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7-Day Mediterranean Diet Menu – Fit As A Fiddle Life

7-Day Mediterranean Diet Menu – Fit As A Fiddle Life

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Are you looking for a healthy diet where you can still lose weight? A diet where the food is good and it doesn’t really feel like you are on a diet? Then you should try the Mediterranean Diet. A diet with a wide variety of food that is flavorful and satisfying. Read on to see my first week on the diet. Included is my 7-Day Mediterranean Diet Menu.

I have read about the benefits of the Mediterranean Diet. It has been studied and found to help decrease your risk of heart disease, diabetes, chronic inflammatory conditions, as well as helps with depression.

But:

Can you lose weight on the diet?

Article Index

Mediterranean Diet Guidelines

Healthy Food Group Switches

Preparing to Start the Diet

Mediterranean Diet Menu Tips

First Week Shopping List

A Week on the Mediterranean Diet

Mediterranean Diet Guidelines

Most descriptions of the Mediterranean Diet give broad guidelines, but there are no calorie restrictions, fat limitations, macro requirements, or portion sizes to direct you for weight loss.

It almost feels like a hope and a prayer that you would lose weight. I mean a focus on whole grains? Those are carbohydrates! How could you possibly lose weight eating those?

So I researched the diet for a couple of weeks before I started wholeheartedly. I read about the diet, what were the guidelines, recipes and thought about how I would approach the diet.

For more on the guidelines, take a peek at my post, Mediterranean Lifestyle, and Diet where I review the diet guidelines.

Ease into the Mediterranean diet with easy food swaps. Look at a meal plan for 7 days on the diet.

Ease into the Mediterranean diet with easy food swaps. Look at a meal plan for 7 days on the diet.

Healthy Food Group Switches

I also looked at recipes and learned about the typical switches required to follow the Mediterranean Diet, such as:

Protein: Enjoy moderate amounts of low-fat poultry, fish, and seafood. Limit red meats and avoid processed meats.

Flour Products: Switch to whole-wheat flour. Chose a whole-wheat English muffin instead of a bagel.

Rice: Switch to brown rice

Fats: Avoid butter and liberally use extra virgin olive oil. Include small amounts of nuts and nut butter.

Vegetables and Fruits: Make the main focus of meals. Include leafy green salads daily. No restriction on any specific vegetable or fruit.

Beans and Legumes: Include in a few meals during the week.

Dairy: Focus on low-fat dairy.

Sweets: Avoid sugar, limit sweets.

Alcohol: a daily glass of red wine is acceptable, but not required.

Preparing to Start the Diet

Protein

I knew that I was going to have to rethink how I planned my meals and also shopped. In the past, I planned meals around the meat or protein we would be eating. The Mediterranean Diet focuses on vegetables, fruit, beans, and whole grains. Meat protein is a side attraction.

Whole Grain

When I thought about switching to whole-wheat flour, I immediately started to miss my flour-based bagels, bread, and tender fluffy baked goods.

This was going to take some faith on my part and some experimentation. I knew I didn’t like 100% grainy whole-wheat flour. But, from baking bread I knew that King Arthur makes a White Whole Wheat Flour that has a light color, milder taste, and a finer texture than 100% whole wheat flour. It is not the same as all-purpose flour but is a nice compromise as you transition to whole-grain.

To learn more about whole grains and why you should include them in the Mediterranean Diet, read my post, Get the Scoop on Whole Grains.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Honestly, I have always used olive oil for sauteing and for baked recipes that require oil as an ingredient. But, giving up butter would be more of a challenge. Butter is an ingredient in most baked goods and provides a rich flavor to recipes. It would take some experimentation.

I also researched olive oils, because I kept reading that the most benefit to olive oil was in consuming extra virgin olive oil. Through this research, I found that there actually is a difference in olive oils and there are reasons to use the extra virgin even though it is more expensive.

My post, 4 Differences in Olive Oils will give you the details.

Fruits and Vegetables

The fruits and vegetables were a no-brainer and after being on low carbohydrate diets, a joy to not have as many restrictions about what I could eat.

Enjoy several fruit options and vegetable servings during lunch and dinner. Remember to include half your plate with a low carbohydrate vegetable or a leafy green salad.

For more ideas on vegetables to include on the Mediterranean Diet, read my post, Colorful Mediterranean Diet Vegetables.

Beans and Legumes

One sticking point on the Mediterranean Diet was the beans and legumes that should be included in a couple of meals each week. Honestly, beyond green peas and very occasional lima beans, I have not included many bean dishes in our meals. Again, this was going to take some experimentation and a leap of faith.

Dairy

I didn’t think dairy would be much of a transition until I considered the dairy we regularly consume. Plain Greek yogurt is already part of my weekly diet, but it was full-fat. I also had transitioned to unsweetened Vanilla flavored Coconut Milk. Unfortunately, if you are going to eat the traditional Mediterranean Diet, coconut milk will not be on the menu.

