Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Book Review: Snack Girl to the Rescue by Lisa Cain

When it comes to diet books that are touted as "Weight Watchers friendly" I have read many.  I'm always on the lookout for new, tasty foods that won't make me feel guilty and gain a ton of weight.  Obviously the Weight Watchers cookbooks themselves would seem like a great option, but who has the time for all those steps and ingredients?  Not me.  Then there is the popular Hungry Girl series.  I like those books and have read and own several, but my problem with those comes with the odd ingredients.  I don't want to eat soy crumbles in place of hamburger or noodle substitutes instead of pasta.  While I have made multiple recipes from both of these sources, I'm always on the lookout for something better and different.
Enter Snack Girl.  The recipes in this book are beyond amazing.  Out of the whole book there may have been three or four recipes that I don't hope to try.  Every one looked tasty, healthy and, above all, easy to make!  The pasta dishes contained real pasta and the tacos had real hamburger meat!  No substitutes here!  The ingredient lists weren't long, and I didn't see a single one that I couldn't find at my local Kroger.  No complicated steps were involved, and there were even recipes for the slow cooker.  And every recipe has less than 400 calories per serving.  I entered a few into my PointsPlus calculator and the highest points I found was 8.  I love the entrees, but the snacks were great, too, and even cookies for dessert!
This book was so much more than just a cookbook.  Recently I've been more aware that there are bad things in the foods we eat, but Lisa really broke it down for me.  For instance, why is brown rice better than white rice?  I didn't know until I read this book.  Is there really any fruit in the toaster pastries you buy with fruit pictures on the box?  Why is it better to cook your food at home than to eat out?  This book has answers to these questions and many more.  Lisa tells the story of her life and how she went from eating what she wanted and being healthy, to being told by her doctor that she needed to lose weight.  She tried every diet out there (been there, done that!) and gives legitimate reasons why they don't work.  I felt like someone was telling my own story about realizing that if you want to be skinny and healthy, you're going to have to put forth extra effort. 
I had never heard of Lisa's Snack Girl blog before, but since reading this book I have become a subscriber.  This is also the first book that I have reviewed that I will actually buy as a hardcopy for myself.  This is the kind of book that I need within handy reach in my kitchen all the time.  It needs pages turned down, food stains on the pages and notes written in the margins.  This is the first cookbook I've read where I felt like the author really "gets" me.  Lisa Cain understands that grocery stores in small towns don't carry a lot of crazy health foods--and who wants to spend all that money on it anyways?  She made me realize that I don't  have to feel guilty for buying my fruit and vegetables at the grocery store rather than a farmer's market.  And she tells me it's okay if I lose control of myself sometimes at a party and eat more that I planned.  But she also helped me to realize that when I allow myself a treat in exchange for some exercise, it usually doesn't equal up.  It's better to say "no" to that doughnut than to promise myself I'll work it off later--when I probably won't anyways.  She understands, too, what it means to be a mom and just not have the time to take for herself. 
This is a book for everyone who wants to eat healthy, whether it be through calorie counting or Weight Watchers.  It's a book of real food and real recipes that are healthy and good for you.  I loved every page and can't wait to read it again...and again!

Happy Reading (and healthy eating!)

I was given a free copy of this book as part of the Blogging for Books program in exchange for this review. 

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