So you have decided to finally embrace the Mediterranean lifestyle, and now you’re ready to eat right, deliciously, and healthily. Congratulations for making that first big step! You won’t regret making this choice, as you will find out that it’s one diet that doesn’t feel, or taste, like you’re even dieting at all! For starters, the Mediterranean Diet is all about flavors and nutrients, so you won’t feel deprived, or sluggish, or cranky at all.
Now that you are about to begin your exciting journey with the Mediterranean lifestyle, it’s time to cut back, or even better, say goodbye to soda, red meat, processed food, and sweets, just to name a few. We have made a list for you to help you get started on the Mediterranean Diet. Also to keep you focused inside the supermarket and not wander to the not-so-healthy food aisles.
Monounsaturated fats and Omega 3 fatty acids, which are found in olive oil, are great for the heart. So throw out your butter and margarine in the fridge, and start cooking your meals using only the best quality olive oil.
Pick fatty fish, like salmon or tuna. You can cook them in so many delicious ways, and they are readily available in your local supermarket. Instead of red meat, make it fresh fish! You can steam it, bake it, grill it, just don’t fry it.
Chicken is good. Chicken is healthy. Take out the skin and avoid frying it. Buy chicken thighs and season it with spices like chili powder, cumin, garlic or Italian spice. You can bake, steam, and grill, and then pair it with your favorite salad, or some brown rice.
What are the three basic herbs you must have in your kitchen for that authentic Mediterranean flavor? You guessed it right! These are parsley, mint, and basil. You can buy it at your local store, or you can even start your own little herb garden.
Brown rice, quinoa, couscous, barley, oatmeal, whole wheat tortillas --- take your pick! Just make sure you’re getting the unrefined whole grains so you can enjoy all the vitamins, fiber, and antioxidant phytochemicals present in them.
Eat vegetables, lots and lots of vegetables. Eat vegetables in all colors to pack in as much nutrients and antioxidants in your body. The goal is to have at least 3 servings of vegetables a day (a serving is about 2 cups) every day. If you can have more servings each day, the better! You should always eat a lot of broccoli, peas, spinach, carrots, onions, peppers, squash, zucchini, kale, tomatoes, corn, mushrooms, and potatoes, to name a few.
Nuts and Beans
Stock up on unsalted nuts like almonds, walnuts, hazelnut, Brazil, and pistachio. Also stock up on beans, like white beans, kidney beans, black, red or green beans, and pinto beans. When you feel a pang of hunger, you can always munch on these, or you can use them to top your salads and sauces. Both equally delicious!
Dairy and Cheese
If you love dairy and cheese, you can still get to enjoy them even when you’re on the Mediterranean diet. Eggs, semi-skimmed milk, Greek yogurt, low-fat cheese (cottage cheese, feta cheese, mozzarella or parmesan) are good to go.
Not only are they delicious, fruits are packed with vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants. They’re also healthy and delicious desserts that will satisfy your sweet tooth. Make sure you have plenty of fruits ready to eat at home or at the office. Try to get different fruits every week and excite your taste buds each time.
Now that you have this list of your Mediterranean diet must-haves, you can now make that trip to the grocery well-prepared. Or you can also visit our shop here for more gourmet and healthy choices!