For list makers
— “The 7 Day Slim Down” by Alisa Bowman with the editors of Women’s Health magazine (Rodale Books)
“Lose 7 pounds this week!” boasts the cover of this book, which offers what it calls “the Vitamin D diet.” Based on research that suggests vitamin D promotes weight loss, this diet offers lists, lists, lists: a slim-down shopping list, a day-by-day, meal-by-meal menu list for the first week, and charts for “pick this, not that” and other dieting techniques. Vitamin D-rich dishes such as mushroom, onion and avocado quesadilla, chicken cacciatore with sauteed escarole and beef barley soup are staples here.
— “The Belly Melt Diet” by the editors of Prevention magazine (Rodale Books)
This one’s got the others beat, because apparently you can lose 8 pounds in just 3 days. List lovers will gorge on quizzes (What kind of bird are you, lark or owl? Are you getting enough sleep?), lists of nutrient-rich foods and yes, day-by-day, meal-by-meal guidelines. Recipes for dishes such as orzo and chickpea salad, sweet potato and black bean chili and pan-seared salmon over kale sneak in amid copious amounts of text.
For sexy ladies
— “The MILF Diet” by Jessica Porter (Atria Books)
Don’t know what MILF means? Don’t look it up unless you’re OK with profanity. Let’s just say it’s a reference to attractive older women and leave it at that. This book builds its healthy eating plan around what it considers “MILFy” foods — whole grains, vegetables such as kale and bok choy, plant proteins like lentils, seaweed and fermented foods such as miso. This diet promises not only a youthful body, but a detoxified one with fully raised consciousness. Recipes for dishes like polenta with wild mushrooms, and sea vegetables with onion, carrot and corn are intended to keep you both desirable and desiring.
— “Cook Yourself Sexy” by Candice Kumai (Rodale Books)
The spaghetti-strap camisole on the cover says it all. Author Kumai, a former model and Le Cordon Bleu-trained chef, offers recipes for miso-glazed cod with baby bok choy, Dijon-braised Brussels sprouts and oxtail ragu with pappardelle to move you toward a sexier bod (and perhaps even help you cook in high heels and a mini-skirt, as she apparently does).