The Mediterranean Diet as a Way of Life

Caregiver in Boca Raton FL: The Mediterranean Diet as a Way of Life

Caregiver in Boca Raton FL: The Mediterranean Diet as a Way of Life

The Mediterranean diet began centuries ago. It is the normal, everyday diet for those people living in Greece, Southern Italy, France and Spain. It came into the spotlight when researchers determined that those who ate this type of diet had a significantly diminished risk for heart disease, diabetes, dementia, some cancers and stroke. The Mediterranean diet is more than just a recommended way to eat, it is a way of life. As a family caregiver, incorporating this type of eating into your parent’s life is truly a gift.

The Diet

The diet is simple and easy to follow. It consists of primarily a host of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy, nuts and seeds, legumes, avocado, extra virgin olive oil, garlic, poultry and fish. Common vegetables include leafy greens such as spinach, eggplant, artichokes, tomatoes and fennel. A glass of red wine is also not uncommon with a meal which is usually flavored with fresh herbs and spices instead of mounds of salt and pepper.

High quality red meat is consumed about once a week and very little packaged and prepared foods are ever indulged in. Sugar and sweets are kept to a minimum. Other foods to be avoided are refined grains such as white bread, white pasta and rice, as well as trans fats and refined oils found in margarine and oils such as soybean, cottonseed and others. Processed meats are avoided.

The Lifestyle

The Mediterranean diet is really about a way of life. Meals are almost always shared, savored and enjoyed—not rushed through. Lunch is typically the larger meal of the day with leftovers heated up for the evening meal. People in these ancient cultures have learned to relax a little bit more and stress out a little bit less. Laughter is a part and parcel of each meal. Exercise is a daily routine. Water is the basis of life and consumed on a regular basis.

The Greek island of Crete is one of the first areas that inspired researchers. It is a land of music and dance and villages where they sip Greek coffee while gathering outside homes and in cafes. It is a place of small fishing villages, ancient ruins and sun-kissed beaches where neighbors share fresh fruits and vegetables and others contribute fresh cheese and honey.

Typical Meal

Lunch and dinner are often enjoyed with a Greek salad, crusty bread and a glass of wine. Dishes may include Fasolakia which contains green beans, potatoes, zucchini, tomatoes and onions cooked in olive oil. Goat cheese is a common addition to casserole-type prepared dishes. Fresh fish and wild greens are frequent menu items at meal times.

How to Incorporate

Incorporate the Mediterranean diet and lifestyle by promoting shared meals, taking time to relax, and centering dishes around fresh fish, fruits and vegetables. Exercise on a daily basis and most of all—enjoy. To the Cretans, life is sweet and meant to be savored. As a family caregiver, incorporating these attitudes into your life with your parent’s will make everything you do together that much sweeter.

If you or an aging loved one are considering caregiver services in Boca Raton, FL, please call the caring staff at Activa Home Health Care at (561) 819-4112.  Serving Delray Beach, Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, Wellington, Jupiter, West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Lauderhill, Coral Springs, Pompano Beach and surrounding communities.