Guest Author - Angela Thornton-Millard
Slimmer - The New Mediterranean Way to Lose Weight, written by Harry Papas, was published in June 2012. Papas is a Greek dietician and founder of the Health and Diet Centre in Athens, Greece. His interest in diet and weight-loss is personal as he used the methods and foods described in Slimmer to lose the 110 pounds he gained during his freshman year in college.
Slimmer is not just another diet book. It combines a diet plan with recipes and, maybe most importantly, psychology. Papas recognizes that, for most people with weight issues, successful lifestyle changes require not only changing what you eat, but changing how you think. The author recognizes that most of us have an unhealthy relationship with food and also an unhealthy view of ourselves. Thus, he provides several short quotes to meditate on providing inspiration for the dieter to view food in a different way and increase self-esteem.
The diet portion of the book is based on the Mediterranean diet and the findings of the Seven Countries Study from the 1960's. It emphasizes the use of fresh fruits and vegetables, lean protein, whole grains, dairy products, olive oil, wine and vinegar. Unlike many diet plans, Slimmer also emphasizes the importance of the Mediterranean lifestyle including physical activity, exposure to sunlight, slower living and quality relationships. One unique aspect of Slimmer is the Happy Moments. Each day you get a Happy Moment to enjoy a small indulgence such as a piece of chocolate, a small alcoholic drink or a medium cookie. The key is to anticipate your Happy Moment and savor whatever special food you choose. The plan also allows for Free Days when the dieter can have a favorite food such as a hamburger or even fried chicken within certain parameters.
The diet plan itself is very specific. It will appeal to people who need or want a lot of structure in a diet plan. The plan provides three three-week cycles of meal plans. It includes all the recipes to make the meals as well. The recipes include meals such as Summer Vegetable Risotto with Chicken, Spicy Sautéed Veal Chop and Whole Wheat Baguette Pizza. The recipes have easy-to-follow instructions and, for the most part, utilize ingredients that should be easy to find in your local grocery store. The author does a great job of making use of leftovers from supper as a meal for the next day's lunch. The plan does allow for some substitutions, but it is probably not the diet plan for someone who needs a lot of flexibility in food choices. While the author provides some replacement ideas, this diet plan is probably not for individuals with dairy sensitivities as many of the recipes rely on Greek yogurt or other forms of dairy.
If you are willing to cook a variety of foods and are ready to change your relationship with food, this diet plan is a great place to start. Considering the detailed menu plans, the recipes, inspirational content and detailed index contained in the 244-page book, it is a bargain with a list price of $26.95.
I received a complimentary review copy of this book.
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