Living the Mediterranean Lifestyle from farm to table and work to siesta – Having a passion for food, cooking, baking, micro-farming, raising animals, hunting, fishing, food preparation, optimum health, total body wellness, work-life balance, eating at the table, importance of family & friends, stress free lifestyle, mono-tasking, 80/20 productivity, local community & Faith.
It’s a lot to cover but living the Mediterranean Lifestyle is a radically different approach than the Standard American Diet (SAD) of junk food, high stress, obesity and disease. It touches every aspect of your life.
The Mediterranean Lifestyle in a nutshell:
- A Whole Food All Natural Nutrient Dense Diet
- An Active Lifestyle
- A Stress-Free Relaxed Outlook That Balances Productivity With Rest
- A Close-Knit Supportive and Uplifting Relationship with Family and Friends
- A Spiritual Relationship With The Greater World
When you build up and grow these Core Pillars of the Mediterranean Lifestyle you will find yourself not only slimmer and at your ideal weight but you’ll be at peak health, feeling great, feeling fulfilled and happy.
As an American of Basque/Spanish/Mexican descent I grew up around delicious Mediterranean foods that were not only delicious but also very wholesome and healthy, but it wasn’t just the foods we ate but also how they were eaten that made a huge impact on my life.
Meals were always the centerpiece of the day, everyone came together – family and friends – and ate at the table, wine flowed freely and there was a deep emotional connection, a feeling of community and oneness with the people you cared about, joy and happiness was in the air, everyone talked about their day – the good and the bad, shared stories and a laugh; it was a wonderful experience that is very different from what many of us have today in our fast paced, overworked, over-stressed, rushed lives. Today families are more like roommates that share the same roof; couples, parents, children don’t eat together because of conflicting schedules and time constraints, deep conversations and sharing of stories don’t happen, we become strangers to those we love the most.
I firmly believe the loss of the communal table, the loss of wholesome home cooked meals, the loss of physical activities with loved ones over the past decades has played a major role in the significant increases in obesity and numerous other health related diseases and problems directly linked to bad diet, lack of exercise and too much stress that has happened over the same time frame.
I was a victim of this myself, I’ve been swayed many times by the lure of the easy and cheap drive thru’s and restaurants. I’ve been a couch potato, I’ve stuffed myself with junk food, I’ve sat across from people I love and whom I deeply care about and want to communicate and bond with but instead I stared at my phone in silence too engrossed in my own issues.
There was a time when I was the Super Size King, I lived off the junk food of our modern society, in many ways its addicting and becomes a vicious cycle that is hard to escape from.
At my worst I weighed over 310 lbs.
I’ll never forget the day I hit bottom…
I went to go visit an ex on-again/off-again girlfriend that I hadn’t seen in a couple months at her work. She worked at a department store in the jewelry section and I walked up to her and she looked at me and said “Damn, what happened to you? You gained a lot of weight.” She said it with such disgust and revulsion that I was literally for a moment stopped in my tracks like I had been physically hit. I brushed off the passing comment like it didn’t affect me but in reality it did, few people can ever really know how painful that comment is to a person. When I got back home I remember walking into the bathroom and taking my clothes off and stepping on the scale. To this very day the image is burned into my memory of looking down passed my belly and seeing the scale stop at 310.
I was shocked, appalled and disgusted with myself; I had been chunky ever since the pre-teen years when I spent more time eating out than eating the healthy & nutritious Mediterranean foods I had eaten when I was younger. Throughout highschool I had always been very active and that did help to slow some of the effects of my horrible eating habits but towards the end of highschool 2 things happened that really made my unhealthy lifestyle take off. My Dad passed away from a heart attack and I broke my ankle for the 2nd time forcing my off the football team. The combination of these events – stress eating and drinking as I foolishly tried to cope with my Dad’s death on my own along with the lack of any exercise since I was no longer on the football team – led me from being 6′ and 210 lbs. to that fateful day a couple years later at 306 lbs.
As I stood there staring at the weight scale showing 306 lb. I vowed to find a solution, to become healthier and never let myself go this low again.
When I fully realized this it was a watershed moment, an epiphany, the stars lined up and it all started to make sense. Mediterranean foods and wine are not only delicious but they are jam packed with essential nutrients, vitamins and antioxidants that your body needs for optimum health – it’s a diet of superfoods. Add in the Mediterranean Lifestyle of living an active life and the communal social meal which is food for the soul, helping and supporting your mental and spiritual well being, and you have the recipe for total body wellness, for physical and mental health.
With this realization in mind I went back to the basics, I went back to my grandmother’s old recipes, I learned and read as much as I could about the Mediterranean Diet and the Mediterranean Lifestyle – I learned about my roots and cultural history. In the process I developed my own version of a holistic total health diet and lifestyle and I began implementing it into my life.
I hope you’ll join me on this journey to optimal health, together I know we can achieve it. Join the community and drop your name and email in the box at the upper right of this page and we can make it happen; email me, talk to me, share your ideas, and you’ll get all the articles and posts as they come out as well.