Explore Fresh Foods and Flavors
While the Mediterranean lifestyle is about much more than a diet , the way you eat is a vital part of the way you live . In the Mediterranean diet , meals are made around the goodness of vegetables , fruits , whole grains and healthy fats like olive oil . Herbs and spices bring a dash of flavor and variety . Lean proteins like fish , seafood , beans , legumes , poultry and nuts replace red meat , which can still be served on occasion . Low-fat cheeses , yogurts and milk are welcome in moderation . Water is the drink of choice , but you can still enjoy that morning mug of coffee , a soothing cup of tea and a daily glass of red wine ! With its focus on plant-based foods , whole grains and healthy fats , vegans are also at home on the Mediterranean diet and can pump up their protein intake with a high-quality vegan protein powder . And unlike those frustrating fad diets , the Mediterranean lifestyle is not about counting or cutting anything , but simply savoring a wellbalanced approach to eating . Share Moments and Meals Together
In the minds of the Mediterranean people , happiness comes from savoring good food and good times with loved ones . Spending time with family and friends is the highlight of every day . And the good relationships that result are the key to a good life and good health . In Mediterranean countries , leisurely meals with friendly faces tend to last for hours .
Shops close for nearly half of the afternoon so people can have relaxing lunches together . Meals are about more than eating , they ’ re about sharing time together . From gathering around the table for a lively meal with family to meeting friends to laugh over lunch , enjoying the pleasures of life and food with those you love is a happy and healthy way to live . Trade Grab-and-Go for Stop and Savor
If you ’ re used to grabbing breakfast as you ’ re running out the door , racing through a quick lunch at your desk , devouring a snack in the car and mindlessly eating a frozen dinner while watching TV , you may feel full but not fulfilled . But taking time to enjoy every bite of every meal is part of the Mediterranean way of life . The Mediterranean Diet is about making eating a pleasure . This begins by making time to savor your meals . Slowing down and paying attention to your food is a healthier way to eat . After all , it takes around 20 minutes for your brain to signal that you ’ re full . If you eat too quickly , you will end up consuming more food , fat and calories than you need . But slowing down and tuning in to both your food and your appetite make it easier to get greater satisfaction from smaller portions since you ’ ll sense when you ’ re really full . Move to the Mediterranean
In Mediterranean countries , you won ’ t find crowds sweating in a gym , lifting weights for hours or signing up for boot camps to stay fit . Instead , you ’ ll see people strolling around the market , working in the garden , taking evening walks with family , and walking and talking with friends . Exercise happens naturally as staying active is a part of life . It ’ s truly a different world than in America , where people drive everywhere and look for excuses to skip the gym . But physical activity offers benefits for your body , your mind and your mood . The Mediterranean lifestyle is not about working out , but about working in daily activities you enjoy like tennis , swimming , gardening and even dancing ! Get Away From it All
If your life is filled with stress and schedules , it ’ s time to escape to the Mediterranean where it ’ s not just the pace that ’ s relaxed , it ’ s also the people . Studies show that slowing down and taking time to relax is one of the healthiest habits you can adopt . Relaxing refreshes your mind , restores your energy , renews your outlook and reinforces a positive sense of self-esteem . The way to bring this Mediterranean habit home is by taking time to rest and relax , such as catching an afternoon nap , taking a walk in the woods , reading a good book or simply sitting by a soothing lake . Make Life a Laughing Matter
It may seem funny , but a good laugh is the best medicine in the Mediterranean lifestyle . Laughter and a sense of humor are important parts of life . And the physical , emotional and social benefits of laughing are no joke because laughter lowers your blood pressure and strengths your immune system . It also releases feel-good endorphins that ease stress , reduce tension , improve your mood and boost your confidence . And laughter is good for your social life because it strengthens your relationships and connects you with others . When you ’ re living and loving a Mediterranean lifestyle , laughter is just what the doctor ordered .
The Mediterranean lifestyle is a refreshing way to live . It ’ s about sharing meals and sharing time . It ’ s about a sense of belonging and sense of humor . It ’ s about balanced eating and balanced living . It ’ s about staying active and staying happy . And it ’ s about time to embrace the satisfaction of the Mediterranean diet and lifestyle . Bring the beauty of Mediterranean living home with these simple pleasures for a healthy and happy life .
Extraordinary Health ™ • Vol 41 11