Star-Bulletin Features

Sunday, January 13, 2002


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Weight loss book has sound
advice and tasty recipes

"3 Steps to Weight Loss" (Better Homes and Gardens, 2001, hardcover, $19.95)


By Barbara Burke
Special To Star-bulletin

For those who resolved to lose a few pounds after the first of the year, well, it's mid-January and a good time to assess your progress. If your weight loss plan is working, that's terrific! But if you feel stymied in your endeavor, here's a new book that may help you get the results you desire.

"3 Steps to Weight Loss" is based on a healthy-eating plan developed by Dr. Lawrence J. Cheskin, director of the Weight Management Center at Johns Hopkins University.

Step 1 is to identify a healthy and desirable weight for your height and build. Step 2 helps you determine how many calories you need to lose weight. Step 3 involves creating a healthy eating plan.

The book features tips for making positive lifestyle changes, guidelines for exercise, and more than 100 mouth-watering recipes.

Cheskin's advice for permanent weight loss is simple and direct, without the gimmicks that accompany many fad diets. But for anyone who has seriously tried to lose weight before, the book may not offer much that is new.

There is a wide assortment of recipes whose enticing flavors practically leap off the page. The recipes are well written and include both nutritional information and start-to-finish preparation times. Most recipes can be made in 30 minutes or less.

Be advised to make a shopping list at the beginning of the week, as many of the recipes call for at least one ingredient (such as fennel seeds, red lentils, white Worcestershire sauce) that you may not have on hand.

Spinach-Apricot Salad

1 10-ounce package fresh baby spinach
1/3 cup dried apricots, snipped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 clove garlic, thinly sliced or minced
4 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons slivered almonds, toasted

If desired, remove stems from spinach. In a large bowl, combine spinach and apricots. Set aside.

In a 12-inch skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add garlic; cook and stir until golden. Add vinegar. Bring to a boil; remove from heat.

Add spinach mixture. Toss in skillet about 1 minute or just until spinach is wilted.

Transfer to a salad bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with almonds. Serve immediately. Serves 4.

Start-to-finish preparation time: 20 minutes

Approximate nutritional information, per serving: 90 calories, 6 g total fat, 1 g saturated fat, no cholesterol, 150 mg sodium, 9 g carbohydrate, 3 g protein.

Barbara Burke is a Hawaii Pacific University instructor who teaches and writes about food and nutrition. Her reviews of cookbooks of local interest run every two weeks. Contact her at Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210, Honolulu 96813; or e-mail

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