Just in time to start the new year off on the right foot, "The Real Housewives of New York"'s Bethenny Frankel, who wrote the New York Times best-selling book Naturally Thin: Unleash Your SkinnyGirl and Free Yourself from a Lifetime of Dieting, is releasing a follow-up book, The SkinnyGirl Dish: Easy Recipes for Your Naturally Thin Life, which includes 60 recipes that turn into 1,000 recipes from the natural foods chef and lots of good advice.
Now ET talks to the reality TV star/author/chef about her book, her engagement and her first pregnancy.
ET: It is a new year. What is the best tip that you can give folks for starting a healthy new year?
Bethenny Frankel: The whole thing about resolutions is if you are approaching it properly, there shouldn't be a big, drastic resolution. You should be living in the moment and your diet should be a bank account, whether it is Dec. 31 or January 2. I think the people who join gyms today and are eating grilled chicken and vegetables, it is not really sustainable. People always have to have a realistic point of view and approach it calmly and quietly instead of coming out with a big bang, because you are just setting yourself up for failure. I would say, give yourself a bit of a break and be sensible rather than have the roller coaster. There is no "I was bad on Sunday, so I am going to be good on Monday" for me. It used to be like that for me when my weight was up and down. I think that yo-yo is the biggest problem.
ET: The SkinnyGirl Dish is a recipe book, is that correct?
Bethenny Frankel: It has 60 recipes that turn into more than 1,000 recipes because I give what I call "Use What You Have" variations. I treat it like someone's wardrobe where you don't go out and buy a whole new outfit every time you leave the house. You might have a dress and then you might accessorize it with new shoes, or a couple of bangles. I do basically the same thing with food. Even if you have a whole family, you don't want to go out every night and buy 10 ingredients that are going to go bad the next day. If you have a bunch of staples, you might only have to pull in two ingredients to make something different than you had the previous night. I teach you how to use what you have. I teach you to fish instead of giving you a fish. It turns out to be liberating because I teach people to think like a chef.
ET: Can people be okay with just the new book, or do they need to get both?
Bethenny Frankel: The first book taught people to unleash their Skinnygirl. People lost so much weight and they have kept it off. I get testimonials all the time. So the first book teaches you how to lose weight and eliminate your "food noise." This book teaches you what to do in the kitchen and how to sustain that at home. I give a lot of decadent recipes that I have renovated, such as the spinach-artichoke dip that everyone is so terrified of. I have taken that and made it healthy with the same deliciousness. Or guacamole or chicken pot pie. I don't believe in fat free. I don't believe in extremities like that. I believe in high flavor and being really filling and satisfying.
ET: I was reading the testimonials on your Web site -- and they are glowing. Why do you think your idea works?
Bethenny Frankel: Because it is very realistic and it is not extreme. It is not new year, new you resolutions, because why would we be having resolutions if everything was good? If everything is working, you don't have to make a resolution. I figured out … I used to be the yo-yo dieter and I was obsessed. I white-knuckled it. As much as there are people who have lost up to 80 pounds, 85 pounds is the highest that I have heard, a lot of people have lost 10 pounds, but it is their mind that is free. They are not obsessed any more. That is the No. 1 thing I think people get from the book. They feel liberated.
It doesn't matter where you are. It is what is in you. It is not adhering to some specific diet. You may not want some random omelet on a Tuesday. It doesn't work, because you may want a piece of pizza on Tuesday. You should have the piece of pizza because your diet is a bank account and you will balance it out at another meal.
ET: When the new season of "Real Housewives" airs will we see a lot of your engagement and pregnancy?
Bethenny Frankel: You will. Definitely. It is more than I frankly like. People always ask will your fiancé be on the show? He has to be on the show because I wouldn't be on the show if I can't be honest about my life. I would love to hold back on that a little bit, but it would be hypocritical for everything I stand for. Everything I do will be out there. (Note: They wrapped production before her pregnancy.)
ET: There is a rumor that you are doing your own show for Bravo. Can you talk about that?
Bethenny Frankel: I have my own show. We haven't started shooting it yet. It will just be an extension of the other show. It will just be about me instead of one-sixth. I will be the whole pie. I am on "Housewives" this coming season, which will air in the spring, but no one has been chosen for after that.
ET: How has "Housewives" changed your life?
Bethenny Frankel: It is like a rose and it has petals and it has thorns and you can't separate it. You have to accept the good from the bad. It has launched a lot of the things I was working on. I had already written my book, but arguably, this made it more successful. It has been a great experience. It was a great vehicle to show everybody what I am talking about, what my goals are and what I am. Shooting the show is very stressful. It is not my most favorite thing. It is argumentative, gossipy and catty. Your fur is up all the time. It is not a warm and cozy experience by any stretch. It is don't hate the player, hate the game kind of thing.
Following is a list of book signings where you can catch Bethenny in person:
Bookstore: Columbus Circle BordersTime and Date: Wednesday, January 6, 2010. 7:00 p.m.Address: 10 Columbus CircleNew York, NY 10019
Bookstore: Books & GreetingsTime and Date: Thursday, January 7, 2010. 7-8:30 p.m.Address: 271 Livingston Street #GNorthvale, NJ 07647
Bookstore: Books & BooksTime and Date: Sunday, January 10, 2010. 2:30 p.m.Address: 9700 Collins AvenueBal Harbour, Fl 33154
Bookstore: Borders, Ft. LauderdaleTime and Date: Monday, January 11, 2010. 7:00 p.m.Address: 2240 E. Sunrise BoulevardFt. Lauderdale, FL 33304
Bookstore: Davis Kidd BooksellersTime and Date: Wednesday, January 13, 2010. 6:30 p.m.Address: 2121 Green Hills Village DriveNashville, TN 37215Notes: This event is hosted by the Little Black Dress Club http://www.lbdclub.com
Location: STEEL Restaurant and LoungeTime and Date: Thursday, January 14, 2010. 7:30 p.m. Address: 950 West Peachtree Street, Suite 255Atlanta, GA 30309Notes: This is a ticketed event sponsored by the Atlanta JCC. Bethenny's recipes will be served.Call 678-812-4002 or www.atlantajcc.org/bookfestival for more information.
Bookstore: Barnes & Noble DallasTime and Date: Tuesday, January 19, 2010. 7:00 p.m.Address: 7700 West Northwest HwyDallas, TX 75225
Bookstore: Legacy BooksTime and Date: Wednesday, January 20, 2010. 6:30 p.m.Address: 7300 Dallas Parkway, Suite A120Plano, TX 75024
Bookstore: Barnes & Noble Orange CountyTime and Date: Thursday, January 28, 2010. 7:00 p.m.Address: 7881 Edinger AvenueHuntington Beach, CA 92647
Bookstore: Barnes & Noble Grove Los AngelesTime and Date: Friday, January 29, 2010. 7:00 p.m.Address: 189 Grove DriveLos Angeles, CA 90036
Bookstore: Barnes & Noble @ Boston University BookstoreTime and Date: Wednesday, February 3, 2010. 7:00 p.m. Address: 660 Beacon StreetBoston, MA 02215-2066
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