Dolce Diet Living Lean Review Part 1

I’ve been meaning to do a write  up for a while. I had the book for over a month.

I’m going to separate the review in 2 parts. The first is a review of the food and recipes. The second is a review of the exercise program(s). I haven’t started or even looked at the exercise part yet.

I think it’s important to note my goals, where I am, etc. as the book is primarily noticed in the MMA community/niche. I do no fight training. I’m just a guy who used to be athletic, but fell off (especially the last 5 or so years). I had been yo-yo’ing weight loss the last 2 years, relying primarily on cardio (jogging) and calorie restriction. Ultimately meeting a yearly demise during each winter.

This year I put things together perfectly. I restricted calories a little (set to lose 1.5 pounds a week), and did cardio regularly. The biggest difference this year is that I ate a million times healthier than I had in previous years. Including sticking to and further evolving my healthy living checklist, with help from my smoothie/juice breakfasts. This winter, instead of getting lazy, I’ve joined a gym and will focus on strength training and tone down the cardio (and also bring my weight loss/calorie intake to maintenance). I’ve been feeling great and it hasn’t been hard or a grind in any way.

Where Dolce Diet / Living Lean came in is when I felt at a loss for healthy food recipes, ideas, and alternatives. I should note that I was already seeing great success with my plan and goal progress before the book arrived. I bought the book primarily for the food/recipes.


  • It uses healthy “whole” foods.
  • The recipes are relatively easy to follow.
  • There is a good variety of foods/ingredients.
  • The recipes taste good, and I have been sticking to them. My wife likes them too. A huge help is having a partner in healthy eating and lifestyle.
  • The recipes are filling, and I have noticed that I don’t have hunger cravings at all when sticking to the whole foods he advocates.
  • Overall it has built and is strengthening a discipline of both eating whole and cooking and preparing my own (and household too) meals. And I’ve started to improvise and search for more recipes now that I have a solid “base” to work off from.

Not so good:

  • Recipe’s vary wildly with serving sizes. Some can feed 6 people, others just 1.  But after a few times around I’ve halved or doubled recipes accordingly.
  • Recipes lack some details e.g. “can of diced tomatoes” (what size can??) and type of bread rather than simply “bread”
  • The pantry list isn’t complete as some recipes call for items not on the list. It would be nice to have a “some recipes include” list to be more prepared.
  • There aren’t many recipes total (see actual count and breakdown below). I fear getting tired of some.

Overall I think the book is worth it. It’s definitely gotten me excited to cook. And cook with whole ingredients and uber healthily. Previously, I very rarely cooked anything (if you don’t count peanut butter and jelly and grilled cheese). The foods taste good, which means there is no sacrificing. When I was still jogging a lot, I really feel the foods gave me more usable energy. I was far less sluggish when running after introducing the foods into my diet. Also I’ve learned some things too, like cooking with grape seed, peanut, and coconut oils instead of olive oil because of their high smoke points.

Part II will come later as I am still in my first week of getting re-acclimated to weight lifting after years and years of not lifting. I need a few very light introduction weeks before I start lifting seriously. Judging by how sore I am right now, I think it’s a smart decision.

11/19/11:  As promised, here are some counts to the contents of the book:

  • The book is 163 pages, not including a couple pages of testimonials at the end.
  • The first 32 pages go into Dolce’s background, experiences, and the entire diet’s methodology.
  • There are 5 pages outlining a sample meal plan.
  • 3 pages of the diet basics and pantry lists.
  • 28 pages of recipes and snack ideas.
  • The remaining pages are devoted to workout principals, sample workout plans (lifting and cardio), and exercise movements.

As I mentioned earlier, I will detail the workout portion in another review. I haven’t started his workout plan yet, rather I’m sticking to my own for now.

As far as the diet part goes, here’s a breakdown:

  • There are 34 food recipes (not counting snack ideas and condiment recipes).
    • 5 breakfast
    • 11 lunch
    • 14 dinner
    • 2 snack
    • 2 juice
  • 6 condiment recipes (e.g. fresh berry syrup used on pancakes and french toast)
  • 5 snack ideas that I’m not including in recipes (e.g. toast smeared with avocado)