"Nuts" About the Mediterranean

Now that I have reached my six month mark at Oldways (I can’t believe it!), I have established a healthy workplace routine that has enabled me to maintain my 90 pound weight loss. Continually inspired by the Mediterranean diet and Oldways, I am constantly learning, adapting and incorporating new foods and strategies into my lifestyle. The workplace can be a source of structure for individuals trying to maintain/lose weight, but it can also be a pitfall of distractions and temptations that can stall and derail healthy routines. I have established several important suggestions that I consider daily which have allowed me to institute the workplace as a healthy living tool.

First of all, plan ahead! If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail. I eat a hearty breakfast each morning (lean protein and fiber help in maintaining satiety), a mid-morning snack, lunch, a protein snack before leaving work, and dinner after the gym. I have learned that a trigger for overeating is getting too hungry, so I try to snack to eliminate the urge to overeat.

Lately, I have recognized the importance of switching things up within my nutritional routine. My Oldways coworkers have become my culinary gurus; their guidance has opened me up to experimenting with recipes and ingredients, adding excitement to my usual food choices. One big change is the variety of whole grains I have added to my diet (farro is a new favorite, I loved this spinach, strawberry and farro salad recipe!) Enjoying these new-found foods, both plain and as part of a salad, has definitely livened up my dinners.

My latest fixation has been experimenting with different nuts and making them into spreads and butters. Nuts are a staple of the Mediterranean Diet because of their abundance of “good fats,” and in an effort to “switch it up” and deviate from my usual peanut butter favorite, I took to the Cuisinart and the rest was history. My favorite has been pecan butter. Simply toast the pecans (butter or oil is not necessary), and pour them in the food processor. There is no need to add any other ingredients, and the natural oils in the nuts are soon released to create the creamy texture. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle does not have to mean relying on boring food routines, and I am looking forward to continued culinary experimentation!

--Abby

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