Native South African Sheryl Westerman is a local nutritionist, motivator and weight loss coach in private practice. Since moving to Atlanta in 1993, she has continued to stay educated and search for new ideas and solutions, culminating in her new book “Slim Cooking the Sheryl Westerman Way.”
Last month, she kicked off this well-photographed book at the Atlanta Jewish Academy alongside a colorful buffet provided by healthy gourmet chef Julia Kessler of Stop Think Chew. That night all books sold out, and Westerman is filling a backlog of orders.
Our shelves are overflowing with cookbooks: Weight Watchers, self-help, movie star recipes, keto, diet du jour and blogs. So what’s so different about this book?
“I have had such a great response. I never expected it to be as much of a hit so quickly. People just want easy, tasty uncomplicated recipes. My book is unique and simple, … easy recipes that people can cook quickly. Readers really don’t want fancy books with long and complicated recipes. This is slimming, nutritious and calorie conscious. Everyone can use these recipes.”
The unusual format of the book is binder-like, where recipes can be pulled out, shared and replaced. “The book publishers gave me three options for the format. … I went with the most expensive.” The added bonus is that it works with her “Sheryl Westerman Plan,” referring to the bottom of each recipe for portions and exchanges.
Following the book will result in lifestyle changes, Westerman contended. “You will see results if you follow the recipes. One still has to watch portions.”
Westerman’s three favorite recipes are the gazpacho soup, Chicken de Provence and miso-glazed salmon.
A kosher household can use this book, she added, because everything is “pretty much farm-to-table. As I have a broad client base, some recipes will not be suitable. The majority are.”
The book does not provide an eating-out guide. But on her website, under “handouts,” she explains in detail what to eat in any kind of restaurant, portion sizes, a fast food guide, what to buy in the grocery store.
In the cookbook, recipes are categorized into appetizers, soups, salads, vegetables, dressings, rubs, meat entrees, chicken entrees, fish entrees, desserts, breakfasts and smoothies.
Along the way she gives motivational tips on her favorite kitchen gadgets and spices. “I have tried to make it as personal as possible. I enjoy cooking and want people to experiment with different vegetables. It’s really easy, you just have get inspired!”
Westerman offered four changes for the quickest results:
• Portion control
• Stop lickin’ and “schmikin” (it all adds up)
• Think ‘consequences.’ IF you don’t pay attention, the pounds will start creeping up. My most favorite expression I use with clients is “always in the traffic.” You have to think about it.
She furthered, “My recipes are uncomplicated. Not too many ingredients. Also, I specify what are the basic spices one should keep. Food has to taste good. So I also have listed the ones that I use, plus various herbs and for what they are best suited. I keep herbs in planters. Nothing better than picking your own home grown herbs, …. amazing tastes, aroma and flavor.”
In terms of exercise, Westerman urged, “Keep moving.” Exercise is only 20 percent of weight loss, whereas food is 80 percent. She warned, “One cannot ‘out exercise’ bad eating, no matter how much you work out. If you exercise daily and don’t see results on the scale and your clothes are tight and uncomfortable, then it’s all about the food.”
A fun idea to get on board with:
Start a cooking club once a month with friends, get a theme and begin cooking, she said. Common goals will form, friendships will solidify, others will be inspired to join.
The best motivation is seeing results, staying consistent. This is a marathon, not a sprint!
To learn more about Westerman, visit her website, www.sherylwesterman.com, and to order the book, email@example.com.