The Complete Idiot’s Guide to the Mediterranean Diet

CIG's the Mediterranean DietHave you heard about the Mediterranean diet? It’s gotten quite a lot of buzz over the past few years and for many, its a great way to evolve the way you eat.

Whether you’ve heard about the Mediterranean diet or not, the Complete Idiot’s Guide to the Mediterranean Diet is a practical start-up guide that will not only introduce you to a new way of eating, but explain the many benefits of the foods often associated with this type of meal plan. Authors Kimberly A. Tessmer, RD, LD and Chef Stephanie Green RD, take you through the Mediterranian Diet step-by-step, leaving virtually no question unanswered or guideline unaddressed. And although you may be thinking that going into detail about this meal plan might be dull and dry, Tessmer and Green are able to deliver her message in away that will keep you turning the pages, hungry for more.

What is the Mediterranean Diet?

If you aren’t familiar with the Mediterranean Diet, you’ll be relieved to know that the first thing Tessmer and Green do is explain it so that everyone, no matter their nutrition knowledge or background can understand it. In fact, the whole book is easy to understand and consists of four parts that build upon each other as you read through their pages. The first section, Eating the Mediterranean Way, provides you with background information on the diet so you know what you are getting yourself into. It also explains how this “diet” really isn’t a diet at all, its a lifestyle. The second section, the Basics of the Mediterranean Diet, really gets into the nuts and bolts of the meal plan. But Tessman doesn’t leave you hanging, she shares helpful tips that she has learned along the way as a registered dietitian to really make the basics stick. In the third section, Treasures of the Mediterranean Diet, you’ll find the reasons behind why those foods mentioned in the previous sections really are good for you. If you’re a nutrition nerd like me, you’ll LOVE learning the why behind the reason. And lastly, part 4, Savor the Flavors of the Mediterranean, will provide you with the recipes you need to start incorporating the principles you’ve learned while reading this book. You’ll also find more information about the herbs and spices associated with this meal plan that will really enhance the flavor of your dishes. Okay, maybe this is my favorite part!

What I Love About this Book

There are so many great things about this read that it’s hard to keep it within the parameters of one post! The Complete Idiot’s Guide books typically prove to be a great read. They’re organized well and get straight to the point. If you’re busy like me, that might be exactly what you need in a book. It also serves well as a reference tool so that even after you’ve read the book, you can go back and find the information you need.

I also love that this book is written by dietitians. When you are looking for nutrition information, in a book-form or not, its important to know what sort of background your authors have. When your authors are dietitians, you know that they have  years of experience not only working with clients, but researching nutrition information that is pertinent to you. I also find that dietitians are more likely to provide a balanced message – nothing too extreme or fanatical. And yes, I am a little biased being a dietitian myself. :)

The recipes are another high point for me in this read. There are over 75 simple recipes for readers to try – from Spinach, Orange, and Feta Salad to Baklava. And each recipe comes with its own set of nutrition information so you know what’s in the food you are eating. If this is your first time experimenting with some of the foods recommended through this meal plan, this is really a great place to start.

What I Didn’t Love About this Book

There really isn’t much that I didn’t love about this book. I guess I would have preferred that the word “diet” wasn’t in the title, but often books tend to sell a bit better when it is. Why is that? I also think that if you are already familiar with the Mediterranean Diet that this book might not really present anything new to you. That being said, its still a great refresher for even the most experienced Mediterranean meal plan follower and definitely a great starting point for a beginner.

Have you read this book? What did you think? 

The Girl Behind the Plate,

Disclaimer/Disclosure: We were provided with a free copy of the Complete Idiot’s Guide to the Mediterranean Diet for our review. We were not financially compensated to write this post and all opinions are Kati’s alone. We just thought you should know. For full disclaimer and disclosure information, please visit our legal page


  1. says

    I myself is following a Mediterranean diet, however I only know very few about it. It was just introduced to me by my friend and the only reason I followed this diet is because I want to lose weight, and it did help me a lot! I am interested in buying this book that you just featured. I would love to learn more about this diet so I can also share the benefits and the goodness it will bring to its users.

    • aroundtheplate says

      Thanks for stopping by! If you get the book, I’d love to know what you think. I think you’ll enjoy it. :) ~Kati

  2. Rody says

    Hi to all, my name is Rody and i am representing a group of college student making a research on Mediterranean diet. Could you help us by responding to the flowing five questions.
    Thank you for your help, it will be much appreciated.

    Up to five words that come to mind when you hear (or read) the expression “Mediterranean Cuisine”

    Male Female
    20 -29
    30- 39
    40- 49
    50- 59
    70 & over

    Secondary education
    College/ university education
    Postgraduate studies
    Current place of domicile

    Have you ever travelled to a Mediterranean destination? YES NO

    Do you consider yourself to be ethnically of Mediterranean origin? YES NO