Saturday Review / Special K Challenge and Beyond

I was asked to review the new book from Special K. It is called “The Special K Challenge and Beyond.” I was a little leary because I had seen all the ads for the Special K challenge. I’m not the kind of girl who can eat two meals a day and snacks of a product and then eat a sensible dinner. Just not going to happen. I was surprised that this was just the jumpstart to a sensible eating and exercise plan.

If you are so inclined, you do the two week jumpstart challenge.
Here is how that goes…(from their website)

Meal 1
Start your day with:
Any Special K® Cereal, 2/3 cup skim milk and your choice of fruit, or have a Protein Shake or Protein Meal Bar. When selecting Special K™ Low Fat Granola Cereal, choose either 2/3 cup of skim milk or fruit.

Meal 2
Replace a second meal with one of these yummy options:
•Serving of cereal
•Protein Meal Bar
•Protein Shake

Meal 3
Eat your third meal as you normally do.
Remember, you can make this meal either the first, second or last meal of the day. Look in the Tips and Tools section on for third meal ideas.

Enjoy two great-tasting Special K™ snacks every day (and at any time)!
•Protein Snack Bars
•Fruit Crisps
•Crackers or Cracker Chips
•Protein Water Mixes
•Enjoy fruits & veggies as additional snacks.

This part of the book wasn’t for me. I can’t make myself eat the same thing over and over twice a day for 14 days. That’s just me. I have a friend who tried this and swears by it.

The rest of the book, I loved. It is all about their three steps to reaching your goals. The first step is to learn to eat sensibly. They explain about the benefits of a healthful diet and what it can do for you. They have the USDA’s MyPyramid to show you all your daily requirements. They also talk about how eating right can give you sustained energy and reduce your risk factors for disease. They tell you what foods to eat to manage your hunger. There are also all kinds of tips for changing your food behavior. There are even sections on snacking and eating out.

The second step is all about weight management. Guidelines issued in 2007 by the American Heart Association and the American College of Sports Medicine suggests that “60 to 90 minutes of physical activity may be necessary” most days for significant weight loss. They talk about stretching, cardio training and strength training. They also talk about mixing up your routine so your body doesn’t get used to the same thing over and over. Did you know that your body and muscles can get so used to doing the same thing so often that it will get so efficient at it that you will reach a plateau and no longer get maximum benefit? They give tips on sticking to your exercise goals and how you can break your workouts up through the day and not have to do it all at once.

The third step was about finding support through mind and spirit. They talked about setting measurable goals, using sleep to keep on track and visualizing your success. They also talk about not going it alone and enlisting others help. Isn’t that why we are all here? My favorite part of step three was about reducing stress, dealing with temptation and journaling.

Being the cookbook junkie that I am, my very favorite part of the book was the last 160 or so pages. There are tips on the basics of healthy cooking and shopping healthy. But the absolute best part are the recipes. There are recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner. There are salads and soups. There are entrees and desserts. It has it all and there are some really good ones. I’ve tried quite a few.

The bottom line is that I liked this book. Although the jumpstart part isn’t for me, the rest of it is very informational and informative. I’m glad to have this book in my collection. I think you’d like it too.

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  • Anonymous

    Sounds like a great book to take a look at. Thanks for the review!