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The Lean    by Kathy Freston order for
by Kathy Freston
Order:  USA  Can
Weinstein, 2012 (2012)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book

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* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Kathy Freston's The Lean is billed as 'A Revolutionary (and Simple!) 30-Day Plan for Healthy, Lasting Weight Loss'. Chapters range from 'Day 1. Drink Water. Lots of Water' to 'Day 30. Make Progress and Don't Worry about Perfection'. In her Introduction, the author tells us: 'Every day for 30 days, I'm going to give you one new thing to do ... Each day builds on the previous one ... By the end of the 30 days you will have 30 new habits. Small manageable, easy changes.'

So what are these changes? In addition to drinking lots of water and avoiding obsessing about perfection, Freston advises us to not skimp on breakfast; eat apples, nuts, salads and superfoods; replace unhealthy cupboard contents; switch milk and butter for plant-based versions; add flax; apply mindfulness; drink healthier liquids; go meatless for lunch; take vitamins; exercise; find alternatives to cheese; use cashew cream; switch to plant protein; be happy, exercise more; check food sources; make power smoothies; cut sugar; use guided imagery; drink veggies; use a glycemic guide; cut oil; be purposeful; and use a schedule.

Much of what you'll read here is not new, but Freston puts it all together in a sensible, gradual approach to changing habits. And she includes an Appendix on suggested daily meals, snacks, and what to pick when eating out. Of her recipes, I plan to try the Classic Humus, Black Bean Salsa Salad, Cold Soba Noodle Salad with Peanut Dressing, Hearty Lentil Soup, Channa Dal, and Thai Green Curry. She also includes handy Internet resources on recipes, guided meditations, and health books and videos.

It seems very likely that those who are able to follow the guidance in The Lean will end up lighter and healthier, and its gradual approach makes success more likely and easier to achieve. Kathy Freston concludes by telling us that 'as we continue to push ourselves past our less-than-perfect habits and gnawing addictions, we will feel a little stronger each day, a little more empowered knowing that our choices will ripple out and cause a cultural and food revolution.' Let's hope she's right!

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