In recognition of March National Nutrition Month, I asked my BFF and expert dietitian, Laura Sabban MS RD CSR, to provide her views on two diet books that came my way. The books are “The Digest Diet” and “The Digest Diet Cookbook” by Liz Vaccariello, editor-in-chief of Reader’s Digest and coauthor of the bestseller “Flat Belly Diet!” (Note that the PR lady did not send a copy of the “Flat Belly Diet!” which sounds interesting to me since I do not have a flat belly but would really like to know if it is possible to ever have a flat belly again – especially after having two children during my life before 50.)

So what did my BFF Laura have to say about staying fit and fabulous in our fifties? “Selling magazines and diet books making us think it is easy to shed pounds at this age is making people rich. But a lifetime of habit isn’t going to change without some effort and we need to be realistic about what it takes to be able to avoid those elastic-waist pants,” says Laura. (I know Laura, I don’t want to have to only rely on stretch pants as I age.)

In reviewing the books, Laura comments that “The Digest Diet” and its companion cookbook start out saying it will be easy to make huge lifestyle changes. “The author Liz promises that there are magic foods to eat that ‘release fat’, and that you won’t be miserable or hungry because the foods are so satisfying,” says Laura.

“Indeed the recipes are truly interesting and photographed in stunning color. However she promises that you’ll lose an average of 11 pounds in 3 weeks and that you can exercise at your own pace…as long as you follow the diet exactly, do high-intensity interval training (!!!), spend your Sunday afternoon cooking organic foods, give up dessert in favor of ricotta cheese and eat a salad when you (invariably) get hungry.”

(Really, I have to do all that? BTW, I did try the Strawberry Almond Shake during the BlogHer conference book event last summer and it was rather tasty. I sampled the shake made with frozen berries, flaxseed, avocado and cocoa powder. A typical shake includes 16 grams of protein. I also found the new cookbook recipes to be appealing and may try to make a few such as the Chicken Piccata with Capers & Olives and the Herb Crusted Salmon. )

“At 1200 calories a day, even with no magic foods, almost anyone can lose weight,” Laura adds. “The science presented isn’t always great but overall, the book does advocate a balanced, healthy approach to dieting and will work for the motivated. The 12 people who ‘tested’ the plan seemed to like it. But I think that boomer women don’t want to spend much time cooking anymore, won’t join a gym if they haven’t already and want to have dessert more than once a week.” (Hmm, hmm, hmm. Laura you are my BFF and I do agree that boomer girls don’t want to spend extra time in the kitchen, but I do know many boomer girls who like to work out at the gym including your BFF.)

Laura is my BFF and a very smart registered dietitian.

As a special guest blogger, Laura provided these simple tips to help boomer girls stay fit and fabulous:

– Firstly, eat three reasonable meals a day. Don’t go more than 5 hours without eating something. Yes, it has to do with insulin levels, but there’s no point in making it more complicated than that. (I agree – breakfast, lunch and dinner – I try not to miss a meal.)

– Second, eat vegetables and fresh fruit as often as you can. No one ever got fat from eating too much fruit. (I’m glad I love fruit – blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, apples, oranges, pears, grapes.)

– Thirdly, choose lower fat dairy products. We eat too much rich cheese on everything. (I really like the Sargento Reduced Fat Cheeses.  You can buy slices or shredded varieties.)

– Fourthly, take a walk every day, weather permitting. Or find another way to keep moving that feels comfortable. It’s also a mood lifter. (Walking does it for me – oh where is that pedometer?)

– And lastly, every day reward yourself with something yummy of about 100 calories—1/2 oz. of chocolate, a small yogurt, a tablespoon of peanut butter on celery, or a snack bag of crackers or cookies. Sometimes just knowing a treat awaits you later makes it easier to hold out against indulging too much earlier in the day. (My treat of the day has to be dark chocolate – my boyfriend L has converted me – it’s the best.)

“Common sense may not be sexy, but it’s all one really needs,” adds Laura.

Now you see why Laura is my BFF?  She is so smart!

If you would like to be entered into the raffle to win a copy of “The Digest Diet,” leave a comment on my blog about how you stay fit and fabulous during your life after 50. Or “like” Judi Boomer Girl on Facebook or “follow” judiboomergirl on Twitter and leave your comment there. Deadline for entry is March 31, 2013.