How Mediterranean Is Your Diet?

Last fall Jeff and I took a cruise around the Mediterranean, and when our ship was actually able to dock LOL (you can read what happened here), this is what I remember: 

1. Scenery like this:

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2. People were not obese.

3. They walked everywhere.

4. They ate healthy foods.

Okay, so there was the Greek restaurant owner with the big stomach, but for the most part, people ate healthy and looked healthy.

The Mediterranean diet is rich in fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, fish, and olive oil, with a moderate amount of red wine. There's a ton of evidence to prove it helps with weight loss, long life, heart health, and mental health, as well as the prevention of cancer, Alzheimer's disease, and Parkinson's disease.

So how Mediterranean is your diet? Take this little quiz from the American Council on Exercise and find out. For each one that you can say, "Yeah, that's how I eat!" give yourself a point. (And no cheating–I'm watching!)

How Mediterranean Is Your Diet?

I eat:

__ Vegetables (other than potatoes): 4 or more servings per day

__ Fruits: 4 or more servings per day

__ Whole grains: 2 or more servings per day

__ Beans (legumes): 2 or more servings per week

__ Nuts: 2 or more servings per week

__ Fish: 2 or more servings per week

__ Red and processed meat: 1 or fewer servings per day

__ Dairy foods: 1 or fewer servings per day

__ Alcohol: 1/2 to 1 drink per day for women; 1-2 for men

Score 1 point for each item you checked.  Your total: ___ points

How did you do? If you were close to 0, that means you have a really  low adherence to a Mediterranean diet. If you're closer to 7 to 9, you follow the Mediterranean diet and are probably pretty healthy.

Did you notice I didn't say a word against carbs?  In fact, if you look closely there are plenty of healthy carbs on that list of foods in the Mediterranean diet.

Repeat after me: "CARBS ARE NOT THE ENEMY! Carbs are not poison." In the coming days, I am going to debunk the myth that says they are!

Watch this space. 

Your FUNIQ Fitness coach,

Bethanne

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Your New Best Friend

Your Super Bowl Party has come and gone and maybe you're over the fatty, high-cal dips!  Let me introduce you to your new BFF: Salsa!

You can save a lot of calories and fat–and add a lot of flavor (not only at your next "soiree" but every day)–by using salsa in place of mayonnaise, sour cream, butter, and other fatty foods:

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  • Instead of pouring dressing on your salad, mix a tablespoon or 2 of salsa in your lettuce.
  • Use it on baked potatoes in place of butter or sour cream.
  • Mix it with canned tuna, and you won't need mayo.  (Hat tip to Tracy Sipe, my massage therapist, for that great idea.)
  • Mix salsa with avocados to make your own healthy guacamole (no sour cream and mayo like some restaurants do!)  Remember, avocado is one of the "good" and essential fats, which must be provided in the diet because the body cannot produce it.
  • Spread it on sandwiches in place of mayo.

Salsa has absolutely no fat, lots of flavor, and very few calories.  Compare the calorie count for 2 tablespoons of each of these:

Mayonnaise:  180 calories

Ranch dressing:  200 calories

Salsa:  10-25 calories

So give it a try, and if you come up with other recipe substitutes for salsa, let me know in a comment.

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Want more great recipes? Soon I'll post the fantastic treat I make myself after most workouts.  You will love it! 

Watch this space–and SUBSCRIBE if you don't already so you don't miss any of my fabulous tips and recipes, LOL!  Just fill in your email address in the box on the upper left corner of this page. Then click "Get email updates."  

Voila, you won't miss a single word!

Your FUNIQ Fitness coach,

Bethanne

UPDATE:  Someone asked me if you need to make your own salsa.  No, the kind you buy in the store is great–and a lot more convenient than making your own. Look for jars or the fresh-made kind in the veggie department.  Enjoy!