Below you’ll find some of my favourite dishes when I have a moderate to high adherence to the MEDDiet.

Breakfast:
I often have an oatmeal bowl in the morning with some banana. I like to start with a little bit of fruit and grains to give me some energy. And I start every morning with a coffee (no milk, no sugar). My breakfast is hardly ever really big, because I have a more elaborate lunch later in the day.

Oatmeal bowl: 20 grams of oatmeal/buckwheat + 10 grams of another whole wheat grain + half a banana + a splash of oatmeal milk + cinnamon + half a spoon of almond butter.

Lunch:
Lunch is often whatever we have left from the day before, but usually includes some sort of salad. This can be an orange, carrot or fennel salad or a colourful mixture of vegetables (it depends on the season). It is one of my favourite side dishes.

Salad: One carrot + 1/3 of a big fennel + half of a small radicchio. All sliced thinly or grated.
Dressing: Olive oil + lemon juice + salt and pepper + mint leaves.

Dinner:
Dinner is very similar to lunch actually. One of my favourite dishes to have in the evening (especially in this season) is whole wheat pasta with cime di rapa (broccoli, not exactly like the broccoli we eat in the Netherlands, but a tastier one actually).

Pasta with cime di rapa: two cloves of garlic + chili pepper + olive oil + a touch of salt + cime di rapa. All of this cooked in a pan (with a lid) for at least half an hour. The whole wheat pasta (orecchiette) is cooked in another pot and later added to the cime di rapa.
(This is only one part of our dinner. We usually eat three to four different dishes.)

When I have a look at our eating pattern when we try to adhere as much as possible to the MEDDiet, I notice that we very easily reach the right amount of vegetables and fruit. That we have around 100 grams of red / processed meat a week (some weeks nothing at all). That we use predominantly whole foods. E.g. baking our own bread or own pizza and being able to use more whole wheat grains this way, and buying fresh fruit and vegetables. Our intake of olive oil is high, which is actually a very important part of the MEDDiet. Our intake of fish and eggs is moderate and lately we’ve been trying to include more legumes (slowly, otherwise my stomach gets slightly upset.) Sometimes instead of carbs coming from grains and sometimes instead of protein coming from animal products. We drink a moderate amount of red wine*. Usually at dinner and in the weekends a little bit at lunch as well, but always consistent with the prescribed amount and way of drinking discussed in the MEDDiet.
We could perhaps lower the amount of carbs a little bit, but since we take our carbs mostly from foods high in fiber and foods that have not been highly processed we’re very much on the right track there as well. Our intake of dairy is relatively low, although we often have seasoned cheese or mozzarella (low in lactose, which is important for me) and sometimes a little bit of lactosefree yoghurt. We are not planning to increase the amount of dairy.
Do I have an idea about the amount of calories I consume on a daily basis? Not really. I suppose I eat a correct amount (which would be around 2100 for my height, weight, age and activity level), because I always feel satiated and I hardly ever feel as if I’ve eaten too much. Mind you, the MEDDiet does not have a calorie restriction, which means that you actually have to listen carefully to your body to understand what is right for you.

Next week I’ll show you some of my other favourite dishes!

From Italy with love,

Merel

*the red wine is produced by my boyfriend and his father. It’s very natural and doesn’t contain sulfites. It’s probably the best wine I’ve ever had.