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I’m always on the prowl for good recipe books with a new twist. When my motivation to eat healthy begins to wane, I often find a new cookbook can steer me in the right direction. Apparently, I get bored with the healthy foods I have learned to love and simply need a change. My latest great find is “The Pink Ribbon Diet” by Mary Flynn and Nancy Verde Barr, and I highly recommend it.

The recipes are based on the Mediterranean diet, which is well-known for its health benefits. The diet is plant-based, but not vegan. The recipes delight the senses and the nutrition information puts a fresh face on the low-fat mantra that has been sung for way too long.

The premise of the book is that excessive fat reduction, or consumption of the wrong kind of fat, undermines health and weight management objectives. Extra virgin olive oil is the right kind of fat because it facilitates the absorption of nutrients and, in the recommended proportions, can lead to weight loss.

This presents an interesting perspective. Many weight loss experts say you’re not really hungry even though you think you are, or that hunger is a sign you need high-energy snacks and frequent, smaller meals. My take on this new spin is that we may be truly hungry, but it is a hunger for nutrients, not
calories. After all, we can be overweight and malnourished at the same time.

Essentially, I am eating the same foods I was before: whole grains, vegetables, fruits and beans. But these recipes offer new combinations as well as vegetables that I have shied away from like spinach. The book promotes satiety, and the recipes are aromatic and colorful. As a result, the meals percolate the senses of smell, sight and taste. I feel so good after eating these meals, and have shed a few pounds in the process.

The Registered Dietitian who co-authored the book developed this approach after conducting breast cancer patient studies. However, many studies have shown the same foods recommended here are beneficial in combatting a long list of disorders including obesity for women and men. All I know is I feel much healthier when I follow the Pink Ribbon Diet.

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