The Mediterranean Diet has been voted best diet year after year. But one nutritionist says that despite its popularity, information on the popular diet is inconsistent and limited to stereotypical descriptions.
In a new book, published by DK/Penguin Random House, “The Mediterranean Diet Cookbook for Beginners,” one of the world’s foremost experts in her field, Elena Paravantes, decodes the complex nutritional information and provides an easy to use guide to a healthier, tastier life.
“Most often, you see a watered-down version of the Mediterranean Diet with vague descriptions, that can be confusing and frustrating for anyone trying to follow this diet,” Paravantes said.
“The authentic Mediterranean diet is in fact a very specific way of eating and following it will have results, as long as you do it right” she says.
And Paravantes knows what she’s talking about. She’s a Registered Dietitian who was raised on the Mediterranean Diet and has spent years sharing her knowledge– and recipes– on one of the world’s most popular food blogs, Olive Tomato.
The book is based not only on science, but on Elena’s personal experience as a Registered Dietitian who has been raised on a Mediterranean diet both in the U.S. and Greece. With this book she provides an insider’s guide to the diet and lifestyle.
This book is packed with information that will be useful to anyone who wants to follow an authentic Mediterranean diet. Apart from 100 recipes (including many passed down from Elena’s family) shopping lists, menu plans, cooking techniques, detailed guidance for creating your own menu plan, it also includes a whole section on lifestyle information that promotes longevity (naps, socializing, having a purpose).
Through the pages of the book, Paravantes recommends very specific nutrition and lifestyle tips based on lifelong experience with the authentic Mediterranean Diet.
Given today’s diverse lifestyles and dietary restrictions people have, Paravantes has incorporated over 65 gluten free recipes and over 85 vegetarian recipes.
Elena’s Top 10 Tips to Get You Started on the Authentic Mediterranean Diet
(1) Choose and use the right olive oil and use it correctly and generously, remember there is no such thing as a low fat Mediterranean diet.
(2) Keep it simple. The Mediterranean diet is about simplicity. Avoid complex recipes with numerous ingredients and stick to delicious, clean flavors.
(3) Cut down on processed foods even if they are labeled healthy or “Mediterranean”, they are not.
(4) Choose plain Greek yogurt, yogurt should not taste like blueberry pie
(5) Focus on your lifestyle, it’s not only about food. Think about self-care, social ties, rest.
(6) Drink wine with food always.
(7) Don’t be afraid of bread.
(8) Eat and drink plants. Think leafy greens and herbal beverages.
(9) Don’t reject small fatty fish such as sardines and anchovies, they are the healthiest.
(1) Eat vegetables as a main course and don’t overdo it with the grains.
Look inside the book:
Elena Paravantes, RDN is a Mediterranean Diet expert and the creator of Olivetomato.com, the top online resource for the authentic Mediterranean diet .
Elena has been raised on the Mediterranean diet and has first hand experience with this eating pattern. She is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, writer, consultant and lecturer with over 20 years experience.
An award winning expert on the Mediterranean Diet, her interviews and articles have been published in many publications including U.S. News and World Report, CNN, Prevention, Men’s Health, Women’s Health, NPR and more. She is the past food and nutrition editor of the Greek editions of Men’s Health and Prevention magazines and former President of the International Affiliate of the Academy of Food and Nutrition.
Elena has collaborated with a number of organizations including Yale University, Loyola University, University of Missouri, Louisiana State University, American College of Greece among others.
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