Imagine getting up every day, feeling good, looking in the mirror, and being proud of what you see. Further, imagine being over 50 and getting a clean bill of health from your doctor with every visit.
Let’s take this pretty picture a step further; how about:
- Easily managing blood sugar
- Boosting your heart health
- Staying at your ideal weight
- Not dealing with sugar cravings
- Generally feeling more energetic
- Not having to diet
What is the Mediterranean eating plan?
I’m sure you have heard about the “Mediterranean diet”! You probably had images of only eating salads and maybe some fish. In fact, what if I told you ‘the Mediterranean diet’ is NOT a diet.
As a matter of fact, the Mediterranean diet is more of a style of eating that includes simple, whole, minimally processed foods. Further, I wouldn’t say there are not real hard and fast rules; you can choose to step off on special occasions.
The Mayo Clinic
The Mayo Clinic is considered the number one hospital system that services 1.3 million patients in nearly 130 countries every year. With relentless research to help patients heal sooner, The Mayo Clinic has also narrowed down eating habits closely resembling the Mediterranean eating plan.
After nearly twenty years as a nutritionist and personal trainer, I found this diet beneficial to health and maintaining a healthy weight for so many clients. In fact, most clients enjoyed the plan and found it easy to implement. They never complained of feeling deprived, enjoyed not counting calories and only focusing on eating more of certain foods and less of others.
Personally, I enjoy the eating plan for both how I feel and knowing it’s good for my overall health.
Mediterranean Eating Plan Foundation
Following the eating plan is not too hard, though depending on your eating habits, it might be a bit of a change. However, it’s easy to keep up once you make the change. What to eat:
- Lots of vegetables at every meal
- Whole grains such as barley, brown rice
- Beans and lentils
- Healthy fats such as avocados, nuts, seeds, and EVOO
- Fish and seafood twice a week
- Herbs and spices
Even though there is a foundation of foods to eat on this plan, there are still others that you can have in moderation. For example, you can decide if you wish to have yogurt a few times a week or a glass of red wine. In fact, you can have 5 ounces of red wine per day. Other items like red meat should be consumed in small amounts.
As a matter of fact, it is a good idea to avoid sweets and processed foods as much as possible. Both lead to serious health issues and the risk of early death.
The key to the Mediterranean Eating Plan is to treat it as a lifestyle rather than a diet plan. Remember that you do not have to give up any food completely. Instead, just keep some in moderation.
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