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The California Wine Country Diet

The Indulgent Way to Manage Your Weight

by Haven Logan, Ph.D.


When the publishers of The California Wine Country Diet: The Indulgent Way to Manage Your Weight approached us for a review of this book, they apparently knew the way the bacon hangs here, because they said, "we don't suppose you regularly cover diet books, but here, finally, is a diet that includes wine as an integral part."

We don't "do" diet books. We don't believe in diets. We're members of Slow Food and the American Institute of Wine & Food, and we don't throw our pennies into the $40 billion which, according to the National Eating Disorders Association, Americans waste annually on dieting and diet-related products in the battle against the bulge — nearly the sum the U.S. Federal Government allots for education each year.

If you've never heard of author Haven Logan, Ph.D., don't worry; neither had we. But you'll most likely know chef John Ash, who wrote the foreword and Joanne Weir, who says she "can really identify with this book." That's because The California Wine Country Diet teaches you how moderation doesn't have to be a struggle." While Logan lays down a very concrete "Wheel of Weight-Management," her formula boils down to this: cook seasonally, buy locally, eat consciously and drink wine daily. If you know the Mediterranean diet pyramid, you'll be on familiar territory, as The California Wine Country Diet borrows from the best of it.

Recipes come from California's wine growing areas, and include the likes of Polenta and Grilled Vegetable Napoleons with Ricotta Salata; Strawberry Gazpacho from Manresa restaurant; Roasted Carrot Soup, Grilled Rosemary-Skewered Scallops and English Pea and Toasted Cumin salad from bouchon. The recipes, however, are secondary to what we deem the "psychological approach." Logan addresses important factors for success like how to up the pleasure quotient and whether your conscious self and "basic" self are in agreement or conflict over managing your weight and health. She has you observing the spaces in which you prepare meals, your work, how long your commute is, your support system and yes, sorry to say, your exercise habits. Rather than jumping right onto the next diet bandwagon, Logan has you take a good, hard, objective look at yourself.

Reviewed by Sylvie Greil

 

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