Tag Archives: book reviews

The 5:2 Fast Diet Cookbook Makes Up for Lack of Credentials and Calories with Inspired Recipe Ideas

The 5:2 Fast Diet CookbookThe 5:2 Fast Diet Cookbook by Samantha Logan is just that, a cookbook. If you’re not familiar with the popular 5:2 fasting diet craze, you won’t find much supporting information in this book to guide you, but you will find 150 low-calorie healthy recipes to supplement the program. The author created the cookbook after she adopted an intermittent fasting lifestyle and lost 30 pounds.

The 5:2 fasting diet mentioned in this book and countless others on the market is based on the principle that intermittent fasting, “actually helps you reset your metabolism and rev up your body’s fat-burning ability.” On the diet, men and women are asked to restrict their calorie consumption on two nonconsecutive days per week and then eat as they normally would on the other five. On non-fasting days if the dieter wants to eat high calorie foods the author advises them to, “Go for it,” but then later encourages people to, “Make smart food choices,” so the takeaway is a bit vague.

While the author bears no credentials, it’s disappointing that she didn’t go the extra mile to describe the diet in more detail or provide statements from a doctor, nutritionist or registered dietitian regarding the efficacy of the program or the scientific data behind it.


Almost Anorexic: New Book Explores Relationship With Food in a Different Way

Almost AnorexicIn the new book Almost Anorexic: Is My (or My Loved One’s) Relationship with Food a Problem, Dr. Jennifer Thomas (Director of the Eating Disorders Clinical Research program at Massachusetts General) and best selling author Jenni Schaefer explore a new definition of anorexic behavior, the “almost effect.”

Almost Anorexic is one in a series of books about The Almost Effect, written by faculty members of Harvard Medical School and other experts. This book, and others in the series, suggest that behaviors often fall short of meeting the criteria of receiving a particular diagnosis, but still fall outside of normal behavior. These are the people who often slip through the cracks and whose behaviors often develop into a full-blown condition.

Recently, I spoke with the bubbly co-authors about their collaboration. “When Harvard Health Publications approached me about the book, they encouraged me to work with a writer,” Dr. Thomas explained. “The first person I considered was author Jenni Schaefer. She added a great layer to the book.” Not only has Jenni penned numerous books about eating disorders, she knows about the disease firsthand. 


Summer Reading List: Yummy Beach Reads with Recipe Pairings

To say I’m an avid reader is an understatement. If I’m caught up in a story, I tend to shirk important things like laundry and a reasonable adult bedtime. My husband may have to wear an Old Navy T-shirt to work because his company Polos are waiting in the hamper, but at least I’ll find out how the latest Gillian Flynn novel ended. Or maybe I won’t. That Gillian Flynn, she’s an enigma.

Some people prefer to read in the winter, but I think summer is the perfect time to inhale books because there are so many places you can go. Take your novel, Kindle, NOok or other word-devouring device and hit the beach, prop yourself up at the pool, plant your behind under a shady tree at the park, swing in a hammock, or take over the kids’ treehouse. In fact, the only thing more enjoyable than reading in the summer is eating! So, let’s do both, shall we?

Listed below are five must-read summer novels and their five must-eat food companions! Still hungry for more? Our list continues with more fresh titles and bites at Yahoo! Shine.


Girls’ Guide to Love and Supper Clubs

With the last name Sugarman and a passion for cooking, you’d think the career path for Hannah would be destined. Unfortunately, she’s too busy trying to please her affluent boyfriend and academic parents so she works at a Washington think-tank. Oh yeah, and she’s miserable. After her relationship fizzles she makes a bold move and starts a popular underground supper club. Unfortunately, the club is run out of her landlord’s house and he doesn’t know about it. This could be a problem.

