Friday, August 15, 2014
Review: Snack Girl to the Rescue!
Blogger Lisa Cain ("Snack Girl"), founder of Snack-girl.com, has come up with a combination of information, inspiration, and delicious options in her new book, Snack Girl to the Rescue! Easy Delicious Food for Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner. The cover described the book as "a real-life guide to losing weight & getting healthy with 100 recipes under 400 calories." I was anxious to read Cain's view on the diet-o-rama of weight loss and maintenance.
Loved the book; loved her website!
Allow me to inject my tale here, before I proceed. Needless to say, one of the reasons I picked Lisa's book to review is my long standing problem of being short for my weight. Under no delusion that she could make me taller, I dived into it, chapter by chapter. I'm not sure if you'd call it a quick read, but I definitely went through it in a flash.
Beginning with a brief biographical sketch, Cain told of her journey, pre-snack girl; it was nicely paced. Not too much quantity in the information department; it was pure quality, in a comfortable conversational style. I laughed out loud and totally loved her comment: "My love affair with Food is a long one and I didn't want to change it. We are so good together."
Immediately, I felt like Lisa Cain was sitting at the table chatting with me. The cover claims were true! This book is a real life approach. I held in my hands a workable alternative to just starving; hallelujah! No smoke and mirrors, just get real with your diet and lifestyle.
From there, Cain jumped into a section on Encouragement and Guidance, touching on the issues dieters know so well: prepackaged, diet cleanses, fasts. The Diet Bogeyman Approach talks about lessons learned from the top "bogeyman" diets - popular, science based diets that are very nearly unsustainable long term. Been there - more than once. In a very practical approach, she advises the reader to learn something from each, such as "more protein helped you stay full," but remember that a plan you can't sustain won't work long term.
Some of the other sections address Healthy Cooking, Emotional Eating, and Exercise. As Cain dissected the different types of emotional eating and scenarios that trigger that behavior, I knew she spoke from experience.
She shared a heart wrenching story of the loss of a beloved aunt and how her daily activities, from getting up to child care, came to a halt. On that low point, the author remarks, "Take time to love yourself, find ways to heal, and allow yourself to be a mess...you can get back to being healthy when the worst of your pain and sadness is over."
The second half of the book is all about food and recipes, and you proceed with a last dose of helpful advise on things you never consider till you're standing in the supermarket with a puzzled look on your face: understanding the nutrition facts box, The Do-I-Buy-It cereal test, and buzz words are particularly useful. The list of recipes by "calories per serving" was really helpful.
Cain also includes Five Pantry Meals plus a shopping list to make Cocoa Chili, White Chili, Simplest Comforting Pasta, Stovetop Tuna Casserole and Broccoli, Potato, & Cheese Chowder.
The recipe that might be an instant staple for us (and by us, I mean me) is called A Green Smoothie That Doesn't Taste Like Grass. Like the author, I don't trust any of the green smoothies, but this one won me over. It couldn't be simpler: 1 cup frozen mixed berries, 1 cup loosely packed fresh kale leaves (stems torn off) and 1/2 banana and 1 cup of water. Plop it in a decent blender, blend till smooth, and you'll have two servings that come in at 156 calories each.
Mighty Meatloaf and Sneaky Zucchini Lasagna are in my future (Shhh! Don't tell the men...).
[I received this book from Blogging for Books for an honest review.]