Diet and Health




Mediterranean diet

The traditional way of eating in the southern Mediterranean has recently been shown to contribute to a longer, healthier life and following the Greek, Spanish and Italian models can help weight loss, too.

The Mediterranean diet is rich in fruit, vegetables, and fiber, it contains plenty of starchy foods, usually whole-grain varieties; it is high in good monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, and low in saturated fat; sugary, processed foods and snacks are eaten very rarely. No wonder it ticks so many boxes as a nutritionist’s ideal diet! The typical day’s eating menu is:

Fresh fruit
Bread yogurt

Salad dressed with olive oil
Bean and tomato soup

Fish stew
Roasted vegetables
Piece of cheese
Fresh fruit

Water, black coffee
Glass of red wine

Grilled vegetable kebabs

Eating out is quite easy as Mediterranean diet menu plan is very popular, indulgent foods, like fish, vegetables, pasta, salads with olive oil and red wine, are recommended as part of the diet, perfect in a Mediterranean style diet and good for you, too. A Mediterranean diet can help heart health as well as weight loss. Portion control is needed to avoid overeating oil-rich food. A traditional Mediterranean lifestyle is very active: doing plenty of exercises is strongly recommended.



Calorie burned walking

We all know that walking is the simplest workout. Irrespective of your age and gender, walking could help you to melt the excess fat in your body with minimal hassles. However, not many of us know the exact amount of calories we could lose by walking. The walking speed and the distance covered helps to calculate the number of calories burned during the exercise.

Your body weight and the distance covered are the main variables used for measuring the amount of calorie burned walking. Your walking speed is the third variable used for estimating the total amount of energy consumed while walking. The effort taken walking with weights on the ankle or on the back or climbing up stairs or walking on an upward incline is the fourth variable. However, it is difficult to determine the effort factor.

The following formula will help you to measure the calorie diet used while walking: BODY WEIGHT IN POUNDS x DISTANCE x 0.53

The above formula estimates that you are brisk walking or walking at an average speed of 3 miles per hour. Therefore, a 160 lbs woman will burn about 84.8 calories walking a mile at an average speed of 3 miles per hour. You can even measure the number of steps to calculate the total distance covered while walking. On average, it takes about 2000 steps to cover one mile. You must burn 3500 calories to burn 1 pound of fat. If you want to lose one pound in a week, you must burn 3500 extra calories.



  • 1 cup whole wheat couscous (look in the health food section, or top foods, or any good health food store)
  • 1 1/2 cups canned chicken, veggie, or mushroom broth, or water
  • 1-2 tsp. herb mix of your choice (I like lighthouse freeze-dried salad herbs, found in the produce section at albertsons)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup chopped dried fruits
  • 1/4 cup chopped roasted nuts
  • pich of cinnamon (optional)

Bring broth or water, dried fruit, and herbs to boil in microwave in a 2-3 quart microwavable bowl. Add couscous and pinch of cinnamon. Cover and cook on high for 2 minutes. Stir and let stand covered for about 5 minutes, until liquid is absorbed, and couscous is tender. Stir again, taste for seasoning, sprinkle on nuts, and serve.

6 servings – 1/2 cup each about 200 calories per serving



  • 1/2 cup choped dried fruit of your choice
  • 1/4 cup all fruit jam of your choice (I like apricot)
  • boiling water
  • 1/2 package frozen phyllo dough (4 oz) (cut dough log in half)
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup chopped roasted nuts (almonds are good)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom (optional)
  • spray oil (butter flavor is good)
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup lite sour cream or lo-fat plain yoghurt

Defrost phyllo dough as per directions on box. Handle as per directions also, always covering with plastic wrap and damp towel when not using immediately. You will not use all the dough in this recipe, but it is delicate and sometimes sticks together, so you will have some amount of waste when separating out the sheets of dough.

In a small bowl, put dried fruit and just enough boiling water to cover and set aside to plump up. Should take about 10 minutes or so. Drain the liquid off the fruit and add jam and stir to blend.

Mix sugar and spices (cardamom, cinamon) together in a bowl and set aside.

Lightly spray a small baking pan with oil, lay out one layer of phyllo sheets to make a square about 9 by 9 inches. You can piece the dough together if it breaks or tears, it’ll all stick eventually. Lightly spray dough with oil, and sprinkle 1/2 tsp of the spice and sugar mixture on top. Sprinkle about 1 tbsp nuts on top. Repeat this step twice more until you have 3 layers of phyllo, nuts, oil, and sugar/spice.

Carefully spread fruit and jam mix on top of the third layer. This is easier if you drop small spoonfulls over the surface and then spread them out evenly.

Do another 3 layers of phyllo, spice, sugar, oil on top of fruit. On the last layer use up all the leftover nuts, add an extra spray of oil on top, and sprinkle the pinch of salt evenly over the top.

Bake at 350 dgrees for about 15 minutes until it looks nice and crispy. It won’t look browned, but it’ll be done.

Mix 1 tablespoon of the sugar and spice mix with the yoghurt or lite sour cream. Set aside.

Remove from oven, cut into 4 to 6 pieces. Put a small dollop of the cream mixture on top and serve. Can be eaten either warm or cool.

Makes 4 – 6 servings



  • 2 cans chicken broth (no msg type)
  • 1/2 to 1 lb carrots, chopped fine or shredded
  • 1/2 large onion chopped fine
  • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp corriander + more for garnish
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • pinch of chipotle pepper
  • lite sour cream or yoghurt for garnish
  • balsamic vineagar

Saute carrots and onion in olive oil until soft and lightly browned. Add corriander, cook 2-3 minutes more. Add chicken broth and blend in blender or with stick blender. Heat. Add salt and pepper and chipotle to taste. Server with a small dollop of yoghurt or lite sour cream and a little sprinkle of corriander on top, with a few drops of balsamic vineagar.

Makes 2 – 4 servings