The Mediterranean Diet is not a diet to follow but a way of living one would adopt and a way of living that once is adopted it will lead us into a healthy life. Who wouldn’t like to be healthy? And who wouldn’t like to see his or her family live a healthy life?
If you have adopted a healthy way of living wouldn’t you take all actions to educate your family to understand the benefits of a healthy diet and follow this diet? Well, once you have adopted the Mediterranean way of living, you will not need a lot of effort to ensure that the whole family has adopted and follow Med diet, it all depends on the status of the family, age, education and various other factors which may make life easier for all.
Educate your family
Educating the family to follow the Mediterranean Diet can be challenging and fun at the same time but it is very important to get them involved to understand that by following the Mediterranean diet they will not undergo through a deprivation or denial phase. Instead they will follow the Mediterranean way of living which is a proven and healthy way of living.
There many ways to educate the family. You can refer to the various studies which have taken place over the years and have proven that Med diet helps in preventing heart diseases, cardiovascular diseases, prolongs our lives and helps protects us against other diseases like various forms of cancer. You may also refer to the Seven Countries study which was performed in the 60s by Ancel Keys and which has shown once again that the Mediterranean Diet and specifically the Diet followed by the Cretans was a superior diet and much healthier than the American diet.
You may refer them to the latest ABC wellbeing guide for weight loss diets where the Mediterranean Diet was the only diet/eating plan which has won a score 5 out of 5 and this proves that by following the Med diet you can be healthy and lose weight so that you would be at the normal levels.
Education makes the family aware as to why they enter this new and fresh way of living and they are not just followers of something imposed on them. They would turn into true believers and at a later stage, preachers for the Mediterranean Diet. We do not want people to be adopters just for the sake of it. They should know and understand why the Mediterranean Diet is the way to go.
The Mediterranean Breakfast
Breakfast should become the important meal of the day. It is the breakfast that would give you all the energy you will need during the day. The Mediterranean breakfast consists of foods high in fiber and protein. There is no unique Mediterranean Diet breakfast and this allows you to improvise and provide the variety which will keep your family on the alert as long as they like changes. Each country, in the Mediterranean Sea, has its own breakfast tradition but if you take a look at them you will see that most of them include dairy products, bread, fruits and nuts as part of their breakfast.
You would need to educate your family to not only eat a good breakfast but a healthy one too. You may take advantage of the breakfast time to explain to them the contents of each food, why it is healthy and whether the food is high protein or a high fiber one. If they are young kids you can teach them to play with breakfast food finding some funny ideas to correlate good and healthy food with breakfast ideas and for goodness sake avoid those bacons and sausages.
The In-between snacks
For in-between snacks we suggest you use fruits, an apple or a plum. You can also eat some dried fruits and nuts with yogurt. These combinations can help you stay healthy and fit. You have it as a target to eat 2-3 fruits a day. You may also prepare and eat carrots with lemon and salt as a snack or a few sticks ofcelery!
The Mediterranean Lunch
The Mediterranean Lunch is usually taken around 13:00 and it varies day by day. The frequencies the meals appear within a month’s timeframe depend on the level they are on the Mediterranean Diet Pyramid. The usual depiction of the Med Diet Pyramid is: most frequently eaten foods are in the bottom of the pyramid and the less frequent on top. We would like to present it upside down so that the most frequent-to-be eaten foods will appear on the top. Use the Mediterranean Diet pyramid to find the ingredients you need to prepare your lunch. Use vegetables to make salads, legumes to prepare a hot meal or fish to prepare a nice and healthy lunch. You can use artichokes, zucchini, eggplant and other vegetables to make a hot meal. Eat fruits instead of sweets after lunch. Drink plain still water with any of your meals.
Find the meals and ingredients that the whole family can eat so that you will avoid preparing two or more meals and above all encourage the whole family to adopt the Med diet. There are a lot of casseroles which have their basis vegetables and not just meat. Explore the Mediterranean cuisine, check for new Mediterranean recipes and use Olive oil for salads and cooking.
Greek Yogurt: Yogurt is part of the Mediterranean diet and can be eaten as breakfast with cereal, as a snack with fruits and as desert with honey. Have this in mind and explain this to your family and friends. You may prefer to use Greek Yogurt instead of any other yogurt and this is because of the many benefits Greek Yogurt has. You may educate your family by reading a few of the articles on Greek yogurt.
The Mediterranean Diet Dinner: The Mediterranean Dinner should be as light as possible and should follow the basic principles of the Med diet. Meat should be eaten rarely, once or twice a month. You should eat fish and vegetables and cheeses, more white cheese than mature yellow cheese. You should use Olive oil as much as possible.
The Mediterranean Diet rules or commandments: It is important to teach your family the basic rules of the Mediterranean diet more like the 10 commandments of Moses. Teaching them to your family makes them understand the rules of the game and thus appreciate its benefits. These basic rules are, but not limited to, the following: Use Olive oil in place of any oil or fat, eat fresh fruits daily, use vegetables in or with your meals, eat yogurt daily, include wholegrain produce in your daily intakes and eat fish by avoiding as much possible red meat. As for sweets, eat nuts and dried fruits.
You need to convince your family and friends to switch to a healthy diet because they deserve it and because you care for them. It is important to educate them and convince them to change their way of living and follow the Mediterranean Diet. Remember that prevention is better than therapy, so it is better to have a healthy and fit diet than an obese one.