Incorporate Planning & Preparation

Failing to plan means planning to fail, especially when overhauling eating habits. Devote time each week towards Mediterranean meal planning and preparation to set yourself up for success. This includes grocery shopping, batch cooking grains and beans, washing and prepping plenty of produce, and keeping ingredients for quick meals like salads and oven-roasted vegetables on hand (think: Greek yogurt bowls, vegetable soups, and chickpea salads).

The key is having components ready to throw together simple, delicious Mediterranean meals rather than needing to count on take-out or processed options when things get rushed or chaotic. Getting into the weekly habit of making a menu, food shopping list and cooking schedule keeps you prepared.

Some favorite Mediterranean go-to’s for busy weeks include:

  • Greek yogurt bowls with nuts, fruit and a drizzle of honey
  • Hearty vegetable soup or lentil stew
  • Sheet pan roasted vegetables tossed in lemon and olive oil
  • Quick salmon filets seasoned with herbs de Provence
  • Chickpea salad sandwich on whole grain bread
  • Farro salad with cucumbers, olives, feta and fresh herbs

With nutritious grab-and-go foods within reach, the Mediterranean diet becomes much more manageable.

Personal Anecdote – Know thy weakness

For me, snacking – AKA reaching for something quick to eat – was my downfall. When I got hungry mid-day I’d reach for something easy, which tended to be unhealthy overly processed foods. What I did was made sure my meal prep included sliced carrots, cucumbers, bell peppers, etc., that I could easily grab and much on (maybe with a side of hummus). It funny, just having them pre-sliced made a world of difference when it came time to pick them over a bag of chips. Identify gaps in your eating habits and fill them with Mediterranean friendly goodness. 

If this might be you – I’ve learned something that may be of interest to you!

Storing Sliced Veggies In Water Filled Jars

You can store sliced carrots, cucumbers, bell peppers, and other vegetables in jars filled with water in the fridge to help preserve their freshness. This method can keep your vegetables crisp and hydrated for a longer period. Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Clean and slice the vegetables to your desired size and shape.
  2. Place the sliced vegetables in clean glass jars or airtight containers.
  3. Fill the jars with cold, filtered water, making sure the vegetables are fully submerged.
  4. Seal the jars or containers tightly to prevent air from getting in.
  5. Label the jars with the date to help you keep track of freshness.
  6. Store the jars in the refrigerator.

It’s essential to change the water regularly, about every 2-3 days, to keep the vegetables fresh. This method can help extend the shelf life of your sliced vegetables for up to a week or longer, depending on the type of vegetable and the freshness of the initial produce. It’s a convenient way to have crisp and ready-to-use vegetables on hand for snacking, or cooking.

Overall, remember these three key things:

Effective planning and preparation are crucial for a successful transition:

  1. Weekly Meal Planning: Dedicate time each week to plan Mediterranean-style meals.
  2. Batch Cooking and Food Prep: Cook grains and beans in bulk and pre-chop vegetables and store them for quick access.
  3. Convenient Meal Options: Stock up on ingredients for quick Mediterranean meals like Greek yogurt bowls, vegetable soups, and roasted vegetables, keeping simple recipes at hand for busy days.