Lisa Cain, PHD, likes to snack. But she is also mindful of the dangers of processed foods. So she tinkers with tasty and healthy treats in her kitchen, and then she shares her creations on her blog – Snack Girl. Lisa’s recipes have been featured on the Fooducate blog many times.The Snack Girl blog has been immensely successful over the past few years, so we weren’t surprised to hear that Lisa has been tapped by a New York publisher to compile her creations into a book.
That book, Snack Girl to the Rescue!: A Real-Life Guide to Losing Weight and Getting Healthy with 100 Recipes Under 400 Calories is out today. We decided to celebrate with Lisa with a short interview (and recipe).
How did Snack Girl get started?
The idea for Snack Girl came from my personal journey to become a healthier eater. My husband, who is the technical genius behind Snack Girl, and I wanted to start our own internet company and, at the same time, I was struggling with losing weight and eating healthier.
I became passionate about finding ways to kick my junk food habit and I wanted to share what I was learning. We checked and no one else was writing exclusively about snacks so we thought, “Hey, this could be a good space for us to start.”
Why “snacks”? Aren’t Americans eating too many snacks already?
Yes, they are eating ONE more snack per day than they were in the 1970’s and these snacks tend to be potato chips, soda, and candy. On average since 1970, they are adding 350 calories per day in junky snacks and they aren’t cutting down their size of their meals.
This is why we chose “snacks”. Americans know they have a problem with snacks and the word “snack” is an attractive one. Snack Girl sucks you in and then hits you with HEALTHY snacks to replace the junk. My goal has always been to educate and inspire people to make small changes and snacks are a great place to start.
When did the book idea come up?
I had always dreamt of writing a book and I kept creating outlines, reading books on how to approach agents, and researching self-publishing. Somehow, I couldn’t get it going. I received an e-mail from an agent in February 2012 and she told me to write a book proposal.
It turned out that publishers liked Snack Girl because I have a built a group of enthusiastic readers (250K per month). If you can prove you have an audience for a book, it makes it easier to sell it.
In Snack Girl To The Rescue I tell the story of my struggles with healthy eating as well as discuss body image, exercise, food marketing, and more. I include 100 recipes that I use all the time. I try hard to make the information funny, relatable, and accessible so that I can encourage people to eat healthier.
You are a biologist by training; when did you realize you could do Snack Girl full time for a living?
When we signed the book contract with Harmony (an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group which is part of Penguin Random House) in August 2012,I knew that Snack-Girl.com was going to make us enough money to live on. Hopefully, readers will love the book and buy lots of copies so I can write another one
Here’s a recipe from the book. Kids will love to help you prepare it and eat it.
Baked Eggs and Cheese in Toast Cups
If you grab your breakfast on the road, then this recipe will help you stop that habit. Call me a traditionalist, but I like to have eggs and toast in the morning.
These are so much fun to make. All you do is shove bread into a buttered muffin tin or ramekin, then drop in some cheese and a medium egg. My kids get a kick out of making these; anyone over the age of eight can make them. I precook six of them on the weekend for the crazy week ahead.
These are best made in ramekins, which are small glazed ceramic dishes. If you don’t own any, you can always find them at thrift stores because, for some reason, people don’t use them and they give them away.
When I want breakfast, I just put some plastic wrap over the finished product—still in the ramekin—then heat it in the microwave for a minute or two and enjoy!
- ¼ teaspoon butter (salted or unsalted)
- 1 slice 100% whole-wheat bread
- 1 tablespoon grated sharp Cheddar cheese
- 1 medium egg
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Soften the butter in the microwave (if using a ramekin, just put it in the dish). Using a paper towel, butter the dish so the toast will not stick.
- Squeeze the bread into the cup, tearing it a bit to make it fit. Push the bread against the sides of the cup to make space for the cheese and egg.
- Sprinkle the grated cheese into the bread cup and add the egg. For a runny egg, bake for 15 minutes; for a half-soft, half-hard yolk, bake for 20 minutes; and for fully cooked, bake for 25 minutes. Add salt and pepper and serve.
If you make a bunch of these ahead of time, store them wrapped in plastic wrap in your refrigerator for one week.
- 165 calories
- 8.7 g fat
- 3.7 g saturated fat
- 12.9 g carbohydrates
- 2.4 g sugar
- 10.3 g protein
- 3.0 g fiber
- 262 mg sodium