Hello, Friends,

Want to keep your brain healthy? You bet! Healthy brains keep us functioning at a high level throughout our lives…a key part of feeling younger and more active. Check out this post to learn about this MIND diet!

At our first Lunch and Learn, Dr. Margie Williams, PhD, RN,  talked about the MIND Diet and how it goes hand in hand with a Mediterranean Lifestyle (ML). This is wonderful news for those of us who are following the ML!

Let’s look at each point of the MIND diet, and see how it stacks up with the Mediterranean Lifestyle we are following.

Here’s Dr. Margie’s key points on the MIND diet:

  • An abundance of vegetables, particularly dark leafy greens with a salad daily~~YES for ML
  • Nuts at least 5 days a week~~YES for ML
  • Berries as the dominant fruit~~YES for ML
  • Beans, including lentils, at least 3 times a week~~YES for ML
  • Whole grains, 3 servings a day~~YES for ML
  • Fish, at least once a week~~YES for ML
  • Poultry twice a week~~YES for ML
  • Olive oil as the primary fat~~YES for ML
  • 1 glass of red wine OR purple grape juice daily (5 ounces)~~YES for ML

(Foods specifically limited as part of the MIND diet and the ML include fried foods, cheese, red meat, butter, and grain-based desserts.)

If we compare those 9 eating recommendations with the Mediterranean Diet Pyramid, we find that they are perfectly in sync. Add the Mediterranean Lifestyle components of daily exercise (walking is great), at least one meal a day with family or friends around a table and visiting in a relaxed manner, with time for prayer and meditation daily, and you will improve your health long-term!

That’s a promise for your health you can count on!

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Recipe for the Week

Yesterday, while teaching a group of 5th-9th graders about the Mediterranean Lifestyle, we made a delicious AND healthy salad. The salad ingredients included:

  • Chopped Romaine Lettuce
  • Chopped Small Peppers: red, green, yellow
  • Baby Tomatoes, halved
  • Fresh Grapes, halved
  • Cucumber, mostly peeled and cut in 1″ pieces
  • Red Onion (small amount, finely chopped)
  • Boneless, Skinless Chicken breasts cut in 1″ cubes and fried in 2 T. olive oil at medium temperature. Lightly season the chicken with garlic salt on 1 side only while in skillet. Cook until lightly golden.

The salad dressing really brought out the flavors, and is a slight variation on my recipe last week. I prefer this version.

  • 4 ounces extra-virgin olive oil, preferably cold-pressed
  • 3-4 ounces balsamic vinegar
  • juice of 1 whole lemon (this adds so much!)
  • squirt of honey mustard
  • 6 drops stevia
  • 1/2 t. basil
  • 1/2 t. rosa maria spice (mainly rosemary, garlic and salt if you don’t have rosa maria spice)

Blend in a small jar or dressing jar, and shake well before serving. Add to the salad right before tossing and eating the salad. (Leftovers of dressed salad do not store well.)

NOTE to parents: The kids loved this salad!

Enjoy this MIND building/Mediterranean Lifestyle Salad, my friends.

Happy eating!

(The MIND diet was developed at Dr. Margie Williams’ alma mater, Rush University Medical Center, by Martha Clare Morris, and the North Shore University Center for Brain Health.)

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