Pair With This Recipe: Caprese Grilled Cheese

This is not white bread and American cheese, this is grown up fare with flair! All the ingredients that make a robust Italian favorite including Roma tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, and fresh basil are reworked to create a sophisticated sandwich. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar after grilling to capture the full Caprese experience. (more…)

Yoga to the Rescue Books Provide Light-Hearted Relief for the Modern Woman

I am often asked by women in need of a little stress relief if I can recommend a book that will help them incorporate yoga into their crazy and hectic lives. I realize how many yoga books on the market are not speaking to the modern woman (one who is pulled in so many different directions without a chance to catch her breath), but instead seem to be appealing to a population that is seeking to completely abandon the to-do list in favor of adopting a pure and perfect lifestyle.

Just recently, I discovered two fun, light-hearted books that explain how to enjoy the benefits of yoga without having to give up everything in hopes of someday being flawless.

yoga to rescue

Amy Luwis of RescueGirl and the author of these wonderful books explains how you can make yoga fit perfectly into your perhaps not-so-perfect lifestyle.

Clever illustrations don each page, including tips from adorable dogs, birds, cats, and other “little helpers” making this book such a wonderful joy to read. Health advice ranges from dieting to detoxing and is presented in a clear manner by Luwis, who is not only passionate about yoga, but also well informed about the proper way to do a pose and why yoga is of great benefit. (more…)

Denise Austin’s Side Effect: Skinny Redefines What Skinny Means

When it comes to fitness and wellness, there’s not much Denise Austin hasn’t done in her more than 30-year career. Last night, we were thrilled to be part of a rare first – a Twitter chat. While one of the country’s most renowned and beloved fitness experts is active on the social media channel, she’d yet to get up close and personal with her followers like she did in a chat hosted by DietsInReview.

We were thrilled to lead that conversation and introduce thousands of people to Denise and her new book, Side Effect: Skinny. “My goal is to redefine what skinny means — strong, fit, healthy, and energetic! A trimmer, healthier you!,” tweeted Denise about the direction of her book.

The idea behind Side Effect: Skinny is to help you create habits that can lead to lasting health, fitness, and even weight loss, and during the chat we discussed the key components of that plan. Calorie confusion, increasing metabolism, eating “skinny foods,” and overnight fasting were all answered by Denise during the one-hour chat.

The Four-Star Diet is Not a Book for People Who are Attracted to Fad Diets

I would never guess by her images on Google that Laura Wellington used to struggle with her weight. But she uses diet-talk to describe her former mindset when she says, “I’m just in my self-destructive mode, but I can always go back on a diet.” Eventually, Laura does change her perspective in many small ways that add up to a critical mass when she becomes fundamentally changed. Exactly how she did it is not the point. Laura is simply writing about the lessons she learned for living a meaningful life along the way.

Somehow, Laura, a young widow, mother of four, owner of a TV show and brand, turned it all around. In trying to explain how she did it, she was inspired by a presentation, A Leadership Primer, on victory in business and life made by General Colin Powell. She applied Powell’s twenty principles for business to a weight-controlled life, and she sprinkled her new book, The Four Star Diet, with personal anecdotes and advice from inspirational leaders like Gandhi and Einstein. The book has only 136 pages and you don’t have to read it in order.

Laura Wellington believes that weight control is about taking personal responsibility for choices in less than optimum circumstances.  As a result, she asks you to “reflect daily,” “look below the surface,” and “live fearlessly!” When General Powell asserts, “Endeavors succeed and fail because of the people involved,” Laura interprets it as, “Birds of a feather flock together,” and then explains how positive role models provide invaluable visual lessons, while toxic people in your life must change or perish. She takes no prisoners, in the best possible way. (more…)

Find the Right Diet for Your Personality in “Who Are You Meant To Be”

Every year, more new diets pop up claiming to be revolutionary and suitable for everyone. And every year, millions try them out, hoping that they’ll finally find the solution to losing weight.

Dr. Anne Dranitsaris, PhD and Heather Dranitsaris-Hilliard believe that this model is not how weight loss should be approached. In their new book, Who Are You Meant to Be?, released January 1, 2013, they outline how an individual’s personality affects their behavior and, in turn, their dieting styles.

