Sonoma offers latest `city' diet regimen

Healthy reading

March 17, 2006|By MARY BETH REGAN

The Sonoma Diet

By Connie Guttersen

Meredith Books/$24.95

First we had the Scarsdale Diet, named for a wealthy enclave outside Manhattan. Then, we had South Beach, named for a hip Miami hotspot. Now we have the Sonoma Diet, urging us to eat and live like Northern Californians.

It's almost amazing that a market exists for these city-centric diets. But it does.

This book, by Connie Guttersen, a registered dietitian and nutritional consultant to the Culinary Institute of America, has been climbing the national best-seller lists since it was released in late December.

It promises a trimmer waist in just 10 days by focusing on "power foods" such as almonds, broccoli, grapes and tomatoes.

Or, for those who like to name their diets after foods instead of cities, if Scarsdale is the "grapefruit diet" and South Beach is the "steak and butter diet," then Sonoma is the "olive oil diet."

The reason: It urges you to eat mostly veggies, drizzled with virgin olive oil.

On this diet, you follow two "waves" of restrictive eating to get your body off nasty stuff such as processed flour and white sugar. Gradually, you can add foods such as fruit, but you never return to your former unhealthy habits.

You will likely lose weight if you stick to this diet because it's healthier than what you are eating now. But it's hard to imagine that the Sonoma will retain its chic when the next hot eating plan - say the Schenectady Diet - comes out.

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