The Top Ten Tips for Success
Here are the best ways, some large and some small, to help ensure that you enjoy your Mediterranean diet to the fullest. These strategies can also help you lose weight, if that’s one of your goals, by making it easier for you to adjust to the diet and stick with it.
1. Treat Yourself Like Company
The Mediterranean diet is as much about how you eat as it is about what you eat. The Mediterranean people have a respect for and appreciation of food that inspires them to set beautiful (though often very simple) tables. Bring out the good china, put some fresh flowers in a canning jar, light some candles, or eat outside on the patio. However you choose to do it, treat every meal as though you were having guests.
2. Learn to Savor
In our fast-paced multitasking culture, we have a tendency to eat without paying attention to our food. We eat standing up or while driving to work, watching TV, or finishing up some paperwork. This is the antithesis of Mediterranean custom, where it’s not uncommon to linger over even a simple meal for a couple of hours and where the idea of doing anything mundane while eating just seems silly.
Turn off the TV, even if you’re eating alone. Put away the work, the cell phone, and any other distractions. Even if you’re having dinner for one, focus on the delicious food you’re eating. Really taste what’s on your plate and start appreciating the pleasure of flavor.
3. Become a Social Eater
Gathering around food is something that families and friends do every day in the
Mediterranean, even if all that’s being served is some crusty bread with good olive oil. While
Sunday afternoon dinners are traditionally an important part of the week in the Mediterranean region, even simple meals are an excuse to invite someone over for good food and conversation. Even when there are no guests, families will linger at the table to talk about the day and enjoy each other’s presence.
Inviting friends and family over for a simple summer lunch or a casual dinner party is a great way to incorporate the Mediterranean approach to dining into your own life. For the Mediterranean people, eating is as much about the company as it is about the food, and meals really do taste better when you share them.