Let’s Talk…Plant-Based Diets, the Mediterranean Diet, and “Blue Zones”

Let’s Talk…Plant-Based Diets, the Mediterranean Diet, and “Blue Zones”

When I say that Maddox Lane focuses on Plant-Based, Mediterranean, and “Blue Zone” based foods, it’s an easy way to describe the foods I’m great at making and love to prepare. This varied way of eating leaves me feeling my absolute best. However, there is NO NEED to label yourself as “plant-based” or whatever other diet label out there. Take yourself out of the box when it comes to food (that pun actually makes a lot of sense!).

These types of eating are my area of expertise in the kitchen. I find that intuitive eating and listening to my inner voice and what feels right always leads me to this way of eating. I’ve also found that the majority of clients I’ve worked with over the years agree with me on this.

Full disclosure: I believe in flexible eating and moderation. Don’t be surprised if you see me out enjoying a steak. However, a combination of the above diets is how I prefer to eat the MAJORITY of the time and here is what that means to me (yes, I’ve taken liberty with the exact definitions).

Plant-based: Emphasis on whole-foods sourced from plants. A plant-based lifestyle relies on lots of vegetables and fruits and also incorporates a plethora of other whole foods, plant sourced ingredients like: beans, legumes, seeds, nuts, grains, and oils like coconut oil and olive oil. This includes soy products like tempeh and edamame, rice and even pasta when it’s made with high quality ingredients.

Plant-based doesn’t mean Maddox Lane never prepares food with meat or dairy or fish. It simply means we cook with whole food, plant-based ingredients the majority of the time. Plant-based diets have the capability to incorporate plant-based protein, healthy fats, complex carbohydrates, fiber, and minerals. Plant-based diets are promising for overall health, heart health, lower risk of disease and diabetes and are attributed to increasing longevity.

Mediterranean Diet: I love this one, mainly because it means I get to cook food influenced by the cuisine of 21 different countries that is extremely flavorful and heavily seasoned with fresh herbs and spices. Did you know that Spain, France, Monaco, Italy, Malta, Slovenia, Croatia, Greece, Turkey, Syria, Cyrpus, Lebanon, Israel, Tunisia and more all make up the Mediterranean? Each year, U.S. News & World Report ranks the world’s best diets, and the Mediterranean Diet consistently ranks as the best overall diet. Research indicates people in these areas are healthier in comparison to those of us eating the Standard American Diet and it’s a sustainable way to eat.

Mediterranean food is diverse, but these tend to be the common factors:

  1. Processed/fast-foods foods don’t exist or are avoided. Added and refined sugars aren’t consumed. You won’t find things like white bread, pasta made with refined wheat, margarine, refined oils such as; canola oil, soybean oil, cottonseed oil. Processed meat (cold-cuts and hot dogs for example) and frozen meals aren’t consumed.
  2. The main ingredients for meals are: vegetables, fruits, whole grains, homemade bread, lots of herbs and spices, seafood, extra virgin olive oil, beans and legumes, nuts and seeds, and potatoes.
  3. Red meat is rarely consumed and poultry, seafood and dairy are consumed in moderation and are typically of high-quality.
  4. Extra virgin olive oil is at the heart of the Mediterranean diet and is used for cooking, in dressings & marinades, and is the go to healthy fat option.

“Blue Zone” Based Diet:Informed by the world’s longest living cultures” – www.bluezones.com

Blue Zones are identified cultures in the world (researched by Dan Buettner) where the people live much longer than average. You can read up on this more and learn about the five main “Blue Zones” here. I appreciate Blue Zone diets, because there is an emphasis on local and seasonal produce and home-cooked foods. There are lots of leafy greens and lots of extra virgin olive oil (my favorite!).

As with Mediterranean and Plant-Based diets, you will find lots of whole grains, nuts and seeds, beans and legumes, fruits and vegetables. Meat is consumed minimally, is of high quality, and in smaller portions than we are accustomed to here. Seafood is consumed moderately.

What makes the Blue Zones really special goes beyond the food. These cultures prioritize community, they work movement into their daily life so daily activity and exercise is the norm. They drink moderately (with an emphasis on wine) and have spiritual practices as well as healthy sleep patterns. These cultures really demonstrate that well-being goes far beyond the foods we eat.

Maddox Lane offers a food delivery program in Phoenix and Scottsdale areas of Arizona that fall under these dietary categories BUT there is always room for flexibility. If you’re interested in meal delivery services, private chef services, catering of beautiful wellness bowls and grazing boards for business events/wellness retreats and more email info@themaddoxlane.com.