Today, cookbook author,Devin Alexander discuses her inspirational true weight loss story. After struggling with loss at a young age, Devin turned to food for comfort. She remained overweight until she learned that cutting a small amount of calories can add up to a big loss. Below, Devin tells more about her struggle, the epiphany that changed her perspective, and how she’s using what she learned to help others
Tell me when your weight struggles began: I was around 8 when my struggles began in a way that you could see it on me, but I remember eating five whole hot dogs with buns at a church picnic when I was 6 or 7. By the time I was a teen, I was brutally bullied and had a really hard time. I had been on the cheerleading squad in Little League then got chubby by Jr. High and didn’t make the squad, but ALL of my friends did. I desperately wanted to be back on the team but I just kept getting chubbier. All of my former friends were busy going to cheerleading practice and games, and I wasn’t.
What habits specifically led you to gain weight? I had experienced loss as a kid and the fear that others close to me might also die unexpectedly had me turn to food for comfort. Then, after getting a little bit chubby, I was no longer jumping around as a cheerleader or in other active ways – mostly because it’s just not fun when you’re heavier. Once things spiraled out of control, I didn’t know how to fix it. I felt overwhelmed.
When it comes to a typical healthy and balanced meal, my Italian heritage often shines through! An ideal dinner plate could contain “Three Cheese Spinach Lasagna” from The Biggest Loser Flavors of the World Cookbook, New Favorite Meatballs from The Biggest Loser Family Cookbook with Main Event Marinara Sauce from The Biggest Loser Family Cookbook, and Lemon Arugula Salad from The Biggest Loser Quick and Easy Cookbook. And then I recommend eating the pictured blood orange for a snack a couple hours before or after dinner when hunger strikes. This whole plate (including the orange) contains less than 450 calories! (more…)
New year’s resolutions are mostly synonymous with weight loss. It’s not a bad goal to set when you remember that about half of our country is considered obese.
We spoke with some of the diet and fitness world’s A-list to hear what their resolutions are for the coming year. While they are the pictures of health, many of them are also looking at introducing new habits to their lifestyles in the coming year. Many also model using resolutions to simply better themselves, be it a few less f-bombs or more time with family.
Click through to hear how Joy Bauer, Jillian Michaels, Dolvett Quince, Kirstie Alley, Kithe Brewster, Denise Austin, Tracey Mallett, and others will be resolving to make better choices in 2012.
Jillian Michaels – JillianMichaels.com
“My resolution is to stop swearing. While I’m doing that, I’d love to see people quit smoking, eat better, and hit the gym in 2012.”
The culinary preferences of Americans are as diverse as our population. Unfortunately, the way most of us enjoy our Mexican, Chinese and even Italian food is very Americanized – fried, greasy and cheesy. When we start thinking about all the things we have to “give up” to lose weight, our favorite internationally inspired dishes are the first to go. However, the new Biggest Loser Flavors of the World cookbook will put all of your quesadillas, potato pancakes, and even tiramisu right back in your diet.
Chef Devin Alexander is the recipe author for the new cookbook, as she has been for all of the Biggest Loser cookbooks (last year she released the Biggest Loser Desserts cookbook). Devin told us “We really dug deep to find ingredients that were really healthy.” She boasts about the book an all-natural cookbook. So, not only are the recipes all under 400 calories, they also use wholesome ingredients. She’s “all about decadence” and “figured out ways not to sacrifice flavor.” Biggest Loser Flavors of the World is a first-of-its-kind cookbook: it’s so all-natural Devin couldn’t even use evaporated cane juice or fructose and the recipes are lower in fat, calories, saturated-fat, cholesterol, etc. Best of all, it’s still really decadent.
Listen now to our interview with Devin. Her enthusiasm for the book is completely contagious. You’ll hear how she and her team worked to put together the recipes, the stringent parameters Biggest Loser had her working within, and her list of favorite recipes from the book.
When I first opened the new Biggest Loser Dessert Cookbook, I just kept thinking “I want it! I want it! I want it!”. When I told the book’s author, Chef Devin Alexander, she enthusiastically replied “You can have it! You can have it! You can have it!”. The author behind many other Biggest Loser cookbooks and several of her own, says it’s because this is the first cookbook of its kind. All the recipe ingredients are all-natural and unprocessed, not to mention low in calories, fat and with hardly any saturated fat.
Too good to be true? Maybe, but the good news is it’s true!
Devin spent the summer working on this top secret project at the request of Biggest Loser. They gave her some unheard of rules that would have left her with a dessert cookbook without any chocolate syrup or whipped cream, as examples. She told herself to revolutionize, and she did. The results include her own creations for a chocolate syrup (unsweetened cocoa powder and agave nectar), her own “Cut the Crap” Whipped Topping (egg whites and agave), as well as the one recipe in the book she is most proud of, “New”-Tella, a natural alternative to that “other” hazelnut spread that she says “is actually kind of good for you.”
Listen now as Devin talks to us about how these desserts can complement your diet, how she used a variety of ingredients to maintain the textures and flavors people love, and how substitutions can work in your home baking.