The Mediterranean Diet helps me lose weight. If I am looking to lose weight, I need a diet that I can adhere to, which is varied and healthy, as even with all the best intentions in the world I probably would not last more than a few days on cabbage soup or a raw vegetable diet.
The Mediterranean Diet however is enjoyable and tasty, and very easy to manage. There are a lot of different and tasty meals from a variety of exotic and interesting cuisines, so it is easy to incorporate this change to your lifestyle and it is unlikely that you will ever get tired of it.
Though the Mediterranean region includes a large number of countries the Mediterranean Diet is limited to the cuisine of just a few areas; Southern Italy, Greece, Spain and Morocco.
Some of the main ingredients that are utilized are;
Olive Oil – is deemed to provide protection against heart disease and certain cancers as well as a number of other diseases from osteoporosis to diabetes.
Fish – a diet rich in omega 3 is very beneficial to the heart and it is suggested that fish is eaten at least once a week.
Tomatoes – are a staple of this diet especially in the Southern Italian region where tomato based sauces are widely used. Tomatoes have a number of healthy properties especially for men as cooked tomato can lower the risk of prostate cancer.
Wine – Yes this one’s my favourites, a couple of glasses of wine with your meal is good for your health, a bottle of wine with your meal is even better!
Another great thing about Mediterranean cooking is that you can find most of the ingredients locally and with the ever increasing internet, you can even go online and pick up all your herbs and spices right from your computer. A great place to find a huge variety of herbs and spices is on this link as they stock most of them.
Mediterranean cooking does not require special equipment or gadgets, nor hard to find pots and pans.
If you really want to make it authentic you could purchase a Paella dish or a Moroccan Tagine. A heavy bottomed grill pan would also be useful for cooking Mediterranean style dishes. In terms of equipment a mortar and pestle would come in handy, but you can use it with any cooking.
If you wish to learn more about the Mediterranean Diet I would recommend these two books;
The Complete Idiot’s Guide to the Mediterranean Diet – this book goes really in depth explaining the benefits of the diet as well as providing you with seventy five tasty recipes. It also makes it really easy for you to start this diet with meal plans and shopping lists. I certainly do not consider myself as an idiot but I like things simple and easy when it comes to cooking, so this book really suits me, and probably would be ideal for you as well.
The New Mediterranean Diet Cookbook: A Delicious Alternative for Lifelong Health – is a great compliment to the other book, it provides you with a further 250 recipes which are all suitable for the American Kitchen. I like how the author weaves in a bit of history about the cuisine into the recipes as well.
Certainly worth a shot. Even if you still crave that Burrito or a bit of traditional home cooking now and again, why not try incorporating a few Mediterranean Dishes into your weekly menu.