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Awesome Teen: Smart Choices for the 90's.

Teenage years are tough. Young adults feel tremendous pressures about everything from fitting in with peers and getting good grades, to worrying about their changing bodies and evolving self-image. Adding insult to injury, the current "fast food" generation of teens also suffers from poor exercise and dietary habits: habits that research has shown greatly influence their bodies and minds throughout their lives.

Awesome Teen: Smart Choices for the '90's, by fitness expert Chris Silkwood and writer Nancy Levicki, address a very neglected audience, adolescents ages 12 through 18. It examines the health and social issues that face today's young adults. It's a book about making smart choices in food, exercise, and image, and bringing much-needed balance to a particularly "off-balance" time.

A lifestyle guide written specifically for teenage readers, Awesome Teen explains how positive attitudes, good health, and fitness habits play a vital role in self-image. How do I balance social pressures with good study and health habits? What foods should I eat and which should I avoid? What exercise is best for me? How can I lose weight and tone up at the same time? The book attempts to answer these questions and more.

Awesome Teen's central message is: Take care of yourself. And begin now. Ms. Silkwood, a fitness consultant who serves on the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, has devised a point system for tracking and rewarding healthful fitness behaviors, and a Smart Choice eating guide tailored to an active teenage lifestyle. Smart Choice recipes include healthful variations on teen favorites such as Smart Choice Tacos made with skinless chicken breasts, or Fit Oatmeal, loaded with complex carbohydrates. The exercise routines combine healthy doses of stretching, aerobics, and strength conditioning.

"We believe that making smart choices in the areas of food, exercise, activity, and self-image are the key ingredients of a fun, productive, and highly-energetic lifestyle," Silkwood says.

Fitness leaders agree.

Arnold Schwarzenegger, chairman of the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, calls Awesome Teen "an excellent example of the grassroots effort and support that is so needed in this country if we are to reverse the decline in youth fitness."

Tennis pro Pam Shriver also praises Awesome Teen: "If teens could understand the importance of developing good fitness early in life, they too could reap the rewards as world class athletes do."

"Ms. Silkwood's kind of fitness may offer the best chance for a young teen to maintain his or her authentic self," says T George Harris, editor-in-chief, Children's Better Health Institute.

Nacho Chicken Salad

(Makes 4 servings)

1 bunch fresh cilantro 1 head romaine lettuce 1 head red tip lettuce 2 tomatoes 1/4 cup purple onion 1/2 cup crushed tortilla chips (blue corn chips or low-fat variety) 1 cup chick peas, drained (optional) 2 cups shredded grilled chicken breast

Salad Dressing:

1 red pepper 1 yellow pepper 6 limes 1 tablespoon ground peppers 4 tablespoons olive oil 5 tablespoons honey 1 teaspoon dry Italian herbs

Prepare dressing: Chop peppers very small; squeeze limes over peppers. Add remaining ingredients and mix in small bowl.

Wash lettuces, tear apart, and drain. Cut tomatoes in quarters. Chop onion very fine. Place all ingredients in huge bowl. Toss lightly with dressing. Serve with melba toast, Rye Crisp, or Triscuits.
COPYRIGHT 1992 Saturday Evening Post Society
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Author:Perry, Patrick
Publication:Saturday Evening Post
Article Type:Book Review
Date:May 1, 1992
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