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Quick And Easy: How To Start A Mediterranean Diet

Quick And Easy: How To Start A Mediterranean Diet

A Mediterranean diet mostly consists of having more vegetables, and other plant-based food like whole grains, fruits, legumes, olive oil and a little amount of protein. The diet incorporates lean sources of protein like poultry and fish. It also uses spices and herbs to flavor food, rather than using salt. So, here is a step-by-step guide on how to start this type of diet. 

A Simple 7 Step-by-step Guide on Starting a Mediterranean Diet: 

1. Ditch the butter and margarine and replace with healthy fats like olive oil.

Olive oil is a good source of mono-unsaturated fats and beneficial omega-3 fatty acids. You can spice things up with a quality extra virgin olive oil by mixing it with balsamic vinegar. The mixture is great for dipping bread. By adding a sweetener like honey, this mixture can be transformed from a dip to a salad dressing. Olive oil is great for cooking and baking too.

2. Go for healthier protein substitutes

Switch the red meat and try leaner versions of protein like skinless chicken and turkey. You can also get your protein needs from legumes, beans, nuts and other plants. The reason for eliminating red meat in the diet is to lower the consumption of food rich in saturated fats. The change does not have to be sudden, so try to incorporate small changes one meal at a time. If you feel like you are missing your steaks and other red meats, you can have them occasionally. 

3. Eat vegetables

The goal is to eat at least three to eight servings of vegetables daily. Try to consume a variety of vegetables to get the necessary vitamins and minerals that may be lacking in one. They are also rich in antioxidants, that protects against free-radicals. Green salads are usually the best recipes to get the most out of your veggies.

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4. Opt for whole-grain pasta, bread and rice

Grains in their natural forms are very rich in fiber and make you feel fuller for a longer period of time. This is a great staple for would-be weight watchers because of this reason alone.

5. Eat more nuts

Nuts are rich in vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals that are beneficial to your health. They are mostly unsaturated fats that are beneficial in preventing cardiovascular diseases. A handful of nuts is the recommended amount per day. Try to eat them in their most natural form and avoid chocolate-coated, or sugar-coated ones. 

6. Snack on fruits

Eating fruits instead of unhealthy processed snacks are a much better option. Fruits, like the pineapple, are rich in bromelain, which is an enzyme that helps reduce inflammation, especially on the nose and sinuses and even after surgery. Fruits also have natural sugars and are abundant in fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants too.

7. Use fresh herbs and spices

Limit the use of salt in flavoring your dishes, instead make use of fresh plant herbs and spices that will make your dishes burst with unique aromas and exciting flavors. Just a little sprinkle goes a long way and overall, a healthier way to make food tasty.

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Here is an easy 3-step recipe for the Mediterranean diet-convert like you. 

Mediterranean Halibut with Couscous 

Ingredients:

1 1/2 pounds of halibut steaks

1/4 cups all purpose flour

3 tablespoons olive oil

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2 chopped shallots

1 cup chicken broth

2 teaspoons dried oregano, crushed

2 cups diced tomatoes

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1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives, sliced

1 package of couscous prepared according to package instructions 

Procedure:

  1. Coat the fish with flour and cook in a hot skillet with 2 tablespoons of olive oil for about 5 minutes until well browned on both sides. Remove the fish and keep warm.
  1. Reduce heat to medium and then add the shallots until transparent. Pour in the chicken broth, oregano, tomatoes and olives and the mixture boils. Cook for five minutes until the sauce thickens.
  1. Pour the sauce over the fish and a plate of couscous. 

A Mediterranean diet is not so hard to follow at all. It is one of the easiest diet plans that does not deprive you of food. It simply introduces substitutes or healthier versions of what you are presently consuming. It focuses on choosing fresh and wholesome foods as better choices. They are also quick and so easy to prepare.

Featured photo credit: zouhir kharmaz/https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/16274349534/in/photolist-qN7i8m-8vzmUs-72zGDW-88nvri-rAZCMb-8BJ67d-nxyeeg-rGxKyX-hiW8tL-qqyNhr-aFXkUr-938W8u-7PH6Yz-ghPtRg-6zPK5F-a6dCkk-a6dCpX-a6gtX3-uRAYah-iAbp9G-9m8MF1-hNtLwn-CQnxTF-ASP1ET-BqkKd7-y5jHem-yJQBGr-jkMsKP-npgMtJ-8tV45g-hUeiNo-8bUuPm-58uCHg-odd3eF-uRAXxW-nv5Tro-cVqAZo-gDwuh4-vdUqzf-uhzjtR-gaz4ev-C3PNg-sXfAM3-bTtVae-nfCT8p-nkwkjC-tFdZ41-yUshYy-ryerL4-hhY52h via fitnessingym.blogspot.com

