HEALTH BENEFITS OF THE MEDITERRANEAN DIET
The Mediterranean Diet – it’s not just a diet, it’s a way of life !
The point of the Mediterranean Diet is to savor a meal, whether it’s with family and friends, or just relaxing alone at home. Making an effort to unplug, sit down, and establish some healthy eating habits is key. All the better if that includes slowing down and enjoying a glass of wine with your meal !
The Mediterranean diet has earned a reputation for disease prevention and also for being an enjoyable way to manage your weight. Considered one of the most heart-healthy ways of eating, the diet is loaded with anti-inflammatory foods. The foundation of the plan is plant-based foods and “healthy” fats.
This lifestyle can:
Improve heart health. The Mediterranean diet is a diet that includes plenty of monounsaturated fats (olive oils, avocado and nuts) and omega-3 foods (salmon, nuts and spinach are rich in omega’s).
Help fight cancer.
Prevent or treat diabetes.
Can improve your mood and protect against Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease.
If you’re looking to lose weight without being hungry, this may be the diet/lifestyle for you! Plus, a diet high in fresh foods and healthy fats seems to be the winning combination for longevity! Maybe because those who practice the Mediterranean diet/lifestyle experience less stress. Here’s the secret . . . dine leisurely, eat local foods and engage in regular physical activity. All these factors contribute to a happy mood and less stress !!
What do you expect to find on a Mediterranean shopping list?
Fresh fruits and colorful vegetables (to name just a few – leafy greens, eggplant and tomatoes.)
Nuts and seeds
Legumes and beans
Herbs and spices
Chicken, eggs, some cheeses and probiotic rich yogurt
Lots of water
Oh and yes wine (in moderation)!!
Looking for an easy recipe to bring to a cookout or party?!?! (no one needs to know it’s good for them!!)
1 cup quinoa, rinse well
½ tsp kosher salt
2 tbl fresh lemon juice
1 garlic clove, minced
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
Black pepper to taste
1 large cucumber, cut into ¼” pieces
Container of cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
2/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
½ cup chopped fresh mint
2 scallions, thinly sliced
Bring quinoa, salt and 1 ¼ cups of water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until quinoa is tender (approximately 10 minutes). Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork.
Meanwhile, if it’s after five, pour yourself a glass of wine… Oh, right… getting back to the recipe…
whisk lemon juice and garlic in a small bowl. Gradually whisk in olive oil.
Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Add cucumber, tomatoes, herbs, and scallions to the bowl with the quinoa. Toss to coat.
Bonus to this recipe – it can be prepared the day before!
Always remember… better gyms, better workouts, better RESULTS !