Younger Next Week: Your Ultimate Rx to Reverse the Clock, Boost Energy and Look and Feel Younger in 7 Days

Younger Next Week: Your Ultimate Rx to Reverse the Clock, Boost Energy and Look and Feel Younger in 7 Days

by Elisa Zied


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The Fast, Fun, Delicious Way to Fight Aging

A radiant appearance. Boundless energy. Effortless weight management. Supercharged health and well-being. Forget facelifts and fancy wrinkle creams—the fountain of youth is in the foods you eat and simple exercises and behaviors that will turn back the clock. Acclaimed nutritionist and wellness expert Elisa Zied shows you how to jump-start weight loss, reduce stress, improve sleep, banish mood swings and love the vibrant woman you see in the mirror. Discover how to:

* Nix the habits that age you (some will surprise you!)

* Fuel yourself with age-defying, nutrient-rich foods

* Relax and decompress with dozens of Stressipes

* Revitalize your life with exercises that put the brakes on aging

* Eat and enjoy 30 easy-to-make, delicious recipes

Featuring The 7-Day Vitality Plan, complete with menus, exercise guidelines and lifestyle solutions, Younger Next Week is your surgery-free solution to look and feel younger in just one week.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780373892839
Publisher: Harlequin
Publication date: 12/31/2013
Edition description: Original
Pages: 304
Product dimensions: 7.30(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Elisa Zied, MS, RD, CDN is an award-winning registered dietitian and nutritionist. She has been featured on the Today show, Good Morning America and The Early Show and has written for Parents, Redbook and Woman’s Day. A past spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, she writes The Scoop on Food blog for, writes for, and is an advisory board member for Parents magazine. Visit her at

Read an Excerpt


With our revved-up lifestyles, suddenly precarious career paths, piled-up household duties and the constant pings from our mobile devices, it's no surprise that feeling "stressed out" has become the new normal for too many women in this relatively new century. According to the 2012 Stress in America survey by the American Psychological Association, women are more likely than men to say their already high stress levels continue to rise. The survey found that 34 to 45 percent of women in the United States reported that stress makes them feel fatigued, nervous, anxious and overwhelmed. Their high stress levels result in a lack of interest in everyday activities and sap their motivation and energy. Women reported that stress makes them cry, gives them headaches and leaves them sleepless at night, staring at the ceiling. Moreover, 46 percent said that they cope with stress by overeating or eating unhealthy foods, and 31 percent said they skip meals to manage stress, which can actually exacerbate stress and affect how women look and feel from day to day.

These results are supported by the nearly one hundred forty-something and older women who responded to my Vitality Survey (you'll see their stories featured throughout the book, though I've changed their names to keep their identities private). More than 50 percent said that when life gets overwhelming, they turn to comfort foods, caffeinated energy boosters, alcohol and other vitality robbers. Some women say they overindulge in high-fat, high-sugar, high-calorie comfort foods (think chocolate, muffins, chips, and good ole mac and cheese). Some guzzle lots of high-calorie coffee drinks (a 460-calorie Java Chip Frappuccino, anyone?), sodas (364 calories in a Big Gulp from 7-Eleven) or energy drinks (three 110-calorie Red Bulls equal a major problem) for a quick pick-me-up.

Other women drink alcohol (three Long Island Iced Teas add up to nearly 900 calories) to calm down. Some women skip meals, and when they finally do eat, they grab cookies, ice cream, candy or even their kids' Goldfish crackers, most often swallowed on the run. While these eating habits may give us a temporary energy boost or a momentary burst of mental clarity, ultimately they cause us to crash and give rise to fatigue and brain fog. They also may contribute to a bulging waistline, drooping skin and unpredictable mood swings. These methods of coping ultimately increase our body's stress response, leaving us more likely to catch that cold that's going around, and elevate our risk for serious disease.

