Taking on the Mediterranean diet and actually liking it

After a routine visit to the doctor, my husband was told he had high cholesterol and should change his lifestyle. The doctor suggested exercise and a Mediterranean diet.

It is true we have been slacking off on exercising. I find using exercise machines boring. Even if I am listening to music or watching a show, it’s boring. My husband agrees. We like outdoor activities that make us feel like we’ve accomplished something. For example walking. We walk around the border of our acreage. A few kilometers for a walk and we feel good. We have become lazy and make excuses for not exercising. It’s too cold out, we just ate supper, I broke a nail. Yep, just lazy.

We both know as part of a healthy lifestyle, diet and exercise are important. We’ve gotten in a rut and this was the kick in the butt we needed to make some changes. If my husband, Dean continued with the lifestyle we’ve had all these years, he’ll have a stroke or heart attack. We sure don’t want that, especially since we have so many things we want to do!

I’m Ukrainian and Dean is Icelandic. I’m used to eating perogies, cabbage rolls, bread, lots of butter and cream, but mostly bread. It’s my comfort food. Dean’s diet growing up and for all of his adulthood is mainly meat. Being a rancher, his family always had beef to eat. Throw in a little bit of veggies and that’s it. Dean also did commercial fishing for a few years and enjoyed fresh fish but since quitting fishing, he’s not eaten as much fish as he did before.

I googled Mediterranean diets. I found out that this diet is made up of fruits, vegetables, fish, whole grains, and limited unhealthy fats. Neither one of us is keen about veggies & salad. I kept on researching and found a few recipes we could try. Lots of the ingredients were items we heard of before but hadn’t tried. Couscous, tahini paste, chickpeas, orzo, and eggplant. We’re committed and decided we would try these recipes.

I made up a list and went shopping. I spent a lot of time wandering around the store finding the items we needed. I gotta tell you it was fun finding these new ingredients and discovering different aisles in the store. I finished shopping and went home happy that we were starting our healthy diet journey.

The first meal I made was chicken stew with couscous. The chicken stew had chickpeas in it. We didn’t like them but are willing to try to eat them again. The couscous we’ve never had before and we really like it. Overall we were happy with this meal. The next meal I made was eggplant burgers. If Dean was expecting a good old familiar meat burger – this definitely was not going to be it. No meat, not cheese and definitely no white hamburger buns. I fried up the eggplant not sure how it would turn out since I’d never had eggplant before. I burnt a couple pieces of it but overall it looked good. For the burger assembly we used a healthy vegetable bread, put the eggplant and pesto on top. We were surprised at how good it tasted! We both had seconds. Our next meal was ground turkey meatballs and herbed yogurt sauce. Once again we were surprised with how good it tasted. If this is how healthy eating should be, we could do it!

We were doing so good following our new diet and actually liked it. Now it’s the Christmas season, the diet and exercise have been ignored. We’re indulging in holiday feasts and having one too many dainties. We’re motivated and in the New Year we’ll start up our diet and exercise plan again. Who knew this would be a diet we’d be looking forward to?!

The recipes I tried are from:   Mediterranean Recipes

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