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            Cooking Thin with Chef Kathleen
            Kathleen Daelemans
            non-fiction (cookbook)
            Reviewed by: Carrie Byrd
            Review posted: 3/26/04

            Iím struggling with the low-carb diet. Not the Atkinís plan. Not the South Beach diet or any of that nonsense. Itís more along the lines of the ďmy doctor told me toĒ plan. So Iím constantly looking for new recipes to add some extra flavor to what can quickly become a very repetitive meal plan. So far my success has been somewhat variable. Low carb cookbooks regularly call for a number of substitutions that arenít really necessary, and that donít add anything to the food. Added to that is the problem many cookbooks face Ė the ďwho actually eats this stuffĒ problem. You know what Iím talking about. Itís the one where youíre supposed to magically produce 30 dollars worth of fresh spices and a fish only found in Lake Wakatakatiki in the country of HoochieCoochie. The prep time is 3 hours, two of which you are supposed to spend doing the ritual dance of the HoochieCoochians in order to make sure the marinade is properly absorbed into the fish. Who has time for this? Who has money for this? Who on earth came up with this recipe, anyway?

            For the most part, Cooking Thin does not have that problem. There are occasional deviations from the norm, but for the most part, Kathleen Daelemans realizes that real people donít have the time and money to waste on food that no one in their family is going to like anyway. Most of you will like this cookbook. Because of my diet, there arenít many recipes that will meet my needs, but thatís my problem and not the bookís.

            While I wasnít inspired by the recipes, the first half of the book, where Daelemans talks about her journey from being overweight to being fit, and what it took for her to get there is terrific. Sheís honest about the struggle, about the danger of fad diets, and the fact that to lose weight and keep it off you have to change your lifestyle permanently, not just until you drop those two dress sizes.

            Basically, itís a refreshingly honest look at weight loss. Too many books make the promise that this and that will revolutionize your life and all you have to do is go along for the ride. Daelemans makes no promises, but suggests instead that you make a promise to yourself to make the needed changes in your life. Cooking Thin is more than a cookbook; itís an honest discussion about taking control of your weight and your body.