The Mediterranean Diet sounds like something we might hesitate to embrace…after all, it has the word “diet” affixed to it. But it’s actually a wonderful Mediterranean approach to fresh products, healthy and delicious food, local wine, dining rituals, and lifestyle. For thousands of years, the countries in the region have been influenced by the sea, climate, invading forces, and economics. Out of that has come a diet rich in healthy oils, ripe fruits and vegetables, crunchy nuts, freshly fermented yogurt, legumes aplenty, all types of fish, nutty whole grains, luscious breads, sumptuous red wine and the judicious use of meat and dairy!

While eating a diet of healthy and delicious food—because who among us can say they don’t love Italian, Greek, Spanish, and/or Middle Eastern cuisine—the Mediterranean Diet has emerged as a type of lifestyle that is good for your health. In these countries, you’ll enjoy your heavier main meal during midday when you have time to digest it. Dinner will consist of various plates and lots of delicious wine that you linger over and share with friends. And you’ll get in a bit of after-dinner exercise during your promenade, where you can people watch and get some easy exercise. It’s true that a more physically active, less sedentary life promotes health, but it is often the social component of the Mediterranean lifestyle that impacts health as well.

You don’t have to travel abroad to enjoy the benefits of the Mediterranean Diet. You have everything we need right here at your fingertips to create great meals. And, if you embrace it fully, you’ll find yourself and friends, lingering over a meal and enjoying the conviviality of the table.

To get started, try out these recipes from one of our CIA chefs. He loves them!

Fattoush Salad