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New take on Atkins shows diet’s versatility

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Updated: April 1, 2012 8:04AM

Is there any diet that’s been as maligned as Atkins?

This, despite the fact studies show it actually does work. But mention the Atkins Diet, and people automatically will describe it as that diet where you eat steak and bacon with abandon.

And that is exactly how many approach it, which is why they grow tired of it and can’t stick with it for the long haul. (Hard to believe, but eating steak and bacon day in and day out can become old.)

The latest cookbook from Atkins does a good job of breaking the myths about the diet and showing how to eat low-carb with variety. The New Atkins for a New You Cookbook (Simon and Schuster, $19.99), which was written by nutritionist Colette Heimowitz, doesn’t avoid or skirt around the issues that the diet has faced a lot of criticism. Smartly, Heimo-
witz — who is the vice president of nutrition and education at Atkins Nutrtionals, Inc. — tackles them head-on in the first chapter. She shows that it doesn’t have to be expensive, limiting or involve hard-to-find ingredients to follow Atkins.

The Atkins Diet itself has been modified in recent years, and this cookbook reflects that. Heimo-
witz points out that Atkins is not an all-meat-all-the-time lifestyle. In fact, vegetables are equally as important, and this cookbook makes sure there are a good number of recipes where veggies are the star. And, there are entire chapters devoted to poultry, seafood and vegetarian dishes.

Breakfast doesn’t have to be eggs, eggs and more eggs, either, as the book offers low-carb versions of smoothies, pancakes, cereals and muffins. (Although, if you are following the diet, most of these aren’t introduced until Phase 3 or 4 of Atkins.)

I like the fact that the recipes have the person with a busy lifestyle in mind. There are some 200 recipes in The New Atkins and none of them are complicated. There are a few with 10 or more ingredients, but really they are in the minority here.

Finally, throughout the cookbook are blue boxes with the flag Tip Time, offering a variety of very good little nuggets of information. One example: The book points out that meat cuts often go by different names in different parts of the country. Because of this, when you find a cut you like, look for it by shape and size rather than by name. Good idea!

Here are two vegetable dishes featured in the cookbook. Whether you follow a low-carb diet or not, both are easy ways to get more veggies into your diet.

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