Mediterranean Diet

Recently I talked about wanting to try the Mediterranean Diet.

I’ve been doing keto on and off since February. It worked really well in the beginning. I lost about 10-12 pounds or so in the first few months and I honestly felt really good! I cleared up my psoriasis, I had energy and felt pretty good. I definitely felt better and more satisfied than when I tried low-carb diets in the past.

What I didn’t like about keto? It takes a LOT of tracking. It’s hard to stay under 25 grams of carbs for the day. It takes a lot of mental energy and planning to stay on track with your macros and meal planning. It was also a little triggering. I found that I started to look at certain foods as being “Bad Foods” and then feeling anxiety or guilt if I ate them. I don’t think that’s a healthy way to look at any food. I can see that someone with a history of anxiety or eating disorders could get very obsessive on a diet like keto.

I started reading about the Mediterranean Diet and it sounded really good. It wasn’t new to me. There are a lot of benefits to this diet. It’s helpful for heart health, controlling blood sugar, it might protect against cancer and depression. Supposedly it’s good for your brain, too.

It’s fairly simple to follow, which is also a plus. It looks to me like you can basically eat MOST things in moderation, unlike keto that is very restrictive.

Avoid these Foods

  • Sugar (soda, candy, etc)
  • Refined grains (white breads and pasta)
  • Trans Fats and Refined Oils (margarine, soybean oil, canola oil, etc)
  • Processed meats (sausages, hot dogs, etc)
  • Highly processed foods (anything that is “low fat” or “diet)

Foods to Eat

  • Vegetables and fruit
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Legumes
  • Tubers (potatoes, sweet potatoes, turnips, yams)
  • Fish and seafood
  • Poultry (chicken, turkey, duck) and eggs
  • Whole grains (brown rice, rye, barley, whole wheat, corn, buckwheat)
  • Dairy
  • Herbs and spices
  • Healthy fats (EEVO, olives, avocado, avocado oil)

Looking at these food pyramids, I don’t know that I am 100% on board with it. One of my takeaways from doing keto is that I DO agree, that limiting carbs is a good thing. It just is. Maybe you don’t need to do extreme low carb, but maybe just cutting out bread and pasta and getting your carbs from vegetables, sweet potatoes, fruit and beans. (So basically a variation of Slow Carb).

The good news is that this diet is basically ME. I love all of those things. I love Greek food. I love hummus and plain Greek yogurt. I eat a lot of seafood. So basically I need to limit red meat, cut out sugar and it’s not a huge change from what I used to do before keto!

So I recently spent a few hours perusing websites for recipes and meal plans and created my own meal plan for three weeks. I found some REALLY delicious-sounding recipes I was excited to try.

I am still going to try and limit my carbs (bread and pasta). Maybe the pasta dishes are just once a week. I definitely won’t be eating pasta daily!

Winter is Coming

It’s starting to feel like winter! It’s been 32 degrees in the morning with lots of ice on cars. It’s time to bring out the winter coats. Stevie has found his favorite spot in the new house:

…on the heater!

There’s also a small vent near the floor under the kitchen sink and he’ll sit right in front of that, too. Which is super convenient for us when we are trying to do dishes. 😉

I’m not sure if I mentioned it, but because our house is a little weird, we had to do a special situation for AC and heat. The first half of the house is the original 1920’s with vents like the above picture. So the main floor was “AC ready” but because the upstairs was a converted attic, there were no ducts up there. So when we got AC installed in our house this summer we had to do it in two parts. We got traditional AC for the main floor, then we had to get those Mitsubishi ductless units for our bedroom and for Logan’s bedroom.

Because it’s been so cold lately we finally got to use the heat portion of the ductless units and they are AMAZING! So quiet. Super efficient. It doesn’t take much to warm up the room and you can set it up to maintain a certain temperature (instead of just having it run all the time). It will be interesting to see HOW efficient they are on energy. Since we have solar panels on our new house, I am hoping the combination of the panels and the ductless units will save us a ton of money on heating and cooling in the house. Even though we have to spend a lot of money to do two separate systems.

Anyways, this weekend we had the Halloween Party and then Sunday was kind of a chill morning, hanging out with my parents and Logan was playing with his Halloween toys:

After my parents left to head home to Seattle, I went swimming, had a late lunch and then prepped dinner. I decided to make this keto beef stroganoff.

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 cups beef stock
  • 10 ounces cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 ½ pounds sirloin steak, thinly sliced (I get my grass-fed meat here)
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons beef bouillon
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 ½ teaspoons onion powder (I use this brand of seasonings)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Heat the slow cooker on the high setting. To the slow cooker, add the beef stock and mushrooms and cover.
  2. Heat the butter in a large sautĂŠ pan, over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic to the pan and sautĂŠ until the onion is translucent and the garlic is fragrant. Add them to the slow cooker.
  3. Sprinkle the sirloin with salt, add it to the pan and sear on both sides, about 2 minutes.
  4. Add the steak, heavy cream, sour cream, beef bouillon, Dijon, parsley, onion powder, garlic powder, and oregano to the slow cooker. Cover and cook on high for 6 hours.

It was pretty easy to make and I love having a crockpot meal! So easy. The only change I did was I added the heavy cream and sour cream one hour before it was going to be done. I didn’t thinking putting it in the crockpot for the whole time would be good–it might curdle or something.

I also used fresh garlic from a friend’s garden! It was so good!

Dinner was really flavorful! I liked it a lot. The sauce was a little thin. Then I realized that it was a SOUP! Duh. I might use less broth next time I make it, though.

I wasn’t sure what to use as a base — I had cauliflower “Rice”, low carb noodles, zoodles, and in the end we used a chickpea pasta rotini instead. Not low carb, but it was really tasty.

Right now I’m not really doing keto. I’m doing more of a low carb/carb cycling program. I saw the above graphic on instagram and I liked the diet suggestion. I might do something like what it suggests, where I do a month of keto, month of low carb, month of something else. Maybe Mediterranean Diet, maybe Paleo or Slow Carb. I just feel like my body adjusts to whatever diet I try REALLY FAST and then it stops working. So maybe doing something like this will be better to switch things up.