7-day Mediterranean diet to look and feel better than ever

by - September 17, 2019

7-day Mediterranean diet to look and feel better than ever

It's January and most Americans are thinking the same thing: It's time to lose weight and get fit. Well, if you're looking for a sensible diet you can sustain for years to come, look no further: The Mediterranean diet is currently ranked first on the U.S. News & World Report 2019 Best Diets list.

What's not to love about the Mediterranean diet? Research suggests a Mediterranean-style diet can reduce the risk for heart disease, certain cancers and other serious health conditions. The meal plan is filled with healthful foods to rev metabolism, strengthen bones, alleviate aches and pains, minimize belly fat, and boost energy and brain power.
It’s important to note that the Mediterranean Sea borders 16 different countries, each with their own traditions and variations on food selection and prep. However, the same basic principles apply: eating is focused primarily on plant-based foods (think veggies, fruit, legumes, whole grains, nuts and seeds); butter is replaced with olive oil; fish, eggs and poultry are the animal proteins of choice; red meat is limited to no more than a few times a month; meals are flavored with various herbs and spices; wine is enjoyed in moderation — and food is shared with friends and family.

This plan provides approximately 1,600 calories per day (this includes a glass of wine, a "daily cheat" and unlimited non-starchy vegetables; see below). Feel free to adjust higher or lower depending on your personal weight and health goals.

7-day Plan

Here are a few tips to going Mediterranean:

  • Eat on a schedule: Have a meal or snack at least every four to five hours.
  • Mix and match any of the meal and snack options. Repeat favorite meals/snacks as often as you’d like.
  • Plan your menu the night before, so you’re armed with a game plan.
  • Drink water throughout the day. Keep a water bottle on hand for continuous sipping.
  • Enjoy up to one glass of wine each day along with a meal.
  • Stick with “legal eats” when watching TV or a movie: light popcorn or veggies only.
  • Enjoy unlimited amounts of non-starchy vegetables (carrots, tomatoes, peppers, celery, cucumbers, etc.) at any point in the day.
  • Indulge in one optional “daily cheat.” It could be a small handful of French fries or two bites of anything that looks delicious.

You can also mix and match the options below.

Breakfast options
1. Greek Omelet

Combine 1 egg and 3 egg whites with spinach, dill and optional feta. Add 1 slice of whole grain toast on the side.

2. Oatmeal with fruit and nuts

Combine 1/2 cup dry oats with 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk or skim milk. Top with 1/2 cup chopped fruit, 1 tablespoon chopped walnuts and 1 optional teaspoon of honey or maple syrup. Sprinkle with ground cinnamon.

3. PB-banana-cinnamon English muffin

Toast 1 whole grain English Muffin. Top with 1 tablespoon of peanut butter, 1/2 sliced banana and a sprinkling of cinnamon.

4. Avocado toast with eggs

Top 1 slice of whole grain bread with 2 tablespoons mashed avocado, sliced radish and a squirt of lemon juice. On the side, enjoy 1 whole egg plus 3 egg whites — scrambled or hard-boiled with any preferred vegetables or seasonings.

5. Mediterranean smoothie

Blend 1 handful of baby spinach, 1/2 ripe banana, 1 cup of fresh or frozen blueberries, 1/2 cup low-fat milk, 1 tablespoon almond butter (or nut butter of your choice) and 3 to 5 ice cubes.

6. Savory protein pancake with lemon-dill yogurt

Mix 1/2 cup dry quick oats, 4 egg whites, 1/4 to 1/2 cup chopped scallions, 1 ounce reduced-fat shredded sharp cheddar cheese, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Preheat pan coated with olive oil cooking spray over medium heat. Pour in batter and spread evenly throughout the pan. Cook 2 to 3 minutes per side. Top with a dollop of Lemon-Dill Yogurt sauce.

7. Mediterranean muffin with eggs or yogurt

Make Mediterranean-style muffin. Add 1 hard-boiled egg and 3 egg whites or 5 to 8 ounces of low-fat Greek yogurt.

1. Grilled fish and veggies

Grill 6 ounces of fish. Add 1 cup vegetables, grilled, roasted or sauteed in olive oil.

2. Mezze plate with hummus, nuts and fruit

Create a Mezze plate with 1/4 cup hummus and unlimited crudite or raw veggies, 1 small whole grain roll or 1/2 large pita, 1 cup grapes, and 10 almonds or walnuts (or 1 ounce of cheese).

3. Mediterranean salad jar

In a mason jar, layer lemon dressing (2 teaspoons olive oil, 1 to 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, some salt and chopped parsley to taste), chopped cucumber, diced tomato, chopped celery, black olives, chopped artichoke hearts, white beans, feta cheese, chopped romaine and cubed or chopped chicken.

4. Lentil soup and veggies

2 cups lentil soup with 1 cup of vegetables on the side. Add 1 cup of grapes, or swap for 1 apple, pear, orange, grapefruit, banana or 1 cup of berries.

5. Chicken and spinach wrap

Stuff a 100-calorie whole grain tortilla wrap with baby spinach leaves, sliced red onion, chopped tomato, 4 ounces of grilled chicken breast and 1 to 2 tablespoons red wine vinaigrette.

6. Open-faced veggie tuna salad sandwich

Make an open faced tuna salad sandwich at home using the recipe found here or buy a comparable version from a deli. On the side, enjoy 1 orange, apple, pear, grapefruit, banana or 1 cup grapes or berries.

7. Quinoa chickpea tabbouleh

Make this delicious Mediterranean-style salad using the recipe found here.

1. Dried apricots and almonds

8 dried apricots (or vi dates) with ten almonds

2. Rosemary-Parmesan popcorn

Make four cups of Rosemary-Parmesan popcorn victimization the instruction found here.

3. Veggies and 1/4 cup hommos

1/2 cup pistachios within the shell
Mediterranean quick bread
Make this Mediterranean-style quick bread victimization the instruction found here.

4. hommos deviled eggs

Make twelve deviled eggs (6 eggs whole) victimization the instruction found here.

5. Apple with one tablespoon of spread

Dinner choices

1. Quinoa and common bean dish

Make dish victimization the instruction found here. Add a facet dish of mixed greens and non-starchy vegetables flat-topped with one to two teaspoons oil, unlimited balsamy vinegar and one tablespoon shredded walnuts.

2. Chicken-vegetable kebabs and cous cous

Make kabobs victimization vi ounces of chicken, peppers, mushrooms and red onions. Add 1/2 cup hard-baked whole grain cous cous. Serve with a facet of shredded dish with one to two teaspoons oil, unlimited balsamy vinegar or juice.

3. Pesto salmon with artichokes and potato

Make Pesto Salmon victimization the instruction found here. Add 1/2 tater.

4. Shrimp broccoli dish

Make this lightweight food dish victimization the instruction found here.

5. Grilled fish with veggies and soup appetiser

Have one cup of soup soup as AN appetiser (or substitute for cocktail, grilled calamary, mussels pasta sauce, steamed clams or house dish with one tablespoon of dressing). Grill vi ounces of fish (roasted, grilled or boiled fish area unit choices as well). Add one cup vegetables grilled, cooked or cooked in oil.

6. Greek turkey burger with dish

Make this Mediterranean-inspired turkey burger victimization the instruction found here. Add a facet dish dressed with one to two teaspoons oil and unlimited vinegar, juice or juice.

7. Spanish dish

Make this ancient Spanish dish victimization cauliflower rice with the instruction found here. fancy two hearty servings with 1/2 pink grapefruit on the facet.

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