Nobody enjoys dieting. For many, dietiing means eating food that tastes like styrofoam in guinea pig portions to fit into a pair of jeans. The deprivation backfires as soon as your short-term goal is accomplished. You want to feel full and happy, and eat delicous food without obsessing over a number on a scale or how your clothes will fit. But at the same time, nobody enjoys feeling bloated after eating an oversalted dish wieghed down with fat. We live in a supersized world of food, where portions are far too distorted.
Fortunately, the editors at Cooking Light understand these problems well. Health is so much more than counting calories: it's about having a holistic experience, begining first and foremost with the tastebuds. If it doesn't taste good, we don't want to eat it. Many classic American dishes are loaded with fat, sugar, and come with starches like rice and potatoes. These simple sugars taste amazing, but have no long term benefits. With obesity and co-occurring diseases such as diabetes type 2 on the rise, knowing what foods are good for us and which ones cause damage, if eaten in excess, is essential to maintaining a healthy weight . Cooking Light contributing editor and chef, Alison Fishman Task, traveled over 200,000 miles across American and back again, and sampling traditional American fare (apple pie, shrimp and grits, lobster rolls) to the more unusual (bear meatloaf, boar nachos) and everything in between. And now these delicous recipes, fattening feasts in their original form, have been modified to be cooked and eaten every day.
By merely looking at these recipes, you can't tell they have been altered. With recipes for pecan sticky buns that require butter, not margarine, and a peach and blueberry pancake recipe that make us want to run to the grocery store, Cooking Light's name is a misnomer--it's just cooking, period. On Cooking Light's website they provide a few tips for healthier eating that are also featured in the book: use whole grains, try to keep portions reasonable, and add protien to help feel full. The recipes are easy to follow and make a lot of sense. Whether you're a novice or are a veteran, Lighten Up, America! is a great way to learn about the diversity and innovation of American cuisine, with the added bonus of being good for you.