Do these women sound like you, even a little bit? I wrote Younger Next Week—which provides a road map to help you look and feel your best, no matter how challenging, complicated or stressful your life can be—to help you feel empowered each and every day, no matter how many curveballs life throws at you. And, true confession, I also wrote it to help myself, a forty-four-year-old "multitasker" with a professional career, a husband and two children. I need Younger Next Week as much as you do.

Younger Next Week puts the brakes on vitality sappers and helps you recapture your youthful, energetic, positive spirit. I poured through hundreds of scientific studies (so that you don't have to) about diet, fitness and health to pinpoint what really works. I drew on my experience as a practicing dietitian for nearly twenty years, during which time I've helped hundreds of women, and on my real-life experience as a working mother, a freelance writer, an author and a public speaker, to create the Younger Next Week lifestyle plan.

In Part II of this book, the Vitality Program, I share my groundbreaking Vitality Diet, which incorporates Vital Foods in appropriate portions to help you feel physically and mentally energized as you achieve, and maintain, a healthier body weight. When you follow the Vitality Diet, you can rest assured there's a sound scientific foundation for all the recommendations. Based on current science-based dietary guidelines and emerging research, the Vitality Diet is not meant to be a rigid prescription for how to eat, but rather a flexible, realistic plan that you can follow and tweak to meet your personal food preferences and lifestyle. The Vitality Diet includes many of the most common, widely available foods—some that may surprise you—to help make it realistic to follow and easy to maintain. After all, you should not have to buy pricey "fad" foods to eat a vitality-boosting diet.

In Part III of this book, Vitality for Life, I help you put the research and the diet into action with my 7-Day Vitality Plan (outlined in Chapter i2)—yes, you will look and feel younger in just one week!—and with my delicious kitchen-tested Vital Recipes (see Chapter 13), many of which take fifteen minutes or less to prepare. Along with diet guidance, the 7-Day Vitality Plan features exercise and lifestyle advice designed to decrease stress and increase vitality. (Don't worry. No gym is required.) In Chapter 14 you'll find even more Vitality Menu Ideas to help you feel satisfied. You'll also find Stressipes (rhymes with recipes)—food, fitness and lifestyle remedies—sprinkled throughout the book to help you better manage or cope with stress, the greatest vitality buster, and turn intentions to eat and live better into tangible actions.

On Twitter and Facebook, I encourage women to "move it or lose it" (#moveitorloseit), meaning move more in their regular daily life—not just when they're at the gym or in a fitness class. Staying active is essential for healthy muscles and bones, and it helps dampen your mental and physical response to everyday stressors, which can contribute to those less than healthy coping behaviors. My exercise philosophy is not about staying active to "lose weight"; it's about staying active so you don't "lose" your mind and your sanity. Getting enough sleep is also crucial to a more vital you, and Younger Next Week shows you how to eat (and drink) and live in a way that enhances—rather than sabotages—your ability to sleep well.

Whether you are approaching forty years old or are closer to fifty years old (or are north of that), my goal in sharing Younger Next Week is to help you feel your best, no matter your age. So, with thanks and much love, I present you with Younger Next Week. I sincerely hope that after reading my book and applying its food, fitness, and lifestyle principles to your life each and every day, you move—without trepidation or fear, but with excitement—toward, dare I say, embracing and celebrating your age on each birthday you're blessed to enjoy.

At forty-four years old, I feel better than ever. By using the tools in Younger Next Week, so can you. You are truly in the driver's seat when it comes to the way you view the world and live your life—even when things seem to be out of control. It's up to you to nourish, care for and preserve your body, your soul and your mind the best way you can, and to see yourself as someone who is truly worth more than her weight—or age—in gold.



