It’s the new year; let’s refocus on eating healthy. For me, the combination of the holidays and our refrigerator being broken for three weeks really took a toll. With the fridge being fixed and now empty, it gave me the opportunity for a fresh start. As I sat down on my computer to procrastinate from making a grocery list, I was caught by the CNN headline “Mediterranean diet named the best for 2019.” Yes! A news headline that I am excited about! The Mediterranean diet is not a fad; this is the way we should all be eating and I’m glad that it is being recognized.
So why should we jump onto the bandwagon of this Mediterranean diet? As I sit here writing this blog post, looking out the window of my flat backyard with the only water view a retention pond and not the beautiful white buildings of Greece overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, why should I be inspired to follow this diet? The Mediterranean diet works because it is a lifestyle change. It takes us back to the basics. It is a way of life that inspires us to enjoy real non-processed food and an occasional glass of red wine. To sit down with our family and enjoy dinner. I know as a working parent we are thinking, Yes, that sounds good, but we have too many after-school activities to sit down as a family for dinner. Besides, no one in the household likes to eat the same foods. Well, family dinnertime needs to be a priority. It doesn’t have to be elaborate and every night, but take ten minutes (that’s really all the time you need), sit down, talk with your kids and spouse, and enjoy the time together. Create one main entree and then you can make several sides that cater to different palates and nutritional needs of everyone in the family. Then, after dinner convince one of your family members to take the dog out for a walk with you. Doesn’t that sound wonderful!
OK, let’s get to the details of the diet. The Mediterranean diet is not a strict diet with a list of specific foods that you should and should not eat. This meal plan focuses on eating real foods such as fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts, poultry, eggs, cheese, limited red meat, while staying away from added sugars, processed meat, refined oils, and other highly processed food. I refer to you the website, OLDWAYS. This updated food pyramid is a great reference tool of what to eat. I also understand that some of us need a more rigid eating plan because we are not able to control our portions and we overeat. For those of us in that situation, I would recommend doing the online Weight Watchers program and eating foods that fall within the Mediterranean diet plan.
I know you are thinking, OK, so you want me to follow this plan of eating but you also post articles related to keto on your social media. I like both diets because they encourage us to stay away from processed sugars and grains. I do believe that keto works; however, it is not a sustainable way of weight loss. I also find that when people follow keto they tend to eat things like bacon double cheeseburger dipped in ranch dressing. That is in no way healthy and doesn’t teach lifestyle changes. Yes, I would rather you eat cloud bread pizza instead of an actual pizza, but I would also encourage fish and chicken instead of ground beef and hot dogs every day.
Let’s do this! I am making baked salmon with roasted vegetables for dinner tonight!