Summer time and the diet plan should be easy…..delicious…..healthy and mediterranean style! This type of eating approach is the one which research increasingly identifies as being one of the healthiest diets to follow.
The nice thing about a mediterranean diet is that it is based on natural and unprocessed foods. It includes all the food groups and tastes fresh and delicious. The mediterranean diet plan involves eating plenty of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, lentils, fish, olive oil, nuts, coffee and moderate amounts of alcohol (!)
As for the health advantages of a mediterranean diet? The research links this type of approach to a lower risk of cardiovascular and metabolic disease such as type 2 diabetes. It is also linked with a lower risk of cancer and neurological diseases such as Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease.RELATED: RECOMMENDED PLANS FOR YOU
As for weight? Individuals who follow a Mediterranean diet are better able to control their weight. The other huge advantage of this type of approach is that it is not difficult or expensive to eat mediterranean style meals.
So, why is a mediterranean diet plan linked with all these health benefits? For so, so many reasons!
A diet high in fresh vegetables provides plenty of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants needed to keep us healthy and our body functioning at an optimal level. Lean and good quality proteins from fish, poultry and beans provide us with the essential amino acids needed for cellular growth and repair.
Vegetables, fruits and whole grains provide essential fibre to help keep our digestive function working efficiently while healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats in the form of omega 9 (olive oil) and omega 3 (nuts, seeds and oily fish) help to control and balance inflammation.
A mediterranean diet plan is also naturally low in added sugar. Note that the World Health Organisation now recommend that only 5% of our calories should come from added sugar. This equates to roughly 5 tsp per day for women and 7 tsp for men. A mediterranean approach replaces sweet desserts with fresh or lightly cooked fruit. Finally, living in a mediterranean sunny climate helps to optimise our vitamin D levels. Vitamin D is an essential vitamin for the immune system as well being fundamental for promoting calcium absorption for healthy bones.
Whilst we cannot guarantee the sun, we can guarantee that you will love this 7 day mediterranean diet plan
which will have you imagining yourself tanned, relaxed and healthy while lying on a sunny beach and listening to the sound of the waves….
|Bowl of greek yoghurt with fresh berries and 10g of almonds||1 slice of rye or whole grain bread with 1 slice of feta cheese and sliced tomatoes||*Bananarama Baked Puddingwith berry compote||Bowl of greek yoghurt with fresh berries and 10g of almonds||Poached peaches with greek yoghurt and pistachio nuts||Bowl of greek yoghurt with fresh berries and 10g of almonds||1 slice of rye bread with 2 tsp nut butter of your choiceFruit|
|Lunch||Chickpea and roasted vegetable salad||Hummus with whole wheat pita bread and mixed salad||Summer minestrone soup with1 slice of spelt bread and goat’s cheese||Olive and tuna nicoise salad||Mackerel pate with raw vegetables and olives (make enough for 2 days)||Mackerel pate with raw vegetables and olives||Mixed vegetable omelette with a green salad|
|Supper||*Chicken Bake with olives and lemons
|Super Pesto SalmonSweet potato chipsGreen beans
|Grilled white fish with fennel pureegrilled tomatoesFruit||Warm RatatouilleButter bean salad||Grilled steak or other lean red meat with a rocket, avocado and parmesan salad||Pan fried scallops with lentils||*Cauliflower and prawn Tabbouleh
*Avocado and chocolate mousse
Mediterranean Chicken Bake
1 kg new potatoes, cut into chunks but with the skin on
3 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, cut into wedges
4 chicken thighs
4 chicken drum sticks
3 preserved lemons, cut into quarters
1 tsp paprika
1 x 200g can anchovy stuffed olives, drained
2 courgettes, sliced
1 red pepper, sliced
Heat the oven to 220 degrees. Place the potatoes in a large roasting tin with 2 tbsp of the olive oil. Toss well to coat then add the onion and chicken and toss again. Add the lemons, seasoning paprika. Roast for 40 minutes.
After 40 minutes add the courgettes and red pepper. Mix again and return to the oven for a further 20 minutes until the chicken is cooked and the vegetables are golden.
Bananarama Baked Pudding – gluten free/vegetarian/ low carb
This recipe is a healthy version of an American Cheese Cake. If you want to reduce the fat, you can use cottage cheese, but just make sure that it is blended so it is smooth, otherwise you end up with unattractive lumps.
4 over ripe bananas
400 ml greek yoghurt
2 eggs, beaten
50g ground almonds
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
Berry compote to serve
Heat the oven to 200 degrees. Blend all the ingredients together and pour into a greased dish (roughly 20 cm x 20 cm) Bake for 20-25 minutes until just set. Allow to cool slightly and then cut into squares. Serve with a big smile and the compote.
Cauliflower Tabbouleh – low carb/gluten free
For the salad:
1/2 head of cauliflower florets, finely chopped (I use a food processor)
1/2 cucumber, diced
1 box of cherry tomatoes, chopped into quarters
1 bunch of radishes, sliced
3 spring onions, chopped
200g of cooked prawns
1 large handful of fresh parsley, chopped
1 large handful of fresh mint, chopped
1 tbsp of pumpkin seeds, toasted in a dry frying pan for 5 minutes.
2 tbsp olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp honey
1 tbsp white vinegar
1 clove of crushed garlic
Place all the salad ingredients in a large bowl. Make the dressing by combining all the ingredients (add more lemon/honey according to taste). Enjoy with a big smile!
Avocado and Chocolate Mousse – gluten free/low carb
Try this on your friends and see if they guess the ingredients. This mousse is the perfect ‘pick me up’ after a long day
1 large ripe avocado
2 tbsp cocoa powder
2 medjool dates
2 tsp honey
Juice and zest of 1 orange
2 squares 70% chocolate, grated
Blend all the ingredients together and spoon into 2 small glasses. Enjoy!