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Easy Steps to Start Mediterranean Diet – Not So Easy For Us
The whole world has seen changes in food; ingredients, cooking, and culture. These were led by the fast-developing world, US, Europe, Japan. The slow-developing world followed but it was divided in two categories. In one block were a large number of countries which were colonized by British, French, Dutch, Portuguese etc. The colonized countries had major impact on overall lifestyle and culture, food included. True, that the colonizers also adopted some local recipes, but the other way was more significant. Those countries, such as Thailand, which were never colonized saw lesser changes.
Sub-continent had a continuous history or local and invading rulers. There had been too many inclusions in the diet, thus making sub-continental diet full of variety, flavors and tastes. The region was rich in herbs, spices, and vegetables; the cooks had incentive to experiment with more and more new dishes because in the form of rewards, and the rulers and the ruled both had enough free time to spend on cooking and eating. As far as back in the history we see, we find sub-continental population enveloped by a laid-back approach. Religions, worship habits, fatalistic attitude contributed to raise contentedness and aversion to change.
Let us compare the Mediterranean Food recommendations with our food habits. These recommendations come from OLDWAYS1, a credible site for Med Diet resources.
- Eat lots of vegetables.For our diet – shouldn’t be a problem because vegetables are indigenous to us. We have variety and seasonal vegetables. We do eat vegetables; however, we prefer to mix vegetable with meat. And we like to deep-cook vegetables with lots of oil.
- Change the way you think about meat.Very difficult for us. We harbor ancient love for meat which is augmented by our desire to differentiate from our long-time co-habitants, who did not eat meat. We have a huge assortment of lusciously delicious meat dishes that we cannot forget.
- Enjoy some dairy products.Yes, for us. But we are not cheese-lovers which is the case in many other countries. We prefer butter, milk cream and so on.
- Eat seafood twice a week.Not for us; most of the people living in plains are not big on eating fish, much less seafood. Take the example of Lahore, where fish business is virtually closed from May through August.
- Cook a vegetarian meal one night a week.For us, probably this is easiest to do, but we shall deep-cook our vegetables.
- Use good fats.For us, Olive oil is for massage, not for eating; cooking oil is vegetable oil and so on.
- Switch to whole grains.We have a problem here. Our wheat flour is made available after extracting several ingredients including bran.
- For dessert, eat fresh fruit.What would we do with extra-sweet, heavily laden traditional sweets? Difficult for us to do in routine.
We are currently quite far from Mediterranean Diet but can change with planned effort.