Are you a celebrity watcher? A magazine clipper? A list maker, supplement taker, whole grains baker? No matter what kind of person you are, theres a new diet cookbook to help lay the foundation for that inevitable New Years resolution.
The 2012 crop of healthy eating books runs the gamut from secrets of the rich and famous to levelheaded lifestyle recommendations and quick-loss programs. Here are a few that crossed our desks.
For celebrity worshippers
One Dish at a Time by Valerie Bertinelli (Rodale Books)
Television actress-turned-Jenny Craig spokeswoman Valerie Bertinelli offers recipes and stories based on her Italian-American upbringing. Dishes such as ribollita, a tomatoey vegetable soup, garlicky linguine and clam sauce and chipotle-spiked bison burgers (from the American side) sound warm and filling enough for a cold winter day. Each recipe offers calorie counts (some of which youd rather not know that bison burger will cost you around 600 calories). And for those of you who didnt catch it, the title riffs on Bertinellis claim-to-fame, the 1975 television show One Day at a Time. Yes, thats correct, 1975.
Now Eat This! Italian by Rocco DiSpirito (Grand Central Publishing)
Celebrity chef Rocco DiSpiritos latest installment in his Now Eat This series conjures more than 90 Italian dishes, such as chicken parmigiana, lasagna Bolognese and whole-wheat pizza margherita, all under 350 calories. And yes, there is still cheese involved. Even desserts make the cut. A fat-free ricotta cheesecake boasts just 176 calories, and a cannoli, those cream-filled pastry tubes, 136 calories.
For magazine readers
The Food Lovers Healthy Habits Cookbook by the editors of Cooking Light magazine (Oxmoor House)
More than 250 recipes from the editors of Cooking Light magazine pair with lifestyle changes and a 12-month plan for carrying them out. A solid how-to for people seeking a healthier lifestyle, the emphasis here is on cooking at home and incorporating more fruits, vegetables and grains into your diet. Cooking techniques and introductions to potentially unfamiliar ingredients, such as edamame (soy beans) and the ancient grain farro, are peppered with recipes for dishes such as oatmeal pancakes, the Middle Eastern red pepper dip called muhammara and cinnamon-laced beef tagine with butternut squash.
101 Recipes You Cant Live Without by Lori Powell (Rodale Books)
The nutrition experts at Prevention magazine build their recipes around 13 essential nutrients, such as magnesium and vitamin D. Vitamin B12 and omega-3 fatty acids arrive in a bowl of spaghetti with sardines and caramelized fennel. Roasted pork tenderloin with edamame succotash brings vitamin C and folate. And dark chocolate pudding (with whipped cream) squeaks by with a quarter of your daily calcium. Who doesnt want to feel good about dessert?
For list makers
The 7 Day Slim Down by Alisa Bowman with the editors of Womens Health magazine (Rodale Books)
Lose 7 pounds this week! boasts the cover of this book, which offers what it calls the Vitamin D diet. Based on research that suggests vitamin D promotes weight loss, this diet offers lists, lists, lists: a slim-down shopping list, a day-by-day, meal-by-meal menu list for the first week, and charts for pick this, not that and other dieting techniques. Vitamin D-rich dishes such as mushroom, onion and avocado quesadilla, chicken cacciatore with sauteed escarole and beef barley soup are staples here.
The Belly Melt Diet by the editors of Prevention magazine (Rodale Books)
This ones got the others beat, because apparently you can lose 8 pounds in just 3 days. List lovers will gorge on quizzes (What kind of bird are you, lark or owl? Are you getting enough sleep?), lists of nutrient-rich foods and yes, day-by-day, meal-by-meal guidelines. Recipes for dishes such as orzo and chickpea salad, sweet potato and black bean chili and pan-seared salmon over kale sneak in amid copious amounts of text.
For sexy ladies
The MILF Diet by Jessica Porter (Atria Books)
Dont know what MILF means? Dont look it up unless youre OK with profanity. Lets just say its a reference to attractive older women and leave it at that. This book builds its healthy eating plan around what it considers MILFy foods whole grains, vegetables such as kale and bok choy, plant proteins like lentils, seaweed and fermented foods such as miso. This diet promises not only a youthful body, but a detoxified one with fully raised consciousness. Recipes for dishes such as polenta with wild mushrooms, and sea vegetables with onion, carrot and corn are intended to keep you both desirable and desiring.
Cook Yourself Sexy by Candice Kumai (Rodale Books)
The spaghetti-strap camisole on the cover says it all. Author Kumai, a former model and Le Cordon Bleu-trained chef, offers recipes for miso-glazed cod with baby bok choy, Dijon-braised Brussels sprouts and oxtail ragu with pappardelle to move you toward a sexier bod (and perhaps even help you cook in high heels and a mini-skirt, as she apparently does).