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Saturday, January 11, 2014

Weekend Cooking- 21-Day Tummy by Liz Vaccariello

This post is part of Beth Fish Reads' Weekend Cooking.  If you have anything related to food, cookbook reviews, novel or non-fiction book reviews, recipes, movie reviews, etc., head over to Beth Fish Reads and add your post. Or, if you want to read food related posts, head over to read what some interesting people have to say about food.

21-Day Tummy by Liz Vaccariello
Published by Reader's Digest ISBN 978-1-62145-111-2
Hardcover, $25.99, 320 pages

21-Day Tummy not only aims to help you lose stubborn belly fat, it also is designed to help people deal with the stomach problems that plague so many people- gas and bloating, heartburn and acid reflux, constipation, diarrhea and Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

Millions of Americans suffer from these stomach issues, and this book, written by Liz Vaccariello from Reader's Digest, along with Kate Scarlata, a registered dietician, share the science behind their methods in easy-to-understand language, and if you are one the people who suffer from any of the above stomach problems, this book is more than worth your time.

Vaccariello recruited eleven people to try the diet with her (she lost 10 pounds in 21 days) and their stories are interspersed throughout the book. They lost of a total of 90 pounds in the three weeks, with the participating men losing slightly more than the women.

The book's main goal is to balance gut flora (bacteria in the GI tract) and reduce inflammation by eating more magnesium-rich foods and anti-inflammatory fats and reducing carb-dense foods and carbs that ferment rapidly.

They describe foods to avoid, called Belly Bullies, which include such surprising foods as garlic, onions, apples, asparagus and the popular agave sweetener, which contains fructose, a big no-no. Belly Buddies, foods that you should eat, include fiber-rich foods magnesium-rich foods like spinach, kale, peanut butter, bananas, blueberries, quinoa, whole oats, almonds, chia and pumpkin seeds and Greek yogurt.

The book lays our the three-week meal plan, divided into three phases. Each day has its own page with a breakfast, lunch, snack and dinner menu. All of the meals seem very doable, with no crazy food supplements or ingredients that you have to shop for at specialty stores.

Recipes follow the menu plan, and there are several I would like to try, including

  • Scrambled Egg Quesadilla
  • Mini Quiche
  • Hearty Roasted Vegetable Soup
  • Grilled Turkey Cutlets with Grape Salsa

There is also a week-by-week shopping list, which is very helpful, and a simple exercise plan, with an interval walking workout and core routine laid out clearly and simply for the reader, with illustrations of the each exercise.

With so many diets out there, including the Paleo Diet and Mediterranean Diet, the 21-Day Tummy Diet seems to be a sound, scientific way to lose belly fat and help people with their myriad digestive problems. The eleven people who tried the diet shared interesting results, including being able to eliminate prescription heartburn medication completely in one case.

The website for the 21-Day Tummy contains more information, and there you can try the book free for 14 days to see if it can help you. The website is here.

rating 4 of 5


  1. Sounds very interesting. Unfortunately, I don't see us giving up garlic and onions all that quickly! Still -- I'm going to check out the website. I like that there are no supplements and hard-to-find "magic" foods.

  2. Everyone I know seems to be having troubles these days with their stomach. Thanks for sharing this book.

  3. I have garlic, onion and apples on a daily basis but I think I could give something up for 3 weeks if I could lose 10 pounds. I will check this out.
    If you send me your email address I will send you that referral for evernote. Mine is tmculbertson AT gmail.com.

  4. Thanks for featuring this book. Belly fat is definitely one of the most challenging things to lose. Glad to see that at least I'm already eating lots of Belly Buddies. :)

  5. This book is now on my tbr pile! Very timely after all the holiday indulgences! Cheers