A Mediterranean Meal Plan

In my last post, I wrote about eating the right foods to lose fat and in this post I’ll tell you what to eat. This post from VeryWell.com will give you a few tips. This meal plan is based on a food pyramid which appears at the end of my post.

Simple Swaps for Flavor and Health

Mediterranean Diet

Looking to eat healthy but still enjoy delicious foods you’ll want to eat again and again? The Mediterranean diet—based on lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, beans, legumes, nuts, olive oil, fish, and small amounts of yogurt and cheese—is one of the healthiest ways of eating in the world. Thanks to its tasty foods and flavors, it’s also a way of eating that you can sustain for the rest of your life.

Hundreds of scientific studies show that people who closely follow a Mediterranean diet experience many health benefits, from better heart and bone health and reduced risk of stroke and diabetes to longer lifespan. One recent study even linked the Mediterranean diet with less age-related brain shrinkage.

It’s one thing to know all of the benefits of the Mediterranean diet, and a completely different challenge to put it into action. Here are a few Mediterranean swaps for each meal of the day to get started:

Breakfast

Like breakfasts in many parts of the world, breakfasts in the Mediterranean vary depending on the day of the week. On the weekend, breakfast (or brunch) is an opportunity to gather with friends and family, relax, and enjoy a traditional savory spread.

In parts of the Eastern Mediterranean, for example, you’d likely see flatbreads dipped in olive oil and sprinkled with za’atar (a Middle Eastern dried herb mix), a variety of soft and hard cheeses, hummus, fresh cucumber and tomato salad, olives, and pickled vegetables on the table.

During the work week, breakfast in the Mediterranean is quick and light.

Try these swaps:

If you like: Try:
Sugary cereal and milk Oatmeal with milk, topped with cinnamon, honey, and sliced fresh fruit
Plain bagel with cream cheese Whole grain bagel with a healthier spread, like hummus, guacamole, or a fresh, spreadable goat cheese and topped with sliced tomatoes and fresh fruit on the side
Muffin with butter Greek yogurt parfait with granola, fresh fruit, and a drizzle of honey on top

The Oldways Breakfast 1-2-3 Plan, inspired by Mediterranean breakfasts, consolidates breakfast foods into three categories:

  1. Whole grains
  2. Fresh fruit or vegetables
  3. A source of protein (like eggs or yogurt)

Eating something (even a small portion if you’re not feeling hungry in the morning) from each of these categories will energize you and fill you up until lunch.

Lunch

In early spring, horiatiki, or traditional Greek salad, starts appearing more often on Greek tables. It has very few ingredients—tomatoes, cucumbers, red onions, green bell peppers, sheep’s milk feta cheese, and Kalamata olives—and it’s dressed simply with extra virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar, and a pinch of salt and dried oregano. Fresh salads are great options for lunch, with whole wheat pita or crackers on the side.

Try these swaps:

If you like: Try:
Turkey club sandwich with chips A sandwich with canned or pouched fish, like tuna, sardines or salmon, and a fresh green salad or a light vegetable soup on the side
Cobb salad with blue cheese dressing Fattoush, a Mediterranean classic, is made from toasted leftover pieces of pita bread, a bit of extra virgin olive oil, lots of lemon juice, and whatever vegetables are on hand—cucumbers, tomatoes, radishes, and green onions are usually added, along with fresh herbs like parsley or mint
Roast Beef Reuben sandwich Mediterranean mezze plate with olives, hummus, cheese, fresh fruit, and pita or crackers (if you really miss the meat, add a couple slices)

Dinner

Traditionally in the Mediterranean, lunch is the biggest meal of the day and dinner is a lighter affair. If you’re used to heartier, more flavorful dinners, try experimenting with more fresh herbs and spices.

Herbs and spices contribute to the national identities of various Mediterranean cuisines—cumin, cinnamon, and ginger in the Eastern Mediterranean and dried oregano, thyme, and saffron in Southern Europe—and they reduce the need to add salt and fat when cooking.

