It Was All Greek To Me--Until Now.
By Valentine Reed-Johnson
It's a new year! Time to recalibrate. Think about healthy resolutions after all that glorious holiday food.
We’ve all heard of the Mediterranean diet and its benefits--olive oil, fish, nuts, wine!—seems to be the way to go if you want to stay healthy. You probably even have cookbooks telling you how to cook Med. But what dietitians know, that you may not, is this: If you are serious about this diet, alongside getting sweaty a few days a week, you will be even more beautiful, energetic, and long lived than you could imagine.
Why? For starters, certain foods cause inflammation and an inflammatory environment more easily hosts diseases. And then, of course, there is the effect on your skin and hair, making one more smooth and the other more lustrous. And sweating, known as the secret to which models live by, keeps that body toned, moving and bending the way you want. Now is the time you really need it.
So--here are a few ideas about how:
Breakfast. Could do eggs made with an olive oil spray. Protein is a great way to start the day. Coupled with vegetables, like spinach and tomatoes provides iron and antioxidant properties. A slice of whole wheat bread or fruit will provide carbohydrate to wake your brain. And have you heard of kombucha? Or know anything about green tea’s benefits, but reliant on coffee. Switching could be worth a try.
Snacks. An apple with almond butter is delicious and filling. Almond milk also gives you protein, with additional calcium. Or maybe Greek yogurt with some berries.
Lunch. Try a kale, spinach salad, with nuts and beans for plant based protein. Blue cheese for probiotics. Quinoa for fiber and protein. With the addition of vegetables like tomatoes, broccoli, or brussel sprouts. Or avocado. Any will provide color and nutrient density. Don’t spoil it with the dressing. Stick with olive oil, good vinegar, lemon. Sufficiently delicious.
Dinner. Salmon, sweet potatoes with skin, swiss chard or other leafy greens, cooked in olive oil and garlic. Perfect. Other sides: cabbage, brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower.
Bottom line, try to stay away from over processed, sugary, white foods. They not only puff, but also lead to that inflammatory environment. Stick with the good stuff. And move. Pilates once a week with friends won’t do it. But serious moving and sweating two or three days a week, alongside a colorful, wholesome Med diet, will.
Valentine Reed-Johnson is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist. She is currently working at a leading hospital in NYC, at an OB/GYN clinic, specializing in diabetes care in the pregnant patient. Her true passion is wellness nutrition, with a focus on weight loss using the Med lifestyle. She has a successful private practice where she sees her clients lose significant weight, but more importantly, feel the best they’ve felt in years. Check out her website valentinenutrition.net, soon to be .com.