Comparing Plans: Mediterranean Diet

How this Fast Diet Lifestyle works: Eat these meals tomorrow, for a calorie total of less than 600. On another day this week, eat the meals from a different post, another day of eating 600 calories or less. Eat sensibly the other days of the week. That’s it: a simple way to lose weight and be healthier.

Dear Husband has decided, since his birthday is tomorrow, that he will shift his eating plan into a higher gear: in addition to Fasting two days each week, he would like the Slow Day meals to be more Mediterranean in nature. What a good idea! This ancient Way of Eating has been studied since the 1950s and causing double-takes for decades — how can they eat all that olive oil and wine and cheese and still be healthy??!?! It is not about what they do eat but what they do not eat: butter, cream, red meat, refined carbohydrates, processed foods, sweets. Is there any benefit to eating like a Mediterranean? Oh yes!! A large, long-term study in the US showed that a Mediterranean Diet lowers cholesterol, helps the body to regulate blood sugar, and reduces damaging inflammation linked to metabolic disease, all while keeping arteries flexible and free from plaque. AND it can promote weight loss. In sum, a Mediterranean Diet, along with other healthy lifestyle choices, seems to reduce early death due to heart issues by 80%. W.O.W. Dr, Michael Mosley, originator of the Fast Diet, highly recommends a Mediterranean Diet for everyone on Slow Days. How similar are the Fast Diet and the Mediterranean Diet? Let’s look at a comparison:

Is this food allowed on this diet…MEDITERRANEANOn Fast Days
Fatty Animal protein: beef, lamb, pork< 3 oz sv.Small servings
Lean Animal protein: chicken, turkey3 oz svYes, preferred
Eggs Up to 7 per week Yes 
Beer, wine, cocktailsYes to wineOn Slow Days
Oats, barley, quinoa, brown rice, whole-wheat bread/pasta Yesin moderation
Nuts + seedsYes, 3 sv/week in moderation
Beans, legumes: peas/kidney beans/lentils/chickpeasYes, 3 sv/weekYes 
Seafood protein, especially with Omega-3 fats3 sv/weekYes, preferred 
Apples, melons, pears, all other fruitsYes- 3 sv /dayYes 
BerriesYes Yes 
Leafy green vegetables: spinach, chard, kale, lettuceYesYes 
Dairy: Cheese, milk, yogurt fat-free preferredSome 
Vegetable oils: olive, canolapreferred sourcesin moderation
Animal fat: butter, lard, or margarine substitutesno in moderation
Root vegetables: beets, sweet potatoes, carrotsYesYes 
Other vegetables: onions, tomatoes, peppersYesYes 
Fat Only plant-based No 
Protein seafood-basedYes. lots 
Higher fiberYes Yes
Limit refined Carb intakeComplex carbs onlyComplex carbs only
Whole grains Yes !!Yes
Simple carbs: cookies, pastries, cake, bread, processed foodsNone or very limited amountsNot on Fast Day
Number of days per week to follow the regimin 7 of 72 of 7
Do calories matter?No Only 600 on Fast Days
Based on information from the Cleveland Clinic website.

There are many ways to add vegetables to your diet deliciously, such as Zucchini-Feta Fritters for breakfast [or dinner] and Felafel at dinner [or breakfast]. Try making changes to one meal a week, to conform to the new guidelines, then expand your repertoire to other meals.

Zucchini-Feta Fritters & Fruit: 178 calories 5 g fat 3 g fiber 8.4 g protein 31.6 g carbs 208 mg Calcium  NB: Food values given are for the plated foods only, and do not include the optional beverage. PB GF – if using GF flour  Savory with the feta, sweet with the melon – a flavor adventure for breakfast.

