Greek Getaway: Your Mediterranean Diet Plan
What we eat has implications for the rest of our body; our gut, our immune health, even our mental health. Following a Mediterranean diet plan in place of a typical American diet has been shown to reduce symptoms of heart disease, depression, Alzheimer’s, and natural or medical weight loss. The Mediterranean diet is a champion for longevity in the form of alkaline foods.
The buildup of body fat is usually from overindulging in simple carbs and sugar (acidic foods). The reason for this is that they provide your body with instant energy therefore leaving it to ignore burning preexisting fat for fuel. Additionally, your body will store the leftover glucose (carbs and sugar) as body fat for a later time…unless you repeat the process.
Most processed foods contain more sugar than anything naturally does. Sugar spikes you blood glucose levels which means your body tries to regulate those levels by releasing insulin. This high jolt in energy to low crash can easily affect mood changes. Additionally, processed foods or simple carbs do not provide your Grbody the nutrients it needs to function as it is supposed to. Overdoing on simple carbs (pasta, bread, etc.) helps your body with temporary energy and then the rest is stored as fat. The Med diet combats fat with healthy fat.
You need alkaline foods (almonds, leafy greens, etc.). The foods in a staple Mediterranean diet are ideal for weight loss because they are real, wholesome foods. It is easy to fall in love with them and never get bored of. The Mediterranean diet is high in fibrous produce, lean proteins, oils, and healthy fats including legumes, and mixed grains. These are all the food groups people should be primarily composing their diets of.
A Mediterranean diet plan has so many features that not only nourish our body (and therefore rid of the body of acidic buildup) it also cognitively makes us feel better. Folate foods like avocado, spinach, and legumes have Vitamin B which helps your brain pump dopamine (our happy feelings). Lean proteins like turkey produce serotonin, which relaxes us. The healthy fats from almonds also have magnesium which is a natural aid in reducing signs of depression. Foods rich in iron, spinach, seaweed, and grass-fed beef can also be used to lift your mood by providing your red blood cells with oxygen and therefore keeping you energized and upbeat. The Mediterranean diet is known to be full of omega-3 rich foods, like salmon. Omega-3 is all around pertinent to mood enhancing as it combats mood swings and prevents mental deterioration.
With all that said, eating a Mediterranean diet will balance your hormones which makes it easy for your body to focus on ridding its waste. When your hormones and thoughts are in sync with the rest of your body, the rest of your health tends to follow suit.
So what is the main difference between the Mediterranean diet and the typical American diet? The location of the grocery store.
The typical American diet can be found in the aisles of the grocery store that contains boxes and cans. The Mediterranean diet can be found in the refrigerated and produce sections of your grocery store. That makes your shopping trip easier, doesn’t it?
Here is a day on a typical Mediterranean Diet Plan:
Whole eggs are high in protein and omega-3, spinach is high in fiber and iron, tomatoes are high in beta-carotene, and 2 scrambled eggs, handful of spinach, tomato, and feta cheese is a healthier option compared to other cheeses in the marketplace.
Mixed berries and almonds are a satisfying combination of antioxidants and protein.
Romaine lettuce, bell peppers, red onion, black olives, grilled chicken, toasted chickpeas, and Dill Greek Yogurt Dressing.
This salad should be colorful. When you eat a diet in varied colors you eat a diet in varied benefits. With the exceptions of chickpeas, can be bought in the produce and poultry section of your grocery store.
- Toasted Chickpeas: These will serve as your salad’s croutons.
- 1 can of chickpeas
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- Sea salt
- 2-4 teaspoons of paprika and garlic powder
- Drain and rinse your chickpeas.
- In a bowl toss your olive oil, seasonings, and chickpeas for well-coating.
- Roast your chickpeas on a sheet pan for 20-30 minutes in a 400 degree Fahrenheit oven.
Cod, grilled asparagus, and a traditional Greek couscous is a light, filling meal with lean protein, healthy complex carbs, and the comfort of warm couscous.
- In a frying pan, lightly cook your cod in some olive oil with various seasonings like parsley and lemon slices. Your fish should always be cooked so it is flakey enough to cut into like butter! Delicious! If you don’t feel like you can cook your fish in a pan without burning it, lightly coat it in olive oil and your seasonings and put in the oven for a bit until cooked thoroughly.
The Mediterranean diet is known for its zero fear of healthy fats. For dessert whip up a very simple, healthy fat- filled chocolate mousse.
- Avocado Chocolate Mousse:
- 2 avocados
- 40 grams of cocoa powder
- ¼ cup of milk (more if needed)
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 1/8 teaspoon of salt
- Bit of sweetener of choice (Stevia, honey, etc.)
Combine all your ingredient sin a food processor until evenly blended. Put in the refrigerator until chilled and then enjoy! Whether you want to lose weight in Orlando, California or the Greek islands, the Mediterranean diet might just be a good way to go! Here’s to looking your best and enjoying some Greek tzatziki sauce while you’re at it!