Chef Offers Tips for Spending Time in the Kitchen, Not The Drive-thru

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Weight Loss and Cooking

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.

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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, 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

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