Building A Mediterranean-Style Holiday Meal

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Our first online Med Instead of Meds program for Yadkin County, co-taught by Courtney Tevepaugh in Wilkes County, wrapped-up this past week where we discussed and demonstrated the 7 simple steps to eating the Med Way. We had such a fun 6 weeks learning about new tips/tricks that can help you develop a Mediterranean-style eating pattern. If you are not familiar with eating the Med Way, it is centered around the basics of healthy eating that were traditionally practiced in countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea. However, do not confuse it with an eating pattern you may see at modern-day Greek or Italian restaurants. When eating the traditional Mediterranean diet, it has been shown to promote health and decrease the risk of chronic diseases. You can read more about the science behind this diet at Science of Eating Med. I plan to offer this program again for Yadkin County in the future, so stay in contact if interested in learning about the Med Way!

7 Seven Simple Step to Eating The Med Way

  1. Change your protein
  2. Swap your fats
  3. Eat more vegetables
  4. Eat more fruit
  5. Snack on nuts and seeds
  6. Make your grains whole grains
  7. Rethink your sweets

“What About the Holidays Coming Up?”

This got brought up during the course of the program that then posed the question in our minds on how we can provide our participants with resources to still incorporate this eating pattern into the upcoming holidays. We appreciate the time our participants took out of their schedule to attend our sessions and acknowledge the dedication they have for making changes to live a healthier lifestyle. We want to be a source of encouragement that will help motivate our participants to continue this lifestyle change. So we did a brain dump to come up with resources and tips to continue the Med Way during the upcoming holidays. We hope this will help you with keeping the 7 simple steps of the Med Way at the heart of your holiday meal planning!

Tips for Making Healthy Choices During the Holidays flyer

Mediterranean-Style Recipe Websites

We shared a couple of great websites that have Mediterranean-style recipes that can help inspire your holiday meal planning.

  1. Med Instead of Meds
  2. Oldways

Building a Mediterranean-Style Holiday Meal

Using both of these websites, I started to plan out appetizers and side dishes that would go along with the turkey we usually have at our holiday meal. Here is what my Mediterranean-style holiday meal would look like that incorporates new recipes to complement the traditional flair of a holiday meal.

Mocktail Cranberry Lime Soda Cranberry Lime Soda/
Appetizers  Greek Cucumber Walnut Bites Greek Cucumber Walnut Bites
Tuscan Bean and Vegetable Crackers Tuscan Bean and Vegetable Crackers
Side Dishes Sweet Potato Casserole Sweet Potato Casserole
Olive Oil Deviled Eggs Olive Oil Deviled Eggs
Apple-Sage Wild Rice Stuffing Apple Sage Wild Rice Stuffing
Green Beans with Lemon Zest Green Beans Lemon Zest
Desserts  Coconut Crunch Stuffed Prunes Coconut Crunch Stuffed Prunes
Chocolate Walnut Macaroon Chocolate Walnut Macaroons

To Wrap-Up

It is important to keep an open mind when adding new recipes to your holiday meal planning. These recipes will probably not taste the same as some of your holiday staples or your family may look at you funny! That is okay! By making tiny changes here and there within your holiday meal to switch out for healthier recipes, it can make a huge difference! More importantly, food SHOULD NOT lead you to have added pressure or stress during the holidays, so try to still enjoy this time of food and family. Fill up on vegetables first, remember your portions, and do not feel bad if you eat some of your favorite, well-loved, traditional casseroles this year!

Written By

Ashley Beard, N.C. Cooperative ExtensionAshley BeardExtension Agent, Family and Consumer Sciences Call Ashley E-mail Ashley N.C. Cooperative Extension, Yadkin County Center
Updated on Nov 20, 2020
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