4 zucchini-feta fritters ** 3 oz watermelon 2 Tbsp plain, fat-free yogurt   Optional: 5 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie [88 calories] Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] or lemon in hot water 

Start the fritters the night before to allow the zucchini to drain thoroughly. Using 1.5 Tablespoons per fritter, place the batter on a hot griddle which has been spritzed with non-stick spray. Flatten the fritters, and cook on both sides until well browned. Plate with the melon and yogurt. Serve with beverage of choice, noting their calorie count. [Refrigerate the remaining batter until you have time to cook and freeze the remainder.]

**Zucchini-Feta Fritters makes 23-24  each: 34 calories 1.5 g fat 0.3 g fiber 1.5 g protein 3 g carbs 34 mg Calcium  PB These are a yummy treat, at breakfast or as a pre-dinner nibble. 1-1/8 pound [18 oz] zucchini salt 1 two-oz egg 4 oz feta cheese, crumbled or diced ¼ cup fresh dill weed OR 2 Tbsp dried 2 Tbsp fresh parsley ¼ c white whole wheat flour ¼ cup self-rising flour Grate the zucchini and put it in a collendar over a bowl. Sprinkle with salt and use your fingers to toss the zucchini to distribute the salt. Let sit several hours or overnight. Place the zucchini in a clean bowl and add the remaining ingredients. Combine well. Heat a griddle/large skillet and spray with non-stick spray.  TIP: I used a 1.5 Tbsp scoop, but a heaping tablespoon would do as well.  Make piles of the batter on the cooking surface, then flatten them, and cook until well-browned on both sides.

Felafel with Vegetable Salsa:  205 calories 5 g fat 7.5 g fiber 9 g protein 26.5 g carbs 139 mg Calcium  PB GF   The felafel recipe is from Molly Katzen’s Moosewood Cookbook.  Perfect for any time of year. Felafel is so convenient to have in the freezer for ‘instant’ meals.

falefel patties  ½ cup diced fresh tomatoes ½ cup diced orange or yellow bell peppers 2 Tbsp red onion, chopped 1 Tbsp lemon juice 

Combine the chopped vegetables with the lemon juice. Let sit while the felafel warms. If frozen, warm the felafel. Plate the felafel and the salad.  It’s that easy?!? Yes it is!

FELAFEL makes 26 patties each patty = 25 calories 

2 cups canned chick peas [if you use dried chickpeas, you will get a grainer product. Factor in the time to reconstitute and cook them] 1.5 cloves garlic, crushed [add as much as you enjoy!] ¼ cup celery, minced ¼ c. scallions, sliced 1 egg 1½ tsp tahini ½ t. cumin ½ t. tumeric ¼ t. cayenne ¼ t. black pepper 1.5 t. salt

Combine in food processer until ingredients form a uniform paste. Scoop into a bowl and chill 1 hour. Form into balls on a silicone mat or parchment paper on a cookie sheet. I used a 1½ Tbsp scoop and then flattened the patties. TIP: You don’t have to bake them now. You could freeze the patties on a cookie sheet, then put them frozen into bags to cook later. Bake at 400F for 10-15 minutes. The patties should be heated through and have an outside ‘crust’ which is firm to the touch. In most recipes, you will cook them further. At this point you want them to be firm enough to store well. There will be about 25 of them. Use now or cool and freeze for later use. 

Ingredients for next week: Breakfast, single portion for Monday …………………………… single portion for Thursday:

1 two-oz egg + apple or pearbarley flour + white whole wheat flour
Tattie Scone: mashed potatoes1 egg + plain fat-free yogurt + fat-free milk
egg white + milkbaking soda + baking powder + honey
white whole wheat flour + baking powderdried fig + grapes or melon
Optional smoothiedeglet noor dates + salt
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

Dinner, single portion for Monday:………………………….. single portion for Thursday:

smoked haddock=finnen haddie cooked chicken + mushrooms
onion + potatoBrussel sprouts + green beans
butter + milk + bay leafBarley pilaf: quick barley + whole wheat orzo
parsley + peas or asparagusstock + thyme + chives or scallions
Sparkling waterSparkling water

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