This article was originally featured in The 30 Second Wine Advisor's FoodLetter on Thursday, Dec. 14, 2006.

Wine Lover's Healthy Weight Loss Plan
Order "The Wine Lover's Healthy Weight Loss Plan" by Dr. Tedd Goldfinger and Lynn F. Nicholson from in paperback for $11.53, a 32 percent discount from the $16.95 list price.
Another diet book? Ho, hum!

A mighty yawn: That's my standard reaction to books about dieting and losing weight, an attitude that may help explain why I'll never again be able to use the trousers with the 28-inch waist that fit me so well when I was a slim young guy.

But today I'm looking with wide-awake attention at a new healthy-weight-loss book that's a hot ticket this holiday season: The Wine Lover's Healthy Weight Loss Plan," by Dr. Tedd Goldfinger and Lynn F. Nicholson, looks like my kind of diet plan. There's no finger-shaking, no didactic tut-tutting here, and no demands that food-loving gastronomes switch over to an abstemious regimen of black bread, water and sawdust.

Goldfinger, a cardiologist in Arizona, and Nicholson, a chef-instructor in Oregon, have teamed up on this intriguing approach to good living and a healthy lifestyle that operates on a few simple premises that I, for one, find appealing. Summing it up in my words, not theirs:

  • Follow the general principles of "The Mediterranean Diet," a culinary approach loosely based on the cuisine of Italy, Provence, Spain and the Mediterranean Rim, based on reasonable portions of fish and lean meat, lots of fruits and vegetables, healthy fats like olive oil, and the regular, moderate consumption of wine, especially red wine.
  • Eat wisely and well, but don't obsess about counting calories, food exchanges, long lists of forbidden ingredients, or the other no-nos and complications that make many diet plans difficult to follow and unpleasant to stick with for more than a short time.
  • Eat as advocates of "slow food" recommend: Savor your food, take your time at meals, don't gorge on dinner, give the flavors time and space to express themselves, and you'll find that you eat less and enjoy it more.
  • First, last and foremost, enjoy wine with dinner. Wine enhances flavors and increases your enjoyment; and in moderation, it's a healthy drink in its own right.

Not just a diet book, The Wine Lover's Healthy Weight Loss Plan incorporates clear, readable information about wine and health, nutrition and sensible eating, along with 100 recipes that I can't praise much more highly than to say that they remind me of my own recipes: International in nature with a distinct Mediterranean accent, made from fresh ingredients and presented in rational portions with sufficient but not excessive use of oils and fats, and designed to be compatible with wine. Most recipes, except for the desserts, are accompanied by a specific wine recommendation (largely but not entirely California wines) as well as more generic varietal suggestions as alternatives.

I can't guarantee that I'll go on this plan as a full-time thing, although I probably should. But I'll definitely be trying some of the recipes, and will report them here or on our FoodLovers Discussion Group when I do. A few that look particularly hard to resist: Sauteed duck breast with a mixed wild-mushroom and red-wine reduction sauce; Moroccan game hens with aromatic spices, dates and olives; herbal-scented Greek-style lamb shanks with orzo pasta and feta cheese, and grilled prawns wrapped in pancetta with lime and cilantro. If this is diet food, may I have some more?

You can purchase Dr. Tedd Goldfinger's and Lynn F. Nicholson's "The Wine Lover's Healthy Weight Loss Plan" from in in paperback for $11.53, a 32 percent discount from the $16.95 list price.
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