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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.

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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. 

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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.
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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.
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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.