All of us lead busy lives and it is sometimes hard to keep up with all the things we need to do to stay healthy. I find that for my family the best way to keep us from eating unhealthy options for dinner is to plan our meals on Saturdays or Sundays for the upcoming week. For convenience, we have also started online shopping. My husband and I sit down together to plan our meals. Some of the choices we search for are healthy and fast weekday meals, plant-based meals, meals with tofu, Mediterranean meals, and Paleo meals. It is helpful to choose a certain lifestyle or way of eating to narrow down your options when searching. My household does best with a Mediterranean diet plan as we like the variety that comes from the pyramid.
The Mediterranean diet is the most researched and successful diet in the world. People who live in the blue zones live long, healthy lives, unaffected by chronic illnesses like Dementia, Diabetes, and Heart Disease. Blue zone diets consist of mostly a plant-based diet. It also consists of legumes, whole grains, nuts, and fish. These food groups are associated with longevity.
The Mediterranean diet is family-friendly allowing you to eat from all food groups. The main tenet of the Mediterranean diet includes eating as many fresh fruits and vegetables as you can, whole grains, and low amounts of red meat, fish, and poultry on a regular basis.
We choose 3-4 dishes for the week and shop according to the chosen meals. To eat healthy for lunch, consider making extra portions and take them for lunch. We often choose a smoothie for the week to make planning easier and to also not waste fruit. We also pre-package all ingredients for the weekly smoothie into Ziplock bags.
If you have refrigerator space at work take some cold brew and protein drinks for a delicious combo that’s easy to put together on days when you don’t have a plan for breakfast. I use the Premiere protein smoothies (30 grams of protein per serving) in vanilla flavor, some cold brew coffee, cinnamon, and mix. I call this my Horchata smoothie! Bliss!
Wishing you wellness,
Michelle Mendoza, MD
Diplomate American Board of Internal Medicine
Board Eligible Integrative Medicine