I know it’s the New Year and that’s not the reason for this post…well, for the most part. I’ve been wanting to change my diet for quite some time now. The keywords here are change my diet “lifestyle.” As in, the way I eat, from here on out. That’s the number one problem for most people when they say they are going on a diet. It immediately imprints the negative connotation of going without. Restricting oneself. That is the opposite of what I want.
This post actually started out as an outline of how to eat Paleo on a budget. I thought it was a pretty necessary topic especially since I was considering the Paleo way of eating. I’ve heard of this “diet” (like most of you) for quite some time now and have been curious about it for quite some time as well. I’m curious about a lot of diets actually, because I feel that I should FEEL better. I’m in my thirties, thin, physically active and I’m surrounded by my loved ones. I’m blessed, truly. But I also know that I should and that I CAN feel better than I feel.
Most days, (as energetic as I may come off to people) I feel like I’m walking around in a fog. I wake up groggy, spend the better part of my morning groggy, with the exception of those days when I throw back a couple of
sugar packed coffees (or perhaps even a energy drink). I own books and cookbooks about going wheat free, gluten free, becoming a vegetarian, you name it! But I’ve yet to fully take that plunge. I know it’s fear. Fear of the unknown.
What do YOU have to fear?
I ask myself this too. I guess the fear of going without. I know how much I cherish that little cup of joe in the morning. I also know I won’t have to (at least I don’t think) cut that from my morning routine. I will however have to remove that heaping teaspoon (maybe tablespoon-please don’t judge :0) of granulated sugar that I dump into my cup. Coffee with no sugar??? Bleck!! Supposedly I’ll “taste more of the subtle nuances the coffee will offer without the sugar.” Blah blah blah.
I’ve noticed that my mood over the last few years has gotten more and more roller coastery and I’m really not a fan of those kinds of coasters (neither are my family members). So, here I am staring at my computer screen again, researching diets. I actually purchased two books on Amazon, “Practical Paleo,” and “Deep Nutrition.” The Practical Paleo diet is an updated version and besides the stellar reviews that I read I especially like that the author includes meal plans as well as pantry stocking guides for the novice paleo person….me.
Researching My Options
While I waited for my book to make it’s way to my doorstep I decided to look up the basics for a Paleo based diet. Basically it is consuming all lean meats, heavy on the veggies and some fruit, and no refined sugar or wheat products as well as a no on dairy products. I’m actually fine on the no’s of this diet..for the most part. I can do almond milk in my cereal with no problem. Besides, the main thing I want to cut from my diet is SUGAR. That’s my weakness. I think that’s most people’s weakness. Sugar. Besides that spoon of sugar I throw in my coffee in the morning, pretty much everything I, well we, as a Western society, eat contains sugar. Stuff you wouldn’t even think needs or would have sugar ….has it. Why? Because corporations figured out a long time ago that when people eat sugar, their brain craves more of it. So companies have found ways to incorporate more of it into their foods so that we WANT more of it in OUR foods.
I looked up the US News top choices for diets for 2019. Paleo was actually listed as #33 on their list of 41 diets. Guess what made number one? The Mediterranean diet. Hmmmmmmmm.
Back to Amazon. Amazon is my go-to search engine when researching books. I’m especially fond of the available reviews posted for any item I’m considering purchasing. The search was on for Mediterranean diet cookbooks and alas I found “The complete Mediterranean Cookbook,” by the authors of America’s Test Kitchen. If you don’t know anything about ATK you should know that they test recipes until they are perfect. Not only that, but they give the scientific reason for cooking foods a particular way and why certain food choices are better than others for particular dishes. They’re kind of the Alton Brown of food kitchens and I love that. I see the book. I read the nearly perfect reviews. Into Cart. Into box. On it’s way. To me.
What Exactly Is The Mediterranean Diet?
So, let’s talk about the Mediterranean diet. Again, with that diet word. Let’s just call it the Mediterranean way of eating instead. This way of eating includes a lot of fresh seafood, lots of wholesome vegetables, limited amounts of red meats (total opposite of Paleo), whole grains, beans, nuts, and thank you Lord, allows wine! I have found my callin’!! Not only that but you can also eat dairy and cheese in moderation. Olive oil is a staple
ingredient which I am on board for as well. I’m really excited about this way of eating because I think long term it’s a lot more sustainable way of eating. And as picky as my family is, it’s a lot more approachable than any of the other diets I’ve looked at. It’s also more of the foods that I’m familiar with and will hopefully inspire me to bust out my pasta maker and maybe make some fresh linguini.
Now that I’ve got 15 (3 actually) books on their way from Amazon what does that mean? Well it means I’m gonna read all of them and report back to you! I’ve decided that I’m going to start with the Mediterranean diet
because as I said before I find it a lot more feasible for not only myself but for my family. I want them to eat better. I want my parents to enjoy their retirement and to truly feel good. Italian cuisine is one of my top favorite cuisines to make (and eat) so I’l be bringing a lot more of those kinds of recipes to you as well. I can’t wait for the books to arrive and to get in the kitchen with some new recipes under my belt. I will report back soon!
I’ll also make sure to include some “diet” friendly alternatives that you’ll be able to find in your local market when you’re in a bind.
With the New Year and making resolutions, was starting a new diet plan one of yours? Or did you just decide to maybe cut out one thing that you maybe overindulged in during 2018? Leave a comment below:)