As a lot of you probably know, iv’e just come back from Palma in Mallorca where i spent 5 days chilling out with my friends. And if you didn’t know, well done, you have managed to avoid the millions of ‘samie’ selfies me and my two friends posted daily, continuously updating you with what cocktail we decided to indulge on and which view we chose to enjoy it with #drinkswithaview.
I had been to Palma when i was very young with my family, but my priorities then were very different; playing in the pool with my sister, running away from mum frantically trying to re apply sun cream, drinking litres of sprite and overdosing on Maxibon chocolate ice creams. Now my idea of a holiday is very different and this time i got to see Palma in a different light and i would definitely recommend going if you haven’t been already. FYI i totally still eat the Maxibon ice creams 😉
As much as i would love to fill you in on every detail of my girls trip to Palma, that is not the sole focus of my blog, i love Spain and everything about it, the culture, the language, the people and of course the FOOD. So every year when i visit i try and get involved in the Spanish culture as much as i can and this year (with my blog in mind) i really took a big interest in the Mediterranean diet.
No doubt you will have read articles or watched documentaries on how the Mediterranean diet is the most healthy lifestyle choice, well this in mind i decided to research into what exactly is a Mediterranean diet, as Pizzas, Pasta, Gyros and Paella have their place but unfortunately aren’t exactly healthy at every meal….mmmm if only they were!!
After doing a little bit of research online and just generally being observant of the Spanish take on diet and lifestyle choices, my findings re enforce that food is there to be enjoyed and to eat as local, colourful and fresh as possible. Simple!
In a nutshell, the Mediterranean diet incorporates the basics of healthy eating but with a splash of olive oil and perhaps even a glass of wine to accompany, taking its influence from the traditional cooking methods used in the countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea. It includes fresh fish, whole grains, small amounts of meat and dairy and lots and lots of fruit/veggies. The health benefits are somewhat obvious, less sugar, saturated fats, processed foods and a sensible grip on alcohol intake (i know im sorry guys, everything in moderation though right?!) this will naturally lower risks of heart diseases, diabetes and generally just promotes a healthy body.
Your probably reading this thinking No S**T Sherlock, that’s nada we haven’t heard before, but for me eating the Med way is so much more than that, it’s about actually enjoying what we eat and not seeing it as being a chore or a diet, it’s a lifestyle. It’s about enjoying wine with friends, eating together and being sociable and making your plate as colourful and as fresh as possible.
This message is really what i love about the med diet … much like the Mediterranean attitude, there’s no dancing around the point. I think sometimes we can be bombarded with nutritional trends and propaganda on no dairy, no gluten, no sugar diets and products that are probably great, don’t get me wrong … but i sometimes feel like we have lost touch with just eating real food that’s easy to prepare, buy and not going to leave us skint with a half full basket.
Fancy it?! Here are a few tips on how to switch over to the Mediterranean lifestyle;
- Eat lots of veggies, have them with every meal
- Eat fruit at breakfast or to curb the sweet tooth
- Replace butter with Olive Oil
- Ditch table salt and use rock or Himalayan pink salt
- Don’t be afraid of garlic its antiseptic, oh and basil too
- Eat fresh fish and seafood
- Limit red meat to once a week and poultry to twice
- Small amounts of milk and cheese are good, don’t over do it
- The darker the grain the better, wholegrain/rye breads, brown rice and pasta
- Drink wine with meals …. responsibly of course 😉
- Move more and exercise regularly (you guys have got that down already)
Why not give it a go?! See how you feel, start by doing it for a week or two. Let us know… tag us in any creations or meal ideas. We LOVE hearing from you J