Try these swaps:

If you like: Try:
Mac and cheese Small portion of whole wheat pasta (around 2/3 cup cooked) with wilted spinach, olive oil, white beans, chopped anchovies, parmigiano reggiano cheese, and seasoned with parsley, red pepper flakes, and lemon
Burger and fries Grilled chicken on a whole wheat pita with tzatziki (cucumber yogurt sauce), served with oven-roasted potatoes with rosemary and olive oil
Fish and chips Flounder or salmon—grilled, pan-seared, or baked in parchment—with cooked whole grains and seasonal greens, like spinach or collards. (Quinoa, brown rice, and sorghum are delicious gluten-free options.)

Eating a variety of different fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, whole grains, legumes, and other healthy foods is the best approach for a well-balanced diet. Luckily, there are many delicious Mediterranean foods and flavors to inspire you. After all, people around the Mediterranean have been eating this way for centuries.

Oldways, a Boston-based nonprofit food and nutrition education organization, created the Mediterranean Diet Pyramid in 1993 with the Harvard School of Public Health and the World Health Organization.

Losing fat is the secret to good health. Forget the scale, lose two pants sizes and you’ll have a whole new attitude.

Read my ebook for more details. It’s available at any of the major online bookstores.

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The Secret To Dieting Is “Don’t Diet”

Did you ever wonder how people in some European countries manage to stay thin. When I was in Europe I didn’t see any low cal food. Restaurants had no diet food or low cal meals. But very few people were what we call obese. I’ve personally been to more than 15 European countries and normal people are in better shape than American.

I read a non-diet book last year “The secret of eating” were by the author explains that diets don’t work. This is a weight loss book about how this woman had gained 20 pounds while going to school in the States and then losing the weight when returning to France, her home country. She goes on to say that in France women don’t get fat. In the States when she was going to school the portions of food were too large and foods were too sweet.

When returning to Europe she returned to eating the way she grew up. In Europe, women eat sensibly. Good food of very high quality and eaten in small portions. Good food does not mean good tasting, it means food of good quality. You can eat anything you like but eat food of good quality, high in nutritional value. Small portions eaten slowly is better for you, and is satisfying. In the States, people eat too fast, we’re always in a hurry to get somewhere. Eat on the run, I see people eat while driving every day. Woman feeding their children in the car while driving them somewhere. Drive-thru windows are so crowded they should have a gas pump half way to the window. Sometimes I spend 20 minutes in line for coffee.

You know it wasn’t always this way. Families use to eat together. At school, all the kids eat together in the cafeteria. But at home we eat individually when we’re hungry. Maybe that’s why families eat out more. At least you can get everyone at the table at the same time.

This plan is for anyone who had trouble sticking to a diet plan. “Don’t Get Fat” is a 3-month plan meant to reset your body for a lifetime of healthy weight through slow, gradual weight loss. She goes on to say that many people will love the plan because there’s no fitness classes but instead plenty of daily activity and lots of walking.

To jump start your diet you begin with two days of leek soup. It cleanses the system so you can start out on empty. Followed by meat or fish, vegetables and a piece of fruit. Drink water with meals, be careful of bottled drinks or any drinks with sugar or sweeteners, those are empty calories. At the beginning, keep a food journal. While your losing weight you need to evaluate your diet and identify excess calories. You will be able to eat anything after you reach your goal. The big part of reaching that goal is to learn to eat smaller portions. You may want to start by eating 4 or 5 meals a day about 3 hours apart. At night I snack on yogurt, low-fat greek yogurt is filling. You can eat yogurt 2 or 3 times a day, great snack full of calcium and protein. Almonds are a good snack in the afternoon.

So the lesson here is if you change what you eat, how you eat, and be more active you’ll lose weight. I’ll give you a tip, don’t worry about losing weight, concentrate on losing fat. After you lose two pants sizes, you’ll be a believer.

If you really want to lose the extra flab you can get help, I write 4 blogs and I’ve written two E-books. Read some of my other blog posts.

Gettingtoahealthyweight.wordpress.com
idropped40pounds.wordpress.com
howbaddoyouwanttoloseweight.blogspot.com
blogonweight.blogspot.com

E-books are the easiest and cheapest way to learn about any subject without groping through hundreds of websites looking for the material you want.

