10 Things You Can Do to Live like You're In the Mediterranean

May 5, 2023

This May we are celebrating International Mediterranean Diet Month. 

Today, the Mediterranean Diet is more popular than ever, with new research every month documenting its benefits.

Starting at the base of the pyramid, you’ll find an emphasis on activity and social connections. 

Moving upward, you’ll see the core foods that you’ll shop for and enjoy every day: whole grains, fruits, vegetables, beans, herbs, spices, nuts and healthy fats such as olive oil. 

Fish and seafood are typically eaten at least twice a week, and dairy foods – especially fermented dairy like yogurt and traditional cheese – are eaten frequently in moderate portions.

Eggs and occasional poultry are also part of the Mediterranean Diet, but red meat and sweets are rarely eaten.

Water, and wine (for those who drink) are typical beverages.

Taking inspiration from our beloved Mediterranean Diet Pyramid

Here are 10 things you can do this May to live like you’re in the Mediterranean!

1. Phones off, eat at the table.

Sharing meals around the table is a great joy of life, and one that’s good for you, too.

Eating together can help reduce stress, build family relationships, and improve the quality of food choices. 

Frequent family meals have also been related to better nutritional intake.

2. Take a walk during the day.

Traditionally, people were active daily, incorporating walking and movement into their everyday routines. If you love the gym, that’s great!

But if you don’t, starting your morning with a walk, or getting outside during your lunch break, is a great way to add more movement to your day.

Dancing, gardening, yoga, and online exercise videos are a few more fun ways to get a little more activity in your day-to-day routine!

Find a fitness practice that you enjoy, and you’ll be much more likely to stick with it.

3. Pre-cook whole grains for easy access

The health benefits of whole grains are far-reaching—and the medical evidence is clear that whole grains reduce risk of stroke, cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.

You can add whole grains to your meals without cooking, simply by choosing breads, breakfast cereals, and other prepared whole grain foods.

If you’d like to enjoy delicious whole grains at home as a side dish... 

Doing this ahead of time will allow nutritious meals to come together simply and quickly.

4. Find creative ways to add extra veggies to your meals

From a simple plate of sliced fresh tomatoes drizzled with olive oil and crumbled feta cheese to stunning salads, garlicky greens, fragrant soups and stews, healthy pizzas, or oven-roasted medleys...

Vegetables are vitally important to the fresh tastes and delicious flavors of the Med Diet.

There are many simple ways to add veggies into your favorite meals—even if you are a meat lover!

5. Cook with olive oil

Heritage diets limit saturated fat, which typically comes from animal products like red meat and butter.

Instead, they emphasize sources of unsaturated fats.

This type of fat can help reduce bad cholesterol levels in your blood, which can lower your risk of heart disease and stroke.

It also provides nutrients to help develop and maintain your body’s cells.

Some simple ways to incorporate unsaturated fats in your diet include cooking with olive oil.

You can use olive oil for many forms of cooking—sautéing, roasting, grilling, and more. 

You can even bake with it to boost the nutrition in your baked goods!

6. Season with herbs and spices

Herbs and spices boost the flavor of your meal, so that you don’t need to rely on a lot of salt. 

Plus, they have great health benefits! 

From simply adding as a garnish, to making sauces, dressings, and stocks—there are so many ways to use fresh herbs!

7. Use canned seafood

With the goal to eat seafood at least twice a week.

Canned seafood is a simple and affordable option full of nutritional benefits such as Omega-3 fatty acids, protein, and vitamins and minerals such as B12, iron, Vitamin D and selenium.

An easy Mediterranean meal with canned seafood is Whole Grain Pasta with Sardines and Swiss Chard!

8. Try going meatless once a week

Build meals around beans, whole grains, and vegetables, and heighten the flavor with fragrant herbs and spices. 

Down the road, try two nights per week!

9. Eat fruit for dessert

Daily, whole fruit is a perfect dessert —healthy and delicious. 

For those special days when more is called for is to keep some sugar, and also think about adding nutrition to the dessert.

Adding fruit, nuts, whole grains, healthy fats, or even vegetables to make a delicious dessert that also happens to be on the healthier side. 

Or to go one step further, base desserts around the seasonal fruit you love!

10. Change the way you think about meat

If you eat meat, have smaller amounts – small strips of sirloin in a vegetable sauté, or a dish of pasta garnished with diced prosciutto.

The Mediterranean Diet is grounded on the principles of enjoyment and pleasure. Foods, drinks and meals are best eaten with others, when possible, and savored.

As you follow the Mediterranean Diet, keep in mind that weight control is very important for good health. Establish your healthy weight range from your doctor or from reputable web sites, and let this healthy weight range be your guide.

Use these 10 tips to eat like you do in the Mediterranean. 

How to get started?

If you like the Mediterranean diet and want recipes to get started.

We do recommend getting The 21 Day Mediterranean Diet Challenge. 

It's a weekly Mediterranean Meal Plan, grocery lists and recipes to help you get started.

Let us take all the hard work out of the Mediterranean diet for you! Hundreds of women are experiencing the same struggle you’re going through right now.

  • 21-days of meal planning, done for you
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Go ahead and click here for The 21 Day Challenge 

Want easy Mediterranean recipes and meals that's planned for you?

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