How can you make small changes in your diet to be more Mediterranean? This Mediterranean Diet Meal Makeover will show you how! In part 1 of this series, The Mediterranean Diet: what is it, why it matters in midlife and how to get started, we outline what this dietary approach is, what the research says about this approach, and what foods to include to get start. This is part 2 in our Mediterranean Diet series where we will show you how to make these small changes in your diet.
In midlife, most of us have knowledge of what foods we could be including more of in our diets to optimize our health. But when it comes to actually making and sustaining changes, this is where we get stuck. We get it, change is hard!
With our attention pulled in many different directions- families, careers, trying to maintain a sane household- we need diet and lifestyle changes to be absorbed into our day. Making small, yet consistent changes that are sustained are more likely to bring feelings of success than aiming for a major lifestyle switch.
To make your diet more Mediterranean, start with one meal and work from there. Set small goals that you know you will be able to follow through. Then check in to see how they feel for you. Success breeds success.
When you feel successful in change, this creates positive energy and encourages you to consider another change. While one little change may seem small, if it is (mostly) sustained, over time they can make the difference for your health. Simple changes that are sustained over time can have impact.
Doing a 180-degree change in your diet can feel over-whelming. Look at each meal or snack, and see what, if any, changes you can swap in. As you do this, consider the degree of difficulty that would be in your life. Start with low-hanging fruit.
The Mediterranean diet is flexible! Do you see *anything* in the above that feels “accessible” to you? Have a look at the foods to focus on in the Mediterranean Diet. You can customize your version of the Mediterranean diet to your preferences. How will you get started?
Written by: Kenzie Urban, Dietetic Intern, University of Alberta