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The MediterrAsian Way: A Cookbook and Guide to Health, Weight Loss, and Longevity, Combining the Best Features of Mediterranean and Asian Diets Hardcover – March 6, 2007

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The MediterrAsian Way: A Cookbook and Guide to Health, Weight Loss, and Longevity, Combining the Best Features of Mediterranean and Asian Diets + The Mediterranean Prescription: Meal Plans and Recipes to Help You Stay Slim and Healthy for the Rest of Your Life
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (March 6, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470045582
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470045589
  • Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 1.1 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (63 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #260,431 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

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. (Mar.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


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

Customer Reviews

Easy and delicious recipes.
Colleen M. Kinevey
The Mediterrasian Way is not just a recipe book, it's a comprehensive lifestyle guide to change how you view food and how you eat.
K. Richardson
We love food and love to eat so we like to try new things.
mike mcdonald

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

93 of 95 people found the following review helpful By Emily on April 5, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As a fan of the Mediterrasian website and its recipes, I was eager to check out the accompanying book upon its release. While it's referred to on the website as an "extension of the website," it's definitely a book that can stand alone.

The book is wonderful for the recipes alone, but I also found the first half of the book, which provided some background information, reasoning and research behind the Mediterrasian lifestyle, to be interesting reading. It's presented in a non-stuffy, laid back and friendly way, and perfect for people who aren't necessarily looking for a "diet" or structured plan, but some simple ways to live well through food choices and lifestyle.

The Asian and Mediterranean inspired recipes are easy to follow in addition to being delicious. Also, it's a great cookbook for someone who doesn't eat a lot of red meat...it's chock full of seafood and poultry recipes.

Since purchasing this book, I've ordered additional copies for friends and family and will probably order more. Thanks, Ric and Trudy!
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72 of 77 people found the following review helpful By Literary Mom on July 28, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It just makes sense. The most delicious food is the most healthful. A few years ago it dawned on me that all my favorite cuisines were either from the Mediterranean or Asian regions. I daydreamed about a "MediterrAsian" restaurant, thinking what a catchy name I had cleverly invented. Surely no one else would ever join such different styles of food together. Or would they? I plunked "mediterrasian" into a search engine and was transported to a place even better than my imaginary restaurant.

Ric and Trudy's website was like an oasis to me. All my life I had never had to worry about my weight, but that changed when I became pregnant at age 29. By the time I found their website, number two was on the way and my metabolism wasn't keeping up. Dieting was completely foreign to me, and being a foodie who loved cooking, I dreaded the idea of having to give up fats like cheese, olives and avocados, or carbs like pasta, potatoes, and fresh fruits. All the popular diet programs either consisted of calorie counting (i.e. small portions of reduced fat or non-fat foods) or of eliminating carbs and eating lots of protein. My dream diet was more along the lines of French Women Don't Get Fat meets Yan Can Cook, but I didn't know how to translate that to every day life, or if it would even be healthy. Joining a gym sounded about as appealing as going to the dentist. Formal exercise and sports were not this bookworm's cup of tea.

So when the Mediterrasian Way presented that third, balanced option, it simply felt right...and had the scientific basis to back it up--not just from recent times, but going back centuries.
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33 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Kelly Jadon on September 26, 2008
Format: Hardcover
From: [...]

Book Review: The Mediterrasian Way: A Cookbook and Guide to Health, Weight Loss, and Longevity, Combining the Best Features of Mediterranean and Asian Diets and Lifestyles

Authors Ric Watson and Trudy Thelander (Wiley '07)

Why is it that members of some specific cultures live long healthy lives? Seeking to answer this question, from Down Under comes a phenomenal first book by New Zealanders Ric Watson and Trudy Thelander--The Mediterrasian Way. It is a model of how to live healthily in the modern world using the time-tested cuisines and lifestyles of the Mediterraneans and Asians.

The Mediterrasian Way incorporates the most recent studies regarding nutrition, diet, exercise, and relaxation. Over 150 delicious recipes and beautiful photos of prepared dishes are included. A 14-day meal plan and the MediterrAsian.com website tie-in are also lifestyle change boosters.

Writing from his own experience, author Ric Watson explains how his tragic motorcycle accident altered his physical well being. The road to recovery was long and difficult, but by changing his diet from the standard meat and potatoes to traditional Mediterranean meals, he began to regain his health when doctors believed it was impossible.

The daughter of physicians, Trudy Thelander recalls her family relationship with her sister-in-law, a Chinese-Malaysian, who taught the author her own Asian cooking. Finding similarities between the two cultures, Ric and Trudy researched the basic elements of these 5,000 year old lifestyles. Both cultures include daily physical activity, a base diet of whole grain carbohydrates, fruits, beans, legumes, nuts, olive or vegetable oils, and vegetables. Both consume daily water, tea, and wine in moderation.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By MichClay on August 28, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Mediterrasian cooking is something I've been searching for for a long time. Like Ric says in his author's bio, I was confused about what to eat. With all the news stories, articles and studies touting what is "good for you" and contradicting every other thing that you once thought was "good for you," I was deeply confused and ended up eating out a lot
-- fast and unhealthy food. I just felt off and knew there was another way. I also didn't want to cook for myself if all the recipes I ever found for "healthy cooking" were predominantly Western meals of baked chicken (boring), etc... and nothing with flare like the Asian food I love. Well, I'm writing this review now because I think this book and the [...] website deserve all the praise in the world. It might not work for everyone (I don't think any ONE thing is the solution for EVERYONE), but I think for most people, the concepts about eating and the recipes will leave you feeling great, as it's done for me and my family.

I was putting off writing a review until I tried the plan and recipes for a while and it's been about a month now and the results have been great. I'm not a great cook, but the recipes are fun and easy to make and has made me want to become a better cook altogether. Most of the recipes are really delicious and they feel healthy. I especially like the Greek Salad Pitas, Shrimp and Asparagus pasta, Shrimp Fried Rice and Minestrone soup. I never thought I could make Minestrone soup and have it taste sooo good! There have been a few misses, like the Tuna and Brocolli Pasta with Red Sauce. I think I'll have to try that one again, it might've been my fault it didn't turn out great because almost everything I've made from the site and book has been really tasty.
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