|Review: Eat, Drink, & Weigh Less|
Jun 12th, 2007
Eat, Drink, & Weigh Less is a collaboration between Dr. Walter Willett from the Harvard School of Public Health, author of the book that got me started on my cooking & eating well journey, and Molly Katzan, one of my favorite cookbook authors. So needless to say I was excited to hear they had come out with a new book that developed the science behind Willett's earlier book (Eat, Drink, & Be Healthy) into a full-fledged Eating Plan complete with recipes developed by Molly Katzen. There were recipes in Eat, Drink, & Be Healthy but they seemed mainly an afterthought.
Dr. Willett's recommendations for a healthy life stem from data gathered over the years on the Harvard Nurses Study and incorporate daily exercise and a diet heavy on vegetables, fruit, whole grains, and healthy fats. There is some really good nutritional data available in both books, and I'd definitely recommend you read one of them, I just don't know that you need to read both. Eat, Drink, & Be Healthy gives you the nutritional info in a popular science sort of style, with recommendations but no real eating plan. Eat, Drink, & Weigh Less summarizes the science and lays out an eating plan based on it.
My concern with the recipes is that they are fairly simple, so don't offer much to someone who is experienced in the kitchen, but the 21 day plan as laid out requires a lot of cooking and might be overwhelming to a kitchen novice. Heck, it looked overwhelming to me! But that said, it's really good advice and solid tasty recipes. I needed to knock off a pesky five pounds that had been floating around lately, and Eat, Drink, & Weigh Less helped me do that pretty painlessly. I was already eating pretty well, so I just focused on adding one fruit serving and two vegetable servings a day to my normal menu. I like the focus on adding delicious and healthy foods rather than a bunch of restrictions on what you can't eat.
Those are in there though - if you're looking for an actual 'diet', they've got a 21 day plan with menus worked out to come in around 1600 or so calories a day. Another fun addition is a list of packaged convenience foods that get the Willett stamp of approval. There aren't a lot, but it's nice to know he agrees with me that a Luna bar every now and then won't kill you!
I did end up marking a few recipes to try, and made these beans from the book, which were delicious on their own after a few days in the fridge, and even yummier tossed with blanched asparagus and green beans. I also made a balsamic glaze and roasted garlic and am going to pickle some onions this weekend after reading through the book - none of these things really requiring recipes per se, but it was nice to be reminded to do them as they are great things to have on hand in the fridge to perk up a meal.
Quick Marinated White BeansOne 15-ounce can white navy beans or pea beans, rinsed and drained (or 1 3/4 cups cooked white beans)
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 tbsp red wine vinegar (or more)
1/4 tsp salt (or to taste)
1/2 tsp minced or crushed garlic
1 tbsp minced fresh basil
1/4 tsp dried oregano
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp minced fresh parsley
2 tbsp finely minced carrot
2 tbsp finely minced celery
Combine everything in a bowl and adjust salt & vinegar to taste. Cover tightly and refrigerate. The taste improves after a day or two of refrigeration.
-Molly Katzen, Eat Drink & Weigh Less