If I could describe my own eating plan it would be a cross between what I consider the best of the Mediterrainean and the CSIRO diets. I don't actually think about it, I just shop for healthy foods I love, seaking both variety and the best economy I can get and when I plan a meal I present it with a god balance of nutrition and I make sure the daily nutrition balance is 'right.' I will always value the nutrition training I have done and maintained, it makes food choices easy for me.
I am taking a look at the Mediterranean Diet, or more correctly, eating guidelines, as there are no set eating plan. That is good, I enjoy making my own decisions and not being told exactly what I have to eat. I also think shopping with a set shopping list is a very expensive way to shop unless you are the sort of person waylaid by the processed food and desert foods. I am not.
What I LOVE about this eating plan is the handful of almonds as a snack and the glass of wine with the meal.
What I think we need to remember is that the dried fruit in the countryside where this eating plan originated is not the same high preservative laden fruit we get here in Australia. I would be eating fresh fruit not dried fruit by choice as my second snack.
I like that no food is banned. It calls for sensible, adult, moderation. It treats us as capable of making adult, portion controlled and healthy food choices while allowing the occasional special treat. That is a food plan I would be happy to live with.
Unlike many diets, the Mediterranean Diet doesn't promote a specific step-by-step eating pattern or menu planners. Instead it offers an overarching philosophy to lifelong healthy eating habits. A number of studies into the traditional diet of the people from the island of Crete, in Greece – along with other Mediterranean populations – have found this diet particularly beneficial for good heart health. Over the years there have been numerous translations of the diet and it is being increasingly used as a means of controlling weight as well as improving overall health. It is a diet that emphasises:
Breakfast: bread topped with tomato, red onion, herbs and olive oil, plus grapefruit.
Snack: small handful of almonds.
Lunch: butternut pumpkin or soup with legumes, one thick slice of wholegrain bread, dates.
Snack: dried fruit.
Dinner: fish, vegetables, one glass of wine, and fruit for dessert.
The Mediterranean Diet is often promoted for its proven benefits on heart health and reducing the risk of diabetes. But it is also gaining recognition as an effective tool in weight management, especially when coupled with portion control or kilojoule reduction. It is a balanced diet as there are no restrictions on major food groups. Meanwhile, the consumption of red meat is low – and this helps keep the bodies pH balance at a level that promotes good bone health. Those almonds and legumes are fantastic for good bone density. I like this eating plan.