Picks and Pans Review: Joan Lunden's Healthy Cooking
Don't be fooled by the bland title; this is one lively cookbook. Lunden, the cohost of ABC's Good Morning America since 1980, doesn't even get to her first recipe until page 79, devoting the first third of her book to a frank telling of her "five-year journey to fitness," a period in which she dumped 50 pounds, a closetful of "camouflage" clothes and a husband.
Lunden, 45, doesn't dwell on her 1993 divorce from Michael Krauss (he isn't even named in the book), but she does admit that her unhappy marriage led her to "use food for comfort" and balloon up to 180 pounds (having three kids and getting up at 4 a.m. most days didn't help her eating habits either). Spurred by GMA's Spencer Christian, she transformed herself from a stressed-out size 14 who never exercised to a thrill-seeking size 8 who likes to go ice climbing.
The fact that Lunden's delight with her newfound vitality is so palpable helps build interest in the 100-plus recipes in Healthy Cooking (cowritten by Morton, who also produced Lunden's recent exercise video). Appetizing dishes like Spinach Frittata with Spicy Tomato Sauce draw their flavor from seasoning, not fat, reflecting Lunden's "antidiet, antideprivation" philosophy. Delivered from the heart, this "cookbook" amounts to a blueprint for anyone determined to reinvent themselves, as Lunden so rousingly has. (Little, Brown, $24.95)