Book Review: Prevention’s Stop Dieting and Lose Weight Cookbook

Title:¬†Prevention’s Stop Dieting & Lose Weight Cookbook

Author: Prevention magazine staff, edited by Mary Jo Plutt

Date: 1994

Publisher: Rodale

ISBN: 0-87596-198-3

Length: 436 pages including index and appendices

Illustrations: full-color photos

Quote: “[E]ating foods low in fat will do more than just make you look better. It’ll make you feel better, too…”

But extreme-low-fat diets are Out, you say, and high-fat, low-carb diets are In? Er um, for one thing, remember what happened to Dr. Atkins? Actually, the difference between viable low-fat and low-carb diets is not nearly as big as the difference between faddy ones. People who stay trim and healthy eat reasonably balanced diets that include some fat–only less than the unbalanced diets fat people eat–and some carbs–only more complex and fewer simple carbs than the unbalanced diets fat people eat. So low-carb people can use this book; the majority of the recipes are, in fact, lean protein and fiber-rich fruit and veg, and they recommend using enough oil to lubricate pans and ward off the depression some people develop on extreme-low-fat diets.

Will you lose weight, look better, and feel better? Gentle Readers, I got this book from a friend who likes to be mistaken for one of (her daughter’s and my) schoolmates, and often is. With her straight shoulders, trim top-heavy figure, and long blonde hair (it wasn’t always blonde), she looks and acts like a well-preserved forty-or-fifty-something. If you didn’t know her oldest child was fifty you wouldn’t believe she’s seventy. Of course, she’s also into exercise and all the other habits of people who enjoy very long healthy lives, and she also comes from a long line of ancestors who were blessed with similar tastes, habits, and longevity. And cheekbones.

Can you use these recipes if your diet needs to be “free” from some specific food? More of the recipes are gluten-free than are dairy-free, but a lot of them are the kind where it’s easy just to substitute water or stock for milk, or omit the cheese. Most of them are sugar-free and low-carb. Many are grain-free.

Do they taste delicious? Some of the recipes do have that old familiar 1970s health-food-store flavor. Most do not. The ones that appeal to me really depend on the quality of the fruit and vegetables you use. If you use store-brand canned veg, they might come out on the boring side. If you use fresh garden produce, they’ll be delicious.

And, for a timely bonus…I didn’t plan ahead to post this review just before the Winter Holidays, but this book actually contains flavorful, healthy, tradition-inspired recipes for Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, and New Year’s feasts.

Since this book is a collection from a magazine’s archives, it’s not a Fair Trade Book. As usual, to buy it from this site, send $5 per book¬†+ $5 per package to either address in the lower left-hand corner of this screen. (This is a good-sized book–I’d like to promise that you could get two copies into a package for a total price of $15, but that depends on the packages the post office has in stock that day. However, you could get four skinny little Pocket-Book-type paperbacks into the package alongside this book, for a total price of $30.)

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