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Charleston native and comedy writer husband co-author nutrition book

Kenny Kemp
Steve Roth, a former TV comedy writer, and Charleston native and holistic nutritionist Karen Roth wrote a book about developing a more nutritious lifestyle.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- When Steve Roth married a nutritionist, he stopped eating cereal for breakfast.

He also dropped a few pants sizes, watched the bald spot on his head grow hair, and gained energy.

Now, he wants to help other men do the same by sharing what he's learned. Roth, a former television writer for shows such as "Designing Women" and Nickelodeon's "Hey Dude," and his wife, Charleston native and holistic nutritionist Karen Roth, have co-authored a book about nutrition, geared toward the average man.

"I Married a Nutritionist: Things I've Learned that Every Guy Should Know" published this year and is a product of a blog Steve started that had the same title. After seeing its popularity, he and Karen compiled material from his site and information from her video blogs to produce the book.

Karen said she thinks Steve grew such a large following because people liked his humor.

"Most nutritionist books are just slap-in-your-face and tell you everything you're doing wrong and everything that's going to kill you and don't really make anything fun," Karen said.

True to Steve's background, the book is written script-style, with back-and-forth dialogue from the Roths. Steve wrote the first draft of the book, and Karen helped rewrite and fact-check.

The book has short chapters "that any guy can read in the bathroom in the morning," Steve said, "just like People magazine."

Sections titles include "If You Cantaloupe, May as Well Have a Wedding," "Shish Kabobs-Stick 'em and Lick 'em" and "Headline: Killer Artie Chokes Three for a Dollar." The Roths wrap up each with a "bottom line" for guys, reiterating the message of the section in a few sentences.

While the book's humor is geared toward men, specifically the "potty jokes" and innuendos, Karen said, there are lessons for everyone.

The Roths easily list off what they consider to be the simpler takeaways from the book: Artificial sweeteners and soy can be harmful; charring meat when grilling it puts carcinogens on the meat; pineapple can help food digest; and vitamin D reduces the risk of cancer.

"I want to educate people, but I don't want to scare them and tell them they have no other choices," Karen said.

Steve likes to say he married a "practical nutritionist," so, for him, the transition into a healthier lifestyle hasn't been too difficult.

He now drinks coconut milk and has traded his lunch of sandwiches or frozen food for salads loaded with chunks of meat, seeds and nuts. Instead of going out for dinner or snacking on crackers, he eats meals Karen prepares in the crock pot.

The Roths live in California, where there's an abundance of fresh produce, but they said switching to more nutritious eating is doable anywhere. Karen's mother was able to find many of the products they like -- such as coconut milk and gluten-free bread -- in Kroger in West Virginia, Karen said.

And in a state like West Virginia, where residents are faced with major health challenges, making a few changes can help people live longer, enjoy their time with their families and be sick less often, Karen said.

Now that the book is in print, next up for the Roths is marketing it. They're hoping to get on some television shows -- Dr. Oz and "The Daily Show," in particular. There might be a part two of the book eventually, and they're also contemplating some TV spin-offs.

The Roths said they hope their book provides readers with information so they can make smart choices about foods, medications and body products.

"It really is empowering when you read a book like this and go, 'OK, now I get it,'" Steve said. "And when you make some changes, it makes you feel good."

Reach Alison Matas at alison.matas@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5100.


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