In my quest to plan out my “day in the life” experiment on eating, I have started devouring (no pun intended) books on the various diets to pull out some sample meal plans. I just need one day for each of the diets that week, so I don’t have to get too dramatic. I got out my Paleo and Vegan books. Most of them have meal plans in them. From that I can make up most of what I want for vegetarian and pescatarian too. The SAD diet is easy, that’s just what I eat now for the most part. Mediterranean was the sticking one for me. I could guess at what it looks like based on the rules of the diet, but like Paleo and Vegan I would like to follow a sample meal plan.
On the internet there are tons of books and websites, many of them are free. I started with the free ones, hoping there would be some quality in them. I’d say they are of specious quality at best. What is Mediterranean about waffles and pancakes? How about pancakes made with low-fat yogurt and soy milk? Maybe it’s me, but that doesn’t conjure up images of Italy, Greece or Crete. A plate of spaghetti and meatballs or stuffed grape leaves sounds like a more authentic “Mediterranean breakfast” than that.
Let’s move on to snacks. Some seem quite reasonable, like some dried fruit and nuts with yogurt. Others seem preposterous. Again, a health shake made with soy milk?! How about two crackers. Not a bunch of crackers, or crackers with cheese, hummus or something to make a more complete nutrient profile. Nope, two crackers. Reading that I was magically whisked away to the North African coast overlooking the sea; slowly nibbling away at my two Saltine crackers. Not three, mind you, that would be too much for a snack; but certainly more than one because I want to feel full.
I suppose I’ll break down and buy some of these cook books to see if they are any better. The quality of diet plans for these other diets seems to be much stronger. Good Housekeeping, Eating Well and the teasers for some of these other cookbooks proved to be a real let down on that diet plan. Worst case maybe I’m going to have to be on my own in constructing a legitimately healthy diet within the rules of a Mediterranean diet.