My first e-book is “HowBadDoYouWantToLoseWeight” and it sells for $2.99 on most online bookstores like Amazon.com, BN.com, iBook, Kobo.com, Scribd.com, and Gardner books in the U.K.

My second e-book is available in the same stores. And on smashwords.com. If you use the Smashwords promotional code You can get my second book for $1.99 (TL96R). Just type in the search line “getting to a healthy weight”.

 

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It’s December, When We All Gain A Little Weight

This is when anyone trying to lose weight has mixed feelings about the Holidays. There just seems to be no way we can avoid gaining weight. We love all the parties and the friends and family we only see on special occasions, but we learn to dread the morning after when we can’t believe how much we ate, and how full we feel. It always seems to take a few days to recoup and than we can assess the damage and by that time you have another ocasion to attend.

For me, the Holidays means an extra 10 pounds. I learned to expect the worst. I hate December for that reason. It usually takes me a couple of months to lose that weight. I hate the extra weight, I feel sluggish, tired, and I lose my energy. My clothes don’t fit right and I never feel like exercising. When I gain weight, I loss ambition.

The last couple years I learned to combat my ten pound problem. When it starts to get cold, I step-up my workout trying to burn some extra calories. I found that in the cold weather I eat heavier food and I seem to have a bigger appetite.  I know from experience that I can’t cut calories by cutting back on food. I cut calories by eating healthier food that has less calories.

How do I do that, you might ask. Easy, I stop eating out,when ever possible. I stick to fresh food and I very careful prepare the food not to add more calories. Remember, you eat to fuel your body. Food is not for enjoyment. Food is not a way to reward yourself. You eat food to create the energy your body needs to stay healthy. If you think your adding fat around your waist, your eating the wrong foods. Adding fat to your body will only slow down the functions your organs are doing to keep you healthy.

It’s like a catch-22, you add fat over the Holidays and your body functions slow down a little because of the extra foods your eating and so it’s harder for your body to digest what your eating because over the Holidays we all eat things we don’t normally eat. And you gain more fat and your body functions slow down more and now the Holidays are over and you try and return to a normal diet but the extra fat you added is making it hard for your body to digest even the foods your eating now. So what is a person to do?

You can do some reading on “healthy eating habits”, “a healthy diet”, and “exercise to lose weight”. All you need can be found on the internet. It’s free for most blogs or videos. Some down-loadable books will cost a couple dollars. My ebooks sell for $1.99 or $2.99 depending on the online book store. Ebooks can give you all the info you need to succeed.

If you really want to lose the extra flab you can get help, I write 4 blogs and I’ve written two E-books. Read some of my other blog posts.

Gettingtoahealthyweight.wordpress.com
idropped40pounds.wordpress.com
howbaddoyouwanttoloseweight.blogspot.com
blogonweight.blogspot.com

E-books are the easiest and cheapest way to learn about any subject without groping through hundreds of websites looking for the material you want.

My first e-book is “HowBadDoYouWantToLoseWeight” and it sells for $2.99 on most online bookstores like Amazon.com, BN.com, iBook, Kobo.com, Scribd.com, and Gardner books in the U.K.

My second e-book is available in the same stores. And on smashwords.com. If you use the Smashwords promotional code You can get my second book for $1.99 (TL96R). Just type in the search line “getting to a healthy weight”.

Posted in diet, eating healthy, health and fitness, lose fat, losing weight, Uncategorized, weight loss | Leave a comment

Weight Loss Programs And Exercise

You can’t maintain your goal weight without exercise. I know I talked about exercise and diet working together to reach your goals. But both exercise and diet will have to be a part of your life from now on. I’ll explain before I lose all my readers. At first a person will try too hard to lose weight. Cut out meals, over exercise and then is happy or not that he or she lost 5 pounds that week. If you’re truly going to be a thinner person for the rest of your life, then do things in moderation. Don’t do the 800 calorie diet and 2 hours in the gym every day, you’ll never stay with it. Instead do moderate exercise and a diet of good foods and keep this up every day. The reason I don’t avocate the weight loss programs that you see advertised, I believe it’s just a waste of money. All these programs will teach you to eat healthy and be more active and do it every day. It’s not about just eating less, you have to eat healthy. Do some homework and read up on “healthy eating”. Healthy foods will burn more body fat. The food have been eating is adding fat to your body and you want to eat to lose fat.

