might not be very helpful to them in giving clear guidance. I have found that most of my clients who need to lose weight benefit from a lower carbohydrate diet. This book does not give good details on how to do a low carb diet and in fact, does not recommend it. The Zelinskis teach from a Christian viewpoint, which is great for me because I am Christian. It might be offputting for some readers who are not aware of this, however. There seem to be a lot of additional resources available on line as links from the book, but these were not yet available when I read the book, so I can’t comment on their usefulness. The recipes are very good however. I recommend this book for someone who want to adopt a healthier lifestyle and may have a small amount of weight to lose. For someone with serious health issues or a large amount of weight to lose, this book may not give you everything you need. I received a complimentary advance reader copy from #netgalley.
Just got my copy of the Essential Oils Diet today! Great quality and great reading so far. I've only started using Essential Oils this year, so I'm excited to start adding them to my diet for healthy changes and hopefully for some weight loss! :) Thanks!
I love that this book is about making healthy lifestyle changes vs just being another fad diet. We have enough of those. It's also not all about essential oils and in no way claims they're a magic cure for weight loss. Instead, they are a healthy addition to a host of good habits including eating whole foods, limiting grains, dairy and animal proteins, and getting good exercise. A very well-rounded book.