Mediterranean Diet & Meal Prep Mashup

March 12, 2024

If you made any New Year’s Resolutions for 2024, eating healthy or losing weight may have been one of your focus points.  Or maybe you have an event this year that you would like to look your best for, which may mean dropping a few pounds before said event.  Maybe you want new ideas for healthier meals to prepare for the upcoming week.  We have an option that may inspire you to do just that.  How about a Mediterranean Diet and meal prep mashup?

Mediterranean Diet

The Mediterranean Diet incorporates mostly plant-based foods and healthy fats into one’s diet.  This diet is a diet we traditionally see in Mediterranean countries.  It has also been recognized as a gold standard for nutrition, disease prevention, wellness, and longevity.  So this may have you saying, “What foods are included in the Mediterranean Diet?”

Mediterranean Diet Food List

In the Mediterranean diet, certain foods are consumed frequently, moderately, or rarely.

Frequently Consumed Foods (several times a day)

  • fruits
  • vegetables
  • whole grains
  • nuts
  • legumes
  • extra virgin olive oil

Moderately Consumed Foods (several times a week)

  • fish/seafood
  • poultry
  • eggs
  • dairy foods such as cheese and yogurt

Rarely Consumed Foods (several times a month)

  • sweets containing added sugars or honey
  • red meat.

In addition, it is generally safe to consume red wine in low to moderate amounts with meals, although it is not recommended to start drinking red wine if you have not done so before.  You will want to avoid alcohol in general or only have it on special occasions when you are following the Mediterranean diet.

Would you like some Mediterranean Diet meal ideas and/or a little meal prep inspiration?  The following 7-day meal plan could be a good way to kick-start your Mediterranean Diet journey.  There are also plenty of recipes on Pinterest that follow the guidelines of the Mediterranean Diet.  

  • Sunday:
    • Breakfast: Greek yogurt topped with fresh berries and a drizzle of honey.
    • Lunch: Mediterranean quinoa salad with cucumbers, tomatoes, olives, feta cheese, and a lemon-herb dressing.
    • Dinner: Baked salmon seasoned with herbs and lemon, served with roasted vegetables (zucchini, bell peppers, and red onion) and whole grain couscous.
  • Monday:
    • Breakfast: Whole grain toast topped with mashed avocado and sliced tomatoes.
    • Lunch: Mediterranean chickpea salad with cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, red onion, parsley, and a lemon-tahini dressing.
    • Dinner: Grilled chicken skewers marinated in garlic, lemon, and oregano, served with a Greek salad and whole wheat pita bread.
  • Tuesday:
    • Breakfast: Veggie omelet made with spinach, tomatoes, and feta cheese.
    • Lunch: Hummus and vegetable wrap with whole grain tortilla, sliced cucumbers, bell peppers, tomatoes, and shredded lettuce.
    • Dinner: Mediterranean-style stuffed peppers filled with ground turkey, quinoa, tomatoes, and herbs, served with steamed green beans.
  • Wednesday:
    • Breakfast: Overnight oats made with rolled oats, almond milk, chia seeds, and mixed berries.
    • Lunch: Greek-style lentil soup with carrots, celery, tomatoes, spinach, and a sprinkle of feta cheese.
    • Dinner: Baked cod filets with a tomato-olive caper sauce, roasted asparagus and whole grain farro.
  • Thursday:
    • Breakfast: Smoothie bowl topped with granola, sliced banana, and chopped almonds.
    • Lunch: Mediterranean tuna salad made with canned tuna, white beans, cherry tomatoes, red onion, and a lemon-dijon dressing, served over mixed greens.
    • Dinner: Eggplant Parmesan served with whole wheat spaghetti and sautéed spinach.
  • Friday:
    • Breakfast: Whole grain pancakes topped with Greek yogurt and mixed berries.
    • Lunch: Mediterranean grain bowl with cooked farro, roasted vegetables, chickpeas, kalamata olives, and a drizzle of tahini dressing.
    • Dinner: Grilled shrimp skewers with a Mediterranean salsa made from diced tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, olives, and fresh herbs, served with quinoa pilaf.
  • Saturday:
    • Breakfast: Scrambled eggs with sautéed spinach, tomatoes, and feta cheese.
    • Lunch: Mediterranean-style wrap with grilled chicken, hummus, diced cucumbers, tomatoes, red onion, and tzatziki sauce in a whole grain wrap.
    • Dinner: Homemade vegetable paella made with brown rice, bell peppers, tomatoes, peas, artichoke hearts, and saffron.

Other Helpful Tips

If you feel like this can be a little overwhelming or not sure how you will find the time to prepare these meals, we have some tips that may help.

Plan Your Menu

Start by planning your meals for the week ahead. Consider your schedule, dietary preferences, and nutritional goals. Choose recipes that are simple, versatile, and easy to batch cook.

Make a Grocery List

Once you’ve planned your meals, create a grocery list with all the ingredients you’ll need. This will help you stay organized and avoid last-minute trips to the store.

Choose a Prep Day

Pick a day of the week to dedicate to meal prep. This could be a weekend day or any other day that works best for your schedule.

Batch Cooking

Cook large batches of staple ingredients such as grains (rice, quinoa), proteins (chicken, ground turkey), and vegetables (roasted veggies, steamed greens). These can be used as the base for multiple meals throughout the week.

Portion Control

Invest in a set of portion control containers or reusable meal prep containers. Portion out your meals ahead of time to ensure you’re eating the right serving sizes and avoid overeating.

Variety is Key

Keep things interesting by incorporating a variety of flavors and textures into your meal prep. Experiment with different recipes, spices, and sauces to keep your taste buds excited.

Use Your Freezer

Not all meal prep needs to be consumed within a few days. Some dishes freeze well and can be stored for longer periods. Soups, stews, and sauces are great options for freezing.

Prep Snacks and Breakfast

Don’t forget about snacks and breakfast! Prep healthy snacks like cut-up veggies, fruit, nuts, etc. For breakfast, consider overnight oats or egg muffins that can be quickly reheated.

Stay Organized

Keep your kitchen organized and clean as you prepare meals. Wash and chop fruits and veggies in advance, and clean up as you go to make the process more efficient.

We hope you have much success meeting your goals!  Taking care of your health is the best gift you can give yourself and your loved ones.  If one day takes you off the rails a bit, get right back on track with your next meal.  Your future self will thank you for it!

Before starting any new diet or exercise routine, it is important to consult with your healthcare provider. GYN Women’s Centre of Lakewood Ranch offers compassionate care for women at all stages of life.  Schedule your appointment here.