This is where your doctor will help. This is why you need a doctor. All of us have our own conditions. We are all a different age and in different stages of fitness. I am thin by most standards but I’d like to lose 2 or 3 inches in my waist. My doctor says not to lose weight, I’m thin enough. But when he says thin, he just doesn’t want a 65 year old man 6 feet tall to weigh less than 175. O.K., I understand, but he will agree that belly fat isn’t good for me. So my exercise program will be different then a man 40, 5’6” and 180pounds. Some of us don’t start to do something about their problems until their doctor scares them into action. You need an expert to tailor your exercise and diet to you. A person who doesn’t exercise can’t just start from scratch and do 1 hour a day on a trend mill. It might be too hard for your heart unless someone gives you the proper speed for your age and condition.

I mentioned in an earlier post that an insurance company whose name I can’t remember gave office workers the option to get another desk to use part of the day, which would attach to a trend mill. So you could actually stand up on the trend mill and work at this desk at the same time. I know it sounds crazy, how could you maintain a rapid speed if you were on the phone or using the laptop. It wasn’t about speed, the people in the test walked a slow to normal speed while working and did that usually in the mornings about 3 or 4 hours, and then if possible an hour or so after lunch. There was some diet attached to this, but it was not emphasized. These people after 3 months noticed their waists were smaller, for some 3 inches or so. No one really talked about all the weight they lost, but about the inches they lost. One man said he had to buy all new pants. Others said that the trend mill at the desk and the time they spent on the trend mill kept them from snacking. Not consciously, it kept them busier and they just didn’t think about food. So the extra activity, ever though it wasn’t strenuous, was an increase from their normal routine. That increase burned the extra calories that helped them achieve their goals.

The problem of being overweight isn’t  a North American problem. People living in a cold climate in a big city were there’s not much chance for outdoor activities in the winter are prone to have an inactive winter. I remember when I lived in Chicago. Long cold winters actually change your lifestyle for 4 or 5 months. That’s long enough to change you permanently. Our lifestyle sets us up to fail. We eat our main meal after we get home at night and spend the rest of the evening inactive. Actually, in most countries the main meal is eaten earlier in the day and then followed by more work and more walking then we do.

We can live a healthier lifestyle if we choose to. You have the power to change. If you’re someone who can’t do it by yourself get someone to do this with you. Be cautious of your friends who have a problem but choose not to do anything about it or choose not to admit it. You can’t push your new lifestyle on someone else. Just don’t let them influence you. After you start to show real results they’ll become interested in how you did it.

If you really want to lose the extra flab you can get help, I write 4 blogs and I’ve written two E-books. Read some of my other blog posts.

Gettingtoahealthyweight.wordpress.com
idropped40pounds.wordpress.com
howbaddoyouwanttoloseweight.blogspot.com
blogonweight.blogspot.com

E-books are the easiest and cheapest way to learn about any subject without groping through hundreds of websites looking for the material you want.

My first e-book is “HowBadDoYouWantToLoseWeight” and it sells for $2.99 on most online bookstores like Amazon.com, BN.com, iBook, Kobo.com, Scribd.com, and Gardner books in the U.K.

My second e-book is available in the same stores. And on smashwords.com. If you use the Smashwords promotional code You can get my second book for $1.99 (TL96R). Just type in the search line “getting to a healthy weight”.

 

 

Posted in diet, lose fat, lose weight, losing weight, Uncategorized, weight loss | Leave a comment

Post Thanksgiving

I know alll about eating too much at those family gathering. In this case we are talking about Thanksgiving. Around my house or at anyone’s house that I know there is two parts to the big feast. First we eat a huge dinner, sometimes three kinds of meat, two different types of dressing, two types of cranberries, several types of potatoes, and several different vegetables. The idea is that no one, no matter how fuzzy, will go way hungry. There is always something for everyone in unlimited quantities.

