Book Review | Extra Lean Family

Title: Extra Lean Family: Get Lean and Achieve Your Family’s Best Health Ever

Author: Mario Lopez with Jimmy Pena

My Review:

I confess that when I first learned that Mario Lopez had written a book my first thought went back to over 25 years ago to memories of one of my favorite shows, Saved By the Bell in which he had a starring role. I wasn’t sure how seriously that I would be able to take his new book but I will be the first to admit that I was wrong and pleasantly surprised with how relevant this book is for families.

EXTRA LEAN FAMILY by Mario Lopez with Jimmy Pena is the follow up to his New York Times bestselling book, EXTRA LEAN. This book focuses on healthy eating for the entire family. His belief is that “the first step to ensure lifelong health for your family is to make your own nutrition choices” and I couldn’t agree more with this statement. I believe that healthy eating has helped me to significantly control my four year old daughter Hannah’s severe asthma and skin issues and is a major player in my entire family’s overall health.

By showing families how to take charge of the food you are eating and preparing for yourself and your loved ones, this book offers realistic ways to stay lean and healthier. EXTRA LEAN FAMILY includes more than 50 delicious recipes, many of which can be made in about twenty minutes. I put this to the test with a family favorite, the Chicken Enchiladas recipe which uses whole grain tortillas, avocados, baby spinach and real cheese. I had chicken breast left over from dinner the previous night so I diced it into small pieces and put the ingredients together to bake it for 12 minutes in the oven. From start to finish, including prep and baking time….dinner was ready to serve in 26 minutes. It is a hit with our family and I was thrilled that my husband who does not care for whole grain tortillas/pasta etc. thought it was very tasty.

Resources included in EXTRA LEAN FAMILY:

  • Double-Duty options, offering two quick meal variations with the same ingredients
  • Metabolism Boosting and nutritious snacks to combat hunger between meals
  • Weekly grocery lists and easy tips for efficient meal preparation
  • Practical steps to control your metabolism and maintain target weight
  • Simple, delicious recipes that can be prepared in 20 minutes or less

What I like most about this book is that it allows you to follow it literally including daily meal plans and grocery lists for five weeks but if you prefer, as I do, it is easy to pull the recipes that you wish to use and make your own meal plan. I also appreciate the section, Children and Food Habits, which gives tips on How to Curb Constant Munching, How to Avoid Sugar Overload, How to add Veggies and How to Curb Carbs in addition to other interesting ideas.

EXTRA LEAN FAMILY is a worthy read for all families who are seeking a healthier eating lifestyle and it offers solid ideas, tips and recipes to bring it to fruition. You can learn more about EXTRA LEAN FAMILY by visiting the official Mario Lopez website.

*I received a copy of this book to review but I was not financially compensated in any way. The opinions expressed are my own and are based on my observations while reading this novel.*


Maureen is a SAHM who left the Corporate healthcare field to home educate her 6, 7 and 8 year old children. She is a voracious reader for both herself & her kids and also enjoys a natural and organic lifestyle. She lives in Orlando, Fl with her husband Mark, three children and 5 year old boxer, Jack.

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