18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
M. E. Wood
- Published on Amazon.com
Cordon Blue chef, syndicated columnist, best-selling author twelve and national television guest are just a few of the things that show Linda Gassenheimer knows food.
I wasn't surprised to read that our food portions "have ballooned." We have all experienced this in restaurants and fast food joints where we eagerly agree to super-sizing. With The Portion Plan Linda wants to show readers "how to eat the foods you love and still lose weight." Instead of denying yourself the foods you love by cutting them completely from your life she wants you to learn to control your portions sizes. This is not the same as serving sizes; which she explains in the intro.
This 187 page, glossy, heavy card stock book is full of pictures. Linda starts things off by getting you to test yourself with a 'fun-to-do quiz' on which portion is better for you. It immediately gives you a visual reference to work with.
The Portion Plan is designed to show you what to choose and what to avoid at a glance by using a simple plate geography (similar to that used in Jorge Cruise's books). A color photo filled with food divided into portions of 1/4 meat, 1/4 pasta/bread, 1/2 veggies gives you a visual representation of what your plate should look like.
Linda leads the reader through each food group: meat and poultry, dish and shellfish, dairy, vegetables and fruit, grains, sweet treats, drinks and snacks. Throughout the book are symbols to help you determine portion sizes of different foods by using your palm, hand, cupped hand, cupped hands, fist, thumb or finger.
There are also tips for reducing fat intake like mixing some of the real thing with other ingredients i.e. 1/2 tbsp mayo with 1/2 tbsp nonfat yogurt. Or using low fat buttermilk when making mashed potatoes. Or the two finger dessert reference when eating out.
At the end there is a seven day eating plan, including recipes, to bring it all together. They were good recipes but in my opinion included the addition of way more oil than necessary increasing the fat content to 8-20g per meal. The Portion Plan closes with a directory of foods and two pages of internet resources on various health and nutritional sites throughout the U.S. Canada and the U.K.
I think it's important to look at this book as a lifestyle change and not the next weight loss scheme on the market. Obviously this method still requires a considerable amount of self control on the part of the eater so this is no magic nugget to weight loss. It's a quick easy read and is a good reference for visual learners to include in your food library. Food portions are important. As I mentioned previously, there is only a week's worth of recipes and they are quite high in fat so while they are good examples of portions I think you could do better by reducing the amount of oil in the recipe. Linda Gassenheimer makes a good effort at showing it's ok to make brownies and eat them too (just not the whole pan). Reviewed by M. E. Wood.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Aubrie Sat Qio
- Published on Amazon.com
I had bought this book "The Portion Plan" and have found it to be VERY EASY reading - quick - and with that said, you can use it as a referance, when forgetting.
It's photographic sizing of images and it's iconic representations of portions are PERFECT. Especially for me, who has Diabetes...and suffers from the cycle of cravings in large portions, that come with this dis-ease.
I find her book and explanations comforting, and fit well into my overall plan to create a LIFESTYLE change, I am not dieting (though I am), I am not dieting because the whole modality and mindset, heartset, spiritual and physical paradyme (?spell) must change, or declining health will be my lot in life.
I use "The Portion Plan" in conjuction with "The Portion Doctor" who has a line of portion plates, bowls and so forth. It's so simple it's mind boggling, but, combining this helps me to re-learn HOW TO EAT.
I am also using the Mediterranean Diet with The Portion Plan and Portion Doctor plates and so forth. I am not using butter, and only olive oils, veggies, fruits, predominantly fish and periodic chicken and beef less than that, couple of vegetarian days per week only, and working it out on the Portion guides with both, the book and eating utensils.
Though I am not perfect at it, bit by bit, I am implementing changes. I am withdrawing from large amounts of daily meat eating and pastas and breads. I have had little attention on fruits, veggies, nuts and smaller amounts of the pastas and breads, my whole life. But, I am adjusting.
The Portion Plan book helps when I feel like I want something like chocolate or chips, I use the guidelines, which is two fingers, like two strips on a bar. If I feel I am not ready for that, I add a square or two. But, it's better than eating the whole bar, a box of cookies, a whole bag of chips and dip. Doing EXTRA large for fast food.
Following the idea of the Texan theory, bigger is better, wholeheartedly I agree: bigger hair brings you closer to God and makes your hips look thinner. That's equally American as it is Texan. (smile) But, that will no longer really work for me, as I am Diabetic...and either NEED to sink or swim. Too bad I couldn't see it that way when I was younger! Often we don't.
If I had a child I would teach the child, as life went by, gently and by example, never getting angry if the child doesn't PERFECTLY comply, teaching from The Portion Plan. I feel I am that child...I am parenting myself and teaching myself gently, slowly, and by testing it out bit by bit.
Without belaboring my personal situation myself. I will end by saying that using the right portions has helped me drop weight, and I feel much, much better. I walk better, I bend better, no pressure on the knees and all the things that come with getting BIG. But, I still have a long way to go. I am taking it, like when I stopped smoking, cutting back, maintaining, cutting back more and more, maintaining, and finally realizing I had the strength, to do it all the way. But, cutting back gradually, like with The Portion Plan will build up confidence, and is!
The other elements needed are creating nutrition which is implementing fish, small amounts of meat, veggies, nuts, fruits and whole grains, lets not forget the variety of bean like garbanzo, kidney, pinto, black beans and so forth. Some form of exercise, consistently, and cutting down the fat intake...Olive Oil is powerful, the Mediterranean Diet is awesome in this way, and so is The Portion Plan, they beautifully compliment each other.
No heavy creams, just using Olive Oil toppings creatively, like making Pesto's or be American and use Butter buds with it, with herbs like Tarragon and Basil. I am excited as you can tell!!!! But, it has been a long road finding out who I am and why I allowed my weight gain, and what kind of power I have and the committment I need to overcome. I will rant and rave about The Portion Plan because it is the BONES or the FOUNDATION of my LIFESTYLE change.
If I were to use nothing else but, use the The Portion Plan with my Portion Doctor plates and bowls, it would help tremendously, and even just cut back by half on all butter. This alone would be like I said the FOUNDATION of a healthy body, a fit body and a lean body. Cutting my portions through this book, is a fabulous gift from the author to mankind.
My friend from England saw the book and said, "Americans serve HUGE portions, in England it's not quite so large". I knew she was right, with our prosperity, we need to re-learn that quality is not quantity. Eat to live and not live to eat.