Sunday, April 14, 2013

Fix Your Plate

Source of gorgeous butter lettuce: Uncle Max's garden.*
And that tasty looking chicken? Come back tomorrow for the recipe. 

Not sure how much of this or that you should be eating as you turn Mediterranean? Generally, you should fill half of your plate with vegetables (or fruits and vegetables), one-fourth with whole grains and one-fourth with chicken or fish (not fried!). 

Obviously, with half your plate being covered in vegetables, you should be consume primarily plant-based foods: fruit, veggies, whole grains, legumes and nuts. Recent research published in the New England Journal of Medicine shows that eating this way can reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke. (Research is currently under way on the effect of this sort of diet on cancer.)

Fuhgeddabout refined sugar, flour and butter. Most of the time. I'm sure a slice of cake on your  
birthday and a helping of Aunt So-in-so's famous creamy, bread-y casserole at Christmas won't kill you unless you crossed her

Tips for turning Mediterranean:
  • Replace fats such as butter, margarine and salad dressing with olive oil.
  • Use herbs and spices in place of salt. 
  • Can't give up your red meat? Limit yourself to once or twice a month. 
  • Work in whole grains every day, if not at every meal.
  • Simmer vegetables over low heat instead of boiling them to reduce leaching nutrients.
  • Don't be afraid of eggs and dairy - just consume  smaller portions than the typical American. 
  • Stick with it! Your taste-buds can change. After a couple weeks of eating whole grain bread, I stopped choking it down and started enjoying it. And fruit tastes sweeter now that I have (mostly) kicked the sugar habit. 
*Not a hipster whole foods store. My actual uncle grew it in his actual garden.

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