As a keen cook and an even keener collector of cookbooks I am lucky that I have lots of resources at my finger tips already. However, I did also purchase a book called The Vegiterranean Diet by Julianna Hever, MS, RD, which is less of a cookbook and more of a nutritional exploration of the health benefits of following a plant based Mediterranean Diet. Julieanna Hever has a few guidelines for adopting this lifestyle, as follows:
The Veg Ten
- Pick Proper Packaging – choose unprocessed plant based foods above all others.
- Stay Simpler – cook from scratch using whole food and plant based ingredients.
- Revel in the Rainbow – eat the colours of the rainbow! Include plenty of variety in your food choices, especially in the fruit and veggies you consume.
- Focus on Fibre – eat mainly whole fruit and veggies, eat legumes each day, enjoy nuts and seeds in moderation and opt for whole grain versions of bread, pasta, etc..
- Leverage Legumes and Leafy Greens – eat legumes and plenty of green leafy veggies each day.
- Favouritise Fats – enjoy hemp seeds, flaxseeds and chia seeds.
- Sweeten Selectively – use natural sugars from in fruit rather than sugar or artificial sweetener.
- Practice Cautious Calorie Consciousness – practice mindfulness when eating, following the hunger scale to stop when satisfied.
- Magnify Moments – exercise! Not just formal sessions but incorporating more activity into daily life.
- Master Mindfulness – step back from the hurly burly of modern life for at least five minutes each day. This could through meditation or just by taking time out to read a book.
Eating and drinking – the Vegiterranean way
Unlike most Mediterranean food pyramids, where whole grains are found at the base of the pyramid, Julieanna Hever believes the majority of the diet should be made up of fruit and vegetables, followed by wholegrains, next legumes and leafy greens and then a small amount of high-fat whole foods (not processed olive oil) and wine (yay!).
Demonstrated as a food plate:
Wish me luck!