I wanted to write about the Diet we follow at Sant Elia, The Mediterranean Pyramid.
Research from the Mayo Clinic has shown that the traditional Mediterranean Diet reduces the risk of heart disease. In an analysis of 1.5 million healthy adults, it was found that there was a reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease by those who followed this regime. In addition, the Diet was also linked with a reduced incidence of cancer, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases.
All sounding good so far. The actual Diet has an emphasis on:
- Eating primarily plant based foods, fruit, vegetables, whole grains, legumes and nuts.
- Eating good fats, avocados and olive oil.
- Using herbs and spices instead of salt to flavour food.
- Eating fish and poultry at least twice a week.
- Limiting red meat to no more than a few times a month.
- Drinking red wine in moderation.
- Drinking plenty of water.
A key feature of the Diet is eating fresh and homegrown food; but there are other vital elements too. The first being daily exercise, secondly, sharing meal times with friends and family, and finally having a deep appreciation of the pleasures of eating healthy delicious food.
I find it truly heart warming in Italy, when I see large families eating together. There is no age barrier when eating out, it’s not uncommon to see generations from newborn babies to great-grandparents eating, drinking and laughing together, everyone feeling wanted and having a purpose.
The streets in Italy, as I’m sure many of you know, come alive in the early evening, it’s passeggiata time, which just means “to stroll” or a “little walk”. A time to unwind after work or just to take in the evening air.
Another heart warming moment for me is when I see a very old lady on the arm of, probably her great grandson – generations apart, but both looking equally as smart and coiffed, participating in the passeggiata, her daily exercise.
I’d like to think that when I’m no longer able to do my heavy gym sessions and my body ages and slows down…just a little! I will have a grandson who will offer me his arm and take me out for my daily passeggiata.