THE BOOK REPORT: The Gorgeously Green Diet

The Gorgeously Green Diet
By Sophie Uliano
(Dutton Adult)

Buy it at Amazon!

Perhaps the most clichéd New Year’s resolution is vowing to lose weight. Indeed, gyms have been profiting off our insecure body images for well over a decade. The difference now, however, is that instead of the vows to increase the amount of time devoted to “Jazzercize” or “spinning,” as in decades past, 2010 brings with it a renewed approach to wellness, that of the lighter footstep AND footprint.

The idea behind Sophie Uliano’s new book, The Gorgeously Green Diet, is true to this era of multitasking. Not only are readers beckoned by promises of weight loss and planet-saving, but we are additionally tempted by what appears to be the most necessary resolution of all: guaranteed money and time-savings to boot!

The most outdated part of Uliano’s book is that it is a book and not a podcast or wii-fit game. That being said, Uliano provides a complete arsenal of tips and tricks to enable even the least-green of goddesses the chance to realistically greenify her life.

Uliano sprinkles the first portion of her guide with inspirational tidbits about our eco-impact (“if every American used just one reusable tote for each shopping trip, we could save more than 60,000 trees”) and with ways to envision our improved fitness. The second part offers diet plans customized for women of all shapes, sizes and lifestyles (cleverly distinguished as various shades of green).

It is only slightly distressing that Uliano follows with a not-so-subtle suggestion that we all embrace veganhood. Sure, she acknowledges that it is simply not possible for everyone to give up meat, yet that effort is entirely contradicted with pretty floating text boxes that remind us of the pollution caused by Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations and “beefy facts” (her words!) including this fun one: “You could drive a small car twenty miles on the energy required to produce a single hamburger.” Hmm. To be fair. Uliano talks the same sort of talk about eggs, milk, oil, coffee, tea, pasta, cereal and soy protein isolate – only some of which might be staples in the average reader’s diet.

The lecture halts and Uliano eventually offers readers the eating plans to match each shade of green. Plans are followed by suggestions for dinner parties, dieting in-transit (beware of offensive comments lingering in the “Mexican restaurant” such as the suggestion that readers avoid ordering meat because “it’s unlikely to be good quality”). This section also incorporates chapters on “pantry purge,” “scouting it out” (finding healthy options in the local grocery), “saving money,” “from scratch,” and “your eco-kitchen” (how to make your kitchen more energy efficient and nontoxic).

Uliano also incorporates recipes for “basic ingredients,” including tomato sauce, bread, and crispy coconut and flax protein bars (a staple? Really?). Other chapters cover gardening, exercise (illustrated!), vitamins, “skin food” (for complexion), and “the truth about organic food.” The book concludes with a long list of recipes.

No question Uliano’s Gorgeously Green Diet is comprehensive and lives up to its promise of providing tools for saving money, the planet, and the reader’s health; that is, for the reader capable of reading the book in its entirety.

Jessica Stein

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