Mediterranean Foods

mediterranean-foodA friend of mine recently took me to dinner at Vlora Bar and Restaurant on Boyleston Street in Boston (vloraboston.com) for a Mediterranean style meal. I had heard about the benefits of the Mediterranean diet before but I never gave it all that much thought as far as incorporating it into my own diet. After my wonderful meal of Mediterranean style cod, I was inspired to give it a go at home.

I began eating a lot more salads made up of dark leafy greens with some sunflower seeds and feta cheese. I also started using extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar instead of my usual creamy ranch dressing. I also started eating a lot more tree nuts like walnuts and almonds between meals for a snack. The nuts are so nutrient dense I rarely eat more than ten of either variety, and I feel very satisfied without being weighed down. I also eat at least one apple a day for improved digestion. Eating an apple a day really can keep the doctor away. Twice a week I’ll eat a fish meal. I usually alternate between cod or haddock and salmon. I also drizzle olive oil on the fish along with lemon and some Italian herbs. I always broil the fish rather than frying for the enhanced flavor and health benefits. I’ve also been working more beans into my diet as well. I sometimes mix pinto with white beans with a lot of organic salsa for a spicy kick. I usually have beans about once every week and a half or so because they’re so filling.

Breakfast is almost always two eggs with olive oil and a bowl of whole grain cereal with almond milk. I’ve been moving away from cow’s milk to avoid the animal protein. If I’m running late I’ll usually have a couple of pieces of toast with honey to get my day started.

I also have a glass or two of red wine with a few nuts. Lately, I’ve been enjoying a variety of Italian wines in keeping with the Mediterranean theme but red wine from just about anywhere is fine as far as the health benefits.

When I’m looking for something on the sweet side, I have some yogurt with some kind of added fruit like blueberries or peach. When I really need a sweet fix, I look for the dark chocolate stashed in the refrigerator.

As you can see, there’s quite a variety of foods to choose from. It might be quite a transition from the American diet but I think it’s worth the trouble.