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Eat, Shrink and Be Merry

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With this new release from popular authors and sisters Janet and Greta Podleski, we're assured that 'healthy eating is a piece of cake!'#157; After a five-year hiatus, they're back with refreshed energy to help the nutritionally challenged among us create healthier, tastier meals.

Eat, Shrink and Be Merry
by Janet and Greta Podleski
Grant Publishing, Inc., 2005
207 pages

With this new release from popular authors and sisters Janet and Greta Podleski, we're assured that "healthy eating is a piece of cake!"

The self-publishing cookbook dynamos became overnight sensations with million-plus book sales of their earlier titles Loonyspoons and Crazy Plates. After a five-year hiatus, they're back with refreshed energy to help the nutritionally challenged among us create healthier, tastier meals.

The Podleski's formula is very engaging, and therein lies their success. A large glossy and brightly coloured book overflowing with Funky Factoids, Pop Quizine, corny cartoons (by talented Ted Martin), and a wide range of light-hearted recipes who wouldn't want to pick this up and use it?

The book promises to help readers feel better, look better, and cook better by addressing the confusion many of us face when trying to keep up with rapidly-changing food rules prescribed by popular media. Are carbs okay? Will fat make me fat? Is protein a magic weight-loss aid? All these questions, and many more, are answered in a very understandable format.

I must warn: There is some serious punny business going on here. Each and every page contains puns and pop-culture references. Let the following recipe titles speak for themselves: "Britney's Spears" (roasted asparagus), "Chutney Houston," "The Loin King," "Parma Chameleon" (tofu parmesan), "Soy in the Plastic Bubble." The section of "chicken recipes that'll really move you" is entitled "Poultry in Motion."

While it provides a good dose of laughter (the best medicine, after all) those who will benefit most from Eat, Shrink and Be Merry are readers who are just embarking on the path to healthy eating. Seasoned natural food purists may want to note that these recipes do call for some processed ingredients, although recipes can always be modified by substituting healthier components.

The Podleski sisters set out to accomplish a lot within the pages of one book. Their challenge, as I see it, was to balance nutrition education with appealing recipes, health facts, and humour. Have they succeeded? Well, as they might say… "Oil let chew beet a judge."

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