By Donna Kato
Put the words "rich" and "thin" in the title of a book and it's pretty much guaranteed to get my attention.
When the book is by a top Park Avenue diet doctor, I immediately assume she holds the secret to how those "Vogue girls" I see during Fashion Week stay so stiletto skinny.
But Dr. Jana Klauer doesn't endorse or support any particular diet. The advice in her books, "How the Rich Get Thin" (2006, St. Martin's Griffin, 288 pp., $13.95) and "The Park Avenue Nutritionist's Plan" (St. Martin's Griffin, 240 pp., $23.95), gets our attention by appealing to our vanity. In order to have good skin, thick, shiny hair and smaller waistlines, we must exercise, eat healthy, high-protein meals and stay away from sugar.
"We really need to think more about beauty from the inside," says the New York City doctor. Too many women try to lose weight by simply cutting calories without considering the nutrients they're eliminating from their diets. I can't count the times I've fooled myself into thinking that a 150-calorie cookie and a large apple are interchangeable because the calories are the same.
Klauer has teamed with beauty giant Lancôme to drive home the point that great makeup can only do so much if you're not taking care of yourself. She'll be at the Lancôme boutique in Valley Fair on April 26 to talk about this very topic in small group sessions. You have to make an appointment (408-244-8334), and the admittance is $175, recoupable in Lancôme products.
While the diet doctor's advice isn't radical, her delivery is fresh - especially for women like me who try to eat well yet occasionally (OK, frequently) succumb to the lure of baked goods, candy and processed foods.
I asked Klauer what a woman can do to jump-start herself on the path to better health:
• "Eliminate sugar," she says. "We have a natural craving and love for sweet things," but sugar wreaks havoc not only on glucose levels but is bad for the skin, molecularly breaking down its elasticity.
• Include protein at every meal and eat every four hours. Protein calories digest slowly, keeping your blood sugar level balanced and your hunger checked. It also takes three times the energy to burn. Carb calories are processed in two or three minutes, accounting for the "sugar high" and need for more. Eating pretzels as a snack is like eating cookies, she says, in the way the body flash-processes both.
• Burn calories with exercise. It's the one activity every woman should do every day. "Women put themselves last, after their kids, their husbands, caring for aging parents," she says. "See yourself as worthy as you see them."
Klauer, who graduated from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, says the only difference between women in New York and California is the emphasis here on outdoor workouts and the wide availability of fresh and organic fruits and veggies.
She's right. I'm one who takes our nice weather and agricultural abundance for granted. But if it means good hair days, no breakouts and more energy, I'll take her advice starting with the sugar fix. Oranges instead of Oreos. I'll let you know how I did next week.
Loyola Marymount University