Give your body good nutrition with a traditional Mediterranean diet plan and foods that lower blood sugar! What IS the Mediterranean diet?
It's a way of eating that is characteristic of a region in the world bordering the Mediterranean Sea. This region is blessed with a temperate climate that supports a wide diversity of vegetables, grains and fruits and an abundance of fish. It's an excellent diabetic diet and the Lifetime Fat Loss way of eating and really, it's appropriate for all weight loss programs.
Fish is a key component to this cooking but also some red meat including goat, lamb, chicken, pork and beef, lots of fresh vegetables and fruits, whole grains, olive oil, pasta, raw nuts, seeds, cultured dairy products and local cheeses, especially goat cheese. The important thing is it is local to the region. What is grown there?
That depends on what grows well in a particular location. Since the Mediterranean Sea stretches west from Spain in the west to North Africa in the south, Italy, Greece and Turkey in the north and Lebanon in the east, this encompasses many different cultures, terrains and styles of cooking.
There ARE common components that at least traditionally (before the spread of westernized fast foods) are part of all Mediterranean cuisine. The traditional Mediterranean diet is a high fiber diet and one that incorporates far more whole grains, legumes and plant oils (olive oil) than the typical American diet.
The traditional Mediterranean diet happens to be the low glycemic way of eating! These foods do NOT raise your blood sugar. The healthiest way to eat is to eat food that is grown wherever you happen to live: locally raised meat (not too much,) fish, fruits and vegetables. You also need olive oil, raw nuts and seeds and cultured dairy products like yogurt and kefir.
Obviously, we can't get all our food home grown but we can get some. Certainly in most parts of the country it's possible to get a lot of fresh food. It seems easier and cheaper to pick up processed food flown in from all over the world at the super market. Actually, it's way more expensive in every way and it makes us fat!
I live with my family in Northern California in a temperate climate similar to Italy so we are able to grow lots of our own food and wine grapes. Early in the last century Italian immigrants moved here and started planting grapes which was the beginning of California's wine growing. We even raised our own meat, beef and lamb for a few years and still have chickens and bees. We've been eating a traditional Mediterranean diet for many years but didn't think about it in that way. We were just drawn to the idea of being able to grow our own food and work outdoors.
But no matter where you live or what you do it's possible to incorporate eating more fresh food grown locally, more of the Mediterranean style and types of foods and the communal way of eating. And, I might add, a physically active lifestyle. The traditional Mediterranean diet is centered on eating as a celebration of life, the seasons and as a reward for hard work.
People living around the Mediterranean naturally look to the sea for their protein needs and fish is the number one omega 3 food! This means it is loaded with omega 3 fatty acids and it promotes good health in many ways including the efficient burning of fat.
In fact, the traditional Mediterranean diet is rich in lots of omega 3 foods (olive oil, nuts, seeds, avocado, fish) which are foods that lower blood sugar. Omega 3 foods support balanced blood sugar as well as help you to burn fat. Omega 3 foods are essential for good weight control and good health.
The traditional Mediterranean diet/lifestyle is steeped in the old ways of centering social life around sharing meals with loved ones. This is a wine growing region and wine drinking is part of every day life. A glass of wine with a meal is a healthful, as well as delightful, experience.
Red wine, as you probably know by now because everybody you know who drinks wine has told you, has antioxidants in it and when you drink it in moderation (one 5 oz. glass for a woman and 2 for a man,) it's good for you! And it does seem to make food taste better and your company even more interesting. Always a good thing.
A meal becomes a time to celebrate the day and being with your friends and family! What could be better? This is a healthy diet plan that is more about intuitive eating (listening to your body) than obsessing about calories. If your new way of eating is to be a permanent lifestyle, everything about your eating experience needs to be a pleasure not a time of worry and calculation.
Even though there are many countries with different cultures along the Mediterranean Sea they share these common traditions of eating. When you share wine with your family in a convivial atmosphere you tend to savor the food and eat more slowly. Often the biggest meal of the day is lunch which means using those calories the rest of the day and eating lightly at dinner. Wow. The pounds can melt off. This is great for your metabolism when you are physically active the rest of the day.
Just making this shift can result in losing fat much more quickly.
Is it possible to eat your biggest meal at lunchtime? It's a great time to meet friends at a café or take your lunches to a park. Another very important factor is the mood we bring to the table. No eating while standing up in the kitchen! In fact, just eating outdoors makes eating more fun. At least make one of the day's meals special in some way whether it's candles, wine or just sharing foods with others.
Make this a time to loosen up and enjoy life. The traditional Mediterranean diet really means that food is not just about sustenance. It's about nourishing your body AND soul.
Our health depends not just on the nutrients in the food but on our positive feelings eating in relaxing company. Since our emotions play a role in our nutrition, affecting our digestion and absorption, it makes sense to eat when you're feeling happy. If you're feeling sad or angry take a walk instead!
Being disconnected from the experience of cooking and even where our food comes from has contributed to less healthy lives and many people who are overweight. The stress and fast pace of modern life is not conducive to good health. The traditional Mediterranean diet is a healthier lifestyle - taking pleasure in food grown by your neighbors or growing it yourself is more satisfying than eating at fast food places or microwaving something in a hurry. When you slow down you eat less.
Food is your best medicine. The traditional Mediterranean diet consists of
foods that prevent cancer and heart disease. Food is a powerful medicine and
your diet can be your best prevention against diseases ranging from cancer and
heart disease, attention deficit disorder and Alzheimer's. The omega 3 foods
help to prevent heart disease by lowering blood pressure and supporting
circulation. Cancer researchers have found that the omega 3 foods are immune
enhancing. Traditional Mediterranean diets are rich in omega 3 foods.
What about desserts and the traditional Mediterranean diet? The natural sweets, honey, maple syrup, dates and raisins and sometimes sugar sweetened desserts can be indulged in as long as you have made mostly low glycemic eating a habit.
Fresh figs with plain yogurt drizzled with a little honey is the perfect way to end the noon day meal. Traditionally these cultures used the natural sweeters rather than white sugar.
Occasional desserts ought to be a part of your traditional Mediterranean diet plan as long as you eat them early in the day and plan physical activity for later.
Another characteristic of the Mediterranean cultures was that these people were quite physically active. People worked hard outdoors and ate what they wanted. Is there a lesson for us here? Add daily walking or other exercise as an afternoon or after work habit and you are on your way to a lifetime of fat loss.
So how to get from where you are to this way of eating?
Consider buying a juicer to start out your day with an alkaline boost of greens. Keep your meals simple and include lots of omega 3 foods, cruciferous vegetables, and other fruits and vegetables and whole grains for an anti cancer diet. Over time you will lose fat, feel more energetic and you will have adopted new habits that will keep you healthy for a lifetime.
Give your body the nutrients it needs with a traditional Mediterranean diet and you will be happy, healthy, beautiful and ageless!
Life is meant to be a celebration!
How to eat yummy foods and still lose weight!
Find out how to eat each day, how much of each food group, when to eat it and how to stay thin life long! This is a visual guide with specific directions.
Like Lifetime Fat Loss? Please tell a friend!
Subscribe to our Free monthly newsletter, "Nothing to Lose But Fat!"
Do you want to balance your metabolism, lower your blood sugar and have optimal health and longevity?
Learn about the latest breakthroughs in the science of weight managment and how others are getting slender on the Lifetime Fat Loss Low Glycemic Plan!