Week two of following the Mediterranean Diet is done and I’m learning a lot! The experiences I’m having help me provide tips to my clients for following a Mediterranean Diet.
What went well
This particularly week, grocery shopping was significantly cheaper than my normal grocery budget. I only spent $67 on groceries this week! Now, it’s pretty normal for my shopping trips to alternate from a more expensive “stock up” week to a cheaper “fill in” week (averaging $100 per week), so it’s likely that this next week’s shop will be quite a bit more expensive, but we’ll see. Regardless, I’m excited that the Mediterranean Diet is turning out to be so affordable so far!
My goal from last week was to try to increase plant-based proteins in my diet, and decrease fish intake a little. This is only because some Mediterranean Diet recommendations limit fish (others don’t) and I wanted to try not to go crazy with it since it seems to vary depending on the recommend-ers. Anyway, I succeeded! I swapped 7 servings of seafood last week for 4 this week, and 3 servings of legumes last week for 9 this week.
One of my go-to proteins pre-Mediterranean diet was chicken, which is limited in the “white meat” category to twice weekly. That is significantly less than I’m used to…which is probably more like 5 times weekly (or more). I’ve found logistical ways to swap out chicken (mostly tuna, salmon, and beans), but I’m finding myself bored with these limited options since I’m having them so frequently. I need to work on incorporating more variety – there are other options, I just haven’t explored them as much as I could be yet.
The limited protein options I’ve been choosing has caused me, primarily out of boredom, to eat less protein overall. Since protein is very satisfying, this causes me to be hungrier overall and to be more likely to avoid eating when I’m hungry because I’m tired of my options. That isn’t very fun. As I mentioned, this limiting of my proteins is only partly due to the nature of the diet and partly due to my lack of effort in finding and using other protein options. I hope to remedy that in the upcoming week by picking up some hummus, pistachios, a different veggie breakfast sausage, and some tofu.
How I did
This week I did better on individual recommendations and succeeded in swapping seafood for more legumes. I also ate quite a bit more fruit (still within recommended ranges). I did, however, have two soul meals this week (celebrating my son getting his first job and enjoying some delicious nachos at a football game). These are not “cheat days,” by the way. They are living life, and living life is not cheating. These two meals threw off my count for days that I met recommendations.
Next week I’m going to focus on upping my veggie intake – it’s been low both weeks. I’m planning to get some snacking veggies and some hummus to up my protein and veggie munching next week.
|Mediterranean Diet Goal*||Week #1||Week #2|
|# of days nutrition recommendations met||7||5||4|
|Grains (daily average)||3-6 servings||4 servings||4.5 servings|
|Potatoes (weekly)||≤3 servings||3 servings||2 servings|
|Legumes (weekly)||>2 servings||3 servings||9 servings|
|Dairy (daily average)||2 servings||2 servings||2 servings|
|Fruits (daily average)||2-6 servings||2.5 servings||5 servings|
|Vegetables (daily average)||4-6 servings||3 servings||3 servings|
|Olives/nuts/seeds (daily average)||1 serving||1 serving||1 serving|
|Eggs (weekly)||2-4 servings||3 servings||3 servings|
|Seafood (weekly)||>2 servings||7 servings||4 servings|
|Red meat (weekly)||<2 servings||1 serving||1 serving|
|White meat (weekly)||2 servings||2 servings||1 serving|
|Processed meat (weekly)||≤1 serving||1 serving||1 serving|
|Sweets (weekly)||≤2 servings||2 servings||2 servings|
|Weight change||-1 lb||0 lb|
|Grocery Budget Change||$0||-$33|
In case you were wondering…
My digestive disturbances have resolved…thank you for asking.
That’s two weeks, folks! One to go and much more to learn…
*Based on the FDM recommendations I chose to follow. AHA and ACJN limit fish to “low to moderate” amounts.