30 Day Mediterranean Lifestyle Challenge
Cindy Mann joined us yesterday to tell us all about Wave 1 of our Mediterranean Lifestyle Challenge. She made two recipes that are good examples of what we can enjoy during Wave 1 -- Quinoa and Black Beans and Raw Kale Salad with Tomatoes and Parmesan (see below.)
Here are the highlights of what we discussed.
Plate Size Matters
Consider your plate size -- 7" for breakfast, 9" for lunch and dinner. And, a 2 cup bowl. The ASHA plates are 9". I actually learned about the impact of plate size when I read Mindless Eating. I thought I could compensate for the size of the plate I was using just being more aware, but studies showed that's not true. The size of the plate you use matters.
Wave 1 Don'ts
What are we avoiding during Wave 1? Sugar, white flour, alcohol, soda, fatty beef, and full fat dairy.
Coping with Cravings
What causes sugar cravings? Cindy recommends deconstructing our food cravings. When you experience a sugar craving, ask yourself:
- What is my head wanting?
- What is my body needing?
- Is it different?
- How might I give my body what it needs?
You might experience some detox symptoms during the first 10 days.
- digestive upset
- skin breakouts
- weird cravings
Don't give in. These will pass. Usually the first three days are the hardest. Drink a lot of water to flush the toxins out of your systems. Try to exercise and move more. Get a lot of sleep. Do something you love not related to food e.g., get a massage, manicure, pedicure, go to the zoo. Lean on your friends, family and your colleagues for support.
- Clean out your pantry and restock with these tips from Diane Paul and Deb Dixon.
- Clear your calendar. Don't over schedule yourself.
- Prepare a meal plan (see template from Cindy below.)
- Think about trying some new brands like Ezekiel breads, Bob's whole wheat flour, Kashi multigrain crackers and Laughing Cow cheese
And, a few random thoughts from the Q&A...
- How much fruit can I eat during Wave 1? You can have one serving of fruit per day -- 1/2 cup or 1 piece of whole fruit.
- Can I eat Greek yogurt during Wave 1? Yes! Answer from the Sonoma folks: "The Sonoma Diet has doesn't place a lot of emphasis on dairy. Those dairy choices suggested in Wave 1 are lower in natural sugars. Since Greek yogurt is quite a bit lower in carbohydrates than traditional yogurt, it would be an excellent choice in all Waves."
- Can we put milk in our coffee? 1 T of heavy cream is recommended, but it's a full fat dairy. We're confused.
- Why isn't talapia on the list of approved fish? We don't know, but we'll try to find out. Answer from the Sonoma folks: "It sure is okay! It is a very popular and inexpensive fish so enjoy. I am sure there is some fish that is not okay but I don't know which ones. We simply can't list every allowable food so if in doubt just ask."
- What about non-sweetened almond milk? That's probably ok. Just read the label carefully to make sure there is no sweetener. Did you know that you can make your own almond milk.
- What about soy milk? It's probably ok too if it's unsweetened and plain.
These are the recipes Cindy shared with us yesterday. You can find more healthy recipes on our Pinterest page. Cindy is one of the pinners. If you'd like to contribute, just let me know and I'll add you to the board.
Quinoa and Black Beans
Quinoa and Black Beans
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, peeled
1 cup uncooked quinoa
1 ½ cups vegetable broth
1 teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
Sea salt and pepper to taste
1 cup diced red bell pepper
1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 avocado, peeled and diced
1. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the onion and using a
microplace, grate the garlic into the pan. Cook for 3 minutes or until lightly browned.
2. Meanwhile, rinse the quinoa under cold water until water runs clear.
3. Add quinoa to the saucepan and cover with vegetable broth. Season with cumin,
cayenne pepper, sea salt and pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed.
4. Stir in the red pepper, black beans and cilantro.
5. Serve with diced avocado as garnish.
Raw Kale Salad with Tomatoes and Parmesan
1 large bunch kale, washed and trimmed of stems
1 lemon, juiced
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 ounces grated parmesan
1 pint grape tomatoes, cut into quarters
Kosher or sea salt and fresh black pepper, to taste
1. Roll several kale leaves lengthwise and using the point of a chef's knife, cut away the thick center stem. Discard. Roll the remaining stack of de-veined leaves into a tight cigar shape and slice into thin ribbons.
2. Add the lemon juice and olive oil. Massage the ingredients into the kale until the leaves turn bright green.
3. Add the cheese and tomatoes and mix again. Let the salad sit at room temperature for an hour before serving.