The Mediterranean Diet is more than just a diet, it’s a lifestyle that many French women embrace. It’s not about restricting calories or cutting out entire food groups. It’s about enjoying delicious, seasonal, and healthy food that nourishes the body and the soul. The Mediterranean Diet also promotes health, a longer life, prevents chronic diseases, helps maintain a healthy weight, and enhances your skin. And who doesn’t want that? Healthy and beautiful is a winning combination!
The Mediterranean diet is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, olive oil, fish, and the odd glass of red wine. Together, these foods provide essential nutrients, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory compounds that protect the skin, the heart, and the brain.
What foods are not a part of the Mediterranean Diet? For example, red meat (once a week), processed foods and drinks, fried foods, refined grains, white bread and white pasta.
A typical day on the Mediterranean diet could look like this:
Breakfast: Greek yogurt with fresh fruit and nuts
Lunch: Omelette, fresh salad, bulgur
Snack: Apple, handful of nuts
Dinner: Salmon, broccoli, wild rice
Outside the confines of the Mediterranean Diet, the French enjoy the occasional indulgence – a buttery croissant for breakfast, a slice of bread with their meal, or a sweet treat for dessert. But they also know how to balance these pleasures with moderation and mindfulness. They don’t label foods as “guilty” or “forbidden”, but rather savor them in small portions and without guilt. In addition, they also appreciate simple pleasures such as a delicious cappuccino or a small glass of red wine. But most of all, they eat healthy and delicious food that nourish the body and soul.
On the other hand, in line with the Mediterranean Diet, dessert is not always a decadent affair. For instance, on a typical weekday, many will end their meal with fruit, a yogurt or espresso with a square of chocolate. The French also choose their bread wisely, opting for whole wheat or sourdough varieties that are more nutritious and satisfying. For example, one of the most famous bakeries in Paris, Pain Poilâne, is renowned for its miche poilane, a round loaf of sourdough bread made from stone-ground flour.
And what about the Mediterranean Diet and vanity? We can all get onboard with healthy eating if it also promises youthful skin and a healthy weight. Aside from improving cases of adult acne and possibly reducing chances of skin cancer, this eating regime boasts a hefty amount of antioxidants found in olives, veggies and fruits. In addition, antioxidants reduce inflammation, improve cell function, increase collagen, improve elasticity while allowing skin to repair itself and correct visible damage. If there is something French women obsess over, it’s their skin!
Weight loss and weight management in the long term are major bonuses of the Mediterranean Diet. As a lifestyle focused on abundance and not deprivation, it is for those seeking wellbeing for the long term. In other words, any long term plan must be sustainable and desirable. For those after a fast fix to losing ten pounds, this is not your plan!
I hope this post has given you incentive to go read more about why the Mediterranean diet is one of the most recommended lifestyles by health experts around the world. In general, it’s hard to compete with a diet that helps prevent heart and degenerative diseases, extends life, keeps weight in check over the long term, improves condition of skin and is delicious and simple to adhere to in the long term! Moreover, that is why it’s advocated by: Harvard School of Public Health, the Mayo Clinic, the Cleveland Clinic, the World Health Organization and many others.
If you are interested in books and cookbooks on the topic, have a look here:
If you would like to learn more about the lifestyle and healthy habits of French women, my e-book will give you an insider’s look. To contact me with comments or questions, please find me on LinkedIn or via my contact form. Visit me on Pinterest too!