Than comes the second part, which usually is about one hour later, “dessert”. This is what everyone has been waiting for. If it’s a big gathering like 10 or 12 or more the whole table will be filled with pies, cakes, chocolate candies, brownies, lemon squares, and other ethnic tricks that we only see once or twice a year. These are times that no one should miss, even if your on a diet.

The really bad part of the Holidays is that you might have to eat this meal more than once. We all have large families and you can’t say no to an invitation this time of the year, so what does a person do? You try and sample the things you like but do it in small amounts and remember that you don’t have to finish your plate. Another tip to help you from overindulging is to only eat half of each food on your plate.

Some other tips:

Don’t drink calories, save the calories for food.

Stick to low calorie desserts.

Eat before you go. Don’t go to a party without eating first. The food you eat out may be high in calories, but you’ll eat less if you eat something healthy before you go.

Try and walk after dinner.

The average holiday meal can add 5 pounds because you can easily consume 5000 calories when you include the drinks. Do you remember how long it took to lose 5 pounds? It’s easy to add 10 pounds over the Holidays and it can take months to lose it. You’ll be expected to eat and drinks so be careful you don’t hate yourself after the season is over.

If you really want to lose the extra flab you can get help, I write 4 blogs and I’ve written two E-books. Read some of my other blog posts.

gettingtoahealthyweight.wordpress.com

idropped40pounds.wordpress.com

howbaddoyouwanttoloseweight.blogspot.com

blogonweight.blogspot.com

E-books are the easiest and cheapest way to learn about any subject without groping through hundreds of websites looking for the material you want.

My first e-book is “HowBadDoYouWantToLoseWeight” and it sells for $2.99 on most online bookstores like Amazon.com, BN.com, iBook, Kobo.com, Scribd.com, and Gardner books in the U.K.

My second e-book is available in the same stores. And on smashwords.com. If you use the Smashwords’ promotional code You can get my second book for $1.99 (TL96R). Just type in the search line “getting to a healthy weight”.

Posted in eating healthy, lose weight, losing weight, Uncategorized, weight loss | Leave a comment

What’s Wrong With High Fructose Corn Syrup?

First, I want to mention that most of the developed countries don’t allow this chemical in food and it is a chemical even know it’s made from corn. In Mexico, for instance, like most other countries the quality of food is regulated by the government and the only sweetner allowed is “pure cane sugar”. Pure cane sugar is so important to the flavor of Coca-Cola that they import Coca-Cola from Mexico in the original 6 ounce bottles, I’ve seen them in my local grocery store.

Did you know that there are 3 letters on food labels that you MUST avoid, especially if they’re at the beginning of the list of ingredients?

Those letters are OSE. Let me explain.

You see, spotting sugar on food labels isn’t quite as easy as it once was. Yep, now that food manufacturers are aware that consumers of the current day are much more discerning than those of yesteryear, they’re doing everything they can to disguise sugar on their lists of ingredients.

These days, it’s not likely that you’ll see “sugar” at the forefront of an ingredients list, but instead you’ll see these code names:

fructose
maltose
glucose
sucrose

And the worst of the worst is “high fructose corn syrup”.

If you see any of the above -ose words in the first 3 or 4 ingredients on a food label, rest assured that product is LOADED with sugar and you should be avoiding it.

Beyond that, I’ll go as far to say that if a product contains high fructose corn syrup (the worst of the worst man-made sugars) in ANY amount, you should avoid it like the plague. Simply put, the invention of high fructose corn syrup is one of the leading causes of obesity.

Beyond that, there’s another non-sugar -ose word not listed above that’s become extremely popular in the last few years. While it doesn’t carry the sugar content that the above ingredients do, it’s been clinically shown to destroy essential, healthy bacteria in your gut. If you regularly consume products with this “other” -ose ingredient, you can really do a number of your immune system and digestive health.

Even worse, this non-sugar -ose ingredient is being added to “health foods” left and right, but it’s actually slowly destroying your health every time you consume it.

