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360 of 371 people found the following review helpful
on March 31, 2007
My husband and I have done them all -- Atkins, South Beach, etc. but this one by far is the best diet. What's not to like - you're eating very very healthy!!!! The recipes in this book are great! There was not one recipe that we did not like. My husband, who hates to each fish, now eats it at least 3 to 4 times a week. He's lost 10 pounds and feels great. There is a two week beginner diet plan and then the maintenance plan which a lot of the other books did not have. I recommend this diet and most specifically this book to EVERYONE who wants a good healthy diet.
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244 of 254 people found the following review helpful
on October 17, 2007
I bought this book because I wanted to try out a healthier eating style - I wasn't too much for salads and vegetables or fish before.... but the text of the book is well written and very convincing, the recipes are very good and easy enough to make - and to experiment with altering them - and best of all, I feel satisfied when I eat, I've lost 8 lbs in 2 weeks (1/4 of my goal) and no more digestive upsets. My sister just had her gallbladder out for the same symptoms I had just started having and they went away completely. I can't recommend it enough! I bought two other books but this was my favorite for the text part and recipes.
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193 of 213 people found the following review helpful
on August 13, 2006
I've been on just about every diet known to womankind and have struggled with my weight since childhood. I got interested in Mediterranean cuisine after being stationed in Sicily for 2 years and Spain for 3 while in the US Navy.

What I love about this book is the program is so easy. There are menu suggestions, but you really don't need to follow these to the letter. Grocery shopping is so much easier because you can follow the plan with what is available.

Only thing is there are still questions - like what if you finish the two week initial stage and are not at goal yet, do you keep on doing the same thing or begin transitioning?

All in all, I'm happy with the program. Only wish I could contact the author with further questions.
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96 of 106 people found the following review helpful
on May 13, 2009
I've had the book for 3 weeks, and every single recipe I've made has been fantastic. I've always hated to cook in the past, because every time I tried to make something, the results just didn't seem worth the time and effort. I actually look forward to cooking now. I feel like I finally learned how to cook food that I actually want to eat!

It was also very difficult for me to cook because I'm what is known as a pescetarian. I don't eat red meat or poultry, but I still eat fish and dairy. There aren't a lot of cookbooks out there for pescatarians, but this book is great because the majority of the recipes are for veggies, beans and fish/shellfish. Perfect! There are also some poultry and red meat recipes as well. My husband loves the Balsamic Chicken.

The diet is basically a lot of fish, veggies and beans. The only fat is olive oil, no butter or vegetable oils. There's only a minimal amount of bread/pasta, and whole grains are encouraged. No sweets, but lots of fresh fruit. It seems like a very heart-healthy diet. It's also a great diet for anyone with IBS, I notice my symptoms have diminished greatly since being on it.

As far as the recipes, the tuna salad using olive oil and vinegar instead of mayo is a revelation, and I don't think I could ever go back to the mayo version again. I made the Shrimp Oreganata, along with the Baked Eggplant and Zucchini for my mom when she was visiting. She's always been an excellent cook, and she said it was the best meal she'd had in a really long time, and raved about it the whole week she was here. I made a lot of meals from the book while she was here, and she liked everything so much, I bought her a copy.

I haven't lost any weight yet, but I haven't strictly adhered to the diet, either. I guess you can say I skipped the first two weeks strict part of the diet and went straight into the maintenance phase. But even if I never lose a single pound, I'm still very happy I bought this book. The recipes are simple, wholesome, healthy, and most importantly, delicious.
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80 of 88 people found the following review helpful
on September 14, 2007
Started following the diet as outlined in this book three weeks ago. I've lost 13 lbs. and my wife has lost 15! The recipies are fantastic. And this is coming from someone who LOVES food. You're not actually dieting, just eating better. It's healthy and was actually recommended to me by a cardiologist.
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34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
on November 24, 2012
I have been on the 2-week prescription for 12 days and have lost 6 pds. That is even through the Thanksgiving holiday this week. I am impressed by the health benefits. My blood sugar is stable for hours and junk food no longer calls my name! I am motivated to continue because I am having such great results. I had high energy really kick in near the end of the first week and I've only been doing 30 min of moderate exercise every day. The olive oil truly made the difference for me. I used to eat diet salads with no-fat dressing - never again! There is a satisfaction that seems to really carry me through cravings and I attribute it to the regular use of olive oil.

