With all the confusion out there about what to eat—should I go raw? How much protein do I need? What about low carb?—it’s reassuring to know that the simple, native way Greek peasants ate as recently as 50 years ago is one of the healthiest and best-proven diets ever studied.
It’s also comforting to know that, of course, the Mediterranean Diet was not based on any fad, or what movie stars ate, but that instead it is the diet that was consumed for centuries in that region of the world. What’s more, there is simply no other diet that has been so well researched for its ability to prevent heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s, and other chronic diseases that plague the developed world.
In fact, you’re probably already familiar with many of the healthy diet principles that have entered our understanding of good-for-you food as a result of research into the Mediterranean Diet.
Olive oil? Check—a staple of the Med Diet. Everything we know about the benefits of olive oil come thanks to what we’ve learned about how this diet rich in plant foods and unsaturated fat prevents disease.
Moderate wine consumption? Check—although the research on this seems to waffle between a study indicating benefit this month, followed by a study next month that says alcohol is bad for you, there is clear evidence of some benefit to drinking wine, particularly red wine. If you’ve ever heard of the French Paradox, then you’re familiar with a key Mediterranean Diet concept. That’s right: the original scientific article on the benefits of the Med Diet confirmed for the whole world the value of red wine.
Whole grains? You guessed it—another traditional Med Diet staple that has now been promoted by food manufacturers, cereal companies, and medical societies throughout the U.S. As you might imagine, Greek peasants ate rough brown bread full of fiber and all the nutrients from the whole grain.
Plant-based diet? Long before this became a buzzword for sustainability, and championed by the raw vegan camp, Greek peasants were eating a diet based on plants. One reason for this is that it’s simply less expensive, and what their countryside could easily provide. The original Med Diet studies were done on the island of Crete, and islands tend not to be able to support a lot of grazing animals to be slaughtered for meat.
The perils of excess saturated fat and cholesterol? Although this subject has become a little controversial in natural medicine circles, partially because the proponents of statin cholesterol-lowering drugs have pushed them as a panacea for seemingly all that ails us, Mediterranean Diet research was the first salvo in the war against cholesterol, and the first place where researchers really understood that a diet high in saturated fat and cholesterol led to more heart disease.
So yes, you probably already knew more about the Mediterranean Diet than you may have realized. We’ve taken these healthy diet principles and translated them into a healthy eating plan for PMS and PMDD: The PMS Balance Diet, plus our guidance on what not to eat, make it simple to integrate the healthiest diet in the world into your life.
Did you see that the New York Times had a magazine cover article on weight loss and how difficult it is to lose weight (Sun Jan 1 2012)? It turns out there is a growing body of research showing that our bodies become more hungry and hold on tighter to every calorie after we’ve lost weight; and that some people simply have a harder time than others losing weight (spoiler alert, but no surprise: genetics is a big culprit.)
So, you probably didn’t need me, or an article in the New York Times to tell you that weight loss is difficult, and that maintaining weight loss is as or more difficult. I found it interesting, though, that the article didn’t back away from this difficulty: it didn’t try to supply any trite easy answers.
One very helpful point that they did make was how we are surrounded by—indeed, barraged by—food, images of food, talk of food, and that this forces us to think about food, even subconsciously, or to make an effort not to think about food. This, in turn, probably contributes to the difficulty of eating reasonably.
We think that PMS food cravings and PMS-induced binges and overeating are a major culprit in undermining women’s healthy diet plans. We also know that PMS symptoms can make you draw into your own shell, withdrawing from social interactions, feeling depressed or anxious or achy, and even a few days of feeling this way can interrupt a healthy diet and exercise routine, making it that much harder to get it going and to stay with it.
Still, we don’t dispute the Times’ conclusion that losing weight, especially in this culture, is one of the most difficult things anyone can undertake, especially because so many of the people who struggle with weight are dealing with sluggish metabolism or a genetic tendency to gain weight. PMS symptoms like food cravings and binges just compound the problem.
But we’d suggest that just because something is difficult doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try, in spite of the obstacles: after all, the reward and feeling of accomplishment is much greater when you overcome significant obstacles.
We would like to propose our PMS Balance Diet, including all its permutations: What not to eat for PMS; Hypoglycemia Diet for PMS; and our Food Allergy Diet for PMS as a logical place to start, no matter your situation. This is not a fad diet or a weight-loss diet—those don’t work, and you’ll just put the weight back on. This is a healthy way of eating that you can maintain for life, and you’ll do more than just lose weight. You’ll reduce your risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and all kinds of problems at the same time. Plus, you’ll feel better, usually within a couple of weeks. We have a seven-day healthy eating plan you can use to make it easier, and we give you exact and specific instructions on how to find out if you have food allergies.
We want to make it easier for you to be healthy, even when we’re talking about weight loss, which is anything but easy.