A New Way of Eating, Mediterranean Style

You may be thinking about switching up your eating habits as we head into the new year. The Mediterranean diet may have all the benefits you’re looking for.
We know what you’re thinking: Ugh, not another diet…

When we say diet, we don’t mean the traditional calorie-restricting, carb-cutting nightmare that has you calling it quits two weeks in. We are simply talking about a new way of eating: one that has you enjoying fresh foods and bright flavors, all while giving you energy and keeping you full.

The Mediterranean diet refers to the eating habits of those countries along the Mediterranean Sea, such as Greece or Italy. Staples of a Mediterranean diet include fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats. Red meat and dairy are limited. While seafood is OK, most meals are built around plants, rather than meat.

What is a “healthy” fat anyway?

Healthy fats, including olive oil and most nuts, are a key component of the Mediterranean way of eating. So what makes a fat healthy? Foods that provide monounsaturated fats, or “good” fats, have been shown to help lower total cholesterol. Whereas trans or saturated fats, found in fried food or dairy products, can contribute to heart disease.

Tips for eating the Mediterranean way:

  1. Incorporate those healthy fats we talked about. Use olive oil as a substitute for butter or bottled salad dressing.
  2. Opt for whole grain foods rather than processed carbs. Try a bowl of oatmeal with berries for breakfast or a warm quinoa salad with dinner.
  3. Focus on plants. Build your meals around crisp greens and veggies.  Vegetables don’t have to be boring.
    Pro tip: Try grilling your veggies to add flavor, and add some spices. Get creative.
  4. Cut back on red meat and enjoy seafood a couple times a week. Look for fish high in omega-3s, such as salmon, mackerel, or albacore tuna.  Some poultry and dairy are OK in moderation.
    Pro tip: We love greek yogurt for a quick snack and a great way to get in more protein.
  5. Ditch the sugar and processed foods. Craving something sweet? Shoot for a bowl of fruit instead of ice cream for dessert.
    Pro tip: a small dollop of coconut whipped cream over a bowl of berries is sure to satisfy your craving.

It goes beyond your plate . . .
Remember that the Mediterranean diet is a way of eating, not just what you eat.  Enjoying a meal with friends and family while sipping on a glass of wine is just as important as what’s on your plate. We encourage you to slow down and cherish meals you get to spend with ones you love. Challenge yourself to try a new recipe each month.  

You can start with one of our favorites: Mediterranean Olive Oil Pasta. This healthy pasta dish is filling and fresh. We turned up the volume a bit and used Pot d’Huile’s hemp-infused olive oil. Check it out below!

Mediterranean Olive Oil Pasta

Serves 4-6 (40-60mg CBD per serving)

  • 1 lb thin spaghetti
  • ¼ cup Pot d’Huile Hemp-Infused Olive Oil
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 crushed garlic cloves
  • 1 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 12 oz grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • Salt, just a pinch
  • 6 oz marinated artichoke hearts, drained
  • ¼ cup pitted olives, halved
  • ¼ cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 10–15 fresh basil leaves, roughly torn
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Crushed red pepper flakes, optional
  1. If you aren’t making your own pasta (check our holiday gift guide for the easiest way to make homemade pasta), follow the instructions to cook your spaghetti al dente.
  2. In a large cast iron skillet, combine and briefly heat both olive oils. Turn down the heat and add your crushed garlic and salt, stir regularly for about 15 seconds. Be sure not to burn it. Then stir in the parsley and tomatoes. Cook over low heat until just heated through.
  3. When the pasta is ready, pour the warmed olive oil sauce over the spaghetti. Add your pepper and lemon zest. Toss until thoroughly coated.
  4. Add the remaining ingredients and toss again.
  5. Serve warm and garnish with fresh basil and feta.

Xo, Team SipC