The diet is basically whole grains and fresh whole foods, based loosely on the Mediterranean way of eating. Shunned foods are saturated fats, sugar, and refined flour products. Red meat is ok, as long as it's lean and within the percentage of the entire meal. It's based on the latest information about nutrition, health, and weight loss. Portions are controlled and calculated for the best balance of protein, carbohydrates and fats. Low-fat and Low-carb diets upset that balance. Ten Power Foods are considered to be the backbone of the diet - Almonds, Bell Peppers, Blueberries, Broccoli, Grapes, Olive Oil, Spinach, Strawberries, Tomatoes, and Whole Grains.
The first 124 pages deal with the diet while the remainder of the book has 158 recipes and gives menus for Waves 1 and 2. 35 of the recipes are for Seasonings rubs, marinades, sauces, spreads, vinaigrettes, and dressings. Each recipe includes the time it takes to prep, start to finish, cook or bake; the # of servings; and nutritional info. The ingredient list is in bold with the recipe in a smaller font which might be hard to read for some.
Some recipes do include the use of low-fat, reduced-fat or non-fat commercial products (which I'm trying to get away from), but most just take advantage of fresh ingredients (which is what I was looking for), including fresh herbs. So, I guess I better follow through with my plans for an herb garden! I also noticed they use kosher salt if salt is called for in a recipe.
One thing I wish they had included with the recipes is the season for the vegetables. Since they are in California, most ingredients are available year-round to them (and to me), but winter tomatoes and zucchinis just don't taste the same as when they are in season.
The recipes, at first glance, sound gourmet, but after reading them through, they seem fairly simple. The list of ingredients on some of the recipes look daunting until you realize that half of the ingredients are herbs or seasonings.
I've tried one recipe so far, Bistro Chicken with Garlic, and got rave reviews from my husband. will be trying more.
Seemed like a good diet, but I couldn't get into it, was starving, going back to low carb.
The Sonoma Diet is intriguing because much of the food it encourages is food I already eat on a regular bases. Yet, I have the sneaking suspicion that it's nowhere near as easy as it sounds. I don't doubt that it works, but who wants to give up sugar, wine and cheese for ten days? I will however, incorporate some of these practices and recipes into my daily routine. This book (we have the hardcover & audio version) covers all the bases, provides helpful nutritional insight and motivates me to improve my diet (just in time for the new year). Unfortunately, I don't have the willpower to commit to any diet 100%, but doing half a diet (along with exercise) is better than nothing at all.