Lastly, cheese had been a large part of our diet. Again, limiting this key ingredient would take some adjustment.

Sweets

Sweets are hard to give up on any diet. It is not that the Mediterranean Diet eliminates all sweets, but it recommends including sweets only occasionally.

Making a sweet bread or transitioning a favorite cookie to use whole-wheat flour, olive oil, and brown sugar or honey might be fun.

Check out my recipe for Whole Wheat Oatmeal Chip Cookies. You will be amazed that they are crispy on the outside and tender on the inside.

Alcohol

Luckily, my husband and I are really not big drinkers. The Mediterranean diet suggests a 5 oz glass of red wine eaten with a meal is acceptable. Once or twice a week I might like that, but it is not a requirement to follow the Mediterranean Diet.

For the most part water, tea, and coffee are the primary beverages for the Mediterranean Diet.

The following is the menu I followed for the Mediterranean Diet.

I shopped for most of the food I planned to make during the week so that I was prepared.

What I found is, once I found something I liked. I ate it several times during the week. This made the week easier because I knew what to make and had the ingredients on hand.

Another tip is to make more than you plan to eat at a meal and then you can take for lunch the next day or have dinner already prepared for the next night when you are home late from work. It also helps to have for example cooked chicken breast frozen. One less step makes your meal ready faster.

One thing I didn’t mention on this menu is that I always have my morning coffee with half and half. This is not part of a traditional Mediterranean Diet, but I felt with all the healthy switches I made that I could allow myself this one indulgence. I did try to limit the amount I used.

Recommended Products for the Mediterranean Diet

Extra Virgin Olive Oil #ad

Sample Mix of Mediterranean Spices

Mediterranean Diet Shopping List

Many of these items may already be in your pantry.

For this first week on the Mediterranean Diet, I tried to use up what I already had on hand. To do this I made some substitutions such as sweet Italian sausage for turkey brats, Provel cheese in place of mozzarella.

You will also note that I only had fish for one meal and the traditional Mediterranean Diet suggests it more often.

Protein: Chicken breasts, ground turkey, turkey brats, pork tenderloin, salmon, or Cod

Produce: mixed greens, cucumber, green pepper, zucchini, corn, leek, shallots, eggplant, and other vegetables for salads, nectarines, strawberries, blueberries, melon, and potatoes.

Fats: chopped pecans, walnuts, extra virgin olive oil, black olives

Whole grains: White whole wheat flour, Wheat Thins, Arnold Healthy Nut Bread, Old-fashioned oatmeal.

Dairy: Greek yogurt, crumbled feta cheese, shredded hard cheese, almond milk. mozzarella or Provel cheese

Beans: chickpeas, cannellini beans, hummus

Staples: tomato paste. dijon mustard, oregano, sage, garlic, baharat spice mix, cinnamon, parsley

A Week on the Mediterranean Diet

Sunday

We got a late start so breakfast was late morning and I wasn’t hungry for lunch so a small handful of pecans held me over for dinner. For dinner, we grilled chicken breasts. We marinaded the chicken in this Mediterranean Olive Oil Wine Vinegar Salad Dressing.

Zucchini fritters took a little time, but I thought were worth the effort. Corn on the cob was a local treat. Tip: We made enough so leftovers, including chicken breasts, were frozen for use later in the week.

I thought about normal portion sizes as I ate during the day and planned only one snack between meals.

Asparagus Frittata

Breakfast: Asparagus frittata . Sliced Peach.

Snack: Small handful of pecans

Dinner: Grilled chicken breast, zucchini fritters, and corn on the cobb.

Monday

Back to work. After dinner, on Sunday I made my first batch of whole wheat pitas. I used these for pitas pockets for lunch.

I also tried my first batch of overnight oats. You can find the recipe I used in my post, Mediterranean Diet Food List. The pictures of the overnight oats recipes look so good that I wanted to try a cup.

What I found was that I prefer my oatmeal warm. I skip the greek yogurt and whip up a batch in the microwave.

Healthy Oatmeal

Breakfast: oatmeal with tablespoon chopped pecans, golden raisins, 1 teaspoon brown sugar, a dash of cinnamon, and a splash of milk.

Lunch: chopped chicken, lettuce, tomato, black olives, and tzatziki sauce in a whole-wheat pita. Sliced strawberries.

Snack: Handful of almonds.

Dinner: Turkey Meatball and Kale Soup. Wheat Thins. Sliced melon.

Tuesday

Staple breakfast and leftovers from dinner make the start of the day easy. For dinner, I made a thin crust, whole-wheat pizza. I will make 2 in the future so there are leftovers for lunch.

Breakfast: oatmeal with tablespoon chopped pecans, 1 teaspoon brown sugar, a dash of cinnamon, and a splash of milk.

