This was in an email I received from Brad Pilon and I love it so much I wanted to share it with you!
You’ve probably heard by now that the Mediterranean diet is good for you, proven healthy by a very impressive amount of research.
However, this begs the question… what is the Mediterranean Diet?
For many people following the Mediterranean Diet means having a salad, some pasta drowned in olive oil, and a bottle of wine.
Please don’t be one of those people!
The Mediterranean diet really isn’t a diet at all, it’s a lifestyle.
And this isn’t marketing hype (It’s not a diet, it’s a lifestyle) but rather a true reflection of the research.
If you want the full health benefits found in research on the Mediterranean, then it’s not just the diet you should be copying.
Firstly get outside…
Remember this research spanned most of the 60’s and 70’s. At this time, most people were not spending 2 hours a day in the gym pumping iron, but they were physically active and did spend as much time outdoors as possible. Please copy this habit. As we’re going to start to discuss, I really want you to do your best to cut down on the amount of time you spend indoors.
Yes you can still workout, but please don’t neglect time outside simply being active.
Spend time with friends and family and eat as few meals as possible alone. Take your time, eat, have conversation… real conversation (no complaining about work or kids or school). Lower your stress levels by interacting with other people… people you enjoy.
I can’t stress these first two points enough! Get outside and spend time with people you like.
Then move to the diet…
It is true that the diet was low in processed foods, high plant-based foods (lots of fruits and vegetables) and of course olive oil.
What I see here is a diet that full of colour, and if it’s full of colour, it’s full of polyphenols. If you want to copy the Mediterranean Diet, have a diet that is colourful.
Next, less red meat… a lot less. We’re talking 2-3 times a week to 2-3 times per month.
And yes, you can have red wine… but not the way you think. From what I can tell, the research on the Mediterranean diet suggested it was a glass or two per day, not a bottle!
Finally we need to talk about fasting.
Yes, there was fasting, lots of different types of fasting. Back in the 60s, 70’s, and 80s when a large part of the research on the Mediterranean diet was completed the people being studied were fasting frequently. From twice a week fasts to large periods of abstaining from meat or fish, the customs and religions of the area called for various degrees of fasting throughout the year.
To recap: Get outside and get active, spend time with friends and family, eat a colourful diet, have some wine and don’t be afraid of the occasional fast.