The Sonoma Diet

So I found The Sonoma Diet, by Dr. Connie Guttersen, at Goodwill yesterday.  I went through a phase a while ago where I did a LOT of French cooking and totally wished I lived in Provence, so of COURSE the cover of this book appealed to me.  The Sonoma Diet is an “eating lifestyle” inspired by sun-drenched vineyards, embracing simple flavorful meals of vegetables, lean meats, and whole grains ~ a Mediterranean diet.  Really, we already pretty much eat this way, but the book has a meal plan and is about 50% recipes, so it’ll be fun to just follow it.  The tagline on the cover says “trimmer waist, better health in just 10 days!” ~ that’s after the phase one stage of the actual diet, I suppose…  The diet (if you were dieting….  we’re just EATING) is divided into 3 phases.  In the first phase the focus is removing sugar, processed or not, so you aren’t supposed to have fruit and certain vegetables are on the do not fly list…  But it’s pretty straight forward, there’s a list of phase 1 veggies, lean meats, acceptable fats ~ especially olive oil, and whole grains.  But even better, there’s a complete meal plan, followed by all the recipes.  They haven’t gone so far as to prepare the shopping list, but that was pretty easy to compile – no weird ingredients, everything is easy to find, though I’m guessing at how many red peppers I could possibly eat in a one-week period – according to the recipes, A LOT…. The first phase is just for 10 days – sugar detox and rapid weight loss if that’s what you’re after. Phase 2 allows the addition of fruits and power food berries, some of the no-fly veggies, and this is where one would just stay until goal weight was reached.  Then in Phase 3  (keeping in mind I haven’t read the whole book yet, just the beginning) you add some of the fats that were restricted, butter, bacon…. Maybe there’s never any bacon…  But that’s pretty unrealistic…  ANYWAY, by phase 3, you’ve attained your goal weight, you’ve eliminated sugar cravings and only have occasional sugary treats, have replaced refined flour products with whole grains, and have eliminated hydrogenated and, for the most part, saturated fats.   Part of the point of this style of eating is to savor amazing, healthy food.  Too often the way we’re living our lives at high stress, high speed, and yet high LAZINESS, results in quick, shoddy food choices, scarfed in a hurry because we’re starving.  I think taking the time to buy nice whole, unprocessed foods, and then taking the time to actually cook with them ~ finally leading to savoring them, is so much better!

SO I think I love this book, and I think I love the recipes.  We’re actually going to follow the 10 day phase 1 plan starting tomorrow (though I’m going to keep having Shakeology for breakfast), I’ll keep posting about it and about the recipes.  Tonight we had lemon-garlic pork chops and a salad topped with lemony vinaigrette dressing and feta cheese. It was like ambrosia! I’m not sure why we ever BUY salad dressing, because making it at home is SO MUCH YUMMIER….

Lemony Vinaigrette

  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped shallots (I used chives from the garden)
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 1 clove garlic (squished through the press)
  • 3 tbsp EV olive oil
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh herbs (I used parsley and thyme from the garden)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper

I put all the ingredients into a jar, capped it, and shook.  This is a tangy, wonderful, magical dressing.  I tossed it with a mixed salad with spinach, romaine lettuce, parsley, tomatoes, radishes, green pepper, and feta – it was fantastic!

The pork chops were cooked on the barbeque, but here’s the recipe for the marinade:

Lemon-garlic pork chops

  • 1/4 cup EVOO
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp fresh tarragon (didn’t have it, used basil and dill instead)
  • 4 cloves garlic (squished through the press)
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

I mixed all the ingredients together in a bowl and turned the chops every 10 minutes or so for about an hour, then drizzled the remaining mainade over the meat as it cooked on the grill.

The whole meal was delicious and totally simple!



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