Like many others, I have only praise for a book I read recently brilliantly sharing the secrets of some of the healthiest people from around the world.  The book, The Blue Zones Solution, by Dan Buettner, is full of practical advice and recipes from various regions (referred to as blue zones) that I have been trying lately.

You may have heard, science says following a Mediterranean diet is best for your health. But, find here exactly why it can make you feel and look great, critical points to keeping to this delicious way of eating and find recipes and lifestyle tips, too!

 

Some of the “secrets” from these regional ” blue zones,” I was already aware of as two of the areas it depicts are some parts of Italy and Greece in the Mediterranean, where I have shared some amazing meals and I have written about as well – specifically, the amazing health benefits of a Mediterranean Diet.  But, I learned a lot of new things, too, from the book, and it certainly reinforced a lot as well.  I plan to write a post a bit later on the book, but  I thought I would highlight what a whole day of eating like a person lucky enough to live near those breathtaking Mediterranean shores to get your started – just in case you want to mimic the healthy lifestyle, too!

But, before we talk about the good eats, first, allow me to make a few key points about the way of life for those who inhabit that glorious area of our world because it is definitely not just about what you eat. Living the healthy Mediterranean lifestyle really encompasses much more. And, you can easily adopt the lifestyle, no matter where you live. Come see!

 

 

 

TOP TIPS TO FOLLOW A MEDITERRANEAN DIET

Here are some things to keep in mind when adopting the Mediterranean way of eating and living:

1.  The beauty is in the simplicity. 

This way of eating is all about the ingredients prepared in simple ways that bring out the flavor of the food. The food is as fresh as possible, wholesome and unprocessed. For the most part, it does not take long to prepare, either, leaving more free-time.

2.  Clear away the processed stuff.  

Rid yourself of those foods with ingredients you cannot pronounce. No chemical-laden food.  Keep it whole and fresh.

3.  Get creative.  

No boredom here. The Mediterranean diet allows plenty of variety and experimentation. All those healthy ingredients can be combined in hundreds of ways. Vegetarian, dairy or gluten-free diets can easily be considered a variation of the Mediterranean diet, too.
4.  Shop smartly to save time.
Keep pantry staples like olive oil, jarred tomatoes, whole grains, pasta and olives on hand.  Pick up the fresh ingredients a few times a week.  This saves time, too!
Don’t miss this:  Make the most out of your local farmers’ market – a wonderful way to shop and interact with the growers of what you eat.
5.  Herbs and citrus add flair and taste.
Not the salt shaker.  Lots of basil, oregano, rosemary, thyme, garlic, mint, lemon and many other additions make the Mediterranean dishes taste so darn good and add loads and layers of flavor.

Don’t miss this: Check out this board on healthiest herbs and spices and how to use them the best way and why garlic is a healthy key to Mediterranean cooking.


6.  Quality over quantity.  

The emphasis is on whole foods with plenty of fiber that fills you up. Fewer amounts of a great tasting, fresh-off-the-vine or perfectly ripe food is needed to satisfy. This helps keep the weight down, too.

Don’t miss this: My best secret to make all your food taste superior.

 

7.  Move your feet.  

A life of exercise and movement is part of the lifestyle.  It does not have to be strenuous or over-the-top – just lots of natural ways to keep the blood pumping a good part of your day.

Don’t miss this: Loads of exercise options that you can fit in your day easily.


8.  Don’t go it alone.

Share your meals, share your life! Invite someone for dinner. Gather your friends and family and create a meal together, like those that live the Mediterranean lifestyle. I promise it will taste a lot better.

Don’t miss this: How to manage an impromptu get-together so, so easily!

 

 

SHOP EASY & HEALTHY MEDITERRANEAN COOKING

Having the right tools on hand can lead to much greater success in the kitchen! Check out these fun and very useful tools to make your healthy Mediterranean cooking a lot more fun . . . and successful:

 

A DAY OF QUICK MEDITERRANEAN MEAL IDEAS

Cooking the Mediterranean way is really a dream for those who like to cook simply and quickly most of the time.  That would be me! Possibilities of meals are endless but with “quick” on the mind,  I offer two options for a day of meals:   Quick and Quicker.  I have given some loose directions on some of the meals as well as some links to some specific recipes.

 

BREAKFAST

Quick: Espresso; organic polenta with yogurt and honey; soft boiled egg with a small piece of multigrain toast,

How: Boil the water for the egg while preparing the toppings for the polenta.  Start boiling the water for the polenta.  Finish polenta and top with yogurt and fruit mixture. Drizzle a bit of honey on top. Toast a slice of multi-grain to dip in the egg.

Quicker: Espresso, Some fresh fig jam swirled in plain Greek yogurt, sprinkled with some sliced almonds or walnuts; a large handful of grapes

Don’t miss this:  Don’t get confused over all those egg labels.  There are differences and here is what they mean and advice on making sure you are buying the healthiest eggs for you!

