FoodMar 02 - 2020

The best diet on the planet… the Mediterranean Diet.

We could go on about the health benefits of what the Mediterranean diet can do for your family. Simply For Life has been at the forefront of this pattern of eating for years and it’s what our meal plans are based upon. There’s no disputing that a Mediterranean dietary pattern is associated with lower risks of heart attack, stroke and premature death. It can also help improve metabolic and glycemic control in type 2 diabetes. It has also been shown to reduce the risk of depression and anxiety. For two years in a row, U.S. News & World Report has ranked it best overall diet on the planet. 


What does the Mediterranean diet involve?
It includes fruits, beans, nuts, dairy, chocolate, red wine, olive oil, spices, and herbs. Red wine is usually consumed in the evening with dinner with no more than 1-2 5 ounce glasses. More is not better and we recommend specific wines to our clients.


It includes moderate amounts of seafood, poultry, and dairy. Mediterraneans don’t have a lot of red meat, but when they do it’s usually from pasture-raised, grass-fed and organically-raised sources. They always prioritize wild-caught seafood over farmed. 


Simply For Life Natural Markets carry only the highest quality meat and seafood. Everyone is welcome to shop at our Natural Markets and if you haven’t been in to try our meat and seafood options, you’re missing out! We have some of the tastiest, highest quality meat and seafood available. We work with local farmers and ask questions about how animals are raised and fed before bringing them into our markets. 


There is a focus on limiting processed foods, chemical additives, and sweeteners. Simply For Life nutrition coaches educate their clients about reading ingredient lists and eating mostly whole, fresh foods as much as possible. Eating food the way nature intended (most of the time) is the core of our beliefs! 


The primary fat source is extra virgin olive oil. 


Simply For Life has one of the best olive oils available which is sourced directly from Crete, Greece. You will see it on all of our meal plans and the founder, Bruce Sweeney, has had a passion for olive oil for years leading him to create one of the highest quality 100% pure olive oil available. 


How can the Mediterannean Lifestyle help your family?
In addition to delicious food, the Mediterranean lifestyle has a philosophy of life that values personal relationships, the pursuit of happiness and physical activity. They focus on the relationship around food including the “how to eat ” not only the “what to eat it”. They enjoy cooking and they take time to eat with family and/or friends. Eating with others provides valuable bonding time, strengthens family traditions and triggers some of our fondest memories. Some of our most cherished memories involve food. A taste or smell can fill us with nostalgic memories.


North Americans are becoming more and more disconnected with the use of phones, social media, and television. One survey from LG Electronics Canada found that more than three quarters (76%) of Canadians believe that we’re spending less time cooking and eating together as a family because we’re too busy. The good news is that 64% of Canadians wish that they could enjoy more home-cooked meals with their families. 


We all know that families should eat together, but sometimes it’s tough to find the time. Work, school, sports practices, and other obligations can get in the way. Studies show that families who dine at home together are happier and healthier. The magic of the family table comes from the conversation and connection between parents and children.


Top Tips
Start small. If you’re not eating meals together at all, start with one night per week. Breakfast and lunch also count, so make it work any way you can with your schedules. Snack time, like an evening snack, could also work if nothing else does. Have a healthy homemade dessert like avocado chocolate pudding, yogurt, and berries or some dark chocolate. Just make sure you are sitting down to have the snack at the table with no phones or tv. Ask your kids this “what was your favorite thing that happened today?”. 
Family meals should be fun. Try a theme night like Taco Tuesday, Picnic Night or Pizza Friday. When you’re cleaning up, let your kids pick some of their favorite music to dance and make some after-dinner fun! Macarena Monday anyone? 


Parenting solo presents different challenges, but one parent at the table is still better than none. Sometimes, a caregiver, sibling or grandparent may be in charge of mealtimes. You can still get the benefits of a family meal by making sure healthful food is served and conversation is had. 


Going out to eat with friends or family? Here is a fun challenge to try: The first one to use their phone at the table pays the bill. Not only does it set the precedent for everyone at the table, but you’re also sure to have some laughs over it! 


Have a “no cell-phone” rule at the dinner table. The first one who pulls out their cell phone has to get up and do 20 burpees!! This can generate laughs to the poor soul who pulls out their phone first. NO ONE LIKES BURPEES.
Ask open-ended questions. “How was your day?” will often lead to “good” and there’s nowhere else to go with the conversation. Try these questions instead: What was your favorite part of the day? Would you rather questions are fun. Would you rather skydive or scuba dive? What’s your favorite tv show? What do you like most about school? What two things do you like about YOU best? What’s your favorite meal? What’s one of your most favorite memories?


Interested in learning more about how the Mediterranean Diet can change your life? Come see us

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