11 Jun My Mediterranean Lifestyle
By Toby Amidor, MS, RD
This post was created in partnership with Dannon Light & Fit. I have been compensated for my time commitment. However, my opinions are entirely my own and I have not been paid to publish positive comments.
When I was younger, my mother used to take me and my brothers and sister to Israel for the summer. We would rent an apartment, shop at the local supermarket and farmers’ market, purchase local ingredients and cook our meals in our little kitchen. Because Israel is right off the ocean, the style of eating is similar to the Mediterranean diet with lots of fruits, vegetables, olive oil, seafood, and wine. Israeli’s also love their dairy, especially yogurt, as well as whole grains.
The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend several eating patterns, including the Mediterranean Diet. Although I was aware that I eat a healthy diet and have always eaten Mediterranean-style, it was nice to be validated by the science.
The Dietary Guidelines also recommend increasing intake of nutrient-dense foods, such as fat-free of low-fat dairy products, like yogurt. Yogurt is nutrient-dense and many yogurts are a good source of protein and calcium. Greek yogurt typically contains more protein than regular yogurts.
Typically I eat two yogurts every day, one at breakfast and one as a snack. Light & Fit is my go to Greek yogurt and offers a delicious variety of products to fit any eating pattern. Here is an inside look at how it fits into mine.
My belief that breakfast is the most important meal of the day stems from my childhood. My mother always made sure that I ate a well-balanced breakfast. In Israel, breakfast is an important meal where it is traditionally eaten together with family. My typical breakfast includes the following:
- 1 egg over easy
- 1 tablespoon of hummus
- 1 cup Israeli-Style Salad
- 1 (4-inch) whole wheat pita
- 1 (5.3 ounce) Light & Fit Original Greek Strawberry Nonfat Yogurt container sprinkled with 1 tablespoon toasted almonds
I typically get my mid-afternoon slump around 2:30 or 3pm, so I make sure to have a yogurt parfait ready for me to munch on. Below is the recipe for my Grape Pumpkin Seed Parfait that uses a splash of Concord grape juice to remind me of the delicious wine in Israel.
Grape Pumpkin Seed Parfait
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 2 minutes
¼ cup pumpkin seeds
2 tablespoons 100% Concord grape juice
1 tablespoon 100% maple syrup
1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ cup green seedless grapes, halved
½ cup red seedless grapes, halved
2 (5.3 ounce) Light & Fit Original Greek Vanilla Nonfat Yogurt
1. Heat a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Add pumpkin seeds and toast until slightly fragrant, about 2 minutes.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the grape juice, maple syrup, vanilla extract, and cinnamon. Add the grapes and toss to coat.
3. In each of two tall glasses or mason jars, spoon half of a yogurt container, top with ¼ cup of the grape mixture including the liquid, and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of toasted pumpkin seeds. Repeat the layers ending with the toasted pumpkin seeds.
4. Enjoy immediately or store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Nutrition information (per parfait):
Calories: 238; Total Fat: 8g; Saturated Fat: 1g; Protein: 17g; Carbs: 28g; Fiber: 1g; Sugars: 24g; Sodium: 54mg
For more delicious meal and snack ideas with Dannon Light & Fit Original Greek Nonfat Yogurt, follow @Lightandfit on Instagram and use the hashtag #LightandFitRD #LightandFit