There is something to be said about the Mediterranean diet. It’s clouted as the healthiest diet on the planet, and also the one with the least restrictions. Compared to Paleo, Vegan, Keto, and AIP, the Mediterranean is almost like taking a vacation.
Upon closer inspection, though, eating in the manner, cuisine, and tradition of those countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea does have its limitations. The difference is, they seem more inclusive than exclusive. Fish and poultry are allowed on the lifestyle, encouraged to be eaten weekly. Grains and legumes, both restricted on Keto and Paleo diets, are plentiful on the Mediterranean.
Heck, the Mediterranean diet even promotes having WINE. Not with every meal, but there aren’t many diets or healthy lifestyles which allow or encourage alcoholic beverages at all. Even if wine isn’t your forte, it’s a tempting benefit to this way of eating.
But for all its allowances, there is one thing in the Mediterranean diet which is key to its success. That is the complete elimination of processed foods. Healthy fats? Good to go. Grains? Your fine as long as they are whole grains (oats, wild rice, etc). But processed foods? Nope. They’ve gots to go.
Which is what really EVERY healthy lifestyle encourages. Eliminate processed foods and sugar. But with the Mediterranean way of life, it seems so much more obtainable, less restrictive, and more inviting.
Another aspect of Mediterranean isn’t just WHAT we eat, but HOW we eat. Enjoy your meal with family. Not in front of a television. Not at your kitchen counter, shoveling food in your mouth as you hurry through your day. SIT DOWN. And ENJOY your meal. If you have someone to share a meal with, so much the better.
When my parents came to visit us this summer, I made a point to cook at least a couple meals for the four of us. To be perfectly honest, I think the ones I made at home were the best meals we had all week. Not because they were “made with love” (although *gag* they were). My dinners I cooked at home were the best because I made each meal with whole, clean ingredients. No processed foods. No sugar. No processed flour. No packaging. And, well, that also meant no palm oil.
So, what was this heavenly creation I bestowed upon my family? A Mediterranean-inspired dish called a frittata. Frittatas are one of my favorites to make. You can substitute just about ANY ingredient for something else you prefer. For instance, my dad HATES kale, so I just cut it out, but added broccoli and asparagus in its place. I’ve also on occasion, substituted delicata squash (a wonderfully sweet winter squash) for the sweet potato, and it turned out supreme. If you don’t like goat cheese, substitute with a natural cheese you do enjoy- Gorgonzola, bleu cheese, or havarti.
Play with the recipe, and make it your own. That’s the true beauty of ZooFit. Make it all yours- what is sustainable for you (enjoyable that you continue for long-term), for your health (keeps you in the shape and fitness level you desire), and for the planet (whole, organic, unprocessed foods keep the earth healthy, too).
- 8 eggs
- ¼ cup canned coconut milk
- 1 tsp cream of tartar
- 2 tsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 Tbsp olive oil (plus some for brushing)
- ⅓ cup sun-dried tomatoes
- 15 ounce can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 4 oz goat cheese
- 1 cup shredded kale
- 2 cups broccoli florets, or other seasonal veggie
- 1 sweet potato, peeled and chopped
- ½ tsp tarragon
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp pepper
- ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
- Lightly brush olive oil in a medium casserole pan.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, cream of tartar, balsamic vinegar, and olive oil. Add remainder of ingredients (tomatoes through spices).
- Pour mixture into prepared pan. Set oven to 375 degrees and bake at 375 for 15 minutes, then reduce temperature to 350. Continue baking for 25-30 minutes, then turn off oven and let passively bake for another 5-10 minutes or until edges are golden and center is puffed and set.