As we continue our diet declutter and move towards summer we start thinking of holidays. Many of us will go to the Mediterranean.
We love the relaxed atmosphere, the sunshine, eating outdoors and socialising with family and friends. We also love the food and so we thought let’s take a look at the Mediterranean diet.
You will be aware that the Mediterranean diet gets really good press. It is associated with lowering the risk of heart disease by up to 30%.
Lifestyle is an important element to this diet. Families and friends come together to eat and share food. Food becomes a celebration and an occasion not just a functional thing to do three times a day.
With all the digital interaction isn’t it nice to just sit down and talk to people? It’s great to find out what is going on in their lives and share time together.
What are the key elements to the diet?
The Mediterranean covers a number of countries so there will be regional differences but in general the diet will include
- Healthy fats like extra virgin olive oil and avocado oil
- Lots of vegetables and some fruit
- Fish or seafood twice a week
- Herbs and spices – giving you extra lovely flavours as well as many health benefits
- Legumes – lentils, chickpeas, beans and pulses
- Wholegrains – oats, buckwheat, quinoa, rice
- Fermented and sprouted grains – because they are easy to digest
- Dairy from cultured milk – kefir or yogurt – again easier to digest and offering beneficial bacteria.
- Dairy products and eggs should be consumed at a moderate level
- Water – any diet needs to include approximately 4 pints of pure water a day
- Red meat should be a rare treat
What is not included?
- Processed and refined foods and oils– anything out of a packet
- Meats such as hot dogs and processed sausages
- Sweeteners, sugars
- White breads and pasta
In reality, there is so much common sense here and lots of you probably follow these principles without realising it.
Enjoy the fresh local produce to give yourselves a variety of flavours and textures during the year.
Invite friends round for a bring and share. Everyone brings a dish to be shared with the group.
When I do bring and share lunches it amazes me how inspired I get by what other people cook but also we always have the right proportion of dishes to make up wonderful meals. Give it a try and let us know how it goes!
We would love you to send us pictures of you and your family enjoying some Al Fresco dining. Why not post them on our Facebook page?
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