Are you looking for a healthy diet/program? If so then you should consider the Mediterranean Diet. Spain and Italy are located in the region and are countries within the world’s top-10 average life expectancies. The region’s cuisine is high in plant-based foods like whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. It’s also high in “good” fats like fatty fish and olive oil. This diet even lets you drink a glass of wine every day if you enjoy alcoholic drinks. This is one of the healthiest diets on the market in terms of maintaining good overall health. The results of several studies prove the benefits of the Mediterranean diet 30-day meal plan.
It can be tough to plan a month’s worth of meals. This is especially true if you’re just getting started with a new diet like the Mediterranean Diet. The good news is there are tons of options. Consider that people in the region eat about 90 square meals every month. So, it’s just a matter of learning about the wide range of ingredients/dishes available. This will add more variety to your 30 days on the diet. Who knows? You might even want to stay on the diet every month of the year once you reach your weight loss goals.
What Is the Mediterranean Diet?
The Mediterranean Diet is based on the cuisine eaten in countries like Greece, Italy, France, and Spain, as well as Northern Africa. You might have heard of this diet and know that olive oil and red wine are healthy. However, it might be unclear why this particular diet gets high marks from health experts and medical professionals.
For example, a 2013 study by a Spanish University linked the diet to good heart health. 7,000+ participants followed the Mediterranean-style diet for almost five years. Many of the participants were overweight, diabetic, or smokers.
Researchers found big improvements in the health of the participants. It included a 30% drop in heart disease among high-risk people. The study published in the New England Journal of Medicine showed that Mediterranean diet foods are a healthy choice whether someone is healthy or sickly.
What’s the Mediterranean Diet all about? This diet is well-balanced and includes many flavors, colors, and textures. It includes various foods including:
- Brown rice
- Greek yogurt
The foods are full of flavor so you won’t feel like you’re eating a restrictive diet. This is different from other diets that require you to eat stuff like saltine crackers and 1/2 banana. The Mediterranean diet instead allows you to eat lots of nutrient-rich and tasty foods like grains, beans, nuts/seeds, fruits/veggies, and fatty fish.
Besides not being a restrictive diet like Keto it’s also not low-fat. For example, you get healthy fat from foods like fatty fish with omega-3 fatty acids, Greek yogurt, and olive oil. Meanwhile, there’s rock-bottom levels of trans-fats and saturated fats found in foods like hot dogs and beef/pork.
That brings up another key feature of the Mediterranean diet. It includes lots of plant-based founds but it’s not vegetarian/vegan. You can also enjoy lean proteins like fish/shellfish and poultry.
Mediterranean Diet 30 Day Meal Plan
- Almonds & almond butter
- Bagel (whole grain) w/ hummus 7 cucumber
- Coconut date balls
- Eggs/smoke salmon toast w/ feta cheese
- English muffin (whole grain) w/ greens & bean spread
- Greek yogurt w/ berries & flax seeds
- Overnight oats with fruit
- Toast with peanut butter & banana slices
- Vegan grilled cheese
- Brussels Sprouts/Pepperoni
- Buddha Bowl
- Butternut Squash w/ Broccoli
- Cauliflower & Kale Frittata (omelet)
- Cauliflower Steaks w/ Parmesan
- Chicken & Spinach Soup w/ Pesto
- Chicken & White Bean Soup
- Chicken Parmesan Pasta
- Chicken Quinoa Bowl
- Greek Salad & Hummus
- Greek Salad Nachos
- Grilled Vegetables w/ Lemon Vinaigrette
- Lemon-Herb Salmon
- Loaded Mediterranean Chicken
- Mediterranean Bento Box
- Roast Pork, Asparagus & Tomato Bowl
- Roasted Gnocchi (dough dumplings) & Brussels Sprouts
- Roasted Salmon Rice Bowl
- Shrimp and Cauliflower Bake
- Skillet Salmon w/ Fennel & Dried Tomato
- Tuna-Spinach Salad
- Vegetable Soup
- Vegetarian Spaghetti Squash Lasagna
- Zucchini Lasagna Rolls
When making your meal plans for the next 30 days here are some ingredients you should try to add:
- Nuts/Seeds: These include options like hazelnuts, cashews, walnuts, and almonds when picking nuts. Seeds include pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and flax seeds.
- Whole grains: Some ideas include corn, rice, oats, whole wheat, and buckwheat.
- Vegetables: They include ones like spinach, kale, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, carrots, and cucumbers. When combined with ingredients like olive oil, herb/spices, and cheese your meals will be super-tasty.
- Meat/Fish/Seafood: This includes fish/seafood like salmon, tuna, mackerel, crab, clams, and shrimp. Meats include chicken and turkey.
- Fruits: Some options include melons, peaches, strawberries, oranges, apples, pears, and bananas. Meanwhile, some of the most popular regional fruits include dates, grapes, and tomatoes (technically a fruit)
- Legumes: This is another staple of the Mediterranean Diet. You can pick options like chickpeas, lentils, peas, beans, and peanuts. Fun Fact: Peanuts are technically beans even though they have the word “nut” in them.
Mediterranean Diet: Tips for 30-Day Meal Planning
1. Get ideas from household members
This might seem like a given since they’ll be eating the food. However, you might be surprised how often people make meal plans without consulting people who will be eating the food.
This also makes it fun for your family members to learn more about the Mediterranean Diet. For example, there’s a lot more to Italian food than pizza and spaghetti.
2. Pick theme nights
This includes pasta, soup, or seafood night. This will also make it easier to prepare 30 dinners during the month. Taking this step will make it easier to fill up your menu calendar. You could have different themes during different days of the week. It’s one of the best options to add more variety to your meals.
3. Make a shopping list based on menus
This will make sure you have everything you need for a full week of meals. Some items like pasta and rice you can buy in bulk for the whole month.
4. Go with easy recipes
You might want to add 1-2 challenging recipes when making your Mediterranean Diet meal planning. However, it’s better to keep them as simple as possible.
This is especially true if you’re just starting on the diet. In that case, it’s especially important to go with basic ingredients and recipes. It will also make it easier in terms of time and effort you’ll need to spend. 90 meals are a lot to plan for so keeping it simple will make the process easier.
5. Search for recipes
When doing month-long meal planning, you’ll have to do a lot of research. It’s important to note that these meals are significantly different from the standard American diet (SAD). So, you’ll have to search for cookbooks, websites, etc. for ideas for your Mediterranean diet 30-day meal plan.