Audrey Johns' New Cookbook Will Blow Your Mind But Not Your Diet!

Audrey Johns ~ Lose Weight By Eating

Cookbook: Lose Weight By Eating
Tagline: Lose 15 pounds in 30 days
Author: Audrey Johns
Publisher: HarperCollins

The Skinny: Lose Weight By Eating is ebullient inspiration for anyone caught in an endless cycle of starvation diets. Johns was almost three-hundred pounds when she stopped eating "diet" meals and went back to the basics. This cookbook will equip you with the knowledge and recipes Johns used to go from a size 24 to a size 4, losing over 150 pounds in 11 months.

When choosing a healthy cookbook, I look for recipes that taste like the real deal. So I was excited to learn that every recipe in Lose Weight By Eating is as good (or better!) than the full-fat, high-calorie versions. The end result—devilishly good, metabolism-boosting recipes that won't leave you feeling deprived and reaching for a bag of potato chips. Johns does an exceptional job of turning off limit meals, like Manly Beer Chili in a Slow Cooker (ch. Comfort Food) or Spaghetti Bolognese (ch. Pasta Lovers), into skinny deliciousness for your taste buds.

Elvis-Inspired Peanut Butter Banana Waffles
Elvis-Inspired Peanut Butter Banana Waffles (ch. Sweet and Hearty Breakfasts)

Whether it was "Between Two Pieces of Bread" or "The Best Of Baked Goods", chapters are organized in a way, that I was quickly able to find a recipe for whatever type of meal I was looking for. Chapters that I can't wait to explore more include "Cheese Whiz", "Pizza, Pizza" , and "For The Love Of BBQ". I particularly have my eye on Game-Day Nacho Dip (ch. Cheese Whiz), a beautiful layered dip with only 129 calories per serving!

Recipes I've Tried 
  • Maple-Glazed Sweet Potatoes (ch. Let's Celebrate)
  • Red And Green Brussels Sprouts (ch. Let's Celebrate)
My photos just don't do justice for these mouth-watering recipes. Note to self: Enroll in photography class pronto.
Maple-Glazed Sweet Potatoes & Red And Green Brussels Sprouts

Using Recipes From Lose Weight By Eating

The recipes for Maple-Glazed Sweet Potatoes and Red And Green Brussels Sprouts are found in the "Let's Celebrate" chapter, but I love them enough to incorporate them into meals throughout the year. After all, every day is a celebration of life and good food, right? 

Maple-Glazed Sweet Potatoes: Unsalted butter, pumpkin pie spice, chili powder, maple syrup, and dark rum blend into an ambrosial dessert-like glaze for the sweet potatoes & sweet apples with only 160 calories per serving. This warm, melt-in-your-mouth dish compares admirably with the nearly 400 calories in the average Sweet Potato Casserole With Pecan Topping served at Thanksgiving—who am I kidding, it whips it like cream.

Red and Green Brussels Sprouts: Without embellishing at all, I can tell you that this is my all-time favorite brussels sprouts recipe. No more drowning sprouts in calorie-heavy cheese; red bell peppers, olive oil, Parmesan Cheese, garlic powder, kosher salt, black pepper, and chopped fresh parsley compliment this vegetable in a way I didn't know was possible—this 64 calorie per serving side dish tastes like something you'd pay a fortune for in 5 star restaurants.

Lose Weight by Eating: Jalapeno Poppers with Cool Dip
Jalapeno Poppers with Cool Dip (ch. Mexican Food)

This summer I'm planting a couple rows of jalapeno in the garden, so I look forward to making the Jalapeno Poppers with Cool Dip (ch. Mexican Food). The recipe calls for 4 large jalapenos, sharp cheddar cheese, garlic powder, panko bread crumbs, and soft cream cheese baked in the oven until the cheese is melted and the bread crumbs are a golden brown. This sounds delicious even without the dip, which is a creamy blend of greek yogurt, almond milk, garlic & onion powder, kosher salt, fresh cilantro, fresh dill, and fresh parsley. For kid-friendly poppers, Johns exchanges mini sweet bell peppers for the jalapenos. I love this option because I have a lot of friends over for dinner that have an aversion to hot and spicy food.

Another recipe that makes my mouth water (sweet tooth anyone?) is the Strawberry Shortcake Cupcakes (ch. Sweet Desserts) with a topping of heavy cream, powdered sugar, and fresh strawberries. Don't freak out over the inclusion of heavy cream, because this recipe still has only 130 calories per serving! That's 60 calories less than a well known packaged brand. I think Strawberry Shortcake Cupcakes would be awesome to make for Valentine's Day next year or even for a Disney Princess Party.

One aspect of the book, to me, stood out in bold—Johns' conversational style is that of a no-nonsense yet caring friend. For example, when it comes to the hard questions, "How did you deal with extra skin after losing weight?", she's forthright. No sugar-coating or telling you what you want to hear. I also found her recipe anecdotes to be refreshing..."being a purist to the core, I just can't bring myself to use ingredients like black beans in my brownies." Copy that!

Recipe Excerpt

Skin-Firming Citrus Boost Water

Makes 1 gallon (8 cups)
Serving size: 2 cups

Per serving: calories 5; fat 0 g; fiber 0 g; protein 0 g; carbohydrates 1 g (nutrition based on infused water only, not consuming the fruit)

Bored of plain flat water? Try adding some fruit! This water is one of my personal favorites. I like to make it at night before I go to bed. I awake to a delicious, full-flavored drink with abundant health and beauty benefits. Mangoes and citrus boost your metabolism, and they’re also known to help naturally smooth and tighten skin. Drink as much as you like—remember, you’re trying to drink a gallon of water a day, and this will make your goal deliciously possible to meet.
Skin-Firming Citrus Boost Water
Skin-Firming Citrus Boost Water (ch. Skinny Drinks)
  • 2 mangoes
  • 2 oranges, cut into slices
  • 1 lemon, cut into slices
  • 1 lime, cut into slices
  • 4 cups ice

1. Peel and cut the mangoes into large chunks, reserving the pits. Divide the mango chunks between two large pitchers. Squeeze the excess juice off the pits and drop them in as well. Add the citrus slices and top with the ice, which will hold down the fruit. Pour in 1 gallon water.

2. Let the water infuse for at least 2 hours before serving or store overnight in your fridge. If you like your water at room temperature, let it infuse on the countertop, but be sure to add the ice to hold down the fruit, or use a fruit infusion pitcher, which will hold all the fruit down for you without the ice.

NOTE: Check out my favorite fruit infusion water pitchers on my website,

Final Thoughts

This is the first time that I've told all of my family and friends, "You have to buy this book!" Seriously, the recipes in Lose Weight By Eating look amazing, and I'm looking forward to working my way through the entire book. While doing so, maybe I'll even drop that stubborn 15 pounds that's been hanging on for dear life. This cookbook certainly makes me believe that I can, and believing is where every weight loss journey begins.

Find the book at HarpersCollins or Amazon: Lose Weight By Eating by Audrey Johns.

The views expressed in this review are my own and were not sponsored or paid for in any way by the author or an agent working on their behalf. However, I was provided  a precopy for review purposes.