Two years ago, I made a choice to completely eliminate this ingredient from ever entering my body again. I recommend you do the same. Actually, by reading up on this I found out it’s not one ingredient, it’s more of a class of ingredients that aren’t found in any other group.
Reading ingredient labels will definitely be a challenge at first. If you currently have a no boundaries type of diet, then you have quite a shock waiting for you. There will be ingredients that you can barely pronounce, let alone know what they are. So, what are they? What is it that you are so willingly, yet unknowingly, putting into your body? Is it good? Is it bad? Are there side-effects? Or do you even care at all?
I suggest that you start looking up these ingredients and reading up on them. Learn what they are and the effects they have on your health. This may be what finally facilitates you making that move – you know, the one you’ve wanted to do for so long, but keep putting it off. The move towards better health!
As you educate yourself on ingredients and reading labels, never get too comfortable that you believe what you read. What? Now that doesn’t make sense does it? I’m telling you to read labels, but not to believe what you read. Well, the truth is, labels can be short of the truth. The FDA allows it. They have their guidelines, and if ingredients are in small enough amounts, then the FDA does not require that the ingredient be listed.
Recently I was doing a double take on the ingredients thinking that perhaps I missed something when I noticed “cultured dextrose.” I had no idea what it is. But hell, the packaging says VEGAN, and I know it’s not gluten, so I had never given it a second thought. I decided to look it up and found there’s much controversy as to whether or not it’s vegan, and whether or not it’s a preservative or chemical. Can you believe this? I mean, it’s literally a mystery…how weird is that? Do your own research and see if you can get a straight answer and if so, then let me know! One article I read responded to the question “What is cultured dextrose” as follows:
This is a tough one, I can say that the name “cultured dextrose” doesn’t really specify what is within. Alcohol could be cultured dextrose, as could penicillin. This is one of those industry vernacular phrases, virtually designed to mask the actual nature of the ingredients.

If you really want to lose the extra flab you can get help, I write 4 blogs and I’ve written two E-books. Read some of my other blog posts.

gettingtoahealthyweight.blog
idropped40pounds.wordpress.com
howbaddoyouwanttoloseweight.blogspot.com
blogonweight.blogspot.com

E-books are the easiest and cheapest way to learn about any subject without groping through hundreds of websites looking for the material you want.

My first e-book is “HowBadDoYouWantToLoseWeight” and it sells for $2.99 on most online bookstores like Amazon.com, BN.com, iBook, Kobo.com, Scribd.com, and Gardner books in the U.K.

My second e-book is available in the same stores. And on smashwords.com. If you use the Smashwords’ promotional code You can get my second book for $1.99 (TL96R). Just type in the search line “getting to a healthy weight”.

 

Posted in being healthy, diet, eating healthy, health and fitness, lose fat, lose weight, losing weight, Uncategorized, weight loss | Leave a comment

The Mediterranean Diet

A Mediterranean Diet Meal Plan

Simple Swaps for Flavor and Health

Mediterranean Diet

Looking to eat healthy but still enjoy delicious foods you’ll want to eat again and again? The Mediterranean diet—based on lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, beans, legumes, nuts, olive oil, fish, and small amounts of yogurt and cheese—is one of the healthiest ways of eating in the world. Thanks to its tasty foods and flavors, it’s also a way of eating that you can sustain for the rest of your life.

Hundreds of scientific studies show that people who closely follow a Mediterranean diet experience many health benefits, from better heart and bone health and reduced risk of stroke and diabetes to longer lifespan. One recent study even linked the Mediterranean diet with less age-related brain shrinkage.

It’s one thing to know all of the benefits of the Mediterranean diet, and a completely different challenge to put it into action. Here are a few Mediterranean swaps for each meal of the day to get started:

Breakfast

Like breakfasts in many parts of the world, breakfasts in the Mediterranean vary depending on the day of the week. On the weekend, breakfast (or brunch) is an opportunity to gather with friends and family, relax, and enjoy a traditional savory spread.

In parts of the Eastern Mediterranean, for example, you’d likely see flatbreads dipped in olive oil and sprinkled with za’atar (a Middle Eastern dried herb mix), a variety of soft and hard cheeses, hummus, fresh cucumber and tomato salad, olives, and pickled vegetables on the table.

During the work week, breakfast in the Mediterranean is quick and light.

