We’ve all heard by now about the benefits of the Mediterranean diet, with its abundance of fresh fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, lean proteins and whole grains. The Sonoma Diet is simply a new twist on the old, adding some of the touches of California wine country cuisine to the traditional Mediterranean fare of foods high in flavor, nutrition and satisfaction.
Author Dr. Connie Guttersen, a nutrition expert who lives in the beautiful California wine country herself, puts together an easy to follow plan of eating and health habits that won’t tax your system, even as it lets you shed pounds. Basically, the idea is to consume food slowly and pleasurably, and to eat the right power foods, such as blueberries and broccoli and almonds and several others that are sure to get you feeling healthier in no time. The plan comes in waves, with the first of three waves the most strict, then the next wave allowing more food groups and types, and finally a third wave to keep your weight in check and on track.
Whole-grain breads are allowed, as are healthy carbs, something most low carb dieters may find worth trading their own diets in for. Even a glass of wine is suggested, of course for the health benefits, and yes, exercise is a must if you want to keep off the weight over time.
The book includes dozens of great Sonoma-style recipes, many that look quite easy to make, and also includes a tear-out guide to which foods are allowable on each wave of the plan. The one thing I do wish the author had done more of is provide more detailed research into the actual benefits of eating this way, as books by Dr. Atkins often do. The Atkins diet may be more extreme, but he really knew how to drive home his points with tons of research to back it up. I would have liked more of that here.
Ultimately, this diet is very similar to many other Mediterranean-inspired eating plans already on the bookshelves, but again with a nice California wine country attitude, especially towards the way foods are enjoyed in a slower, more relaxed manner, allowing you to feel full when you really are full. And when was the last time you really slowed down long enough to actually taste what you were eating? That step alone might bring about some weight loss. Combined with the rest of this common sense plan, you won’t just lose weight, you’ll gain better health.