“We’re looking at [dieting] through a different lens than most. What is it that’s driving our behaviors? Why do we people behave like we do around food?” said Dranitsaris-Hilliard.

The mother-and-daughter team’s book is not a diet guide, but it may be applied toward eating styles as part of an integrated look at human behavior. Through their research, they have identified eight different “striving styles” and find most individuals fall under one of these. (more…)

100 Ways to Boost Your Energy in Syd Hoffman’s New Book

All-Day Energy: 100 Ways to Boost Your Energy…Now! was written by Syd Hoffman, a former elementary school principal who was fascinated by the endless energy in her students. She started making changes and found a dramatic difference in her energy to the point of climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro. She found that “it doesn’t take hours of exercise or spending a lot of money on special products to feel energetic. For most people, having all day energy is simply a matter of tweaking what you’re already doing.”

All-Day Energy is 100 quick tips written with a positive spin. It is a way to help you determine which of these exercises you enjoy; however, you may not know what works best for you unless you try each for a period of time. All-Day Energy is missing any plan or advice for integration; it is primarily inspirational with minimal effort at convincing readers to try each tip. While the suggestions are not in categories or any particular order, they do address all four types of energy – physical, emotional, intellectual, and existential.

I believe nearly all of the tips in All-Day Energy could be positive choices to improve energy, physical and mental health. There does seem to be some science and research missing that could explain and convince some people more. For example, there has been research that suggests visualization might actually decrease energy. I am also not sure I agree that taking vitamins is a healthy physical choice based on other things I have read. The variety of tips is interesting to me nonetheless. (more…)

“Every Body Does Yoga” Introduces Yoga to Kids in a Playful Way

The benefits of yoga are far reaching for the young as well as the old. As adults, it is easy to suit up in our most flattering yoga outfit and head out to the studio so we can be guided through a series of poses until we are allowed to blissfully rest in corpse pose. 

But, if you’ve ever tried to get your children to sit still long enough to practice, even for just a few minutes, you know what a daunting task that can be. The attention span of kids seems to be shortening, which is just one reason why they need to be doing a little bit of yoga every day.

Author Lynn Eddy has presented a clever way to teach your kids about yoga with her beautifully illustrated children’s book, Every Body Does Yoga.

The story begins with a young girl named Lucy who wants to go to a yoga class with her mom. Instead of taking her to yoga, because that is not always an option, Lucy’s mother decides to teach Lucy some yoga on her own. Her success in teaching Lucy how to do yoga is the result of the ingenious way she shows Lucy how many times she is actually doing yoga throughout the day on her own.

From downward dog in the garden to yogic breathing in the bubble bath, Lucy is excited to discover how much yoga she already knows and cannot wait to learn more. (more…)

6 Weeks to OMG Strikes Controversy with its Unlikely Health Advice

Authors are often villainized for giving diet or health advice that’s contrary to popular opinion, whether it’s risky, controversial or just plain wrong. And every once in a while when such a person comes along, they’re either welcomed with enthusiasm or shunned entirely. This week, British author Venice A. Fulton is facing a little of both reactions for his new health book “6 Weeks to OMG: Get Skinnier Than All Your Friends,” which offers up some head-turning health advice.

Fulton, whose real name is Paul Khanna and writes under an alias for career purposes, penned his new health book based on months of personal research and it’s already seen raging success in the U.K. Now, it’s skipping the pond to the U.S., and there’s already plenty of mixed opinions surrounding its validity.

The primary concerns surrounding the book lie with the sensational title and the unconventional advice Fulton dishes out, including the recommendations to take ice cold baths, skip breakfast, and drink black coffee to speed up the metabolism. And the promise behind Fulton’s out-there advice? Readers will lose up to 20 pounds in just six weeks and get skinnier than all their friends. (more…)