We are bombarded by "experts" with theories on different ways to eat -- meat, no meat, wheat and grains/no wheat and grains; dairy/no dairy, etc. We have to be biochemists to understand all the components of what we're eating and how they might be affecting us; and just when we think we've figured it out, theories change!!!
I'm all about making healthy choices, but I truly like to keep things simple; so let's not forget the simple pleasures of good wholesome real food prepared for and shared with those we love. Perhaps if we adhered to my mother's wise words, "everything in moderation", even eating the "wrong" thing once in a while might not be a problem.
Being of Italian heritage, I grew up eating Mediterranean style, although we didn't call it that back then; and I still prefer eating that way. Below are several simple, healthy eating tips for the New Year from The Mediterranean Food Alliance, a division of "Oldways Health Through Heritage". Visit their website at www.oldwayspt.org for lots of sensible healthy eating information and delicious, recipes. Scroll all the way down for links to Michael Pollan's books.
Mediterranean Food Alliance
Fresh Fridays ~ January 9, 2015
To get on the road to learning this "ridiculously easy" Med Diet, here are a few simple tips from Oldways' 4-Week Mediterranean Diet Menu Plan.
1. Eat lots of vegetables. There are so many choices! From a simple plate of sliced fresh tomatoes drizzled with olive oil to stunning salads, garlicky greens, fragrant soups and stews, or oven-roasted medleys, vegetables are vitally important to the fresh tastes and delicious flavors of the Med Diet. It's almost impossible to eat too many vegetables!
2. Change the way you think about meat. For health and environmental reasons, have smaller amounts, if you eat meat. Think about small strips of meat in a salad or vegetable sauté, or a dish of pasta with diced prosciutto.
3. Eat seafood twice a week. Fish such as tuna, herring, salmon and sardines are rich in heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, and shellfish including mussels, oysters and clams have similar benefits for brain and heart health.
4. Cook a vegetarian meal one night a week. Build these meals around beans, whole grains, and vegetables, and heighten the flavor with fragrant herbs and spices. When one night feels comfortable, try two nights a week
5. Whole Grains for variety and good taste. In addition to crusty whole grain breads, try different Mediterranean whole grain dishes as a main or side: farro, whole grain pasta, freekeh, and whole-corn polenta are just a few tasty whole grains that easily go Med.
6. Use good fats. Include sources of healthy fats in daily meals, especially extra virgin olive oil, nuts, peanuts, sunflower seeds, olives and avocados.
7. For dessert, eat fruit - fresh or dried. Choose from a wide range of delicious fresh and dried fruits for desserts and snacks. Save sweets for special treats or celebrations.
8. Enjoy some dairy products. Eat Greek or plain yogurt and try small amounts of a variety of traditional or artisan cheeses.
9. Move! Look for ways to be more active. Good food alone isn't enough to live a healthy life.
10. Remember! Eating is a pleasure, not a chore! Eating with family and friends contributes to good health. And, if you live alone, take time to enjoy meals; food isn't just something to keep you going while you watch TV.
For more tips and ideas for meals, check out the Mediterranean Diet pages on the Oldways' website.
Article reprinted with permission. Visit Oldways "Health Through Heritage" at www.oldwayspt.org.
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