Monday, March 4, 2013

Wave 1 -- Guest Post by Lydia Lui

30 Day Mediterranean Lifestyle Challenge

Lydia Lui is a senior at the University of Maryland working with LifeWork Strategies as a Community Health intern. She has a particular interest in nutrition and really enjoys food, hiking and playing all kinds of sports.  She is very excited to be a part of this 30 day challenge and is looking forward to hearing about other people’s experiences with this new diet.

We're loving how prominent the Mediterranean diet is in the news lately. On Friday, Melissa Romero from Washingtonian posted 6 Healthy Mediterranean Diet-Friendly Recipes on the Well+Being Blog. (Which is one of my favorites by the way.)

We will be hosting an informational session with Cindy Mann on Wave 1 tomorrow, Tuesday, March 5 at noon in our lunchroom. All ASHA staff, their families, and our retirees are welcome to join us. Post your questions about Wave 1 in the comment section below, or bring them with you and ask Cindy tomorrow. 

Greek Salad from
The Mediterranean challenge begins with Wave 1, 10 days dedicated to gearing you towards healthy eating habits and an appreciation for taking time to prepare simple meals with whole, natural foods.  These 10 days will help you overcome a habit of high intakes of sugar, refined grains, and fast absorbing foods.  It also aims to get rid of three eating habits that lead to weight gain:
  • Overdependence on highly refined foods
  • Eating available, easy and familiar foods
  • Overeating
Remember, Wave 1 is not a gradual transition into a healthy lifestyle, it starts from Day 1!  This segment involves the most rapid weight loss based on a more restrictive diet that will then become broader throughout the next two waves.  You’ll discover new, simple yet enjoyable recipes while keeping watch of portion control to enjoy them in moderation.  Day 1 starts with cleaning out the kitchen of “banned” foods and stocking the pantry with some essentials.  It also calls for a new outlook on eating, where you begin to slow down and take time to enjoy your food.

In terms of portion control, below is the recommended breakdown of what each meal should consist of:

  • Breakfast options- 7 inch plate (25% grain, 75% protein) OR 2 cup bowl (50% dairy, 50% grain)
  • Lunch- 9 inch plate (40% protein, 60% tier 1 vegetable)
  • Dinner- 9 inch plate (30 % protein, 20% grain, 50% tier 1 vegetable)
The fruits and veggies have been divided into 3 tiers in the Sonoma Diet.  Tier 1 fruits and vegetables are allowed in Wave 1—these are higher in fiber and lower in natural sugars.  Fruits are pretty minimal in Wave 1, and could be omitted, to really aid in decreasing sugar intake.  Tier 1 includes fruits such as apples, blueberries and cherries.  Tier 1 veggies are unlimited during the first 10 days, which include asparagus, broccoli, okra, spinach, zucchini and many others. 

Don’t forget to snack in between meals with nuts, fruit, vegetables and hummus, and other small items that will satisfy hunger throughout the day.  Remember to stick with whole grains, lean proteins, and also try to avoid sweeteners completely (natural and artificial).

If you aren’t able to follow along with the book—this site has a decent overview of the food lists for each wave.

Examples of healthy food choices for Wave 1

Breakfast: Two scrambled eggs with whole-grain toast
Lunch: Greek salad with broiled shrimp, half a whole-wheat pita
Snack: 11 almonds
Dinner: Marinated flank steak with sauteed broccoli, roasted peppers, and goat cheese

Sample GREEK SALAD Recipe
½ clove garlic, minced
1 and ½ cups baby spinach and romaine lettuce
½ tomato, diced
¼ medium cucumber, quartered and sliced
¼ oz. feta cheese
1-2 olives, and a bit of chopped radish and red onion

Combine all salad ingredients.  Drizzle with low-calorie Greek vinaigrette; add a lean protein such as grilled shrimp to complete the meal.

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