By Connie Guttersen, PhD, RD
Sterling Publishing Company (2010)
Reviewed by Vandana R. Sheth, RD, CDE
The New Sonoma Diet, inspired by a Coastal California way of eating, is all about simplicity, flavorful ingredients and the importance of enjoying food as part of a healthy lifestyle. It's a way of living that infuses you with health and energy, so you can feel great, look your best and do everything you’ve always wanted to do. It's a way of eating that treats meals as celebrations and encourages you to indulge in the healthy pleasures of delicious, mouthwatering foods. It's a way to lose weight quickly and permanently while, perhaps for the first time in your life, truly cherishing your meals.
Synopsis of the Diet Plan
The New Sonoma Diet is divided into three distinct "Waves." In Wave 1 (the first 10 days), the emphasis is on resetting your palate to avoid refined sugars, processed foods and include whole-grain breads/cereals, fruits, vegetables and lean protein. This is the phase where weight loss might be more rapid. Wave 2 is the main segment of the diet and includes more food choices. This is the phase at which you will remain until you reach your target weight. Wave 3 is the maintenance program of the diet and begins when you have achieved your target weight or other health goals. You'll continue to enjoy Sonoma-friendly foods as well as occasional indulgences such as snacks and desserts. The book provides specific plate-filling instructions, a list of foods from which to choose, recipes and suggested meal plans. The book provides detailed diet plans and menus appropriate for the different waves with the option of using the suggested menus or creating your own.
Interesting features include the New Sonoma Express quick meals and Sonoma Made Simple, time-saving kitchen strategies, a list of 12 power foods, recipe ideas for the family including gluten-free and on-the-go meals. The book also provides entertaining tips, including food-wine pairings and a pull-out guide for on-the-go eating and grocery shopping.
Nutritional Pros and Cons
A lot of the reasoning behind the book is scientifically based. I especially like the emphasis on wholesome, delicious and flavorful whole-grain foods, as well as the avoidance of refined/processed foods and sugars with portion control. Her book includes diet plans and menus with flexibility to create your own based upon set guidelines. The list of 12 power foods, tips on mindful eating, dining out and exercise are wonderful additions. Also, the New Sonoma Express quick meals and Sonoma Made Simple, with a “cook once, eat twice” concept and time-saving strategies make it very applicable to average reader. The pull-out, on-the-go dining and grocery shopping tool is helpful. Tips provided throughout the book are very useful.
On the negative side, the book does not address specific calorie/weight goals.
I would recommend The New Sonoma Diet. The fact that it incorporates healthy food choices, simple plate- or bowl-filling methods, meal plans/recipes and exercise tips will allow the average reader the flexibility and appropriate tools to achieve their goals.