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Monday, March 17, 2014

Diet or Meal Planning? Part 9

Pulling It All Together

Based on a few comments from my last post on this subject - readers appeared to be a little confused and I apologize for that.

I want to clarify something - I did not mean just pick one of these diets and follow it or that losing weight is the goal.  As I said, I hate the word diet when most of these "diets" also talk about how much to eat, exercise, and other life style elements.

So what did I really mean?  I will cover that in a moment.

I want to take this moment to welcome our newest readers that have joined since we last welcomed readers.  We have picked up several readers in Germany, Poland, Indonesia, Holland, and the UK.  I cannot tell who you are; but, I can see the countries viewing the blog and based on the number of increased readers from these countries.  Welcome and please feel free to add commetns for all our readers to see or send me comments to 

Diet Food Groups

The concept of the different diets is to find those that help you with maintaining a healthy eating life style that might help your disease, say cancer, or high blood pressure, or diabetes.  As I mentioned, I selected the Mediterranean Diet for several reasons:

  1. My wife uses the basic foods in this diet plan and has for many years - I felt important we can share like foods as a couple
  2. I have posted before that there are some very strong research that a Vegan diet helps diabetics control blood sugars as animal products cause cells to reject glucose absorption
  3. I tried being a Vegan and found I still like my meat so how do I balance that craving
  4. The diet plan is more about the food groups allowed versus following a very strict diet or meal plan

Mediterranean Food Group - I have highlighted the foods I like


Artichokes, beets, brussel sprouts, carrots, celeriac, collard, dandelion greens, fennel, leeks, lettuce, mache, mustard greens, Okra, Peas, Potatoes, Purslane, rutabaga (turnip), shallots, sweet potatoes (yams), zucchini, swede, scallions (spring onions), radishes, pumpkin, peppers (red, green, yellow, orange), Onions (red, brown and white), nettles, mushrooms, lettuce, kale, eggplant (aubergine), cucumber, chicory, celery, cabbage, broccoli, Arugula (rocket).


Avocado, tomatoes, apples, tangerines, apricots, strawberries, cherries, pomegranates, clementine mandarines, pears, dates, peaches, figs, olives, grapefruit, nectarines, grapes, melons and oranges

Grains - I try not to eat many of these except brown rice

Whole grain breads, barley, millet, oats, rice, polenta, bulgur, couscous, buckwheat, durum, wheatberries and faro.

Fish and Seafood

Yellowtail, abalone, clams, cockles, crab, lobster, flounder, eel, octopus, squid (calamari), oysters, mussels, mackerel, tilapia, salmon, sea bass, tuna, sardines, whelk and shrimp

Poultry and Eggs - not my favorite except eggs and I am allergic to them

Chicken, guinea fowl, duck, chicken eggs, duck eggs, quail eggs.

Cheese and Yogurt

Brie, feta (fetta), Corvo, chevre, ricotta, parmigiana-reggiano, manchego, pecorino, haloumi, Greek yogurt and flavored yogurt.

Nuts and Seeds

Almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, pine nuts, pistachio, sesame seeds (tahini) and walnuts


Cannellini, chickpeas, fava (broadbeans), kidney, green beans, lentils and split peas.

Herbs and Spices

Anise, zatar spice mix, chillies, basil, garlic, fennel, bay leaf, clove, lavender, cumin, oregano, mint, marjoram, sage, pul biber (also known as halaby pepper, aleppo pepper and flake pepper), parsley, rosemary, savory, thyme, sumac and tarragon


Pork, beef, lamb, mutton and goat.

Sweets - remember in an earlier blog - I love sweets

Creme caramel, baklava, tiramisu, sorbet, biscotti, chocolate, chocolate mousse, Turkish delight, kunefe, gelato and fruit tarts.

Water and Wine

People of the Mediterranean generally drink around six glasses of water per day plus 1-2 glasses of red wine (one glass each with lunch and dinner).

So I selected the food groups I like and now I start to look for ways to fill out my meal plan.  This entire series was about foods we need to add and those we need to eliminate or reduce.  Notice this diet does not allow the adding of salt - some do.  So I can have other spices in the foods I eat.

The next step is to come up with some dishes you like and then combine them into meals that:

  1. Produce the right level of calories
  2. Introduces the right nutritional values
  3. Adds the right blend of vitamins to help your body
Remember the posts and series on "What Does My Body Want From Me?" was about knowing how your body reacts to several life events - including eating.  Some people call this as Eating By The Meter, in other words test before and after eating - see what the food is doing for you.

Balance in exercise and other activity.

My Day Today

I was 110 on the meter tonight.  I spent two hours in the gym with one hour on high treadmill work and burned 700+ calories along with lifting weights for 1 hour another 400+ calories.  So you must know what you burn in a day along with what you take in.

I want to lose a little weigh again so 1,100 calories being consumed and I want to be around 1500 calories means I should think about consuming 2,200 - 2,500 calories.

Today I consumed about 1,500 calories and I will explain in a minute; so after exercise tonight I was running 110 on the meter but my body was crying for some calories so I needed to eat something for my body.  So given the meter at 110 and needing calories, I could afford some carbohydrates along with a little fat to help sustain the body needs.

My meal plan for the day started with my Green Drink (about 40 calories and 10 carbohydrates).  My noon meal was a very good salad with lettuce, peppers, onions, berries, and an egg.  One of my favorite salads.

My evening meal was a serving of scalloped potatoes.  Again, low in calories but higher in carbohydrates because I was going to work out.

At the end of the day - I am not totally balanced on intake and outgoing calories along with other nutrients I need.  In the end - it is about knowing your body and following the proper portion of the foods from the diet plan you have selected.

I know many of you do an excellent job of cooking for yourself or your family - and having a basic plan does not eliminate hard work in planning what you eat, exercise, and other life style factors.  For others, having a diet plan does not reduce your need to work hard as well.

I hope this helps a little - as I continue my journey I will keep you posted how my meal planning is working out.

God, grant us the knowledge to know and take care of our body, mind, and soul.  As much as we think about feeding our body, we must also feed our soul as we do not live on bread alone.  We must also stimulate our minds and you have provided us a book to help stimulate our minds as well.  We thank you for providing the basics of life to allow us to live the life style we want and what our body wants.


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Please leave your comments or suggestions - looking to getting some good discussions going. Tell me what you have tried and what has or has not worked.

Thanks for the support