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- Recipes available here
- Zoe’s delicious almond banana bread – toast with a difference!
- Bonus recipe! Cheesy spinach & ricotta lasagne
We have fructose friendly versions of most recipes (for low FODMAP diets) available to love what you eat clients, along with a range of vegetarian and gluten free recipes.
The Mediterranean diet
Mediterranean couscous salad – click for this delicious recipe
How to follow the Mediterranean diet, or “way of life”
No doubt you have heard people talking about the Mediterranean diet and how good it is for your health. There is mounting research to show how the Mediterranean diet can be protective against heart disease, diabetes, some cancers and how this style of eating can benefit brain health (even slow Alzheimer’s) and assist with weight loss and control.
You can access all the research papers through this website.
Associate Professor Catherine Itsiopoulos, from La Trobe University has published a book titled “the Mediterranean diet” explaining the diet in detail and providing many wonderful recipes.
Key ingredients are:
- Extra virgin olive oil (40-60ml per day)
- Legumes, ~500g per week
- Vegetables, ~400-500g per day
- Fruit, 2-3 pieces per day
- Nuts, aim for 30g per day
- Wholegrain breads, 3-4 slices per day
- Fish, especially oily fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel at least twice per week
- Natural or Greek style yoghurt and feta cheese
Smaller serves of meat (beef, lamb, chicken, pork) eaten less often (1-2/week) is recommended, as is limiting sweet foods and drinks to special occasions.
Red wine is encouraged in moderation, only 1-2 glasses per day, only with meals and never to get drunk.
In addition to food, the Mediterranean diet also encompasses a way of life, including growing some of your own produce, home-cooking, food sharing and eating meals sitting down at the family table together.
Stay tuned as I post tips on how to incorporate these key ingredients into your diet, starting with 40-60ml of olive oil, which is quite a lot!
Figureate Food Tips!
- Let go of making food choices based on how many calories a food contains or whether it’s sugar free, low carb, low fat etc. Instead, consider what you feel like eating based on your current level of physical hunger. Many people require help with getting back in tune with feeling hungry and you can do this with The Non-Diet Approach.
- As you start recognising and responding to true physical hunger, you’ll find that instinctively, you know what is an appropriate food choice without having to question the foods nutrition or calorie content.
- Count enjoyment, not calories. Part of eating mindfully is really appreciating how food looks, smells and tastes!
- If you tend to label food as ‘good’ or ‘bad’, try to stop thinking about food in such terms, after all food is morally neutral. Instead consider your present level of hunger or fullness and whether you’re eating the food for nourishment or simply for pleasure.
- Learn to eat intuitively and all food can be part of a healthy diet or way of living. There is no need to avoid certain food, especially food you love. I (Zoe) love hot chips and enjoy them regularly when eating out.
- Try adding extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) to your toast, use at least 1 tbls per slice and you’re over half way to getting your 50-60ml of EVOO daily as per the Mediterranean diet. It’s delicious, especially if you get hold of a locally made one, I buy mine in 4L drums from the South Melbourne Market. You can still use vegemite, jam or honey.
FOOD NEWS – dispelling some common myths!
Q: Will eating carbohydrates (bread/pasta/potatoes) after 5pm (or 8pm) affect my weight?
A: No. There is no one factor that leads to weight gain. Eating past the point of comfortable fullness on a regular basis is one factor, but this extra food energy could come in the form of protein, fat, carbohydrate or alcohol. Specific nutrients are not the issue, eating more than your body needs is what you need to consider. Therefore, being attuned to your appetite is a much more useful tool than avoiding carbs in the evening.
Q: Is it true that certain food combinations, such as eating potato and meat together, will lead to digestive problems and weight gain?
A: No. It is possible that if you eat too large a portion of one, or both, you may feel full and uncomfortable and if you do this regularly this may affect your weight. Even eating too many vegetables at once may leave you feeling full and uncomfortable in the stomach. It’s not the type or combination of food that is the problem, it is not being attuned to your appetite. In addition, every time you eat your body releases enzymes to break down carbohydrate, protein and fat and therefore our bodies are ready to digest a mixed meal.
Q: I’ve heard that it’s bad to go to bed on a full stomach, is this true?
A: While it may not be ideal for some people, it is ok to get home from work at 8.30-9pm, eat dinner and then go to bed around 10pm (I do this every Monday and Tuesday with no problems). As long as you don’t eat past the point of comfortable fullness, you should not run into to any problems. Some people may find going to bed 1 hour after eating affects their sleep, however this is more likely to happen if you over-eat. Eat to appetite and you most likely to be fine (see non-diet approach). If you do work late and arrive home very hungry, a good tip to avoid over-eating is to ensure you have a meal ready to go that you just need to reheat. If there is a chance you’ll be late home during the week, cook up something in advance on the weekend that you can easily reheat.
For more great tips and real food facts, click the Facebook icon and like our page or contact to make an appointment today!
Figureate has clinics in Malvern, East Melbourne, North Melbourne and Coburg, all less than a 15 minute drive from Melbourne CBD.
Specialists in The Non-Diet Approach, Intuitive Eating,
Low FODMAP and Food Intolerance