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The Sonoma Diet
by Dr. Connie Guttersen

sonoma diet connie guttersen Have you ever read a diet book that made you hungry? Flip through the The Sonoma Diet and yummy recipes like "Mediterranean Tuna and Caper Salad" and "Szechwan Shrimp" practically have "eat me!" written all over their pages. This diet approach is a cross between the Mediterranean Diet and South Beach, with a northern California flair tossed in. It makes for meals that are both healthy and downright sensual. And yes, you can have that glass of wine with dinner.

As with every diet, there's a price to pay, however. In this case, you have to give up your addiction to sugar and packaged convenience foods. In fact, the first 10 days of this diet (Wave 1) are downright Spartan about the sweet stuff. In order to cure you of your sugar addiction altogether, you don't even get to have fruit, and artificial sweeteners are to be avoided too. If you can manage to make it through (and you can — just keep telling yourself, "It's only 10 days"), you'll be rewarded with greatly lessened sugar cravings and a wider selection of foods, including a variety of fruits, in "Wave 2." The "Wave 2" part of the diet is where you'll spend most of your weight loss time, while "Wave 3" is maintenance.

The progression — draconian measures, actual diet and The Rest of Your Life — is a pretty typical diet pattern. What gives The Sonoma Diet its own flavor is its focus on fresh, whole foods (don't expect to see "Sonoma Diet" meal replacement bars at the store), and portion control (your meals should fit on plates that are slightly smaller than normal in size, with the largest portion devoted to vegetables). The diet is also a bit time consuming (you should enjoy cooking) and somewhat high end (fresh foods cost more than junk in boxes). But the reward is learning to really savor your meals. The dishes in this book are based around taste as much as they are low calorie content. So you lose pounds and gain a new appreciation for what you put in your mouth.

Yes, the Sonoma Diet is more trouble than many other diets out there. But before you reach for that prepackaged meal replacement, ask yourself: "What would I really rather have — a chalky, faux-vanilla protein shake or Garlic-Mustard Steak?" The answer should be pretty obvious.

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