Actor Lopez expands his cookbook series to encompass families.

A new father, the author shares sage advice for parents about the importance of diet and nutritional awareness for their children. While his first book, Extra Lean, focused on balancing carbohydrates, fats, proteins and portion size, here Lopez introduces more mindful food choices via a three-part regimen of understanding, preparing and applying his lean-family principles to everyday life. Other sections describe how food influences metabolism and why carbohydrates are so addictive, and the author stresses the importance of Omega acids, fiber, water intake and keeping a food journal. Lopez’s comprehensive five-week meal plan includes a grocery list, time-saving tips and food suggestions heavy on fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Big-dish dinners include Spicy Turkey Chili, “Paella-Style” Chicken and Rice and Bacon and Cheddar Macaroni Casserole—all healthfully reinvented. Curry-Roasted Shrimp with Cashew Couscous, Ginger-Garlic Shrimp and Chili-Rubbed Pork Chops tempt with the robust flavors of cumin, curry and lime juice. For the blander palate, recipes for Homemade Fish Sticks made with cod and cornflakes, omelets and turkey meatloaf are offered alongside several realistic dessert recipes—e.g., premium ice cream is encouraged for sundaes, just limit the portion size. Outside of graphs and nutrient charts, the visuals are not the book’s strong point. Mundane photos of baby carrots, eggs and sliced bread hardly complement Lopez’s stock, stiffly posed photographs. However, the author effectively demonstrates how parents can effectively coach their children about healthy snacks, vitamins and how to “dejunk” life. A must-have for Lopez fans, but this one’s written for families who want better control over the dining-room table.


Pub Date: May 3, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-451-23412-4

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Celebra/Penguin

Review Posted Online: April 18, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2011

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Skloot's meticulous, riveting account strikes a humanistic balance between sociological history, venerable portraiture and...


A dense, absorbing investigation into the medical community's exploitation of a dying woman and her family's struggle to salvage truth and dignity decades later.

In a well-paced, vibrant narrative, Popular Science contributor and Culture Dish blogger Skloot (Creative Writing/Univ. of Memphis) demonstrates that for every human cell put under a microscope, a complex life story is inexorably attached, to which doctors, researchers and laboratories have often been woefully insensitive and unaccountable. In 1951, Henrietta Lacks, an African-American mother of five, was diagnosed with what proved to be a fatal form of cervical cancer. At Johns Hopkins, the doctors harvested cells from her cervix without her permission and distributed them to labs around the globe, where they were multiplied and used for a diverse array of treatments. Known as HeLa cells, they became one of the world's most ubiquitous sources for medical research of everything from hormones, steroids and vitamins to gene mapping, in vitro fertilization, even the polio vaccine—all without the knowledge, must less consent, of the Lacks family. Skloot spent a decade interviewing every relative of Lacks she could find, excavating difficult memories and long-simmering outrage that had lay dormant since their loved one's sorrowful demise. Equal parts intimate biography and brutal clinical reportage, Skloot's graceful narrative adeptly navigates the wrenching Lack family recollections and the sobering, overarching realities of poverty and pre–civil-rights racism. The author's style is matched by a methodical scientific rigor and manifest expertise in the field.

Skloot's meticulous, riveting account strikes a humanistic balance between sociological history, venerable portraiture and Petri dish politics.

Pub Date: Feb. 9, 2010

ISBN: 978-1-4000-5217-2

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2010

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Authoritative and, most helpfully, accessible.



Self-help guide for diabetes sufferers, mostly in question-and-answer format, with an emphasis on helping racial and ethnic minority diabetics.

Coleman is a pharmacist with a doctorate in her specialty, Gavin a Ph.D. and M.D. Aside from acknowledgments and a foreword signed by Gavin alone, their voices and expertise are indistinguishable, offering lucid, simple solutions for diabetes patients. Gavin relates watching his great-grandmother endure debilitating pain as a result of diabetes while he visited her as a youngster. He remembers hearing adults mention that sugar killed her, and he wondered how something that tasted sweet could cause so much harm. As an adult, he realized that his great-grandmother's affliction could be controlled through treatment. The authors focus on Type 2 diabetes, the most common form in minority populations. An estimated 18.2 million Americans are diabetic, with perhaps 5 million unaware of their situation. About 11 percent of U.S. diabetics are African-American, and about 8 percent are Latino. The question-and-answer format begins with an overview section about diabetes, with an emphasis on risk factors. Section Two covers management of the disease, including nutrition, exercise, blood-testing, oral medications and insulin use. In addition, the authors continually recommend smoking cessation, as well as instructing patients on the readiness of self-treatment. Section Three explains the complications—high blood pressure, high cholesterol and heart disease—that could arise if the condition remains untreated or treated ineffectively. The questions in all of the sections are worded simply, and the answers are usually free of medical jargon. Though the sudden shifts in tone and voice are occasionally jarring, the writing remains clear enough to distill the facts. The real downside here, though: patronizing, laughable illustrations that degrade the overall product.

Authoritative and, most helpfully, accessible.

Pub Date: Jan. 31, 2004

ISBN: 0-9746948-0-0

Page Count: -

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 27, 2010

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