Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Author Interview Elisa Zied - Younger Next Week

Please welcome an author I'm so excited to welcome. Not only author but also award winning nutritionist and dietitian Elisa Zied. She's talking to us today about her newest book Younger Next Week.

  • ISBN-13: 9780373892839
  • Publisher: Harlequin
  • Publication date: 12/31/2013
  • Edition description: Original
  • Pages: 304


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

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 needYounger 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.

Elisa welcome to The Reading Frenzy.

Your new book Younger Next Week looks incredible to this almost 60 year old.
Tell my readers a bit about it.
I appreciate that, Debbie! Younger Next Week is a vitality-promoting, food based, anti-aging, stress management book for women (mostly in mid-life and beyond, though any woman can benefit from it). I wrote it as a template to help women care for and nurture themselves no matter what they’re going through and how busy they are. At the beginning of the book, the book helps readers identify how their current behaviors—and in particular, how they manage stress, saps their vitality and sabotages their physical and mental health and subsequently their appearance. The book then guides readers on a journey towards understanding how various Vital Foods—these include everything from starchy carbs, fruits and vegetables, fish, low fat dairy foods to nuts—can help them achieve what I call the 7 Pillars of Vitality. Because I know all too well that what and how much you eat is only one part of the vitality equation, the book goes on to explain how staying active and prioritizing sleep can protect you from the ravages of stress on your body and mind. At the end of the book, readers will find two weeks of carefully crafted and flexible menus and meal plans that incorporate the Vital Foods as well as a 7-Day Vitality Plan template that helps women incorporate all the principles of the program into their lives.
It looks like you have had your own struggles with healthy eating and weight control.

What was the catalyst for your change of lifestyle and when did it take place?
I was overweight as a teen and young adult. Because my mother had always struggled with her weight, the last thing she wanted was to have my brother and I battle the bulge. So food, eating and weight were constant themes in our household, for better or worse. It wasn’t until I left home to attend college and graduate school that I found a way to eat and enjoy food minus the guilt. Although I was somewhat active in high school (I loved to ice skate and played on my JV tennis team), it wasn’t until college and beyond that I became more of a regular exerciser. During my early adulthood, when I lived on my own (and admittedly fell in love with the man I’ve been married to for more than 20 years) I finally lost weight, got healthier and became more fit slowly and gradually as did my husband. I now maintain my weight within a couple of pounds and even way a little less than I did before I had my last son 11.5 years ago. In total, I have maintained a weight loss of more than 30 pounds since my high weight in high school.

Anyone can lose weight. But many who diet do so without giving much thought to getting enough calories and nutrients in the diet to support a healthy metabolism and a healthy mind. Furthermore, not everyone learns the skills to keep weight off long-term. I can honestly say that to this day I enjoy food, never feel guilty because of anything I eat, and I have learned to love and accept my body, thighs and all! I also know that staying fit and doing a lot—but by no means excessive—exercise has helped me be happier and healthier on so many levels. I power walk, tap dance, hula hoop, ice skate, do weights and core work, jump rope and dance to stay fit on most days, make an effort to sit less and move more in between formal exercise sessions and have even signed up to do my third half marathon (that I’ll mostly walk as in the past) this upcoming April. I also prioritize sleep, and know from the research I did writing the book how valuable that is when it comes to managing weight and a healthy mood. Of course I infused my experiences in various ways in Younger Next Week, but I also relied on current research on food, eating, fitness and stress when explaining various components of the program and providing practical tips to help women achieve or reclaim the vitality they deserve.

As a registered dietitian I’m sure you’ve seen it all when it comes to the “magic pill” we’re all looking for in terms of anti-aging, weight loss etc…
Is your new book sort of a myth buster for the trendier and more invasive anti-aging tactics?
I think of Younger Next Week as a sound, sensible, science-based yet still sexy *have you seen the cover?) alternative to any quick-fix anti-aging or weight loss diet, powder, pill or potion. The book is meant to educate, inspire and motivate women to not take radical steps but to just take a few small ones by using things that are right in front of them—widely available foods, their backyard or local park (to be active) and their beds (to get sleep)—to meet their needs, optimize their health and give them the best possible chance to look and feel their best at any age. My hope is that women will see Younger Next Week as a wake-up call to prioritize nurturing and nourishing themselves by eating mostly well, being active and getting enough sleep and to find more positive and proactive ways to cope with stress so that they can really get all they want out of life—have more energy, look and feel better, be more productive, better manage stress and achieve and maintain a healthier body weight. Don’t all women want that and deserve that?