I am staying on the 2-week prescription until I lose the remaining 20 pds. I will definitely give an update. The plan is so simple that I had it memorized on the first day. Thank you, Doctor! This was very easy for me to customize for myself.

Update at 4 Weeks: 10 pounds gone , over a 3rd of my goal! I even took some meals off when I finally had hormonal cravings. I decided it would be better to give in a little to cravings than to be a martyr and ultimately binge. So I enjoyed adding modest portions of spaghetti with ground beef, fruit, cheese, butter, wine, nuts, extra bread and my favorite coconut cupcake for a few days. I only gained 1 1/2 and lost it within 2 days plus more after I got back on track this last week. Understanding that I can really make progress when I'm not hormonal while maintaining (which I hope I can get better at with practice) while I am has been a wonderful discovery! I also figure that the time off balances my body because I am on the restricted part of the diet - so I feel good about having a little fruit and nuts for health. I feel so healthy and have been enjoying caviar with my sardines (buy good quality, tender sardines in olive oil). I still have a little soy or almond milk in my coffee. I love this 'diet' and will continue! 10 pounds in a month is amazing for me - It took me more than double the time to do this on another diet that was much more complicated to follow. I must have been born to eat this way.

Update at 6 Weeks: Halfway to my goal weight. It was incredible to go shopping this week and fit loosely into size 10 pants when I was a tight 14 only 6 weeks ago. If I take an occasional day or two off (which I did for Christmas and blissfully enjoyed all the usual treats), I just go back to the diet 100% and the weight starts dropping again. So healthy, too! I've never been able to take days off and get back on track so easily. No more blood sugar crashes, even on off days has made me a believer. My rings have been loose for the entire 6 weeks, also.

Update at almost 12 Weeks: My goal weight is in sight (10 lbs to go)! I got some butter-flavored olive oil that I love on toast every morning. I try to stay on the strict part for several days in a row and then I maintain easily in-between. I have had to overhaul my clothes and have given a lot to Goodwill. I am back in small tops and my size 10 jeans are sagging now, so it's time to go shopping for 8's. I reread the book from time to time for motivation. It's been 12 weeks, but I won't hit 3 months until Feb. 12. I am so excited that I might be at my goal weight by then. It's not that the diet is hard, but you can diet, enjoy your food, and not be starving to lose weight. I'm pretty resistant to weight loss and have to actively be on the prescription part to make progress while others can lose in the maintenance phase. It works for me like nothing else ever has!

Update 20 weeks (Mid-Nov to late March 2013): I am still plugging away and it's going well. I am really getting trim and have lost about 18 lbs with 7 to go! I gained 1 1/2 last weekend eating cookies, but I don't mind. Lost it fast and painlessly in two strict prescription days of fish, chicken, eggs and vegetables (and my favorite morning toast with butter-flavored olive oil). I feel like I have finally found something that works for me for life. Life is a bit up and down and this diet works well with that. I can have an 'off' meal or two and not gain a thing most times. The cookies were a special treat and the author says he sometimes likes to indulge also. If I'm not strict, I maintain, if I indulge, I might gain a tiny bit. Definitely a loose sz 8 now in pants. Something that helped motivate me recently was the 'pause button' idea (some new book out that I saw in a news article). It helped me get a few strict days in a row, because I don't lose unless I am strict. Sorry if there is repeated information in my updates, but I truly feel and look amazingly healthy. My doctor is very happy!

Mid-April 2013 - Cholesterol is down 36 points to 199! Need to buy nearly a new wardrobe for this summer.

End of Oct. 2013 Will be a year in a couple of weeks. Have started showing people my driver's license picture recently and they are shocked by the change. Didn't matter if they knew me last year or not, it is a HUGE improvement. I alternate between strict days and then relaxed days. If I go way off I get stomach aches and I go right back to the Mediterranean Prescription to feel better.
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41 of 45 people found the following review helpful
on December 25, 2007
This is simply an outstanding book, the recipe's are fantastic, the advice outstanding.

I would advice (as the author does) that you try all recipes, even if you think they don't sound all that good. We've found that all of them are quite tasty, and easy to make.

