FLORENCE: Whenever I am in New York City I go for an appointment to see nutritionist Oz Garcia on the Upper West Side. Oz has been a fashion photographer before he was trained in a holistic clinic in the 70s as a therapist and specialist in nutrition.
He became a serious marathon runner in the 70s and built up a high consciousness for health and body performance at a time when New York had only one health food store and being a vegetarian was strange and juicing exotic. He opened his own practice in 1980. Today his own supplement brand is well known in the US and he takes care of celebrities, like Hillary Swank, Gwyneth Paltrow, Puff Daddy, Karolina Kurkova with his concept of a better health and life. I met Oz on a sunny September afternoon during Fashion Week to get prepared for the autumn and winter months to come ahead.
One month from now I will take part in Oz Garcia’s Detox Retreat, The Retreat (info[at]the-retreat.ch) in the heart of the Tuscan Maremma, hosted by the L’ANDANA Hotel, where one of the world’s most renowned chefs, David Bouley, will create detox menus for a selected group of 20 individuals. I will be doing a detox cure for a couple of days and if you cannot join me, read the interview and start living healthy wherever you are.
In New York today we have quite a few nutritionists. What makes you different from other nutritionists?
The science of nutrition has involved, we have an awareness of higher functionality of food and the remarkable effects of high-quality supplements are getting more and more effective. People want to stay relevant in a world that puts high promises on youth and performance, they want to look good, keep their mind together and perform as best as they can, especially in New York. We look at the patient’s lifestyle, blood results, hair analysis and genetics and make a plan which suits the patient’s lifestyle and works most effective.
What can a blood test tell you about the patient’s state of health?
The blood results for example show us the speed in which we age, how your brain and hormones work and what your body is missing or has too much of. From there we go.
What can the patient do while they get treated?
He or she has to learn. You need to have a strong body awareness to feel what is good or bad for you. When we advise you for example to eat right for your blood type , you will find out that certain foods can slow your down or give your energy. You are learning quickly when you feel better and have more energy. You understand your system, and the biology of weight control and aging.
Can you slow down aging?
Yes, of course you can. Most important is that you unload your system by detoxifying. Clean your liver and bowels and your body will function much better and look leaner and stronger. My next advise would be a blood type diet, which means that each blood type should eat and neglect certain foods. Research your genetics, look at your parents, what kind of weaknesses do they have and what illnesses. Do a blood test at least twice a year to control your hormone levels. Then you are well prepared to get older and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
How important is sleep?
Sleep, rest and solitude, not loneliness, is very important, especially in nowaday life. Look at your sleep/work pattern, is it balanced? How is your sleeping hygiene? Do you fall asleep in your bed with your laptop and the TV switched on? You can heal and rest your body while you sleep and you can prepare your sleep to get the most out of it. Like for example if you have to work late at night and have an early meeting in the morning. A light dinner, drink lots of water, have the light dimmed and a calming atmosphere in your room before you fall asleep and take some suitable supplements which we give you that work for you, so that even if you only have a four hour sleep you still feel fresh and revived when you wake up in the morning. We call this bio hacking.
The same with solitude, it is calming to spend some time alone, best in nature while going for a walk. It is healing and gives you your energy back.
How do you fight jetlag?
I start juicing the day before. When I fly, I do not consume alcohol and sugar, instead I eat light and drink lots of water. I do not advise to eat the food on the plane and resist any alcohol on board.
How about skin?
If you want to have a beautiful, glowing skin, eat healthy and sleep well. I suggest a high quality Omega 3 oil from inside and a drop of raw coconut oil every other day on the skin, which detoxifies and keeps the skin soft and tight.
How about cancer prevention for women?
A recent study by Gary Taub in the New York Times proves once again that refined sugar enhances cancer. Europeans should not eat too much soy and I advise especially women to reduce gluten for cancer prevention. Processed foods should be avoided generally.
How can I treat stress?
Sleep! Bodyworks and therapy are essential and a good tissue massage once a week is healing and releases the tension in the body. Enjoy solitude, it makes you relaxed.
Hair changes its structure in our lives frequently. Just look at baby hair and the hair of elderly people. How do we keep our hair shiny?
Our hair is a mirror of what goes on inside your body. This is also the reason why we make a lot of hair analysis at a German lab, which is one of the best in the world. You can treat dull hair from inside by taking essential oils and supplements like botanicals, amino acids, vitamins, etc., but I also use the right treatment/shampoo, like for example the Plantur 31, which is a perfect treatment for adult hair.
Thank you, Oz!
If you cannot make it to New York, join Oz Garcia and his managing partner Mila Joura in Tuscany for a one-week gourmet, liquid detox retreat with New York’s well-known chef David Bouley.
More information on www.the-retreat.ch