You’ve mentioned that you eat chocolate nearly every day and even cave into the Krispy Kreme cravings once in a while.
How can this be?
I always treat myself. I know that several health experts might not think indulging in nutrient-poor foods more than on occasion is ok. But my years as a registered dietitian and as someone who has lost weight and kept it off has taught me that it’s better to not make any foods off-limits and to allow yourself to have small portions of foods that taste good but have few nutritional or health virtues. Not everyone can control their portions of certain things without a lot of practice, and some feel like their food triggers need to just say out of their homes and out of their lives. In some cases, I think that’s fine if it helps you stay on track. But food and the eating experience is something I feel should be enjoyed—guilt and shame should never be part of the equation. So in Younger Next Week, I incorporate TREATS—foods and beverages (like candy, cookies, chips and alcohol) that don’t fit into any food groups but that people enjoy. My philosophy is as long as you choose mostly healthful, nutrient-rich foods most of the time, small portions of your TREAT of choice can fit into the diet without sabotaging your health or appearance. It’s just my opinion but one that makes the book and its recommendations more likely to be incorporated into your life long-term.

Elisa your bio says that your goal is to empower others about a healthy lifestyle. Do you personalize your programs for different ages/lifestyles etc…?
Although the book provides a meal plan designed to promote slow and steady weight loss for those who need it at a rate of 1-2 pounds weekly, it also provides guidance for increasing intake for those who require more calories or who want to maintain their current weight. My goal for readers is that they take the dietary and lifestyle recommendations and guidance offered in the book and adapt them to meet their own personal needs and preferences.

Elisa you also said you gave up your long-standing diet coke habit.
Tell us why we shouldn’t drink diet soda?
Does this also apply to regular soda?
I will never tell someone to give any one food or beverage—even diet or regular soda—unless they have a specific health or medical need that precludes them from including it in their diet. That being said, I don’t think diet soda or sugary soda are healthy or offer any nutritional benefit. I gave up diet coke simply because I was drinking it at the expense of water. It became my go-to stress reliever, and admittedly I knew my intake got out of control. So I quit cold turkey. I will a drink diet iced tea (like Diet Snapple) or unsweetened iced tea to get my caffeine fix, or simply have water when I’m out at a restaurant or an event. So while I’ve made progressm I’m not perfect!
All kinds of soda—diet and regular—are filled with a variety of chemicals (including artificial sweeteners in the case of diet soda) and of course regular soda is loaded with sugar. Although we need more studies, some suggests a link between soda intake and diabetes, depression, weight gain and other negative health effects. I think women need to decide if soda will fit into an otherwise healthful diet and lifestyle. I know that for me, I’m better off without it.

Elisa Thank you for answering these few questions.
I for one can’t wait to read your book and I’m sure other fans would also love to meet you in person.
Will there be any events/signings for the release?
I hope you enjoy it! Please let me know your thoughts, would love to hear them! As for events, I had a fabulous book signing and talk with a (brag alert) packed room at Barnes and Noble on the Upper East Side of Manhattan on January 9th. I’m also coordinating some local talks and lectures as we speak, and will speaking about my book at the Today’s Dietitian magazine conference in May in Las Vegas. Please keep in touch by visiting my website,, and subscribing to my free Stressipes® newsletter to learn about new events that will be added to my calendar on my book tour.

CONNECT WITH ELISA -Website - Facebook - Twitter - Pintrest

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


  1. Thanks so much for sharing I think we all strive to feel and look younger.

    1. Thanks for the comment Kim. I'm still looking for that magic pill :)

  2. What a great book to see today Debbie! I've been kicking this around the last couple weeks. Trying to get healthier and feel younger this year.

    1. Thanks Anna, I'm always trying to do better and I'm going to give this book a real college try!!