I can't say it was a miracle, but the Dr Perricone Prescription 3 Day Diet works. Seriously, it just works. Here's the summary of what you need to do to start looking young again.
I don't know how old Dr Nicholas Perricone is, but his face looks flawless on Oprah and on his book covers and his Public Television show. As soon as he had published his book The Perricone Prescription: A Physician's 28-Day Program for Total Body and Face Rejuvenation it became a New York Times #1 bestseller. However, I had never heard of it until a year ago. Dr Perricone is on the board of the American Board of Dermatology and adjunct professor at the Michigan State University College of Human Medicine. He's also clinical professor of dermatology at the Yale University School of Medicine and chairman of the International Conference on Aging and Aging Skin. He received the Eli Whitney Award in 2002 which is supposedly a big deal in terms of recognition for contribution to science. Yes, he is the real deal - a proper doctor who holds clinical trials to ensure that his face rejuvenation methods work.
Later I found out that he's the guy who makes celebrities look young! He doesn't name celebrity names in the book, but you can almost work out who they are if you give it enough thought e.g. he mentions a 40-something year old female singer/guitarist.
THE YOUNGEST LOOKING 45 YEAR OLD: HOW I CAME TO HEAR ABOUT DR PERRICONE AND THE PERRICONE PRESCRIPTION DIET
So, I've been ignorant all this time about Dr Perricone and his anti-aging program. Then about a year ago, my sister, who runs an aerobic wear store was chatting to one of her customers. I was hanging around waiting for her to finish work. I swear this woman looked no older than 32 years old. 32 YEARS OLD ~ not one day older. She asked my sister how old she thought she looked. Of course, when someone asks you 'how old do you think I am', you immediately think of a number then minus a couple years so as not to offend. So my sister said 30 years old. And then this customer said "nope, I'm 45 years old". Our jaws dropped. She didn't have a wrinkle on her face. Of course it helped that she had a fit, toned body (explains why she's a regular customer at an aerobic wear store) but her skin was flawless. She said she used to look in her words 'like a wrinkled prune' by her mid-thirties from many years of hard partying, drinking and a few years of intense smoking during college. Then she discovered DR NICHOLAS PERRICONE'S PRESCRIPTION DIET. She even had a very worn-old dog eared copy of the book in her bag at that very moment ~ she said she referred to it all the time. So that's how I was introduced to the Perricone book ~ my sister went out and bought it the very next day. Nothing like a real testimonial right before your eyes to convince you!
THE PERRICONE PRESCRIPTION: BEFORE AND AFTER PHOTOS WELL WORTH SEEING
I wish I had photos of this ageless customer but I don't. There is photo proof though that the Nicholas Perricone MD's anti-aging formula works.
You just have to check out the before and after photos in his book, The Perricone Prescription. These are proper photos taken under clinical study conditions. No fake lighting, fake tans, highlighted hair and make up in the 'after' photos. The 'after photo' is taken under the exact same conditions as the 'before' photo. Again, no miracles, but there is a definite smoothening of the skin, reduction in eye bags, less of a double chin and re-freshment of the face in many of the photos ~ some more drastic than others.
Johnson and Johnson also conducted a separate study with astonishing results that are covered in the book too.
WHAT IS THE PERRICONE DIET?
It's an almost 400 page book so it's impossible to tell you everything about Perricone's plan here. But basically your skin can tell you a lot about the state of your body, so:
If you look old on the outside, then there's every chance that you are looking old on the inside.
You can reverse the damaging effects of aging on your skin AND inside your body. Dr Perricone even boldy goes so far to say you can be WRINKLE FREE FOR LIFE if you follow his 28 day program as fully written out in the book (the 3 day diet is mini-option that is presented at the beginning).
The key 'villain' to aging is INFLAMMATION. Inflammation is one of the major causes of aging ~ droopy skin, eye bags, saggy jawline, puffiness, wrinkles ~ and more importantly, it is the major contributor to most of the major diseases such as cancer, arthritis, strokes and Alzheimer's. Inflammation also helps to feed conditions such as fungal infections. Inflammation can be prevented or slowed down with changes in diet, supplements, exercise and skin care.
