The word diet can give me shivers down my spine, but not the pleasant kind. So let me get it straight, I am here referring to diet as a lifestyle choice, to the kind of food you would eat by preference and habit, and not dieting as restricting yourself. Are we on the same page? Good!
And when it comes to preference and habit, one undebatable factor that guides our choices is our culture. This is why, there is one diet that I like to follow, that my instinct also agrees with, it is the Mediterranean diet.
Living in Asia, it kind of sounds exotic to my ears now! But as much as “all roads lead to Rome”, all attempts of trying new diets lead me back to the Mediterranean way of eating and enjoying food.
Note: I am totally sneaking in some pictures of our vacay in Greece with friends in this post 🙂
As the Mediterranean is quite wide, let’s start by keeping in mind one thing: it is not a restrictive diet nor it is referring to one particular country, but rather to the Southern European countries such as Greece, Italy and Spain.
And what comes to your mind when thinking of those countries and the way they eat? For me, I hear people chatting and laughing around long tables, glasses filled with Tempranillo clinging as the sun goes down, generous sharing platters, lots of colours and lots of flavours. And all of that inspires me much!
In a nutshell, the typical Mediterranean diet is composed of lots of plant-based food: colourful vegetables, fruit, whole grains, legumes, nuts, fish (more than meat), extra virgin olive oil (rather than other fats especially saturated fats), avocado oil, herbs and spices.
Several studies have been conducted to show the positive impact of a Mediterranean diet for one’s health, highlighting the benefits on reducing cardiovascular diseases.
And on this interesting pyramid created by Oldways, let’s see how the above is organised:
Did you notice what is at the base of the pyramid above?
Yes, being active, and the way I interpret it is even without noticing it: keeping active as a lifestyle choice: walking, swimming, playing, all while having fun. And enjoying meals with others! I think this is so important. Clearly, it won’t be possible nor productive to have long meals in groups of 10 or more every day, but the idea I love the most about the Mediterranean approach to food and lifestyle is the inspiration found in Epicurus’ philosophy of simple pleasures and friendship. I can totally relate to the idea of appreciating what is on your plate, but enjoying even more the environment and the company while doing so.
I was having this conversation with my husband last night, remembering some of the best dining experience we have had so far and what came to my mind in the first place for each example was the context, the mood and the company. The food itself came second.
We should look for someone to eat and drink with before looking for something to eat and drink. – Epicurus
Wine & Dine the Mediterranean way in Bangkok
While water is the first choice of beverage in the Mediterranean diet, good wine is also part of it (yay!).
There is one place in Bangkok we highly recommend for Italian cuisine and organic and biodynamic wines: it is About Eatery.
“Organic wine is made from grapes that have been grown without the use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, fungicides and herbicides. Winemaking techniques should be organic as well.”
“The concept behind biodynamics is that everything in the universe is interconnected and gives off a resonance or ‘vibe’. The interconnectivity of everything even includes celestial bodies like the moon, planets and stars. Biodynamic viticulture is the practice of balancing this resonance between vine, man, earth and stars.”
From About Eatery’s website.
Our top 3 products
#1. We haven’t tried all options in town (but we sure are on a mission!), but so far, once place we really like is Olive. They do Greek food delivery and catering.
We love their entire mezze selection, and one item we want to mention in particular is their Hummus!
#2. The mediterranean diet doesn’t exclude dairy, but quality is key! In Bangkok, the options have become wider year after year, and one recent addition we like very much is the organic Greek Yogurt by Butterfly brand.
#3. Paleo Robbie is always our favourite choice for many products as we trust their sourcing. We have recently tried the Halloumi they sell. It is made by Chang Rai cheese and we can only recommend you try it too!
Think Mediterranean diet anywhere you eat!
Here are a few ways to tweak a dinner to make it more Mediterranean, especially if you are dining out with limited options:
– Take time to study the menus and think about what you would eat if you were in Santorini to get your inspiration 🙂
– Choose fish rather than meat
– Ask for wholegrain instead of the white version
– Check if they can use olive oil rather than other fats to prepare your meal
– Still water is the best choice of drink
– Pick red wine (organic if possible) over other alcoholic beverages
– Skip dessert unless fresh fruit is available
What are your favorite inspirations from the Mediterranean lifestyle?
Article written by Joëlle
Today’s reminder: Enjoy the time and the company of your friends and family. And they say, “Take that trip” as in the end, these are the precious memories that will remain 🙂 Thanks to my Greek island trip partners for the laughter, good times and pictures.