Tag Archives: Nutritious Diet

Healthy Eating the Mediterranean Way

Healthy Eating - Greek Salad
Image by robynmac

Healthy Eating

The Mediterranean Diet has been popular for some time and the reason is simple – It is easy and delicious. Healthy eating the Mediterranean Way may be an easier switch than you think. In fact, when I took a very close look, I realized that I have been eating this way for many years.

The name is accurate because it emulates the way people eat who live on or near the Mediterranean Sea. When studies were done, it was found that people who live on the Mediterranean Diet, experienced a lower incidence of heart disease, reduced incidence of cancer (including breast cancer), Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s – plus they live longer in general.

The findings were surprising at first because the diet includes fats and wine – two things that are usually “no-no’s” on a “healthy diet.” However, further research found that when the types of fats they use (olive oil and real cheese) coupled with good wine, when used in moderation and combined with a nutrient rich diet, can actually be beneficial.

A nutrient-rich diet should be self-explanatory, but in case it is not, let’s take a look at some of the foods that are included in the Mediterranean Diet.

Fish

If you do not like fish – this is not a good style of eating for you.  BUT . . . if you are like me and LOVE fish, a Mediterranean-type diet is a great choice.

Fish is a natural food for people who live near the sea and being near the warm Mediterranean means being near tons of fish – lucky them! For the rest of us, it is not quite so easy, but good fish is available in most metropolitan areas. And . . . fish is incredibly good for the human body.

Fish is lean and low in calories especially when compared to red met and provides lots of essential fatty acids and amino acids – a wonderful “brain” food and, it keeps you full.

Its easy year-round accessibility (fresh or frozen) makes it an excellent main-dish option.

Fresh  Salads

Salads are a mainstay in all Mediterranean homes – and they are a good way to bulk up a meal without adding a lot of calories.  Plus, they are filled with nutrients, providing the body with iron, calcium, and other minerals.

A favorite for people of the area is simple Greek salad. It is a combination of:  chopped tomatoes, onions, cucumber, peppers, olives, and feta cheese – lightly drizzled with olive oil.

Healthy Fats

Going hand-in-hand with fish and veggie salads are all of the healthy fats – meaning saturated fats (not trans fats!) which aid in testosterone production while also enhancing nutrient absorption and improving cholesterol

Seeds and Nuts

Many dishes for this diet include seeds and nuts for flavoring (with lots of herbs). Another excellent choice because they keep you feeling full, which also makes them a brilliant, nutritious snack (including zinc, potassium, magnesium) that will not pack on calories. Add a few nuts or seeds to any salad for crunch and extra flavour.

Fruits and Vegetables

Once again the sunny region in which the diet originated provided lots of berries, grapes, tomatoes, and root vegetables ripe for picking, cooking and eating. This is another big component of the Mediterranean Diet and is one of the biggest ‘secrets’ when it comes to making sure that you enjoy a long, healthy lifespan without getting ill!

In summary, the Mayo Clinic explains:

Key components of the Mediterranean diet

  • Eating primarily plant-based foods, such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes and nuts
  • Replacing butter with healthy fats such as olive oil and canola oil
  • Using herbs and spices instead of salt to flavor foods
  • Limiting red meat to no more than a few times a month
  • Eating fish and poultry at least twice a week
  • Enjoying meals with family and friends
  • Drinking red wine in moderation (optional)
  • Getting plenty of exercise

If you have not already tried this diet, I encourage you to do so. If you don’t want to go full force, at least try adding some of the elements, such as more salads, fruits and veggies, plus nuts and seeds.

Simply adding wine to your diet will not do the trick. (LOL)

KISS for a Healthy Lifestyle

A Healthy Lifestyle

K.I.S.S.
Image by alexmillos

The acronym K.I.S.S. has been around for a long time – meaning: Keep It Simple, Stupid (or Sweetie, if you prefer). I hope you will apply that motto to getting the proper levels of nutrition for yourself and your family.

It can be confusing because there are so many diet options and so much information available regarding good nutrition that it may feel extremely complicated. It is not!

Yes, I know, you hear everything from:  Eat 30 bananas a day – to avoid all wheat products – to restrict your diet to 1200 calories per day, and so on. The lists of do’s and don’ts are endless. In fact, trying to develop healthy eating habits can be completely frustrating.

I am going to KISS you with the truth. Getting enough nutrition so that your body can function exactly as it is supposed and ensure that you are healthier than you have ever been is simple.

There Are Nine Basic Rules (Really only Four)

  1. Eat as close to nature as possible
  2. Do not eat sugar and sugar products
  3. Do not eat white flour and white flour products
  4. Do not eat processed food (anything with additives and preservatives)
  5. Avoid GMO products (“Genetically Modified Organisms” – plants or animals created through the gene splicing techniques of biotechnology (also called genetic engineering, or GE). Most common GMO foods are canola, corn, papaya, soy, zucchini and yellow summer squash.)
  6. Avoid added hormones (found in meat and dairy)
  7. Drink plenty of filtered tap water every day
  8. Move around every day (exercise)
  9. Get plenty of rest

In truth if you are always eating as close to nature as possible, rules 2-6 are already handled. Then, all you have to do is stay hydrated, move your body every day, and rest. Very straight forward and simple! As I said, there are really only four basic rules. How easy can it get?

The bottom line is that nothing is easier than eating highly nutritious food, once you make up your mind to do so. And . . . nothing is easier for your body than digesting those healthy foods and absorbing the nutrients from them. Your miraculous body is designed to do exactly that. There is nothing complicated about it.

Another fact you should know is that you do not even have to be perfect to reap the rewards of a nutritious lifestyle. If you do the right thing 80% of the time, you’ll pretty much get close to reaping 100% of the rewards. That means that 20% of the time you can indulge in those occasional indulgences of off limit foods and still be fine (Although I would caution you about “going off track” unless you are 100% committed to a healthier lifestyle and have the self-discipline to get back “on track” easily and eat well at least 80% of the time.)

Establishing a strong, healthy lifestyle requires on a mind-set change with a clear focus on abundance, which means focusing on continually adding delicious new healthy foods to your diet, rather than focusing on subtracting foods, deprivation and feeling sorry for yourself about what you cannot eat.

You do not have to be a five-star chef to put nutritious healthy meals on the table each night and to offer an abundance of healthy snacks. You also do not have to be rich.

Remember “Keep It Simple S________.” KISS yourself into good health.