Cruising To The End Via Mediterranean

Today was the last day of the week of diet experiments.  As planned I finished up the week with a nice, easy Mediterranean diet.  By far the most liberal of the diets I have planned is the Mediterranean diet.  Having part of my ethnic heritage hailing from that part of the world also makes this diet very easy for me.  Almost any of the traditional foods I’d eat, with some tweaking for whole grain over traditional versions of some foods, fit the mold.  As a lover of wine, the prescription of 1-2 glasses a night, assuming that works for you, is also a nice plus up.  While I enjoyed the food, over-eating on this diet seems easier than on other diets.

Breakfast started off with another serving of “Rip’s Big Bowl.”  The idea of alternating between the eggs breakfasts and this seems great to me.  On big exercise days, every other day, it’s a nice variation.  Now that I’ve made it several times I can make it and eat it in under 15 minutes, versus the 15 minutes it took to make it the first time.  Lunch was a stop at Chipotle for my standard burrito bowl: brown rice, black beans, chicken, tomatoes, hot sauce, corn salsa, a little cheese and extra lettuce.  A very filling and tasty lunch!  Mid-afternoon I was a little hungry and thought I was going to go on a big run when I got home, so had a Nature Valley Protein bar.  My toe got mashed during my run over the weekend so I decided to give it another half day of recovery before hitting it hard on some speed work; now tomorrow instead of today.

Dinner and after dinner was the closest thing to actual Mediterranean of all the food today.  I wanted to end the experiment on this appropriate day with a nice pasta meal.  I wasn’t going to go nuts, and I found a sprouted whole wheat flour pasta which looked a lot healthier than traditional pasta.  Like most whole wheat pastas it just doesn’t have the nice texture of traditional pasta, no matter how you cook it, so you just close your eyes and pretend.  Better yet, eat it with a little extra helping of sauce!  I didn’t have a lot of time so whipped up a simple tomato sauce.  In my new cast iron dutch oven, I started with some garlic infused olive oil and quickly sauteed a bunch of shrimp, cracking some salt and pepper on top after I turned them over.  As soon as the second side was seared off I poured in a can of crushed tomatoes.  I wish I could say I used a bunch of fresh herbs, just like I wish I could say I had started with some sauteed fresh garlic and onion.  I wasn’t quite as prepared for the sauce as I had hoped so I had to wing it.  Rather than fresh spices I added dried oregano and basil as well as some extra garlic powder.  I also cracked in yet more salt and pepper to taste.  It’s not fancy, but the taste was spot on.  With that I covered the pot and let it simmer.

I had  some water boiling at the same time I was making the sauce and had cooked regular pasta for my partner and this healthier, but not as tasty, whole grain pasta for me.  With that I had a nice pot of starch-rich water.  I poured a couple of ladles full of that into the sauce, turned up the heat and finished the sauce off.  We ate that with some homemade sourdough baguette for dipping.  Being a Mediterranean diet it seemed to be perfect to wash it down with some nice light white wine, so a couple of glasses of that were in order as well.

While I was pretty much full for the evening from that, I did want to eat some more almonds to get my Vitamin-E levels up.  I also had the remnants of the watermelon I cut up last weekend which I didn’t want to keep around too much longer.  These both made a great after dinner treat.

Overall the nutrient profile for this wasn’t too bad.  The mixture of carbs, fat and proteins is comparable to the vegetarian or pescatarian days, which isn’t surprising.  This obviously had some alcohol component to it.  The levels of fiber and protein were still good as well, however the total number of calories were higher than every other one.  Micro-nutrient wise this too suffered from deficiencies of Vitamin-D, Vitamin-E and Calcium.  Overall though I found the whole thing very filling and enjoyable, not surprising.  In the real version I’d probably want to try to avoid combining so many cereals and grains on one day, since this much calorie density and lack of vegetables makes it very easy to go over on total calories.