Happy forty-fourth birthday! Yeah, right. When my friend Claire recently rang in this milestone, she told me she felt like it could have been her fifty-fourth birthday, and to be honest, poor Claire was looking a little worn down. It's no surprise why. She constantly runs after three rambunctious and spirited kids under the age of ten, one of whom has ADHD and always gets into trouble at school. Some days Claire says she feels like a designated taxi driver, shuttling all her kids to and from school, soccer practices and playdates, and her special needs son to and from medical appointments. Her husband, who finally found a new job after being out of work for two years, brings home less than half his former salary. Because he's also trying to get a new side business off the ground, he isn't around to help much with the kids. Claire has managed to hang on to her job as a nurse but puts in longer hours to help make ends meet. On top of all that, her mother-in-law, who suffers from early-stage dementia, has lived with them for the past three years. No wonder Claire feels older than her age and isn't looking her best! To cope, Claire downs a six-pack of diet soda just to make it through each day and munches through an entire family-size bag of corn chips in the evenings. What was her birthday wish? Claire said she wanted a face-lift—for her life!

Claire isn't alone. Just look at Marsha. For years this forty-five-year-old married mother of two has been in a rut that she can't seem to climb out of. About forty pounds overweight, she works all day as a store clerk and comes home to a nightly routine of homework, baths and "Mama this" and "Mama that," which really takes a toll on her nerves. She often asks herself, Don't my kids have a Daddy? because her husband helps out with the kids and the household chores only when she asks him. Feeling like she has to nag him makes her resentful and rarely puts her in the mood for intimacy, which adds yet another layer of stress. Although Marsha tries to sneak in thirty minutes of exercise in between work and picking her kids up from their grandmother's house after school, her son now wants to be picked up earlier—so there goes her exercise! She blames herself for her excess weight, but with so many worries and tasks weighing her down and so little time for herself, she drowns her sorrows in sweets, diet soda and beer to unwind over the weekends. Who can blame her?

Susan, a successful architect who owns her own design firm, is in a vitality rut. After weathering a painful divorce and a couple of scary lean years getting her business off the ground, Susan, who just turned forty, thought that turning a decade older would mark the beginning of a fresh chapter in her life. Instead, her packed days spent managing her office, meeting with clients and traveling leave her with little time to exercise or eat. She usually skips breakfast and noshes on nuts, dried fruit, cookies and power bars throughout the day, when she remembers to. At night, if she's not out for dinner with clients (or, on occasion, friends), she collapses at home with take-out food and a glass or two of wine. But she always has trouble falling asleep: her mind races with business ideas and items to add to her next day's "to do" list. Recently, on an outing with her "best buddy," her ten-year-old nephew, she was startled when he asked, "Aunt Susan, are you mad or just tired?" She said she "felt neither," but she later raced to the bathroom mirror and, sure enough, saw a "too-skinny lady" with dark circles under her eyes and what appeared to be permanent frown lines etched into her forehead. "Is it time to visit Dr. Botox?" she joked to herself—but it wasn't really funny.

And then there's me. Always the optimist, I entered my forties with a bang, but the bubble burst quickly. A nagging, painful wrist injury slowed me down, so I couldn't exercise, couldn t cook and couldn t even hold my children s hands. But my wrist was only one of my many stressors. My amazing, hardworking husband, Brian, had recently left his wonderful stable job—in the midst of an economic crisis, mind you—to launch his own business in a highly competitive, dog-eat-dog industry. Sure, I was excited for him, but a little terrified, too. Okay, a lot terrified. Then, when I made a routine visit to the dermatologist, my doctor discovered a suspicious mole on my lower back, which was biopsied and ultimately removed. Could it be skin cancer? And then, just before my wrist surgery, my gynecologist found something she didn't like on my mammogram, and I scheduled a biopsy for two weeks after my wrist surgery. OMG, did I have breast cancer? Thankfully, Brian's business is now doing well (knock on wood), the mole was only precancerous and the breast biopsy turned out to be nothing to worry about. But even though things were "okay" on the surface, I saw several close friends go through personal crises—health scares, job losses, marriage troubles, deaths of family members and money struggles—and these crises took an emotional toll on them and me, and I became a frazzled mess.

I started feeling old and debilitated. I had always been active, energetic and vibrant, and for the first time, I felt sidelined. Normally an upbeat, glass-halffull type of gal, I was feeling extremely blue. I was also increasingly irritable and didn't want to socialize much, and I sometimes would burst into tears for absolutely, positively "no reason." Plus, I looked perpetually tired. Was I suffering from "post-traumatic forty disorder"? Like so many women in their forties, fifties and beyond, I had lost my vitality.


