by Susan Hamilton & r & Ann Louise Gittleman says she can help you take off those extra pounds -- and keep them off. "This year, for a change, we're not counting calories, fat grams and carbohydrates," Gittleman declares. "We're going clean and healthy. It's all about cleansing your body rather than dieting, but you will experience dramatic weight loss."

For lots of folks, just as surely as the holidays mean thick eggnog, buttery cookies, rich meats and high-calorie libations, so follows the New Year, with its resolutions and diets. Gittleman will explain her "New Year, New You: How to Get the Weight Off in 2006" plan at area bookstores in four talks and question-and-answer sessions (Jan. 7-12) designed to help dieters get on the fast track to real weight loss.

Gittleman's The Fast Track Detox Diet outlines a combination weight-loss plan and detox system. "It's a simple, easy and effective way to lose weight and get your health back on the fast track," she says.

In a nutshell, the diet involves a seven-day prequel in which dieters eat fresh fruits and veggies, lean protein, healthy oils and plenty of water to support their livers and colons. Sugar, artificial sweeteners, excess fats, refined carbohydrates, gluten, processed soy foods, alcohol and caffeine are off limits for fast-track dieters. This preparation is followed by a one-day fast with Gittleman's "miracle juice" and a three-day sequel, similar to the prequel regimen with added probiotic foods.

Gittleman's ongoing Fast Track maintenance diets offer various healthy lifestyle approaches -- from strict detox to mix-and-match diets. And Gittleman's programs are supported free on The Forum, an interactive messaging board on her Web site ( that allows dieters to hear Gittleman's voice and feel her passion for health.

"I offer the virtual-support teleconferencing because dieters have a 70 percent higher success rate if they have support," Gittleman explains. "Rather than attending meetings, dieters can get support via teleconferencing in their homes."

At her local appearances, Gittleman will also talk about her latest book, Hot Times: How To Eat Well, Live Healthy and Feel Sexy During the Change. In this book, she addresses the concerns of the nearly 70 million American women who experience menopausal symptoms. Gittleman espouses natural remedies for hot flashes, mood swings, insomnia and menopausal weight gains.

"It's a continuation of the Fast Track lifestyle," Gittleman explains. "I advocate using nutrition, not medicine, to manage menopause."

Gittleman believes that many women's menopausal symptoms are the result of years of improper eating, insufficient exercise and poor lifestyle habits. In Hot Times, she provides a diet built from unprocessed, unrefined, natural foods -- similar to what she presents in The Fast Track One-Day Detox Diet -- to help balance women's bodies so they are healthy and energized.

At her talks, Gittleman will give advice she has gleaned in many years of practicing holistic nutrition and as a certified nutrition specialist.

"I will share my tips for a healthy and non-toxic 2006," Gittleman says. "I'll also tell people how they can integrate detox dieting into their lives and how they can help their families heal in the process. I'll share how to kick off weight loss with culinary herbs and spices, as well as letting people know that their daily drinks -- like coffee and green tea -- may not be their best friends."

During the first part of the year, Gittleman is focusing her appearances on the Inland Northwest where she resides, though she spends much of her time doing national appearances throughout the year.

"I want to meet those who are dedicated Inland Northwest followers of Fat Flush, Fast Track and Hot Times," she says. "There are many roads that lead to weight loss," she adds. "Sharing my experience with people is my lifeblood."

Ann Louise Gittleman will talk and answer questions about her books on Saturday, Jan. 7, from 11 am-noon at Borders Books, 450 W. Wilbur Ave., Coeur d'Alene; Saturday, Jan. 7, from 2-4 pm at Borders Books, 9980 N. Newport Hwy.; Sunday, Jan. 8 from 2-3 pm at Barnes & amp; Noble Booksellers, 15310 E. Indiana, Spokane Valley; and Thursday, Jan. 12, at 7:30 pm at Auntie's Bookstore, 402 W. Main St.

American Original: The Life and Work of John James Audubon @ Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture

Tuesdays-Sundays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Continues through Sept. 19
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