The influence on popular culture of Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code should not be underestimated. When the Atkins diet decimated baker Stephen Lanzalotta's business, he decided to fight back. He's written a cookbook based on the mathematical principles of the Golden Ratio, a formula used by Leonardo Da Vinci. The Golden Ratio was featured prominently in The Da Vinci Code.
Stephen Lanzalotta created what he called the "Da Vinci Diet" in response to the decline in bread consumption brought on by the popularity of the Atkins Diet. The diet consists mostly of Mediterranean foods, including bread, fish, cheese, vegetables, meat, nuts and wine.
He signed a deal last year with Warner Books, a division of Time Warner Book Group, that included a six-figure advance.
Warner announced this week that the book, The Diet Code: Revolutionary Weight-Loss Secrets From Da Vinci and The Golden Ratio, will be the first in its new line of books called Warner Wellness, which will focus on health, fitness, relationships and similar topics. The book is scheduled for release in April 2006.
The diet is based on the Golden Ratio or Phi, a mathematical value that was used to build the pyramids and has since been found to exist most everywhere in nature. Da Vinci is said to have used the Golden Ratio to proportion the human figures in his paintings — which is how it found its way into Dan Brown’s hugely popular novel.
"The basic premise is most universal patterns are based on the Golden Ratio, including our bodies," Lanzalotta said Thursday in his bakery-restaurant, Sophia’s.
His biggest sellers are now combination plates — typically bread or polenta, cheese, olives and braised chard or Italian coleslaw — featuring the basic mix of his diet: 20 percent protein, 52 percent carbohydrates and 28 percent fat.
Lanzalotta said his dietary regimen has helped him maintain a fit 160 pounds without giving up on the foods he loves.
This diet book has what has to be the best tagline we've seen in awhile: "Eat bread, drink wine and lose weight." Works for us.