I even bought this book for others in my family, and they love it too!
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163 of 193 people found the following review helpful
on February 5, 2013
I've been eating in a Mediterranean-type way for years, and it is truly one of the healthiest and best-studied ways of eating in the world. I've enjoyed many health benefits from this diet, and I'll never return to the SAD diet. Therefore, I'm not giving this book only three stars because it's a bad book. It's a decent book on healthful eating in general. Yet, I had a few problems that simply annoyed me too much for me to even consider a four-star rating.

1. The author bases most of his claims of the health benefits of the Mediterranean diet on studies done in Crete. This is fine for the most part, as the diets of Sicily and Crete are similar (though Greece in general has a lot of healthful influence from the Near East missing from the Italian diet). However, when the two diets differ (such as in the amount of fish/meat eaten), he sides with Sicily for no good reason, it seems, other than cultural bias. The traditional Cretan diet used meat rarely and almost only as as a seasoning or during holidays. Fish was eaten a couple times per week. This author wants you to eat fish several times per week, which brings up the danger of mercury poisoning. It doesn't seem very scientific to use a study done in one area and then change it to fit your own personal ethnic history. There is nothing intrinsically superior about the Sicilian diet nor has any study been done to show that it is more healthful than the traditional Cretan diet.

2. This brings me to another point. The author seems dismissive of vegetarians, even claiming that he can offer no help to them despite the fact that the traditional Cretan and Greek diet (upon which most of the Mediterranean-diet studies are actually based) was widely, though not completely, vegetarian. As I said, fish was only eaten a couple times per week and meat was very rare. His diet is very meat-centric for a diet that is supposed to be based on lentils, vegetable, fruit, and whole grains. Mediterranean peoples eat an abundance of healthful, delicious legume-based dishes ... so it's rather easy to follow this diet and be vegetarian. Again, there seems to be some sort of bias here. Other Mediterranean-diet books seem to have no problem with showing how easy it is to eat Mediterranean regardless of how much meat you consume.

3. Perhaps the most annoying thing about the book is his, decidedly non-Mediterranean, two-week weight-loss diet. It's a high-protein, near low-carb, diet that has you avoid many of the healthful foods upon which the Mediterranean diet is based. This makes the book's title seem like a marketing ploy and the good doctor seem as if he's jumping on a bandwagon because of his ethnicity. I'd suggest skipping over the two-week diet, as it's not much different from any other high-protein diet that's popular today. You may not get enough fiber, and you'll be missing out on tons of nutrients found in fruits and nuts that aren't even present in large quantities in vegetables. Changing to the Mediterranean diet and lifestyle (which includes plenty of movement), is enough to kick start weight loss, and you'll be healthier for it in the long run.

4. The recipes are rather simple (which can be good) but also boring and very similar to one another. The true Mediterranean diet does not include meat or fish at every single meal, and if you do so you are not truly eating in a traditional Mediterranean-type way. Moreover, there are so many wonderful legume-based dishes that are wide-spread through that region of the world that you'll simply be missing out on if you just follow his recipe plans. I'd suggest buying "Vefa's Kitchen," which is, in my opinion, the absolutely best Greek cookbook translated into English out there. Maybe use the good doctor's recipes as a jumping off point and then expand from there. There are many great Mediterranean cookbooks out there, the one I suggested is simply the one I use the most (I have many).

Anyway, I'm only writing this review based on my own experience with the Mediterranean diet, which has been extremely positive. This diet does not, intrinsically, dismiss vegetarians or meat eaters. The ethnic diet is varied, for sure, but the studies done on the diet were very specific and could have different results even from one part of the Mediterranean to another. Still, it's a good book for those beginning their journey into Mediterranean-style eating.
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
on December 29, 2007
Every recipe I have done is a winner with my kids and I. They are very easy as well as good. We already have a favorite, the Sweet and Sour Red Snapper. I make this with different types of fish once a week. If I run across a recipe with an ingredient that I don't have, it is easy to substitute and unnoticible. Glad I ordered this one!
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on June 7, 2009
This book is fantastic! My husband's heart surgeon suggested it because it is easy to read and offers meal plans and recipes. The tips on eating out and how to stock your fridge and cupboard are excellent. Following the suggestions I've been able to make up my own recipes for the food available in our area. In one week my husband lost 5 pounds and one inch in all measurements, and I lost 7 pounds and one inch in all measurements. We're eating healthier and actually enjoying the food without being hungry.
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