I was more interested in meal planning. Like sandwiches, meats etc......I do know that most of the secret in the cooking of these meals are the sauces that you use on or in them. BTW: I love Challah bread! Was brought up with it and more. Although we were not of the ethnic the bread is awesome.
I skip butter and margarine and dip my bread in the olive oil with a little pepper on top.
I try to eat zucchini and eggplant often- I put it on the BBQ grill after putting a little olive oil on each side.
I eat a ton of salads- filled with spinach, tomatoes, romaine, and then I put some flax seed (it's pretty good actually) or sunflower seeds on top- drizzle with oil and vinegar (I use apple cider vinegar because it's supposed to promote weight loss). Skip the croutons and put on some feta cheese, I sometimes put craisins on top of all that. It's a meal in itself.
For dessert stay away from processed sweets. Have some fresh fruit with yogurt (I've recently started finding greek yogurt in the groc. store, which is lovely with fruit).
You want to eat "healthy" fats- that means lots of nuts, peanut butter is okay (just watch the calories with that stuff).
Eat less red meat- but fish is fine.
For snacks try nuts, feta cheese with olives, etc.
You really want to avoid processed breads- but if you're like me and need them, then you're going to want whole grain- (that goes for everything- pasta, bread, rice, etc).
Lots of fresh veggies at every meal is the key. You can have an egg for breakfast- but avoid sausauge and white toast. Try to instead have yogurt and fruit/ nuts for breakfast, with a slice of whole grain toast- with peanut butter.
No Problem. I really love this diet, because it's more about eating healthy- Portion control is a big issue for me- I love to eat and eat. That's why the nuts/ peanut butter helps, the protein keeps you full and the salads fill you up without empty calories. I forgot to mention honey before, it has a lot of antioxidant properties and even though it IS sugary, it's definitely better than white refined sugar. I use it on yogurt sometimes (you'll notice a lot of greek foods/desserts have honey). I use it in my tea too, because I like caffeine. My mother likes to drink kefir, which is more of a natural alternative to our over processed and hyper pasteurized milks/yogurts. Again, fat isn't the issue- the right kind of fat is.
Also, cinnamon is a favorite spice for that area- cinnamon actually controls blood sugar, so if I'm going to be eating something with sugar, often I eat cinnamon too. They sell it in capsules, but the best way to get the healthy benefits is to actually consume the product. My mom will make (she's greek, btw) hamburgers with cinnamon, which sounds a little gross, but if you don't put too much on it's fine.
Garlic has a huge benefit as well- You can make a nice topping for pasta (whole grain/wheat pasta) by mixing olive oil/tomatoes/garlic and eating that.
Those are two spices (garlic and cinnamon) that really pack a healthy punch/good flavor in those foods. I actually will sometimes take the cloves (fresh of course) and just saute it in a little olive oil so that it's brown. Then throw in some broccoli/mushrooms/zucchini and put that over pasta or quinoa (pronounced keen-wa). Quinoa is kind of like a cross between barley and rice- it's very very delicious and healthier than rice and easier on blood sugar. It looks a little weird, but as soon as you try it you'll be hooked.
the last years the Mediterranean diet became so popular but if I can refer to my child years where we did eat completely Mediterranean here in Greece before it became popular, the main factor of this diet was the freshness of the products. The products that existed at this time in the country (for instance bread from the bakery and not sandwich bread from the supermarket) had to be all fresh.
On some foods freshness was THE nr 1 reason to buy them. For instance fish.
To answer your question generally I would say fresh Vegetables, Fish, red meat seldom, fruits and Alcohol in moderation. This Alcohol could be Wine, ouzo mixed with water or Raki.
Feel free to contact me on specific questions.
Hi. If I decide to be on Mediterranean diet , what foods should I buy ? What kind of food are allowed and what are not ? Thanks