How about you? Is the daily grind taking its toll? Do you have too much on your plate, too many commitments and too much responsibility? Are you getting bombarded from every angle by several emergencies at once—an unexpected last-minute deadline, a sick child and a fender bender all in the same day? Do you look and feel run-down, overworked, overstressed, and…gulp!…old? If so, you're riding on a speeding train to aging. Emerging evidence based on Nobel Prize-winning research suggests that chronic stress—the kind we women face on a daily basis—causes premature aging at the cellular level, effectively rendering your body, including your skin, face, and hair, up to ten years older than you really are (see Stress Ages You! on page xx). It all adds up to wrinkles, sagging skin and an expanding waistline—the telltale signs that your vitality has gone MIA.

There's no doubt that many of us women who are forty-something or beyond are overworked, overstretched and overwhelmed. Plus, as many as one in five of us possesses the "type D personality" and thus have a propensity to feel anxious, irritable, overly critical or negative or to be socially withdrawn (the D stands for "distressed"), which makes us even more vulnerable to the stresses of daily life. Even those of us who don't fit that profile and seem "so together" may, in fact, possess some of the type D personality traits at least some of the time. That, too, makes us more susceptible to a worn appearance, chronic fatigue, a bad attitude and other negative symptoms that can come from life in the pressure cooker.

There's no denying it—many of us feel like we have lost our vitality, and we look and feel older than we actually are. Many women cope by racing to the nearest cosmetics counter for the latest wrinkle cream, enduring Botox injections and chemical peels, or visiting a plastic surgeon for a more extreme makeover. But there's a much easier, more powerful, less costly, absolutely painless and much more satisfying way to reclaim your vitality.

You are much better off trading in the plastic surgeon's scalpel for a knife and fork. Seriously, one of the most important things you can do to reclaim your vitality and live your absolute best, most fulfilled life is to make tweaks in your food and nutrient intake. Drawing on the most up-to-date science and my vast experience as a registered dietitian for almost two decades, I will show you that beyond a doubt, eating certain foods can be a one-way ticket to vitality. Incorporate these foods into your diet as part of your 7-Day Vitality Plan (see Chapter 12) and you will look and feel younger for the next ten years. With this no-hassle comprehensive plan and the Stressipes sprinkled throughout the book, you can flip the switch on aging and be well on your way toward enjoying boundless energy, supercharged health, a sexier body, a better mood and better sex—in just seven days.

Table of Contents

Introduction viii

Part 1 Check Your Vital Signs

Chapter 1 Have You Lost Your Vitality? 2

Chapter 2 Coping Habits That Sabotage Your Vitality 13

Part 2 The Vitality Program

Chapter 3 Settle Down with Starchy Carbs (and a Spoonful of Sugar) 21

Chapter 4 Flip Your Fats and Boost Omega-3 Intake 46

Chapter 5 Empower Yourself with Protein 63

Chapter 6 Don't Worry, B-Happy 82

Chapter 7 Get in Tune with Your PMS-C 100

Chapter 8 Protest the Radicals with Antioxidants 118

Chapter 9 Drink Clean and Get the Real Deal on Caffeine 135

Chapter 10 Vital Moves 154

Chapter 11 Vital Relaxation 171

Part 3 Vitality for Life

Chapter 12 The 7-Day Vitality Plan 189

Chapter 13 Vital Recipes 213

Chapter 14 Vitality Menu Ideas 241

Glossary Vital Nutrients 247

Appendix A Activity Conversion Chart for Women 250

Appendix B Daily Recommended Nutrient Intakes for Women Aged 19 to 70+ 252

Appendix C Dietary References Intake (DRI) Acceptable Macronutrient Distribution Ranges 254

Appendix D Vitality Diet Template 255

References 258

Acknowledgments 275

Index 277

About the Author 287

Customer Reviews