From Publishers Weekly
Watson and Thelander, creators of MediterrAsian.com, combine the sensible, down-to-earth principles of the Mediterranean diet with those of south and east Asia to create a blend that is about lifestyle as much as cuisine. Their concept is appealing, but the book is more wishful than convincing in delivery. It begins by "unlocking the secrets" of the two diets, examining both regions' nutritional pyramids and citing much research to bolster claims for their superiority, but many subsequent parts emphasize exercise, of both mind and body, with overly obvious suggestions like "dance to the beat" and "go for a scenic walk" for burning calories and "get a pet" and "visit the library" for combating stress. An outline of two weeks on the diet demonstrates Watson and Thelander's "MediterrAsian" balanced meals, heavy on grains and vegetables and sparing with meat and fats. This philosophy lends itself to one-dish meals, which many of the recipes are, from Lemony Tuna, Olive and Vegetable Pasta to Fragrant Chicken Curry. Unfortunately, few rise above their appearance of being stylistic approximations of such dishes as Grilled "Tuscan" Chicken or the inevitable "Greek" salad; the fused cuisine feels both more familiar and homogenous and less lively and life-changing in the way a new diet must be to achieve great results. B&w and color photos not seen by PW
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Much of this book is taken from the web site MediterrAsian.com, which Watson and Thelander created in 2004. Watson chronicles living through a horrific motorcycle accident that nearly killed him as a teenager in the 1980s; his recovery was spent living with an uncle and aunt in Britain who ate meals of pasta, beans, vegetables, rice, eggs, nuts, olive oil, and fruits. He then went to Australia, where he met Thelander, and together they started cooking and eating a diet of Mediterranean and Asian food. Their philosophy is not earth-shattering-eat wholesome food, be physically active, and make time for relaxation. Approximately half of the text is devoted to a discussion of this lifestyle, including suggestions for exercise and relaxation and sample menus. It appears that the authors are self-taught, but the book is sprinkled with results of scholarly studies, some of which are included in a bibliography. The rest of the work contains 150 recipes for pasta, stir-fries, pizza, soups, desserts, etc., which are simple and easy to prepare, with tomatoes, garlic, peppers, fish, chicken, and beans as the main ingredients. Recommended for libraries with patrons who are interested in a lifestyle not just a diet. --Christine Bulson, SUNY at Oneonta Lib. -- Library Journal, May 15, 2007