Q&A with Snack Girl (aka Lisa Cain)
Q. You share so much great information and so many great recipes on your site. Why write a book?
A. On Snack-Girl.com, I publish short articles to be consumed quickly. A book is a much longer format and gives me the time to tell the story of my own journey to healthy as well as share my readers’ stories. It’s more than giving quick tips; a book is a way to help my readers come up with a real plan that they can implement. I can include all the important details about healthy cooking, food marketing, etc. and organize them into one volume (as opposed to disparate pages on a website). The result, I hope, is a powerful guide to making the shift to healthy.
Think of Snack-Girl.com as a five-minute conversation with me (and my readers) every day. Instead of a five-minute conversation, you get two or more hours of insights, tips, advice, stories, and recipes to make you smile and encourage you to get healthy.
Q. I see that the full title is Snack Girl to the Rescue! How is this book going to rescue me?
A. Since 2009, I have been writing about the topic of losing weight and getting healthy. Readers from all over the planet have sent me their problems and concerns and I have done my best to research and answer them.
At a certain point, I realized that I had created a treasure trove of answers to the most common, painful, and important questions on how to get healthy. I believe that most readers will find part of their struggle defined in the book, such as emotional eating, junk food habits, diet pills, misleading food marketing, and getting off the couch.
My solutions are simple, straight-forward, and—best of all—doable. They can save you from your busy life!
The recipes in the second half of the book will save anyone who knows they need to cook healthier. The food is for every day and will make life easier.
Q. We know you have a family; how do you deal with the struggles of feeding your family healthy food, on a budget, with limited time, and with picky palates?
A. I have developed a bunch of recipes that are accessible for the entire family, don’t cost a lot of money, and take me 30 minutes or less to make.
For example, I will ask my seven-year-old what he wants to eat. He almost always replies “macaroni and cheese”. I worked out a recipe (that is featured in the book) with whole-wheat macaroni, frozen cauliflower, eggs, and cheese. It is still “macaroni and cheese” but it is much healthier than the original version and he loves it.
I use frozen vegetables because they are inexpensive, sometimes chopped, and will stay fresh in my freezer. Sometimes, I use my slow cooker so I have a meal ready when I walk in the door.
The key is to feed them something they will recognize (like lasagna or beef stew) and make it healthier with more vegetables so they don’t even notice they are doing their body good.
Q. Your recipes look great, but what if I am hopeless in the kitchen? Should I give up on a healthy lifestyle because I don’t know how to cook?
A. Yes, you should totally give up. I burnt my kids breakfast yesterday and gave up.
But, after giving up, you need to attempt a small step. Perhaps, you could slice a tomato, put it on a whole-wheat WASA cracker, and add a small slice of cheese. Toss it into your toaster oven or under your broiler and voilà—a healthy snack that you cooked!
If you turn it into a BIG project, you won’t do it. The book is packed with little recipes for non-cooks to get them to dabble in the kitchen and gain some confidence.
Q. Do you think diets work?
A. Yes, I do think that some diets work. The best diets are about changing your lifestyle to make it easy to lose weight. Getting healthy is a process not a 3- or 4-step plan to losing 15 pounds in 2 weeks.
When we are overweight because of unhealthy habits, it is much harder to change those habits than to do something extreme.
For example, you could stop eating any added sugar (such as cookies, doughnuts, sugar in your coffee). Sounds so easy! Then comes your birthday and your mom just made you a chocolate cake. Oh dear.
Alternatively, you could stop eating that scone that you pick up at Starbucks every morning. Changing this one habit saves you 400 calories per day and you can still have the cake on your birthday.
You will lose weight much slower than if you gave up all added sugar. But, changing the Starbucks habit makes the weight loss sustainable and you won’t feel (entirely) deprived.
Q. Are all the recipes in the book snacks?
A. I have included breakfast, dinner, dessert, and mixed drink recipes that I use at home (along with snacks). They are all under 400 calories per serving and almost all of them take less than 30 minutes to make.
"Here to help fight the between-meal pig outs is self-proclaimed “Snack Girl” Lisa Cain, author of Snack Girl to the Rescue, on sale now. Ready, set, snack—smart!" --Fitness
"Indulgence is not a dirty word for Cain...With humor and common sense, Cain's diet book manages to distinguish itself from the legions of holier-than-thou advice mongers." --Publisher's Weekly