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Irreverent book can help you get to 'Sveltsville'
By Don Mauer | Columnist
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Published: 6/11/2008 12:07 AM

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Most folks, if they follow a tried-and-true weight-loss plan that balances calorie intake with activity levels, will lose weight. Some lose a little, others a lot.

Once they finally reach their healthy goal weight they move into phase two: maintaining their weight. Statistics show that most folks won't maintain their new weight for even a year.

My theory: there's more head work than kitchen work to do in phase two, and many don't know how or even where to begin that work. A new book: "All is Forgiven, Move On: Our Lady of Weight Loss's 101 Fat-Burning Steps on Your Journey to Sveltesville," by Janice Taylor, offers a place to start, as well as ways of following the difficult path to keeping that weight off, forever.

O magazine describes Taylor as "a kooky kind of genius." How else would you depict a woman who calls herself "Our Lady of Weight Loss" and creates an e-newsletter called "The Kick in the Tush Club?"

Taylor's a weight-loss coach, certified hypnotist and something she calls a weight-loss artist (creating art that's meant to motivate losing weight and keeping it off).

Taylor may seem one french fry short of Happy Meal, but when you think about what she's saying it begins to make sense. Here's her story.

As Taylor tells it, she had weight issues her whole life, writing that she was the only newborn in the hospital nursery that gained weight; an inauspicious beginning.

At 8, Taylor weighed 112 pounds; a normal weight for kids twice her age. In 2001, through a process she describes as a transformation, she waved goodbye forever to 50 pounds. Essentially, Taylor rethought weight loss and restates the process and methods in her own words.

"New Point of View: The scale does not measure my self-worth, but rather the attraction the earth has to me!" Taylor explains that for her a scale is a device that simply measures gravitational pull, and points out that folks who weigh themselves regularly not only lose weight faster, but also keep it off longer. On that note, we think alike.

Taylor sprinkles recipes like chocolate banana royal flush, Hawaiian hula punch, blue on blueberry cobbler, kitchen-friendly salmon (complete nutritional information) throughout her book, this is not a standard cookbook.

In addition you'll find fun quizzes and her "Svelte Talk," definitions for everything from saboteur (folks who undermine your best diet intentions) to whole food, to "laughtercizing."

Taylor definitely walks the talk and her book could make a motivating difference in your weight loss or maintenance success. Or, you can tap into the Taylor experience immediately by visiting www.ourladyofweightloss.com.

Try this recipe: If you want a sample of the food Taylor creates, head into the kitchen with this in hand.

Don Mauer appears Wednesdays in Food. Write to Don Mauer, Daily Herald Food section, P.O. Box 280, Arlington Heights, IL 60006 or, via e-mail, to don@theleanwizard.com

No Excuses Garlic Chicken

3 heads of garlic

8 ounces whole-wheat penne pasta

1 teaspoon plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided

1 whole skinless chicken breast, diced into ½-inch pieces

1 bunch broccoli, cut into medium pieces

½ cup chicken stock (or broth)

Salt and pepper to taste

Heat oven to 375 degrees.

Cut the tops of the heads of garlic so the top of the clove is exposed; put heads in foil, drizzle them with 1 teaspoon of olive oil, and wrap them into a neat package. Roast 1 hour. Remove them from the oven, let them cool slightly, open the foil, and squeeze out the garlic paste into a small bowl. Set it aside.

Cook the pasta according to package instructions.

While the pasta is cooking, heat a large frying pan and add remaining olive oil. Add the chicken pieces and cook them until they are browned.

Add the broccoli, chicken stock and roasted garlic paste. Season with salt and pepper and stir to combine.

When the pasta is al dente, drain (do not rinse it, and reserve some of the pasta water) and pour the pasta into the chicken mixture. Toss it and cook it for 1 minute. Add more pasta water if needed. Serve immediately.

Serves four.

Nutrition values per serving (without added salt): 350 calories (20.6 percent from fat), 8 g fat (1 g saturated), 54 g carbohydrate, 9 g fiber, 19 g protein, 20 mg cholesterol, 120 mg sodium.

"All is Forgiven, Move On" by Janice Taylor (2008 Viking Studio $19.95