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Book Review – Skinny Rules by Bob Harper

Random House Publishing

Okay, so Bob and Greg Gritser, a science and medical journalist credited on the book’s cover, will not be winning the next Pulitzer Prize. I actually found the writing to be sometimes eyebrow-raising or like nails on a chalkboard. Conversely, the content is superb. They have written a book which gives the dieter and healthy-eater a prescription for success.

There are, and have been, so many books touting why we should eat certain foods and not others with a slew of scientific studies to back them. Like the pharmaceutical industry itself, there is always at least one study that can be found to promote a certain effect from a causal agent, whether that be a diet or a drug. Some of these studies bear pondering and others are only a marketing tool to increase branding and sales. Occasionally, there are diets which are effective in aiding a person to lose weight but are damaging when sustained for the long term. These diets only set one up for failure. This one is not.

So, what have Bob and Greg done that was different? Balance is the word that comes to mind first, and technique is second. The diet is higher protein but not in the extreme and not damaging. Plus, with the amount of water you are required to drink, you will be easing stress on the kidneys. You can eat as many vegetables as you want, no limits. No counting every single calorie or logging every action.

The recipes included are easy and taste great. I made the no oil hummus and fed it to my picky foodie boyfriend. He loved it. I did add a tiny pinch of cumin as recommended by a friend. It is so lemony and delicious. Bob uses a lot of lemon in his recipes like Jamie Oliver does in his cooking.

The drawback is that you do need to plan and prep somewhat. He suggests doing this on Sunday evening. I find that I do not seem to have all the ingredients by the time Sunday rolls around. Consequently, I have to go shopping and, oh no, I have eaten something that I am not supposed to.

We are spoiled in today’s society. We want instant gratification, instant food and instant entertainment. We do need to get somewhat back to the basics so we do not eat so much artificial, high-calorie, and nutritionally-sparse foods.  Bob does offer some handy tricks to make your own “fast” food, like baggies of pre-made salads and having pre-made hard-boiled eggs in the fridge.

A funny thing happened to me at Chapters. I am not a browser at the bookstore; I know exactly what I want when I go there. I seek, satisfy and leave faster than a hummingbird sampling nectar. I wanted this book, and I was standing in front of the correct shelf but was a little slower than usual to find it. A gentleman began to chat with me about nutrition and proceeded to tell me how he had lost a lot of weight. I was impressed although somewhat uncomfortable, having been approached when I was obviously looking at diet books. This felt almost as bad as someone chatting you up while you were buying tampons. I have a public personality and a private one. The bookstore is one of the sanctuaries of my private one. The gent seemed nice enough, and then he saw me with the Bob Harper book that I had just spotted and retrieved. He told me it was crap, but I held my book tighter. He suggested a China theory book and another written by a physician. I politely flipped through both: theory books. He did not know that for years I studied nutrition and herbal medicine in my 20s. How could he? I did not look the role anymore [I am slightly chunky now in my 40s instead of my 17% body fat of the past]. I told him that I wanted a book that just told me what to eat, that had meal plans, and perhaps recipes. I hesitated with the last part, always embarrassed to admit a gender-identifying role. Why? I do not know, probably from my many Women Studies classes. He eventually left. I felt poorly that I embraced his achievement but not his saviour. My path needed a strict hand. I wanted to be yelled at like the Biggest Loser show. I think it is the only way for me to lose the twenty pounds that I want to lose. This is my blog confession.

I have lost four pounds in my transition phase. Yes, there is no transition phase in the book, but like I said, I get lost in the preparation phase. However, I am very impressed that I am losing weight before starting the diet, by only reading the book and preparing. I even Tangoed my sister to show her how impressive and healthy the contents of my fridge looked. She thought I had been kidnapped and brainwashed. The big leap is coming. I am ready.

Please try this book if you are looking for meal plans and guidance.You will be happy that you did. Ferocious readers develop grandiose appetites for sometimes more than just books. Good luck!

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This entry was posted on July 1, 2012 by in Books, Health & Wellness, Non-Fiction and tagged , , , , , , .

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