The basic eating plan for the diet is summarized below:
- Three meals a day: always containing protein that has to be eaten first
- Two snacks evenly spaced out and again with protein to be eaten first
- 8-10 glass of water (and he's pretty specific about what kind of water too)
- Stick to his recommended sources of protein, good carbohydrates, omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids
The list of recommended food goes on for pages so I'll only list the key Perricone foods here.
- Egg white
- Low fat milk
- Kiwi fruist
- Fresh salmon
- Turkey or chicken breast
- Tuna (packed in water)
- Other fish and seafood
- Oatmeal (but NOT instant)
- Romaine lettuce
- Berries: strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries
- Green apples
- Almonds (unsalted, raw)
- Macadamia nuts
- Pecan nuts
- Leafy greens
- Scallops, mussles, lobster, clams, crab
- Bell peppers
- and....thank goodness, there's a LOT more on the list that's okay to eat
Absolute No-Nos! Look away now if it's all too much for you. Again this is not the whole list:
- Corn chips
- Ice Cream
- Instant rice
- Sugary cereals
- Simple sugars such as honey, maple syrup, corn syrup: not unless you want tooth ache, weight gain and acne
And then some surprising no-nos. Again, look away as this list is going to shock you!
- Dried fruit
- All sodas including diet soda
- Peas except snow peas
- Certain types of hard cheese
- Fruit juice
He does say that you can indulge once a week, but eat protein first and try to limit your portion size. He's a strict man, that Doc Perricone!
Eating the right food is just one part of the whole Perricone Prescription. Dr Nicholas has a big section covering the dietary supplements to take. Again, it's a LONG LIST which includes:
- A multivitamin
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin B complex
- Vitamin E
- Alpha lipoic acid
- Grape seed extract
- Omega-3 fatty acids
- and more...
According to the book, there have been massive breakthroughs in antioxidant anti-inflammatory creams that you rub into the skin, get absorbed into your cells and subsequently can rejunvenate your skin and repair damage. They include Vitamin C Ester, Alpha Lipoic Acid, DMAE and PPC (polyenylphosphatidyl choline).
He also has a section on how to cleanse your face. For example, he says don't use plain old water, antibacterial soaps and avoid scrubbing grains, astringents, washcloths and toners. Don't overwash - twice a day is fine. Plus you have to moisturize.
For both the anti-aging creams and the cleansing products, Perricone lists out actual brand products you can use (different ones according to your skin e.g if you have oily skin). Some of the products are from the Perricone Cosmetic line but he always offers at least two alternatives, usually more.
Why Exercise Works To Keep You Young
Studies show that exercise benefits the skin much in the same way that it improves muscles and bones. Athletes tend to have thicker skin and healthier collagen. Perricone offers a simple fitness test and easy, common exercises from the aerobic, to flexibility and strength. They are easy to follow with diagrams when needed.
What Else Keeps Those Wrinkles Away
There is more. Perricone discusses why you should swap coffee for green tea, the importance of sleep and even how you can involve your family in your wrinkle-free program. He also advocates quiet and meditation though doesn't go into any details about this.
First of all the book is a pretty hefty thing - over 300 pages, though thankfully some of those pages are the before/after photos as previously mentioned. As Dr Perricone is a practising medical professional and academic there is a lot of scientific explanation to get through. Personally, although I found this boring reading, I do think it is of vital importance to read through the science behind his anti-aging plan even if it sends you to sleep.
The best thing of course is that this anti-aging plan works. Not only will you look younger, but you will feel better, lose weight and most importantly - help prevent serious disease and extend your life span.
Both the 3 day plan and the 28 day plan are very specific, but I like the fact that there is room for variety within it.
There's a lot of food that's is okay to eat.
Everything is explained in good detail....a lot of detail.
He gives suggestions for different skin types. Not just oily to dry skin, but for African-American skin, Mediterranean, Asian skin and so on. This is a guy who had has done his research.
As mentioned, I found some of the hardcore scientific, chemical explanation a little hard going.
