5 Steps to a More Alert Life


Yesterday morning was especially rough. You know the feeling; your eyelids are so puffy that you look like you’re squinting and you swear you just turned out the lights. These kinds of mornings call for an urgent boost of caffeine; but when we arrived at the Trump International Hotel at 9AM sharp for celeb nutritionist Oz Garcia Ph.D.‘s Wellness Seminar, we made a mad dash for the catered buffet, only to learn that Oz does not believe in coffee…instant panic. Luckily for us, though, Oz does believe in antioxidant-packed juices, which he boasts provide a natural energy high. His OZ Berry Boost product (which was delicious…seriously!) combines green tea with a mixture of açai, goji, noni, pomegranate, raspberry, wild blueberry, and cranberry, to create a healthier option for your early morning pick-me-up.

As the seminar continued, we learned all about tips for healthy snacking, regulating sleep patterns, and foods to avoid in your daily routine on the path to good health and longevity. Here are the Garcia’s five simple tips on how to live a healthier, longer, and more enjoyable life:

Don’t Diet

The first thing Oz stresses is to toss out the obsessive American concept of “dieting.” Instead, he promotes what he calls “functional eating.” Translation: you have to make everything you put into your body count, whether it’s the cancer-fighting antioxidants in broccoli or natural fluoride in green tea, make your food choices efficient.

Forget the coffee

As we’ve already covered, giving up the coffee is critical. This is a tough one, considering there’s a green awning on practically every Manhattan corner, but worry not. Oz recommends replacing your morning latte with a cup of green tea, which is naturally caffeinated and is supposedly the reason why the Japanese will outlive us all. If you’re still struggling to get through the day without a Starbucks run, make your food do the work: Oz says that snacks like tuna, rice crackers, and full-fat yogurt (yep, full-fat) are all great ways to nibble your way through the energy lows in your day.

Step away from the screen

To help regulate sleep patterns, take some time away from the television screen; that goes for your computer too. Bright lights from both can trick the brain into thinking it’s daytime, causing the body to get out of whack. Powering down at least an hour before you plan to hit the sheets will give you a much deeper sleep, says Oz. So does this mean we have to give up Chelsea Lately? Sigh…

Get a massage

While Oz acknowledges that exercise is an integral part of staying youthful, he also advocates for what he calls “body work;” aka massage therapy, acupuncture, etc. He even suggests spending less time at your local Equinox to hit up the massage therapist instead. Obviously, we can’t all afford a weekly rub down, so in that case exercise like walking or running outside is a cost-free must for relieving tension and stress.

Make dessert an occasional treat

When we tentatively ask Oz about our favorite thing in life, we’re a little nervous about his response. After all, just last night we ran through a torrential downpour and possibly fatal lightning storm just for a cup of Pinkberry. “I want dessert all the time, but I’ll wait until Friday. Deferring gratification makes a big difference,” says Oz. Okay, not as disheartening of a response as we were expecting. “There’s a distinction that I make between eating for efficiency and recreational eating. We’re not in the business of making saints. We’re in the business of being thoughtful,” he said. Well thank God, because we wouldn’t want to disappoint Oz. We can do thoughtful, in fact, we’re thinking very hard about what we want for lunch right now…

For an extra energy boost or dose of relaxation, try Oz’s latest products, A.M. Awake and P.M. Relax Fast Shots, two scientifically-blended formulas created in collaboration with AriZona Iced Tea that come in little potion-sized bottles. The fruity-flavored shots left a bit of a lingering taste, but the boost in mental clarity was well worth it. For more products from Oz Garcia visit OzGarcia.com.