Friday, 11 May 2012

Is the Mediterranean Diet really a challenge?

A few weeks ago, I decided to challenge myself by eating only Greek food for a month.  As a mom with two kids and a full-time job, I was a bit worried that I wouldn't have enough time to cook some of these healthy and delicious traditional meals.  This made me realize that I needed to change my attitude:  I wasn't simply following the "Mediterranean "Diet" but rather living the Mediterranean "lifestyle".  My passion for Greek food became my motivation and the healthy benefits behind it encouraged me to not give up.  This isn't a challenge anymore; it is a journey I do not wish to stop.

The word Mediterranean reminds me of a culture that is family oriented; a culture that takes time to enjoy life; a culture that likes simplicity and appreciates the results of hard work.  This is the image that I have and has been passed down from my grand-parents and my parents.
view of Pylos, Greece

During the first week of the challenge, I was still on maternity leave hence I had more time to spend in the kitchen.  Within the first few days of eating traditional mediterranean meals, I started having more energy and felt lighter.  Since I knew that the countdown to going back to work had begun, I had to think of a schedule that would allow me to continue my passion for cooking.  I quickly became aware that I was saving a lot of time by doing all the preparations from the night before.  As soon as we finish dinner, I start chopping onions and carrots, washing and peeling potatoes, making my bechamel sauce and assembling my "pastitsio" etc. However, I also noticed that the cooking time for most of the vegetarian meals, poultry and some beans is less than an hour.  Meat is slowly becoming part of the menu only on the weekends. 

Another interesting point that came to my attention is that numerous Greek dishes are vegetarian and gluten-free!  I will try to share some of these recipes in future posts. 

Therefore, is the Mediterranean Diet month a challenge?  Not at all!  It is simply a change of attitude and a step closer to a healthier you!

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