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The Sonoma Diet


Would you like to make your meals a celebration of good taste? Do you wish losing weight didn't have to involve a sense of deprivation? If you're eager to enjoy nutritious, flavorful foods while trimming your waistline, The Sonoma Diet may be the right choice for you. The Sonoma Diet was designed by Connie Guttersen, a registered dietician who has worked as a nutrition consultant to the Culinary Institute of America. In addition, she has helped develop treatment plans for the medically obese. Her book was inspired by the traditional Mediterranean diet.

Discover the Power Foods

Unlike other popular diet plans, The Sonoma Diet doesn't deprive people of protein, fat, or carbohydrates. It stresses consuming the right balance of nutrients to improve overall health and increase your dietary satisfaction.

This plan is built around the concept of "power foods." Ms. Guttersen believes you'll lose weight by increasing your intake of:

  • Broccoli
  • Grapes
  • Blueberries
  • Almonds
  • Olive oil
  • Bell peppers
  • Whole grains
  • Tomatoes
  • Strawberries
  • Spinach

The recipes and meal plans in her book are built around these nutrient-rich foods. If you're a social drinker, you'll be pleased to learn that many meals can be enjoyed with a glass of wine.

Stop Counting Calories

This program does not require obsessive calorie counting. Ms. Guttersen stresses the key to weight loss is learning proper portion sizes. She recommends using a smaller plate to teach yourself which combinations of food are the most appropriate.

Three Main Components of the Diet

  • Wave 1: Dieters are instructed to purge their homes of all processed foods and consume a low-calorie diet of lean meat, certain vegetables, some grains, black coffee, and assorted herbs or spices for 10 days.
  • Wave 2: Dieters can gradually introduce foods such as fruit, honey, wine, and fat-free yogurt into their meal plans until they have reached their target weight.
  • Wave 3: Dieters can add indulgences such as soda, butter, and dark chocolate into their meals.

A Sample Recipe

Peachy Berry Cobbler

Serves: 8; Prep time: 35 min; Cook time: 15 min. This delicious recipe from The Sonoma Diet uses fresh fruit to provide sweetness without excess fat and calories. Prepare to indulge!


  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger or ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup cold water
  • 4 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons heat-stable granular sugar substitute or 2 tablespoons honey
  • 3 cups fresh or frozen unsweetened peach slices, peeled
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen unsweetened raspberries and/or blueberries
  • 1/3 cup low-fat yogurt, plain
  • 1 slightly beaten egg
  • Ground ginger or ground cinnamon (optional)


1. For topping, in a medium bowl stir together whole wheat pastry flour, baking powder, ginger or cinnamon, and kosher salt. Using a pastry blender, cut in oil until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Set aside.

2. For filling, in a large saucepan stir together the water and cornstarch until combined. Stir in sugar substitute or honey. Add peach slices. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Stir in raspberries and/or blueberries. Cook, stirring gently, until bubbly. Cover and keep hot while finishing topping.

3. To finish topping, in a small bowl stir together yogurt and egg. Add yogurt mixture to flour mixture, stirring just until moistened.

4. Divide filling among 8 6-ounce custard cups or 4 10- to 12-ounce casseroles. Drop the topping from a spoon onto the hot filling. Drop 1 mound into each custard cup or 2 mounds into each casserole. Place custard cups or casseroles on a baking sheet.

5. Bake in a 400°F oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into topping comes out clean. Cool slightly. If desired, sprinkle with additional ginger or cinnamon. Serve warm.

  • Note: To make one large cobbler, transfer hot filling to a 2-quart square baking dish. Drop topping from a spoon into 8 mounds on top of hot filling. Bake in a 400 F oven about 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into topping comes out clean.

Inspiration Behind the Diet

Along with the influence of the Mediterranean Diet, the inspiration behind the Sonoma Diet are the bountiful foods found in California's beautiful Sonoma County. Like many diets it is promoted as a lifestyle, and as such is a healthy approach to weight loss. To help you live that lifestyle, you can find more sample recipes at The Sonoma Diet website.

The Sonoma Diet