The Mediterrasian Lifestyle
Most Americans today are looking for healthier ways to live. Lifestyle options are many and sometimes confusing. Here's a simple way to address these issues.The Mediterrasian Lifestyle! Let's look at two cultures that seem diverse, but are very similar in their lifestyle philosophies. This might seem crazy, but Asian and Mediterranean people live life in a similar fashion. Simple mindful lives, healthy food with a moderate amount of exercise. Combining these ways of living and eating can lead to looking and feeling better. The Mediterrasian lifestyle is a East meets West fusion that will benefit anyone wanting to change for the better. There's a certain sensibility about life in these cultures. The pace of life in America is frenetic, productivity obsessed, stress inducing and unhealthy. I'm suggesting we take a step back and examine the advantages of reordering our priorities to mirror our European and Asian neighbors. We need to start a health revolution in the U.S. With the increase of life threatening diseases ( diabetes, cancer, heart disease, obesity etc.), it's time to take a fresh look at our present lifestyles and make healthy changes.
Our consumption of over processed, high fat, carbohydrate saturated fast food is killing not only our bodies but our culture as well. We've lost our respect for food and quality of life. That's where these two cultures can teach us to return to a more humanistic way of living. If we can find time for reality TV and computer games, we can also make time for proper food and exercise. It's time to rediscover family meals, a time to socialize and enjoy our food.
Food is only half of the equation. The other half is exercise, getting a daily dose of some physical exertion. I'm not suggesting a full blown workout (if that's your thing...good for you), just a simple walk after lunch or dinner.
Examine the two food pyramids above. They're practically identical, only the ingredients of the cultures vary. Both are very vegetable-centric, low fat, limited protein and simple alternatives to healthier living. Every thing in moderation. The Mediterrasian diet allows you to eat from all the food groups, the difference is the emphasis on the amount of vegetable and grains in proportion to meat that they consume. Health experts agree that eating five or more servings of fruits and vegetables is essential for good health. Both cultures advocate daily moderate exercise in their lifestyle. This doesn't mean having to go to the gym to workout. Just a 10- 15 minute walk will work. We really need to get back to eating fresh meats, fruits and vegetables not the crap that comes out of the refrigerated section of your local supermarket. Cooking and eating at home is a way for a family to reclaim quality time together. It brings civility to a meal, instead of rushing through the to-go line at a fast food joint and scarfing it down in your car. I'll venture to guess that the time it takes to visit your favorite take out place, a fresh healthy meal can be prepared at home. Simple preparations like grilling, roasting, steaming, stir frying your main dish protein with a side salad or vegetable and some pasta or rice makes a tremendously healthy and satisfying meal. And you'll actually know what's in your food because you've prepared it yourself.
The main idea is to incorporate the Mediterrasian behaviors into your lifestyle... (Good News: including an occasional adult beverage, i.e. Wine, Beer, Sake is OK). It's well known that these cultures are known for their low rate of heart disease and cancer. And most notably, for their longevity. If your debating a change, I seriously suggest you take a close look at the Mediterrasian lifestyle. I truly believe there isn't an alternative unless you prefer being overweight, constantly stressed, and increasing the possibility of dying at too young an age.
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