With all the “diets” out there, it is SO difficult to find one that works for your individual body. And frankly, trying diet after diet can not only be discouraging, but expensive and stressful too. 

I always stress that every person is an individual and that no ONE diet will work for everyone. But there is one diet or way of life, as I prefer to call it, which will make everyone healthier!  It’s been around for centuries and has been tested and approved by millions of people.  It’s the Mediterranean Diet.

 

A while back, Peter Jaret from Eating Well Magazine wrote a “Guide to Eating the Mediterranean Way.”  His twelve suggestions are easy and cost efficient, and include ideas for simple swap-outs like replacing butter with olive oil. Taking clues from traditional Spanish, Greek and Italian cuisine, we can all enjoy food that is healthy and full of flavor. Here are Jaret’s 12 Quick Tips for a Healthy Diet (and my side notes):

 1. Replace butter with olive or canola oil whenever possible.

2. Snack on nuts, seeds or fruit instead of processed foods.

3. Include a generous leafy green salad with most dinners. (Greens help purify your blood, ease depression & give you a boost of energy)

4. Help yourself to whole-grain bread, pasta, rice and other grains. (Try different pastas like brown rice, quinoa and whole wheat. Eat brown rice whenever possible).

5. Fix at least a couple of vegetarian meals every week. (Eating vegetarian meals just a few times a week will help reduce your chances for heart disease and diabetes).

6. Add a dish or two that contains legumes (beans and lentils) to your weekly menu.

7. Have fish (not fried) at least twice a week. (Alaskan or Wild Pacific Salmon are great sources of important Omega 3 oils)

8. If you eat meat, favor chicken and other poultry.

9. Eat red meat only occasionally, and in small servings. (Treat meat as a condiment, and you won’t have to deprive yourself of your favorites!)

10. If you drink alcohol, have no more than a glass or two with a meal. (Red wine has been proven in many studies to be beneficial in moderation.)

11. Enjoy fruit for dessert.  (Seasonal produce packs more nutrients for your dollar)

12. Set aside enough time to savor every bite.  (Conscious eating helps you with portion control!)

 Go to http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/collections/healthy_mediterranean_recipes.html for healthy Mediterranean recipes