Bethenny Frankel of Bravo’s The Real Housewives of New York City is back, and this time she has penned a second book to follow up her prior bestseller Naturally Thin. Her new book, The Skinnygirl Dish, reads more like a chat with a supportive girlfriend than anything like what one has come to expect from the more traditional diet books that crowd bookstore shelves. Here she provides general guidance about healthy living, and whether or not you enjoy this book will depend upon what you expect to gain from it.
Right from the start it becomes evident that Frankel will not present a comprehensive step-by-step dieting plan. Instead, she makes it clear that the secret to living a “naturally thin” life is to eat sensibly, which she acknowledges will include the occasional splurge. (By splurge, however, she is referring to a bite or two of rich chocolate cake, as opposed to eating an entire pizza). She bases much of her guidance on the rules she established in her prior book, but she builds upon them by presenting a number of user-friendly recipes designed to keep you on track.
She does not offer a rigid menu but instead offers sensible recipes that you whip up using the ingredients that are likely readily accessible in your home. Most of them include simple substitutions that will have little impact on the taste of the food but have the potential to result in a noticeable decrease in the fat and calorie content in the final meal. She also emphasizes her “use what you have” strategy and substitutes one or two recipe ingredients to create a new flavor or dish. Further, she tries to connect with her readers by referencing some of her favorite kitchen items she picked up Target or IKEA, which she uses to create her culinary delights.
Keep in mind the book does not include any recipes that will be likely to win over your food critic friends who expect a festive meal. However, it will enable you to make a wholesome French toast breakfast that will distract your mind from thinking you need is a high-fat omelet and hash browns that would comprise your recommended calorie intake for the entire day. Readers will have to decide on their own, however, whether this type of advice is enough to overcome any aversion they may have to Frankel’s decision to take advantage of every opportunity to plug her prior book, baked goods, and alcohol mixes she also sells as part of her brand.
It is unlikely you will gain any life-changing advice from The Skinnygirl Dish. However, it is a quick and pleasant read, and there is a strong possibility you will pick up a few tips that will enable you to shed a few minutes off the time it takes to gather receipt ingredients, a few minutes off the time it takes to prepare a meal and, if you are a lucky, a few stubborn pounds.