Richard Oliff: Time to embrace the Mediterranean diet

Time to embrace the Mediterranean diet, says Richard
Time to embrace the Mediterranean diet, says Richard

At this festive time of year food looms large; the clue is in the name, though it’s not always easy to stick to diets or healthy options when presented with one of the finest of roast dinners any year has to offer.

I have therefore decided to postpone until the start of 2015 my embarkation on the good ship ‘Sana Dieto’, planning instead for my impending gastronomic transformation – a Mediterranean diet.

This will include a reduced intake of foods such as butter, bread, potatos, crisps, sweets and high fat sandwich fillers, all being replaced with the healthier options of chicken, small amounts of pork, less quantities of red meat, fresh fruits and vegetables, grains, nuts, and a vast choice of fish from the Atlantic and Mediterranean.

This is, I’ve been advised, a diet well suited for maintaining both mental and physical health when combined with moderate daily amounts of achievable exercise.

The surprising things included in such a diet, according to the advice given by the NHS online, are bread, pasta and products made from vegetable and plant oils, such as olive oil.

None of this means that one will never again taste the delights of a burger surrounded by chips or a fine fat filled takeaway meal, it simply means that in future such foods will become more of a “treat”; a guilty pleasure indulged with considered moderation.

There is however one word of caution; be prepared to prepare.

In other words avoid expensive pre-packed diet foods, choosing instead to put a little effort into your new food regime. Turn the whole experience into a fun “thing” rather than a chore.

This way you’ll be amazed at the amount of money you might save.

In the meantime, I shall return to the dining room, where a lovely piece of ham with fried eggs is waiting, alongside copious amounts of mushrooms, beans,
tomatoes and fried bread.

Can I do this I wonder?

Well, only this New Year will tell.