Lunch: chopped chicken, lettuce, tomato, black olives, and tzatziki sauce in a whole-wheat pita. Sliced strawberries.

Snack: Handful of almonds.

Whole Wheat Thin Crust Pizza

Dinner: Thin crust, whole-wheat pizza with whole wheat crust, black olives, spinach, bell pepper, mushrooms, onions, and Provel cheese. Sliced melon.

Wednesday

Halfway through the week. I am starting to realize that I am not as hungry as normal throughout the day. The moderate fat and fiber in these meals are keeping me satisfied. Dinner today is pork with apples and onions. Roasted potatoes finish the meal.

We love this pork tenderloin dish that we had for dinner. It is very flavorful and uses many of the spices of the Mediterranean. To learn more about spices, read my post, Mediterranean Spices, Make Your Taste Buds Sing.

Breakfast: oatmeal with 1 tablespoon chopped pecans, 1 teaspoon brown sugar, a dash of cinnamon, and a splash of milk.

Lunch: chopped chicken lettuce salad with mixed veggies, black olives 2 tablespoons of shredded Italian cheese, and 1 tablespoon of chopped walnuts. Dress with 2 tablespoons of the Mediterranean Salad dressing used to marinate the chicken on Sunday. Wheat Thins. Small nectarine.

Snack: Celery and carrot sticks with 2 tablespoons of hummus.

Mediterranean Oven Roasted Potatoes

Dinner: Pork Tenderloin with apples, shallots, and leeks. Roasted Mediterranean potatoes.

Thursday

For breakfast on the run, I grabbed a slice of toast. Since I don’t always have time to make homemade bread I looked for an option that includes whole wheat flour in the ingredients, and doesn’t have high fructose corn syrup or artificial preservatives.

The Arnold Healthy Nut version is made with nuts and sunflower seeds and has a lovely soft but chewy texture. Great with a topping of sugar-free peanut butter. Most sugar-free peanut butter is natural which means when you open them, they have a layer of oil sitting on top. This is normal, just stir it into the peanut butter below.

Breakfast: a slice of Arnold Healthful Nut Bread, 1 tablespoon sugar-free peanut butter.

Lunch: pork, apple, and leek whole wheat pita pockets. Sliced strawberries.

Snack: Celery and carrot sticks with 2 tablespoons of hummus.

Dinner: Mediterranean Bean Soup with Sweet Italian Sausage. Wheat Thins,

Friday

TGIF. I would have brought some of last night’s soup for lunch but my family ate it all. So I pull out the frozen chicken from Sunday and make another salad. Dinner is quick Turkey Eggplant Filets.

I needed something sweet so I made Whole Wheat Blueberry Muffins. Light and fluffy. It is hard to tell they are whole wheat

Breakfast: Greek yogurt smoothie. Strawberries.

Lunch: chopped chicken lettuce salad with mixed veggies, black olives 2 tablespoons of shredded Italian cheese, and 1 tablespoon of chopped walnuts. Dress with 2 tablespoons of the Mediterranean Salad dressing used to marinate the chicken on Sunday. Wheat Thins.

Snack: Nectarine

Light and Moist Blueberry Muffins

Dinner: Mediterranean Turkey Eggplant Fillets. Whole Wheat Blueberry Muffin.

Saturday

A full week down on the Mediterranean Diet. I was surprised that I didn’t mind not having many of the foods including fast food that usually fills my meals during the week.

Lunch on a typical Saturday out included stopping at Chick-Fil-a. I tried to make healthy choices, but I love their Avocado Lime dressing.

Breakfast: Whole Wheat Blueberry Muffin. Strawberries.

Lunch: Chick Fil-a Cobb Salad with grilled chicken. Unsweetened tea.

Snack: Wheat thins with 2 tablespoons of hummus.

Salmon with Mediterranean Spice Rub

Dinner: Baked salmon with Mediterranean Spices. Broccoli. Roasted Mediterranean potatoes. Sliced nectarine.

There you have it. A week on the Mediterranean Diet with my Menu Plan. Really besides cooking most of my meals at home, it was a breeze.

Being prepared with recipes planned and shopping complete is key or it would be easy to pull into the nearest fast-food restaurant on the way home. So glad I made it through and now it’s on to the next week on the Mediterranean Diet.

The great thing is that I am also down 3 pounds. While this may not be the dramatic weight loss that some low-carb diets promote, I feel like the Mediterranean Diet is a very healthy way to eat, maintain weight, and live on for the future.

To help you get started on the Mediterranean Diet, I put together a 7–Day Meal Plan and Shopping List, along with some favorite recipes. Get my FREE eBook below.

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7-Day Meal Plan & Shopping List

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Update: July 2021 – updated images and post with recipe links.

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Medical Disclaimer

This site contains general information about diet, health, fitness, and nutrition. This information should not be used to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure any disease or condition. Please consult with your physician before using any dietary supplement or before beginning a diet or exercise program.

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