I don't really like the way the content is presented. I wish he would simply list out the foods to enjoy, the foods to avoid and the essentials of the skincare and exercise plan in a few simple tables. But I guess that would be too much information to summarize.
The Perricone Plan incorporates eating the right food, taking exercise, looking after your skin with supplements and skincare products. That's a whole lot of work. I guess this is what it takes to truly reverse the aging process and look young again, but I sure wish it were a whole lot easier. Now I feel sorry for celebrities who have to live like monks to look as good as they do.
If you brought all the dietary supplements, creams, cosmetics and moisturizers etc, it would cost a fair bit of money. Perricone's own cosmetic, skincare products and serums are expensive. However - he does always give alternative brands and some are very reasonably priced. Dove Beauty Bar, Oil of Olay Beauty Cleanser, Clean and Clear Facial Cleansing Gel are just a few examples of reasonably priced products.
There isn't a whole lot on mindset or motivation. I personally think these are key issues when dealing with bad eating and lifestyle choices. I suppose the scary science stuff about how inflammation causes cancer and other terrible diseases should be motivation enough...but somehow..it isn't. Of course, there are other great techniques for weight loss motivation.
I would have liked more first person testimonials and 'real experiences'. There are real life case studies but they are explained in a fairly colorless, dry way.
The section on sleep, meditation and overall lifestyle changes is very brief. If you haven't meditated before, you would probably need to read up on it separately.
MY EXPERIENCE OF THE PERRICONE 3 DAY DIET
The truth is that I don't look too wrinkly for my age except I have really big bags under my eyes, a couple of deep lines on the side of my mouth and terrible complexion ~ adult acne, blotchy skin ~ basically I look like I sit in front of a computer screen all day long and never see the sun, I don't get enough sleep at night, eat junk food and I'm tired all the time. (Now why would I look like that?!)
I did the Dr Perricone 3 day diet a couple of months ago and here's my experience of it.
First of all, I will fully confess to you that I did cheat a little. Actually I cheated a lot. I didn't take any of his supplements beyond the normal vitamin and nutritional supplements I normally take. A combination of laziness (the list of supplements is SOOO long), tightwadness and maybe suspicion I guess.
And I didn't change my sleeping (or lack of sleeping) habits a whole lot. Actually, I might even have slept less come to think of it, because I had to get up earlier to prepare breakfast. (My usual breakfast being a Starbucks Latte and pastry...shame on me I know!). I did make an effort to meditate however and turn my bedroom into a quiet zone without my laptop and iphone.
A 3 day diet isn't long and I was surprised how easy it was to follow the eating and exercise plan. I mean, I was surprised at how I managed to stick at it without complaining, getting bored of the food or lazy about the preparation. The truth is that you can eat out fairly easily on the plan so my social life wasn't too disturbed either. After day one, you're a third of the way through I told myself and after day 2 ~ only one more day to go! I picked Monday-Wednesday as I was less likely to go out and I had Sunday to buy the ingredients and get prepped.
So after 3 days, I honestly felt that my skin was less greasy, the eye bags were lighter and I just felt a whole lot better (could be in the mind I know). My family noted my brighter-looking skin (though I still have a few spots) and said my lips and cheeks looked redder with more of a glow. I think I lost a couple of pounds but as your body weight can vary so much in the course of a day that it might not be true. I came away from it all thinking that the Perricone Prescription really does work but there is work to be done. Since then, I haven't followed the program religiously (I still don't take the whole supplement program nor do I have all the right beauty products) but I keep a list of the good/bad foods on my iphone as reference when shopping for food or eating out. I have tried to make the right eating choices where possible. And you know what, I do feel better...even younger. I don't think it's all psychological, I do think that some foods age you and that you really 'are what you eat' as the cliche goes.
So finally, I do recommend the Perricone Prescription. I would go so far to say that I give it a high recommendation, but you should understand that there's no magic bullet and that staying young involves eating the right things, exercising, taking certain supplements and following a certain skin routine. Worth it to stay young and live longer? I'll leave that to you to decide.