I almost always pass up requests to receive sample copies of diet books. They’re usually trendy, make promises they can’t keep, and tell me I have to eliminate certain foods from my diet forever. And, to tell you the truth, if I had realized how much of “Snack Girl to the Rescue: Easy, Delicious Food for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner” by Lisa Cain of Snack-Girl.com was about losing weight, I probably would have passed on this book, too. I’m glad I didn’t. 

“Snack Girl to the Rescue” fits in with exactly what I have found to be true about losing weight and getting healthier. Eating real food, limiting portions and paying attention to calories and moving more is the best method for most people to change the shape and health of their bodies.

The first half of this book is dedicated to encouragement and guidance when it comes to eating healthier and losing weight. Cain advocates slow weight loss by eating real food and moving more — no pills, no shakes, no fasts, no pre-packaged meals, no diets that totally eliminate certain foods that you’re bound to slip up on.

She covers cooking (for both those who do and don’t like to cook), eating out, emotional eating, and exercise. I love what she says about exercise being uncomfortable.

What I learned is that you cannot fear pain. There will be pain. There will be fatigue. There will be moaning. But your body will begin to feel alive. Like you plugged electrodes into your thumbs and big toes and attached your body to a battery. You will feel like a shot of energy has been zapped into you. Parts of you that have been sleeping will start to wake up (I think you know which parts I am referring to). There is a fine line between pain and pleasure, and you will cross it many times.
I appreciate this because I’ve been experiencing it over the past six months as I’ve been participating in a university weight loss program and study. I have been exercising regularly and purposefully, pushing myself through pain sometimes. I have been counting my calories and recording them every day in My Fitness Pal (which Cain recommends).

What I’ve been doing isn’t because of this book, but I realized Cain’s advice is exactly like the advice I’ve been getting from the experts who are running the study I’m in. I’ve had great success following this type of eating and exercise lifestyle. Make no mistake — it is a lifestyle that I know I’ll have to adopt forever. It is not a short-term diet, and “Snack Girl to the Rescue” acknowledges that, too.

The health and weight loss advice in the book seem spot on to me (and please remember, I am not a medical expert, so this is based on my personal experience, not my professional expertise), but what about the recipes in the book? I think they’re great. They use real, whole foods that are easily available. There are many recipes that use some of the most budget-friendly and healthy grains, beans and produce available.

This morning, I had a 90-calorie Zucchini, Banana, and Almond Breakfast Muffin from the book. It’s made with white whole-wheat flour, a small amount of brown sugar, fresh fruit and veggies and almonds that add protein and a nice crunch. One muffin was filling.

I’m always on the look out for low-calorie, yet healthy and filling breakfast options because I prefer to save the bulk of my calories for dinnertime. I also prefer not to be hungry all day. Here’s a recipe from the book that’s quick, simple, and filling, and as a bonus, you can make a week’s worth at once so you’ll never have to stop at a drive-through in the morning because you didn’t have time to make yourself breakfast.

Baked Eggs and Cheese in Toast Cups

Baked Eggs and Cheese in Toast Cups


  • 1/4 teaspoon butter
  • 1 slice 100% whole-wheat bread
  • 1 tablespoon grated sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 1 medium egg
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Soften the butter in the microwave (if using a ramekin, just put it in the dish). Using a paper towel, butter the dish so the toast will not stick.
  2. Squeeze the bread into the cup, tearing it a bit to make it fit. Push the bread against the sides of the cup to make space for the cheese and egg.
  3. Sprinkle the grated cheese into the bread cup and add the egg. For a runny egg, bake for 15 minutes; for a half-soft, half-hard yolk, bake for 20 minutes; and for fully cooked, bake for 25 minutes.
  4. Add salt and pepper and serve.
  5. If you make a bunch of these ahead of time, store them wrapped in plastic wrap in your refrigerator for one week.
Each toast cup has 165 calories, 8.7 g fat (3.7 g saturated fat), 12.9 g carbohydrates, 2.4 g sugar, 10.3 g protein, 3.0 g fiber and 262 mg sodium.

The book has recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner, plus a couple of cocktail recipes and some healthy snacks and desserts. If you've been trying all of the latest trendy diets trying to lose weight and get healthier but you're not achieving your goals, I recommend you get a copy of "Snack Girl to the Rescue" and try this practical approach. 

Related on MNN:

Robin Shreeves ( @rshreeves ) focuses on food from a family perspective from her home base in New Jersey.

'Snack Girl to the Rescue' is a practical guide to losing weight and getting healthy
With 100 recipes for real foods that are under 400 calories, this book should replace all the gimmick diet books on your shelf.