Try these swaps:

If you like: Try:
Sugary cereal and milk Oatmeal with milk, topped with cinnamon, honey, and sliced fresh fruit
Plain bagel with cream cheese Whole grain bagel with a healthier spread, like hummus, guacamole, or a fresh, spreadable goat cheese and topped with sliced tomatoes and fresh fruit on the side
Muffin with butter Greek yogurt parfait with granola, fresh fruit, and a drizzle of honey on top

The Oldways Breakfast 1-2-3 Plan, inspired by Mediterranean breakfasts, consolidates breakfast foods into three categories:

  1. Whole grains
  2. Fresh fruit or vegetables
  3. A source of protein (like eggs or yogurt)

Eating something (even a small portion if you’re not feeling hungry in the morning) from each of these categories will energize you and fill you up until lunch.

Lunch

In early spring, horiatiki, or traditional Greek salad, starts appearing more often on Greek tables. It has very few ingredients—tomatoes, cucumbers, red onions, green bell peppers, sheep’s milk feta cheese, and Kalamata olives—and it’s dressed simply with extra virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar, and a pinch of salt and dried oregano. Fresh salads are great options for lunch, with whole wheat pita or crackers on the side.

Try these swaps:

If you like: Try:
Turkey club sandwich with chips A sandwich with canned or pouched fish, like tuna, sardines or salmon, and a fresh green salad or a light vegetable soup on the side
Cobb salad with blue cheese dressing Fattoush, a Mediterranean classic, is made from toasted leftover pieces of pita bread, a bit of extra virgin olive oil, lots of lemon juice, and whatever vegetables are on hand—cucumbers, tomatoes, radishes, and green onions are usually added, along with fresh herbs like parsley or mint
Roast Beef Reuben sandwich Mediterranean mezze plate with olives, hummus, cheese, fresh fruit, and pita or crackers (if you really miss the meat, add a couple slices)

Dinner

Traditionally in the Mediterranean, lunch is the biggest meal of the day and dinner is a lighter affair. If you’re used to heartier, more flavorful dinners, try experimenting with more fresh herbs and spices.

Herbs and spices contribute to the national identities of various Mediterranean cuisines—cumin, cinnamon, and ginger in the Eastern Mediterranean and dried oregano, thyme, and saffron in Southern Europe—and they reduce the need to add salt and fat when cooking.

Try these swaps:

If you like: Try:
Mac and cheese Small portion of whole wheat pasta (around 2/3 cup cooked) with wilted spinach, olive oil, white beans, chopped anchovies, parmigiano reggiano cheese, and seasoned with parsley, red pepper flakes, and lemon
Burger and fries Grilled chicken on a whole wheat pita with tzatziki (cucumber yogurt sauce), served with oven-roasted potatoes with rosemary and olive oil
Fish and chips Flounder or salmon—grilled, pan-seared, or baked in parchment—with cooked whole grains and seasonal greens, like spinach or collards. (Quinoa, brown rice, and sorghum are delicious gluten-free options.)

Eating a variety of different fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, whole grains, legumes, and other healthy foods is the best approach for a well-balanced diet. Luckily, there are many delicious Mediterranean foods and flavors to inspire you. After all, people around the Mediterranean have been eating this way for centuries.

Oldways, a Boston-based nonprofit food and nutrition education organization, created the Mediterranean Diet Pyramid in 1993 with the Harvard School of Public Health and the World Health Organization.

If you really want to lose the extra flab you can get help, I write 4 blogs and I’ve written two E-books. Read some of my other blog posts.

gettingtoahealthyweight.blog
idropped40pounds.wordpress.com
howbaddoyouwanttoloseweight.blogspot.com
blogonweight.blogspot.com

E-books are the easiest and cheapest way to learn about any subject without groping through hundreds of websites looking for the material you want.

My first e-book is “HowBadDoYouWantToLoseWeight” and it sells for $2.99 on most online bookstores like Amazon.com, BN.com, iBook, Kobo.com, Scribd.com, and Gardner books in the U.K.

My second e-book is available in the same stores. And on smashwords.com. If you use the Smashwords’ promotional code You can get my second book for $1.99 (TL96R). Just type in the search line “getting to a healthy weight”.

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