Think of their pyramid: it is heavily favored for fruits and vegetables, next up is fish - which they say one should have twice a week, next up is poultry and eggs, and finally red meat is fairly far up the pyramid.
In terms of menu planning let's start with planning some great food:
Fish Twice A Week
Fish is an important part of the Mediterranean diet. Consider the name- Mediterranean, the sea. Even the American Heart Association recommends having a diet rich in fish because of the higher content of omega-3 fatty acid provides good heart health.
Sadly, most people's experience with salmon is a smelly fish - and if it smells it should not be served to you. Buy some fresh salmon. Wild is more expensive, and seasonal. But you can get great farm raised salmon which is sustainable and provides the same health benefits. Some people will disagree based on OLD and bad data - but today's farmed salmon has been shown to be every bit as delicious as wild (I'm picky about salmon, I was raised in Ketchikan, Alaska - the salmon capital of the world).
|Freshly baked salmon with olive oil, herbs, and lemon|
|Sous Vide is a great way to make salmon. Some like it because you don't have to heat your house, you can get great results all the time.|
|Ceviche is one of the easiest ways to make fish. Instead of cooking it you use citrus fruit to cook it instead of heat.|
Vegetarian Meal Twice A Week
This isn't that difficult when you think about it. Meatless Monday is a "thing," now, but including more vegetables by having two meals where the protein is a vegetable decreases calorie count and increases the effect of the vegetables.
Remember Spaghetti? Pasta works well, but instead of Pasta I like serving up some Spaghetti Squash. This makes a simple delicious Pasta - just add your favorite sauce to the dish and you have a great and fast meal. You can make your own sauce - or there are some great ones you can purchase (depends on how fast you want the meal).
Vegetarian Chili works also for a great meal at night- and provides some great future meals when you need to prepare it.
Besides the Meals - Other Vegetables, Grains, and Olive Oil -- did I forget wine?
The side dishes of vegetables for your meals should be filling and plenty. This is the basis of the meal. Remember you want to get in at least 1/2 cup of vegetables in at night - hearty ones, like broccoli, asparagus, or even green beans.
Grains are at the base of the pyramid - and for that there is the bread and olive oil. Make it a hearty bread- one that will stick with you.
Wine is always a plus- and a single glass of red wine - a five ounce pour - is all you need. More doesn't help.
The best desserts in the Mediterranean are the fruits. Not ice cream, not pastry, not gelato. This is a simple way to get some sweetness in at night and few calories.