Title: Beating Diabetes
Author: Frederic J. Vagnini, M.D. FACS & Lawrence D. Chilnick, 2009
239 pages; Softcover 21.99 US/$27.50.99 CDN
Publisher: Fair Winds Press, Beverly, MA
Reviewed by, Chef John Vyhnanek, December, 2009

The review--- My brother could really use this book; in fact, I'm going to send it to him after I re-read it and totally absorb all the information myself! My brother hasn't been diagnosed with the disease yet; but he wouldn't pass some of the self assessments in the book, I might need help with a few too! The Weight Loss Plan For Beating Diabetes by Frederick J. Vagnini, M.D., FACS and Lawrence D. Chilnick, is a 5-step program that removes roadblocks, sheds pounds safely and reverses prediabetes and diabetes. The 5 steps are simple, and involve diet and nutrition, education, exercise, lifestyle alteration and medication.

Many people think that in order to be healthier-- particularly for those who might be prediabetic--you can no longer eat what you like. Well, if you like a Big Mac and fries everyday for lunch and Kentucky Fired Chicken for your dinners, you are right, you can't eat that anymore on a regular basis. On the other hand if you like filet mignon, lobster and even bacon and eggs you can? It's all in the portion sizes and amount of fat that matters, plus fresh fruits and vegetables and then how much exercise you get to burn off the calories. The book has many suggestions for meals and how to balance what you consume on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. There is information on vitamins and supplements to help you revitalize your body.

The 5 steps are given to you in easy-to-read format and written in a way that isn't boring or too technical. For example, step 4, exercise, makes a point to show you the benefits from that alone but makes It'sound like fun. This program gives you the choice of telling yourself what to do and not being forced into doing something you will hate. This is all your choice, you're not forced to do anything you don't want to do!

There only a few recipes in the back of the book so this isn't a cookbook, but it has very valuable information that can save your life and perhaps the life of a loved one. You never know if you will get diabetes, but with this program you can be assured you will greatly lessen the chance. Good Cooking recommends that you buy this book. Ah what the heck, I had to test three recipes to make a meal! Pepper Steak with Garlic Sauce, Oven Fried Sweet Potatoes and Crumb-Topped Broccoli Bake made a good meal.

Easy to prepare and tasting pretty darn good, the steak was filet mignon seared and served with a pan reduced black peppercorn red wine pan sauce. Sweet potato fries couldn't have been easier to make using cooking spray and cinnamon salt and pepper as ingredients. The broccoli was great as it even had some butter in the crispy and crunchy bread crumb topping!

One of the Recipes tested--- Oven Fried Sweet Potatoes

Makes 1 serving
One 3.5-ounce (100 g) sweet potato
Dash ground cinnamon
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Preheat the oven to 375F (190C, or gas mark 5). Lightly coat a baking pan with cooking spray.
2. Peel the sweet potato and remove the ends. Cut into 1/4-inch (6 mm) circles and place on the baking pan in a single layer. Sprinkle with the cinnamon, salt, and pepper, and bake until tender and golden around the edges, about 30 minutes, turning the potato slices over halfway through.
3. Drain on a paper towel and serve immediately.

Copyright 2009 Frederic J. Vagnini, M.D., FACS, and Lawrence D. Chilnick, authors of The Weight Loss Plan for Beating Diabetes: The 5-Step Program That Removes Metabolic Roadblocks, Sheds Pounds Safely, and Reverses Prediabetes and Diabetes