Is The Mediterranean Diet the Healthiest Diet?

The Mediterranean diet has been called the “healthiest” diet of all, and my brother, Craig, a physician, sites research to his patients quite often as the most highly recommended diet. As a Nutritionist, I have studied a lot about it too, but when I was in Italy last month, I became a true believer. I traveled for seven full days in Italy eating six and eight course meals for lunch and dinner served with wine. I also didn’t exercise the entire week (very unlike me). When I came home and realized I actually lost weight, I was stumped. I thought about what ingredients comprised those extravagant meals, and I realized how pure all the food was. This shot was taken on my trip touring the beautiful land of the Le Marche Region of Italy.

Some Key Components of the Mediterranean Diet Include:

1. Plenty of exercise

2. Eating primarily plant based foods

3. Replacing butter with olive and canola oils

4. Using herbs and spices instead of salt to flavor foods

5. Limiting red meat to no more than a few times a month. Eat more vegetables.

6. Eating fish and poultry at least twice a week.

7. Drinking red wine in moderation.

8. Eat fruit for dessert

9. Eat small portions of high-quality foods.

10. Eat yogurt and cheese as your main dairy products.

11. This diet conveys the importance of enjoying meals with friends and family.

Top Foods on The Mediterranean Diet

-Fish and Seafood

-Olive oil or canola oil

-Fruits and Vegetables

-Nuts

-Beans

-Cereal

-Red wine

Rich in vegetables, fruits, legumes, cereals, fish oil and even red wine, this diet is lower in saturated fat and has been said to reduce risks of cancers, heart disease and more.

Other Great Attributes about a Mediterranean diet:

1) A diet rich in fruits, grains, nuts, can reduce risk of obesity, cancer, heart disease, diabetes and alzheimers.

2) This diet is high in fiber which is great for decreased risk of diabetes and stomach issues.

3) This diet is filled with a good supply of mono-unsaturated fats found in fish, avocados, olive and canola oil which can help fight disease from the cellular level.

4) This is a diet people can stick to and actually enjoy.

Part 2 Marche Region: Food, Fashion and Travel

For 4 nights, we stayed at Hotel Emilia in Portonovo in Ancona, Italy which sits on the mountain where you have a spectacular view of the coast. It’s a serene spot that speaks beauty and relaxation. I loved to sit out here overlooking the mountains.

An outdoor bar was the perfect place to sit after a busy day.

The pool was beautiful sitting in front of the rooms of the hotel.

It’s difficult to pinpoint the most exciting part of the trip, but visiting Tod’s headquarters seemed to be the highlight for some of us women. Tod’s is the largest shoe manufacturer in Europe and the largest business in the Marche Region, which is publicly traded on the Italian stock exchange. We saw the entire shoe making process; how they check the leather and why these shoes are such great quality. This is the coolest work of art when you walk in the lobby of Tod’s.

Do you think these boots will be the hit of fall 2011?

After the tour, we went to the Tod’s and Prada outlets nearby. This is also a must stop if you’re in the Marche region :). I love these kid’s shoes.

Next, we were off to lunch in the town of San Benedetto del Tronto at Ristorante Mattia with Chef Marco Cameli. I loved his Miami-style restaurant. His specialty is fish since his restaurants sits right near the beach. This clever way to present an appetizer was a favorite. I call this an Italian version of ceviche.

Next was a pasta course with clams and shrimp. I have never tasted a dish so fresh. I loved that the Chefs don’t over-salt their food.

One of my favorite dishes on the entire trip was this fish dish. It’s monkfish cooked in garlic, olive oil, white wine, with fresh tomato sauce and rosemary. I am trying to recreate this one for sure. Delizioso!

And the dessert was phenomenal and nothing like I have ever had before. Bomboloni (Italian doughnuts) with Chantilly Cream and Limoncello topped with chocolate.

There’s more to come. So much to say…This region is too spectacular for words.

 

Part 1 Marche Region of Italy: Filled with Infinite Beauty, Passion, Culture and Hospitality

If you had to decide which Italian landscape was the most typical, you’d have to choose the Marche…Italy, with its range of landscapes, is a distillation of the world; the Marche is a distillation of Italy”  G. Piovene, Viaggio in Italia  1957


Okay. I am back in the USA. I left some of you hanging, and I do appreciate all of the emails looking for my posts. Unfortunately, I was so busy touring the region all week that I had no time to write a blog post. So here goes. My trip was centered around touring and learning about the Marche Region of Italy with several other professional journalists from the U.S. The Marche region lies on the Eastern side of Italy between the Adriatic Sea and the high Apennine mountains.

We began in Milan to attend a press conference at the Four Seasons to hear about the exciting new tourism campaign on the Marche Region of Italy with President Gian Mario Spacca. They rolled out their tourism campaign featuring Dustin Hoffman as a spokesperson to promote tourism in the area. Here are some other looks at this spectacular region.

If you’re in Milan you must visit a breathtaking site, Cathedral Duomo. It took over 500 years to build, and it’s the fourth largest cathedral in Europe and second largest Catholic cathedral in the world. Here, you get a view of Milan. I took the steps to the top, of course.

There is so much more, so I thought I would take it one day at a time. Stay tuned…More to come….

Italy Bound: Marche Region

Today is Sunday, and I am off to Milan and then the Marche Region of Italy. This is a picture of the sea of the Regional park of Monte Conero, where I will be staying for several days. It is considered one of the best views in the adriatic sea. Follow my site this week for more updates. First stop Milan.