After seeing my blood draws be consistently out of whack, I was getting very frustrated. Of course I like my pizza, crackers, and pasta, but I felt I wasn’t eating those items constantly, but filled my diet with fruits and vegetables as well. And indeed I was – I just wasn’t aware of how medications, certain foods, and when I eat them, can effect the body so drastically when you have advanced heart failure.
Hence the “new” blog posts about my new journey. After posting my first “entry” about the Mediterranean Diet, I have received a handful of messages about what it is about, so I thought I would share a bit more, for those who would benefit. If this doesn’t interest you, no offense taken!
I’m sure you feel like everything is telling you to cut this out, don’t eat this, and change everything in your cupboards. Not needed in this lifestyle. Here are a few ways that you can implement the Mediterranean Diet:
- Eat more fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes. So how? I always keep fruit out in a basket on the counter, vegetable drawers stocked with a variety of options, whole grain cereals, and try to find a recipe that uses white or black beans more frequently. At a meal, I try to fill half of my plate with a salad and/or vegetables, all while still having meat and whole grains.
- This diet also focuses on healthy fats, like switching out your butter for olive oil. This isn’t too hard of a switch!
- Be conscious of your meat consumption. This “diet” encourages more fish consumption – like 2-3 times a week. Believe it or not, there are a lot of fish recipe options out there and many different types of fish that aren’t unreasonably expensive. Thank you Aldi! Chicken of course is more of a lean protein so that is a bit better than red meat, but red meat is NOT off limits – just in moderation! I just had beef roast this past weekend.
- Watch what you eat when you eat out. Notice that it doesn’t say you can’t eat out, but just be conscious about what you choose to order. Also be mindful of HOW much you eat of something. For instance, when we went to Olive Garden the other night (thank you gift cards!), I knew I wanted to eat their breadsticks, so I just ordered a chicken dish with no pasta, so I wouldn’t go over my carbohydrate limit. It’s about how much you eat of something, folks!
- You can still eat dairy and eggs. Moderation, moderation, moderation. I still drink milk, have an egg a day, and still eat cheese. Whew.
- Have fun with it. There really are a lot of options out there! You don’t have to completely change what’s in your cupboards, but just be mindful about what you pair together.
Again, moderation. Just think more about WHAT you are putting into your body and it will make this lifestyle change pretty easy! I still eat Vitale’s pizza – I just watch how much!
What other questions do you have? What am I missing? I am no pro, but I sure am learning a lot and am loving this new change, which isn’t always easy to say. I feel amazing and have more energy. I love being able to say that!