Cooking with garlic is a key component to the Mediterranean diet and all it many health benefits! Tap here for recipes, tips and to learn why this style of eating can do great things for your health.

 

LUNCH

Quick: whole grain orzo with diced zucchini, cucumber. white beans, mint and lemon with olive oil infused with garlic and red pepper, a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese; seasonal fruit.

How: Simmer on low flame garlic and red pepper flakes in olive oil to infuse while the water is boiling for orzo, Cut up vegetables. Cook orzo and drain. Add vegetables and beans, toss with infused olive oil. Sprinkle with fresh mint and lemon juice. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese
.
Quicker: Large salad of tomatoes, red pepper, avocado, fresh mozzarella drizzled with olive oil, balsamic vinegar and lots of basil; a large slice of whole grain bread. lightly toasted, with a smear of hummus

 

SNACK

Quick:  1/2 avocado with lemon juice, salt and pepper, red pepper flakes; small portion of marinated olives

Quicker:  Two clementines; a handful of raw almonds

Don’t miss this:  Check this out for loads of ideas on healthy snacking.

 

DINNER

Quick: grilled or roasted fish with basil pesto; glass of red wine; roasted potatoes with lemon; fresh sauteed greens with a bit of flaked feta cheese

Quicker: Grilled marinated tofu or shrimp with olive oil, lemon, oregano, and garlic; steamed basmati rice; spinach salad with olives, crusty bread

 

Are those delicious meal ideas making you hungry? Me, too!

 

 

FOR EVEN MORE ON THE TOPIC . . .

Naturally, I turn to fellow bloggers and writers all the time to get inspiration. Here are some links to Mediterranean diet gurus for endless ideas on how to reap the benefits of this delicious and healthy way of eating:

  • The Blue Zones Solution, by Dan Buettner: an award-winning book with lots of very clear and simple healthy Mediterranean recipes
  • Mediterranean Kitchen:  a blog that takes a creative and smart approach to merge Asian and Mediterranean cuisines. Such fantastic flavors!
  • Mediterranean Diet For Beginners:  a book with easy recipes and meal plans and tips for success in following this diet
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COMMENTS

Hi, could you recommend a good marinated tofu? I live in the UK. thanks

Awesome post for a healthy lifestyle. I've well noted your post, this is so useful for me. Thank you so much for sharing this post!

You are very, very welcome, Anthony! So great to have helped steer you to a healthy way of eating!

Who can resist these yummy suggestions! I am so delighted that you shared healthy tips and meal ideas for following a Mediterranean diet and lifestyle at the Healthy Happy Green and Natural Party!Thank you so much for sharing your gems and for your support! I'm pinning and sharing! All the best, Deborah

This way of eating is absolutely delicious, Deborah! Thanks for stopping in. Always good to see you here!

Yummy menu ideas! And I completely agree, food tastes better when you're eating it with friends and loved ones! 🙂

That is the idea! Friends and family and new people, too, make our meals all taste so, so much better, Sarah!

Great post. I know when I eat fresh, I feel so much better. Thank you for linking up to Tips and Tricks. Hope to see you again next week.

Eating fresh is always best, if you can! I agree! Thanks for taking the time to comment, Kathleen!

Great tips! I love using herbs and spices to flavor my dishes! 🙂

Oh yes! They can completely take the dish in a new direction! And, they are full of nutrients! Thanks for adding in, Annmarie!

I really love eating this way! Great tips!

Me, too, Julie. So delicious, satisfying and simple! Thanks for dropping in!

I would like to look into the Mediterranean diet more. It is one diet that I don't hear any negatives about. Thanks for bringing this to our attention in the Blogger's Pit Stop
Kathleen

Study after study show is health benefits and it is easy to prepare and delicious! And, who doesn't want that?? Those books I listed are a great start as well as the blog I listed, too. Do try it, Kathleen.

I've heard of the blue zone diet but I hadn't really done any research on it. It sounds like a great way to eat healthy! These are great tips!

The book is so good and such an easy and enjoyable read! I highly recommend it. Glad you liked the post and tips, Liz!

I think we have done ourselves a disservice over the years going with prepared foods that were so unhealthy for us… It seems we want to use time as an excuse… however; when I follow a good and natural diet, it takes a small bit of planning and I am so much better off… I do get lazy and make excuses but that really isn't a reason… I definitely need to look at adopting this lifestyle all the time xox

With fresh foods, it certainly is easier to adopt eating this way. You make good points, Launna, as usual. Planning really helps, too, but simple preparations is the key here.

I like getting creative with my meals. I've never been to the Med but it's one of the places on my dream travel list.

You won't be sorry you chose to travel there, Cassandra! It is beautiful all the way around – the food, the scenery, the people, the lifestyle! Check out my post on making your travel dreams happen – all the steps are there to enrich your life. It is right here: http://www.thehealthminded.com/2015/05/how-to-make-your-travel-dreams-happen.html