May 19, 2013
Written by Robin Glowa
Wednesday, 11 May 2011 00:00
“Never yet was a springtime, when the buds forgot to bloom.”
— M.E. Sangster
I adore May. The entire month is a glorious celebration. The incredible show of buds and blooms fills the air with amazing scent, providing a dazzling display of beauty. After the mega monsoon like rains of April, gardens and lawns are lushly resurrecting themselves. In my own garden, the gigantic leaves of healthy, happy rhubarb plants wave triumphantly in the breeze, while sweet stalks of asparagus spiral upward, heralding the promise of many fine meals to come.
Springtime is such a succulent time for cooks, particularly New England cooks, and May is the perfect time to celebrate a new season of healthy eating. It so happens that May is also National Mediterranean Diet Month.
The Mediterranean Diet incorporates practices and concepts that I embrace wholeheartedly ... a deep emphasis on the enjoyment of life.
A non-profit group based in Boston called Oldways, is responsible for promoting the Mediterranean Diet in America. Oldways is an internationally respected organization, passionately devoted to positively changing the way people eat.
Working with the Harvard School of Public Health, an international coalition of nutrition scientists and culinary experts, Oldways created this gold standard of healthy living and eating, and to promote its findings, created the Mediterranean Diet Pyramid, a richly illustrated and easy to comprehend graphic that details the components of this supremely healthy way of eating. The foods are typical of those eaten by people living in countries close to the Mediterranean Sea and areas of olive oil production.
Plenty of fresh vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts, extra virgin olive oil, moderate amounts of lean red meat, fish, poultry, eggs, yogurt and cheese and wine are enjoyed. Nothing artificial or chemically corroded, just a delicious approach to life that also encourages daily exercise, cooking and dining with loved ones and fostering a deep appreciation for healthy and great tasting foods.
This cook’s brain is swirling with Mediterranean influenced inspiration. A starter of marvelously meaty olives, a sliver of superb cheese, with just a small glass of red wine. A supple piece of fresh fish roasted on a bed of fragrant herbs, served with a tangle of baby greens, dressed with freshly squeezed lemon juice and fruity, green olive oil.
And that sweet spring asparagus? I’ll be shaving the bright green stalks into thin, raw, shards with my vegetable peeler, and anointing them with lemon juice, a drizzle of walnut oil, a scattering of toasted pine nuts and a bit of parmesan cheese.
No deprivation, just magnificent purity and unadulterated pleasure. This is preparing a delicious life! A Mediterranean Diet life!
For more information, recipes and a copy of the Mediterranean Diet Pyramid, visit oldwayspt.org.
Robin Glowa, HHC, AADP, is a food and wellness enthusiast who earned her certification in holistic health counseling from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and Columbia University Teachers College.
She specializes in teaching healthy cooking classes for children and adults, as well as cooking presentations and wellness workshops for many local organizations.
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