Atkins, Low Carb or Paleo? I am getting confused.
Diets seem to come and go, they are fashionable for a while, they bring to light new trendy foods which hit the shops and make the producers big money and then they slowly fade and disappear only for them to be replaced by some other new trend. But can you treat a diet like clothing and follow the fashions?
Fad diets, as they are called, often seem to happily exclude entire food groups and they seem to work for a while, for example if you want to lose weight, only to be abandoned later on because they are too extreme, really difficult to stick to and sometimes potentially unhealthy.
There are no shortcuts when it comes to diet: it needs to have the right balance of fruit and vegetables, cereals, carbohydrates and proteins, it should be enjoyable and delicious and this is just what the Mediterranean diet, rich in fruit and vegetables, fresh fish and olive oil is all about. A diet is about lifestyle and certainly not a short term thing.
When I was a child I had some digestive problems and my belly looked like a little inflated balloon so my parents decided to put me on a partial macrobiotic diet for a few years. Macrobiotic food was popular in the 70s, it was developed by a Japanese educator named George Ohsawa. This diet is low-fat, high in fiber and predominantly vegetarian. It emphasizes whole grains, beans, legumes, and vegetables and it is low in saturated animal fat, dairy products and sugar.
So tamari (soya sauce), seaweed, umeboshi prunes, grains, seeds, wholemeal bread and brown rice was daily food for me. I remember hating it as it was so boring and bland. My happiest days were when I would come home from school to find a big bowl of pasta with ragu’ waiting for me. Then I did have a broad smile on my face!
As soon as I grew out of my digestive problems thankfully my parents decided to stop the diet and I continued with a normal Mediterranean diet. I loved it although I must say the taste for wholesome foods, grains and seeds (and brown rice sometimes) has stayed with me ever since… and I guess this is not such a bad thing after all!
I believe that the Mediterranean diet is one of the best ways to keep healthy and fit. It is also important to consider that these days those gorgeous looking fruit and vegetables you see on display in supermarkets may have a large amount of pesticides with strawberries, apples, peaches, grapes, celery, peppers, cucumbers at the top of the list for pesticides residues .
Just before having children I decided to embrace an almost totally organic diet prioritizing food over clothing and holidays. Children are more sensitive to pesticides especially when they are very young.
Organic food is expensive for most people but the trick is to buy a few key ingredients like chicken, which is often mass produced, milk, flour and at least some fruit and vegetables. We mustn’t forget that whatever you put into our bodies will show from the outside as well as from the inside with higher energy levels, bright skin and with an overall feeling of well being.
Eating well is not only beneficial to your body but to your mind too as you will be able to function better, think more clearly, feel happier and healthier for it.