How to start the Mediterranean Diet

Mediterranean Salad with Beetroot, Lentils, Pear pieces

THE MEDITERRANEAN DIET is a traditional diet and a lifestyle inspired by the culinary habits of Greece, Italy, Spain, France, Malta and other countries bordering the Mediterranean sea. Scientists have found that the people living in these areas had very low heart disease rates, while their life expectancy was among the highest in the world. The secret of their amazing health and longevity was related to plant-based diet and unique culinary traditions typical for the Mediterranean region. Med Diet is The World’s Healthiest Diet according to various diet research and studies!  In this article, I’d like to share with you valuable info and tips on how to start the Mediterranean diet.       

MEDITERRANEAN DIET BENEFITS

Farfalle with Pesto Sauce and Cherry Tomatoes

The Mediterranean diet can help you:

–         Live a longer and healthier life

–         Lower risk of Heart Disease and High Blood Pressure

–         Prevent Asthma

–         Fight certain Cancers

–         Protect from Diabetes

–         Prevent Chronic Diseases

–         Keep Depression away

–         Safeguard from Alzheimer’s Disease

–         Ward off Parkinson’s Disease

–         Lose weight & keep fit

–         Etc.

Fresh Rosemary, Tomatoes, Garlic and Olive Oil

MED DIET FACTS

This is one of the best diets you can follow

-It is full of nutrient-rich, healthy food

– Keep in mind that getting used to this heart and overall- health diet can be beneficial to you especially if you stick with it.

-Couple it with exercise and you’re sure to get the best results that would last for a long time.

If you’ve decided the Mediterranean lifestyle is for you, it’s time to look at when to make the switch. There is no wrong or right time… The best thing to do is – to pick a date and stick to it. You should commit to working towards that goal.

HOW TO START THE MEDITERRANEAN DIET?

Lettuce salad with Eggs and Olives

FOLLOW THESE SIMPLE STEPS:

1/ INFORM YOURSELF/ LEARN MORE about the World healthiest diet (read more HERE…), its benefits, food that is considered healthy and food you should avoid, about meal plans, Mediterranean Lifestyle, etc. You can also have a look at some popular Mediterranean recipes….

Vegetables for Soup, Casserole inox, Kitchen Knife2/ CHOOSE YOUR 1-WEEK OR 2-WEEK DIET PLAN 

3/ MAKE A SHOPPING LIST & DO YOUR GROCERIES SHOPPING (according to selected diet plan). Have a look at my Free Grocery List Template…

4/ SET UP YOUR KITCHEN

  • IN THE PANTRY (beans, bread, canned seafood, cereals, dried fruit, garlic, herbs & spices, honey, nuts, oil, olives, pasta, red wine, salt, seeds, tomatoes, etc.)

  • ON THE COUNTER (fresh fruit, tomatoes, olive oil, etc.)

  • IN THE REFRIGERATOR (cheese, eggs, fruit, milk, pickles, turkey or chicken ham, yogurt, veggies, etc.)

  • IN THE FREEZER (frozen fruit, poultry, red meat, seafood, etc.)

Happy Young Couple cooking together5/CLEAN ALL UNHEALTHY TEMPTATIONS FROM YOUR HOME (candies, carbonated beverages,  crackers and different processed food – food with the addition of sugar or some chemicals).

6/ KEEP YOUR NOTES, WEEK PLANS & FOODS LISTS HANDY (Notes – are for those who want to lose weight (read more HERE…)/ Lists: GrocerySuperfoods list / Plans: your 1-week or 2-week diet plan)  You can keep these Notes, Lists, etc. until these healthy eating habits become a part of your everyday life.

7/ ENJOY TRYING NEW DISHES, FLAVORS, ETC. Med Diet loves diversity.

8/ AND… DON’T FORGET TO PAIR YOUR DIET WITH  SIMPLE EXERCISES. LIKE WALKING, AND SIMILAR.

9/ FOLLOW THESE STEPS & ENJOY THE PROCESS!

USE YOUR TIME EFFICIENTLY – TIPS

Potatoes on Blue White Kitchen Towel, Casserole

– Do your homework – Grocery shopping and preparations for the following week.

– Enhance a number of portions (food quantity) when preparing your meals – this will significantly reduce your time spent in the kitchen:

   –  White meat – There’s an advantage of preparing more portions of white meat: you can eat it again, another day, or chop it into smaller pieces and use it in a salad (with lettuce, tomato, cucumber…) This salad can easily replace the whole meal!

   – Legumes  – You can cook your favorite legumes over the weekend. Ready (cooked) lentils, chickpeas, beans etc. can be used for preparing amazing salads (with lettuce, tomato, cucumber, etc.) This is probably one of the simplest ways to make your colorful and nutrient-rich salad in no time!

     – Leafy greens – Leafy greens like spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, kale,  etc. are amazingly healthy salads. You can boil them and keep them (plain) in the fridge for 3 or more days. By adding extra virgin olive oil and fresh lemon juice – your salad can be ready in a second!

– Food that remains – You can freeze remaining food and have your beautiful, healthy meals ready when having busy schedules.

Fish, Bread and Lettuce on Blue Plate

MORE TIPS:

  • Buy local

  • Buy seasonal

  • Frozen can be just as healthy

  • Eat lots of colorful, plant-based foods

  • Don’t forget about herbs & spices

  • Don’t shop when you’re hungry!

INSTEAD OF THESE FOODS –  TRY THESE MEDITERRANEAN OPTIONS:                    

1. Instead of Vegetable oils – try Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) 

2. Instead of Unhealthy, processed snacks – try Healthy snacks

3. White bread – Whole-grain bread

4. White rice and pasta – Whole-grain rice and pasta

5. Red meat – White meat, fish, legumes…

6. Salt in salads – EVOO & fresh lemon juice

7. Sweets – Fruit/ honey/ tahini/ nuts…

INSTEAD OF THESE BEVERAGES & DRINKS  –  TRY THESE MED OPTIONS:

1. Instead of Commercial beverages – try Homemade juices & smoothies

2. Instead of Soft drinks – try Water (8 glasses per day)

3. Beer or other drinks – Red wine

And generally… Instead of fast food, cook at home and share food with the people you love.

MEDITERRANEAN DIET RECIPES & COOKBOOKS 

Cookbook with beautiful Recipe Illustration

The great thing about Mediterranean diet recipes is the choice. There are hundreds of breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack recipes to keep you healthy and sated and are available online. Most only require a few ingredients and can be made in a few minutes. There are also dozens of Mediterranean cookbooks on the market that offer a variety of recipes. Most of the recipes are simple, yet, some of these books have more advanced dishes that require a bit more cooking.

SOCIAL VALUES OF MEDITERRANEAN DIET

Sea View Terrace Santorini Island

A true Mediterranean diet emphasizes the social values of food sharing and hospitality. The Mediterranean people take their time at the dinner table and enjoy their food with family and friends. Such an attitude relieves symptoms of stress and depression. It also helps our bodies to digest food and absorb nutrients. This “philosophy” differs so much from today common fast food “philosophy” / or eating in front of the television…

Now, when you know how to start the Mediterranean diet easily, the only thing that remains is: to start to work towards your Healthy lifestyle goal.

Make each day Mediterranean!

RSS
Follow by Email
Facebook
Facebook
Google+
Google+
TWITTER
Visit Us