Breaking the Fast Food Cycle Chef Offers Tips for Spending Time in the Kitchen, Not the Drive-thru

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“Knowing what’s in your food is the key to healthy weight loss and weight management. Make it yourself with no trans-fatty fats, no enriched flours and no chemicals,” says Yvonne Stephens, and lack of time is no excuse, just read my book "Amazing 7 Minute Meals".

Knowing what’s in your food is the key to healthy weight loss and weight management. Make it yourself with no trans-fatty fats, no enriched flours and no chemicals

An estimated 129 million Americans or 64 percent of the U.S. population is overweight or obese, reports the Department of Health and Human Resources. Many say that the diet industry is to blame for America’s expanding waistlines as the lucrative market for obesity fighting products and services (banking over $100 billion a year) continues to grow, offering a virtual menu of fix-its from controversial new diet drugs to celebrity diets to extreme surgeries.

“Knowing what’s in your food is the key to healthy weight loss and weight management. Make it yourself with no trans-fatty fats, no enriched flours and no chemicals,” says Yvonne Stephens, a graduate of the Art Institute of Philadelphia, a cooking instructor, private chef and freelance food stylist. “No time is no excuse. It takes less than ten minutes to cook a healthy and delicious meal for every taste from all over the world: Italian, Mediterranean, Caribbean, Hawaiian, Asian, etc.”

Stephens has easy advice for beginners wanting to get cooking at home, or people who gave up cooking due to lack of time. In her new book “Amazing 7 Minute Meals” (Synergy Books, April 2006, 1933538201, $22.95), Stephens provides a practical advice for healthy, easy recipes - over 100 recipes that are all cooked in seven minutes or less, stocking your first kitchen with detailed information about herbs, spices and the right carbs.

After a long battle with bulimia and experimentation with every fad diet on the market, Stephens realized the underlying reason why many people spend more time and money on diet plans and fast food than in their own kitchens – lack of time and energy. Because an active lifestyle combined with healthy eating is the only way to lose weight and maintain a healthy weight, Stephens introduced a homegrown approach to eating for today’s dieters. The only items needed for a successful healthy eating and weight loss plan are pre-cut ingredients, a wok (or skillet) and seven minutes.

“Good tools really make your prep-time shorter, and the job easier,” says Stephens. She suggests that kitchen novices invest in a wok, or another large non-stick skillet, which are ideal for stir-fry dishes. The non-stick surface cleans easily, and because you only have one pan, cleanup is also fast. Other beginners will want to add these to their shopping list as well: a chef’s knife, paring knife, cleaver, tongs, whisk, spatula, juicer, peeler, and food saver containers.

By using the stir-fry technique, Stephens says healthy and delicious meals can be prepared and cooked in less time than it takes to cook macaroni and cheese. All the dishes in her cookbook are made with fresh ingredients and are low in calories and fat. Breaking the myth that healthy home cooking is expensive and time consuming, she provides a detailed shopping list in the book outlining the cost of ingredients for four of her meals.

Stephens was born in the Netherlands, and into her family’s rich tradition of Dutch cooking. The recipes in “Amazing 7 Minute Meals” originate from traditional world cuisine she found through her travels.

For more information and free recipes, please visit getrealhealthyfood.com.

To schedule an interview with Yvonne Stephens, or to request a review copy, contact Stephanie Mayabb at Phenix & Phenix Literary Publicists at (512) 478-2028.

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