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Interview with Allison Fishman of Cook Yourself Thin

Allison Fishman, left, of Cook Yourself Thin with co-stars Harry Eastwood and Candice Kumai.

Allison Fishman, left, of Cook Yourself Thin with co-stars Harry Eastwood and Candice Kumai.

I had the pleasure of speaking with Allison Fishman, one of the co-stars of Lifetime’s new show Cook Yourself Thin, which made its American debut just this past week. Allison is a passionate chef  who owns The Wooden Spoon, a Brooklyn-based culinary school, who sharpened her own culinary skills while working for Martha Stewart, the Food Network and TLC’s Home Made Simple. She shared with us how she got her start cooking healthy (it’s a story, all working women can relate to) and some of her favorite slimming secrets in the kitchen.

Listen now to the interview in its entirety, or continue to read the highlights from my interview with Allison Fishman.


Where did the idea come from for the show Cook Yourself Thin?

Cook Yourself Thin got its start in England where the show and the accompanying cookbook have proved to be a huge hit with British women. The producers of the show thought that the premise of Cook Yourself Thin would be a great hit with the American audience to learn how to cook healthy.

Have you always cooked healthy or is this a new way of cooking for you?

My story is similar to many working women out there. I had an executive level job in the dot.com industry and after a few years in it, noticed the weight creeping on after too many business dinners. I also noticed that even though I was a very successful business woman, I couldn’t poach an egg to save my life. I was a complete nincompoop in the kitchen. So I decided that I need to go to culinary school and that is just what I did.

I wanted to be able to indulge in delicious foods without perceiving food as the enemy. I had my kitchen stocked with truffle oil, fresh Parmesan cheese, I was able to master cooking and eating vegetables and whole grains. And to my surprise, I lost weight eating this way.

What are three of the most important steps anyone can do in their own kitchen to stay trim?

Number One is to avoid drinking your calories. Right now, I have three huge bottles of unsweetened sun tea sitting on the windowsill of my kitchen. I also always keep seltzer water on hand and drink plenty of brewed tea during the winter. Second, stock your refrigerator with fruits and vegetables and clean out your pantry of snack foods. Right now is the season where fresh produce is in abundance. Stock up on blueberries, pineapples, peaches and whatever is fresh and in season. Third, don’t be afraid of following recipes. The dishes that we prepare on Cook Yourself Thin are healthy and simple. And all of the recipes can be found on mylifetime.com.

What is your favorite skinny meal-making strategy?

Grab your plate and fill it with 3/4 vegetables and not the kind of vegetables that are swimming in ranch dressing.

frosted-vanilla-cupcakes-cook-yourself-thin

Frosted Vanilla Cupcake from Lifetime's Cook Yourself Thin.

If you haven’t caught an episode of Lifetime’s new cooking show, Cook Yourself Thin, do yourself (and your waistline) a favor and carve out one half-hour this week to watch this creative program which shows you to slim-down your favorite foods without sacrificing on flavor. For instance, this Frosted Vanilla Cupcakes recipe from Cook Yourself Thin.

And thanks Allison so much for sharing your insights and secrets with DietsInReview!

May 7th, 2009