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Last Updated on January 14, 2019

7 Ways To Make Exercise Fun For Everyone

7 Ways To Make Exercise Fun For Everyone

From Atkins to Paleo to eating gluten-free despite not being one of the rare few people afflicted with celiac disease, fad diets are everywhere. It drives me crazy because I believe these diets do more harm than good. Your body is made up of a variety of vitamins, nutrients, and minerals, and losing weight healthily isn’t possible when you fill your body with unnecessary synthetic plastics, sugars, and powders. There’s no easy button in life.

What you need to do is exercise, which isn’t very appealing to many people. Workouts take work, so there’s already a stigma involved in going to the gym. Starting a healthy workout regimen becomes easier when you make it fun. If you want to live long and prosper, get off the couch and try these methods to turn your workout into a playout.

1. Take the scenic route.

Walking is an easy way to transition to a healthy lifestyle, and it’s free. Not only do you burn calories (check out this calculator for how many calories you burn based on your weight), but you see the world in a different way. Hiking in nature is great if you have access to it, but don’t let living in an urban area deter you from walking.

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Whenever I’m creatively stuck I get my head straight by walking a couple of miles. It’s also how I discover new paths, meet new people, and stumble upon hole-in-the-wall spots I never would have found otherwise. You could drive past the same place every day and never appreciate the beauty, nor even notice it’s there.

2. Distract yourself.

No matter what exercise routine you choose, use the time to meditate. You may wonder how marathon runners are able to put so many miles on their bodies. It’s because the pain from running that you avoid is something they’ve learned to harness to enter a transcendental state. If you’re aware of the benefits of meditation and exercise but don’t have time to do both, you can combine them, killing two birds with one healthy stone.

3. Listen to music or podcasts.

There are few experiences in life more pleasurable than turning up the music and drowning out the world around you. With so many podcasts and music apps available on your smartphone, you can easily find entertainment options perfectly suited to your personal tastes. Never worry what people may think of you when working out;instead, crank up the volume and get lost in your own world. You’ll be in shape before you know it.

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4. Bring a friend.

Some people can’t go anywhere alone. While I highly recommend dining out and seeing a movie in a theater alone, having company while exercising is very helpful. It allows you to pace yourself with someone else, and gives you a coach to motivate and push harder than you may have on your own.

Many exercises are safer when done with a friend, and some sports can only be played with another person. Involving others in your goals can mean the difference between success and failure. Just remember to continue exercising if the other person flakes, or they’ll be in control of your health.

5. Accessorize.

There are accessories that can make exercise easier, and sometimes buying a new toy can add some much-needed fun to your routine. With apps like RunKeeper and Nike+, your smartphone is capable of tracking your vitals and progress. Wrist weights can add a new dimension to your workout, and, if you exercise at night, a headlamp can help you see what’s in front of you so you don’t trip.

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For urban runners and power-walkers, one of the biggest obstacles is other people. It’s difficult to get in your meditative zone and enjoy your music when you constantly have to dodge people. To resolve this vexing issue, Runbell, a startup in Tokyo, has developed the runner’s version of the bicycle bell. With this lightweight brass bell warning people you’re approaching from behind, you’re free to maintain your transcendental state while continuing your workout. Head to their Kickstarter campaign to pledge your support.

6. Compete.

A little healthy competition can motivate you to push yourself further in your workout regimen. There are apps like Zombies, Run! which turns your run into a video game, and MyFitnessPal which allows you to connect with others in the exercise community. Whether you’re directly competing with a friend, an online community, or against your previous self, setting goals is the key to reaching them. Running with no destination can feel like an impossible task, and it’s easy to get distracted.

7. Relax.

The best part about exercising is how much you enjoy the downtime. If you think laying on your couch all day is enjoyable, it has nothing on that hour you spend as a couch potato after a rigorous workout. Jay-Z said it best, “in order to experience joy, you need pain.” The harder you push yourself while exercising, the better you’ll feel when you’re relaxing.

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With that said, don’t relax too much, or it loses the effect. It’s okay to indulge every so often. Treat yourself to some junk food you’re craving, imbibe a drink here and there, and spend a day vegging out on your couch. Staying healthy doesn’t have to be torture. Just turn down when you can and dedicate some time to better the health of your body. You only get one.

Featured photo credit: tpsdave via pixabay.com

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