Tuesday, April 3, 2012
Smart Chefs Stay Slim
I first heard about Smart Chefs Stay Slim: Lessons in Eating and Living From America's Best Chefs from my friend Donna, whose blog Cookistry is one of my favorites. As someone who has struggled with my weight for my entire life, now that I'm in my 30's, I'm really starting to feel the extra pounds in my back and knees, it's a wake-up call. To that end, I have resolved to make some changes this year. This is going to have to be a year to diet, to get out and exercise more. The problem is, how can you be a foodie and lose weight? Isn't it mutually exclusive?
When food is your passion, you can't just order a box full of low cal food and live off of that. I would rather not eat at all, than nuke an entree in a cardboard box. I don't do artificial sweeteners, dairy free "butter" or zero calorie foods. I have tried fad diets, and read all kinds of diet books, from ones that prescribe foods based on my blood type, to ones that promise to speed up my metabolism, but never do.
Smart Chefs Stay Slim is different. This book shares the ways that people like me, people who are food focused, who crave flavor, can eat delicious food, but lose weight. This is the first diet book I have ever read and come away feeling like I could actually succeed on it. It helps you change the way you look at food, it's a lifestyle change, but not one that feels like a life sentence.
In Smart Chefs Stay Slim the author, Allison Adato, talks to over 30 world class chefs and compiles their secrets to losing weight, cumulatively hundreds of pounds, while working as professional chefs, surrounded by temptation. Because there are so many different tips, you feel like you can customize what's suggested and work out a plan that will work for you. I have to say, I am most intrigued by Mark Bittman's 30 pound weight loss through "Vegan Vampirism". I think I can do that and am excited to try it out.
In addition to all of the great ideas shared by the chefs, organized into 92 easy to read and understand lessons, there are also over 50 healthy recipes to kick your imagination into high gear and get your taste buds going. I haven't had a chance to make them all, I've only had the book for two weeks, but they all sound incredible! I did whip up a batch of Naomi Pomeroy's CreamyAsian Tomato Soup, such a fast and easy week night meal. The soy and fish sauces give it a depth of flavor unlike any tomato soup I've ever tasted, and the coconut milk make it as creamy as the richest bisque, but with zero cholesterol.
I also have plans to try out Michelle Bernstein's Watermelon and Tomato Salad with Feta and Olives as soon as I can get my hands on some good summer produce. Tom Colicchio's Raw Yellow Beet Sandwiches with Avocado, Grapefruit and Radish Sprouts will be making an appearance at my table when I get another box of amazing SoCal Avocados and the Meyer lemons I bought last weekend are begging to be used in Alex Guarnaschelli's Lemon-almond Cookies. If you want these recipes and all of the others, you can buy the book at your local bookseller or on Amazon, trust me, you won't regret it.
I'll leave you with something Art Smith says in the foreword that resonated with me. "In the end, it's about finding your happy-the thing that works best for you. It might be preparing a beautiful, healthful meal that you share with loved ones. It could be making smarter choices when you go to your favorite restaurant. Or it might be starting your day with a bowl of oatmeal and berries that you make just for yourself." I can do this and so can you.
Disclosure - this book was sent to me by the publicist representing this book, but all opinions expressed are mine and mine alone and I was not compensated for them.