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Nutrition Ideas: Consider Traveling to the Mediterranean

When it comes to nutrition, there are so many different and often conflicting statistics, research studies and fads out there, that it can be confusing to know which path is the most sensible one to take. Each individual ultimately needs to determine what makes the most sense for himself or herself based on taste preferences, weight management needs, lifestyle, food allergies and other health concerns or factors. 

When it comes to my nutrition preferences? I travel to the Mediterranean! What that means for me is lots of:

1. Fresh fruits such as strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, bananas, oranges, grapes, apples, kiwi, pomegranates, watermelon, pineapples and avocados (yes, avocados are technically fruits…and the most perfect food on the planet in my opinion :)) 

2. Fresh vegetables such as kale, spinach, arugula, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, squash, sweet potatoes, mushrooms, asparagus and bell peppers 

3. Fish, eggs and lean meats such as chicken and turkey

4. Nuts such as almonds, walnuts, pecans, cashews and peanuts and seeds such as pumpkin and sunflower

5. Whole grains such as brown rice, whole grain pasta, breads, cereals, waffles, pancakes and granola bars, steel-cut oatmeal and quinoa

6. Lowfat dairy such as cheese, milk, greek yogurt and in my book, frozen yogurt counts as well 🙂

7. Healthy indulgences such as dark chocolate and wine

8. Foods cooked in olive oil

As you can see, there are a wide variety of foods to choose from here, which means you don’t have to deprive yourself to be healthy. These foods offer you plenty of protein, complex carbohydrates, calcium, vitamin D, vitamin C, omega 3 fatty acids, healthy and unsaturated fats, limited sugar, antioxidants and the list goes on and on. As my Mom always says, “If you eat a little bit of everything in moderation, you’ll be healthy.” I wholeheartedly agree with her and moms do know best, don’t they?

I recently completed a nutrition study and exam for continuing education credits for my AFAA fitness instructor certification and according to the textbook, Eat, Drink and Be Healthy, The Harvard Medical School Guide to Healthy Eating, written by Walter C. Willett, M.D. with Patrick J. Skerrett, “The Mediterranean diet offers a good blueprint for healthy eating.”

Here’s the bottom line: Based on everything I’ve read, studied and experienced with nutrition over the years, sticking to natural, unprocessed foods in moderation, that offer a variety of colors, flavors, textures and health benefits could help you to live a healthier life. However, the ideas and tips mentioned above shouldn’t substitute the advice of a medical or health professional. Please remember to consult with your doctor if you have any health concerns or dietary restrictions or needs.

That’s it for tonight my friends. Enjoy your weekend and enjoy your food! Until next Friday…:)

Works Cited: Walter C. Willett, M.D. with Patrick J. Skerrett, Eat, Drink, and Be Healthy, The Harvard Medical School Guide to Healthy Eating (New York: Free Press, 2001), 21

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