It seems like every day there is a new horrifying catastrophe, so before I begin this blog, I want to reach out to my Lebanese brothers and sisters to say I feel your pain so acutely and hope your loved ones are safe. So far 300,000 people in Beirut have been displaced from their homes by the explosion at the Beirut port, 100 dead, and 4000 injured. They are in dire need of assistance. If you would like to help, visit the Lebanese Red Cross: https://www.supportlrc.app/donate/donate.html
Now, on to the blog of the week…
There is already enough data since this quarantine started, that shows that obesity, alcoholism, depression, suicide and a slew of other health conditions are way up. These are all conditions that can be prevented or treated with healthy diet choices and exercise. Our routines, schedules, and norms have been interrupted, but that does not mean we should give up on our health. We still have the power of free will–the power to move and make healthy choices. We must not allow this state of insanity to become our new norm, hopefully this is just a blip in our history and we will all be back to our usual way of life soon. Until then I have a tool for you in your arsenal of health, the Mediterranean diet.
According to the Mayo Clinic, people who follow the Mediterranean diet “have a longer life expectancy and lower rates of chronic diseases compared with other adults.” In my new video I share what are the key components to the Mediterranean diet, along with a sample menu of what you can eat in a day to maintain this lifestyle (exercise included!)
So here is a sample menu of what I eat in a day
- Breakfast: zucchini pancakes topped with either eggs, salmon, hummus, cheese, or avocado. For the recipe, you can look at my article on Arab America here: https://www.arabamerica.com/ijeh-zucchini-harvest-pancakes-to-celebrate-summer/
For a sweeter breakfast, I love a bowl of fiber rich freekeh with almond milk, dates, or almonds. Recipe from previous blog here: https://feastinthemiddleeast.wordpress.com/2019/10/09/the-ancient-arab-grain-freekeh/
Lunch is my biggest meal of the day, when I assemble a variety of raw or roasted vegetables in season with chicken or fish seasoned with shawarma spices. I also add a legume like lentils, chickpeas, or a dollop of hummus, along with a grain like bulgur wheat or quinoa. Tahini dressing with lemon juice, olive oil, and honey is my absolute favorite to top over anything.
To get the chicken shawarma recipe, click here:
Finally, I love a bowl of Greek yogurt with fruits in season, and nuts like pistachios, almonds, or walnuts at the end of the day. I usually drizzle date syrup, honey, or in this instance pomegranate molasses for some added anti-oxidants.
So there you have it, a sample of the Mediterranean diet in action. Let me know if you want more content like this in the comments below!