Hungry Girl: Recipes and Survival Strategies for Guilt-free Eating in the Real World

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Hungry Girl: Recipes and Survival Strategies for Guilt-free Eating in the Real World

Manufacturer: St. Martin's Press

Price Range: $10.49 - $11.00

Manufacturer Description

The author wrote this book with strategies in mind for dealing with restaurants, travel, cocktail parties, junk food and cravings. She aims to give dieters a breakfast-to-dinner approach to eating lighter with recipes which enlist low-cal substitutes for traditional ingredients.

Manufacturer Specifications

Author: Lisa Lillien; Pub. Date: April 2008; Publisher: St. Martin's Press; Format: Paperback, 336pp; Estimated price: $10.49; ISBN-13: 9780312377427/ISBN: 0312377428; also available in eBook format

ACE Expert Review

This book grew out of the Lisa Lillien’s extremely popular website ( and free daily email service, which offers recipes and tips for eating right, as well as coupons for ingredients included in some of the dishes. The “Bite it/Fight it” feature provides healthy alternatives for common comfort foods.

Lisa Lillien begins her book by announcing that she is not a nutritionist, just a “hungry girl” who wanted to find a way to eat some of her favorite foods without all of the guilt. What started as a daily email to friends and family quickly turned into one of those unexpected internet phenomena. While the book doesn’t offer much that’s not included on the website for free, it provides easy recipes that use pre-packaged foods to simplify things. Not every dish in the book is low-calorie or low-fat, but that’s part of the author’s appeal—she doesn’t pretend that everyone wants to eat perfectly every time they sit down.  All of the nutritional info is provided with each recipe, so it’s up to the reader to put together a well-balanced diet.

What we liked:

  • The recipes are all compatible with the Weight Watchers® Program, which the author loves. Unfortunately, the reader has to go online to get the point value for each meal.
  • The tongue-in-cheek “Would You Rather” boxes are great. For example, after you each a 550-calorie fast-food breakfast sandwich, what would you rather do to burn those calories, stand and file papers for 3.5 hours, type vigorously for 5.5 hours or sit in traffic for 6 hours?

What we didn’t like:

  • There are no pictures! The author directs the reader to the website to see photos of each meal. This, of course, begs the question: If the book isn’t all that different from the website, and I still have to go to the website to get photos and Weight Watchers point values, then why buy the book?

October 9, 2009

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