May is Mediterranean Diet Month, and that means many new people may begin to follow the heart-healthy eating plan that emphasizes staples such as fresh fish, veggies, fruits, nuts, legumes, olive oil, and whole grain breads and pastas. (And yes, that glass of wine too!) If you’re new to the Mediterranean diet, check out these tips from celebrities who’ve been eating this way for years.
The TV hostess has long been a proponent of Mediterranean way of cooking. She told Health.com that she and hubby David Charvet love to cook and eat flavorful foods: “We try to eat a Mediterranean diet,” Burke-Charvet said. “Lots of greens, lots of fish, lots of vegetables.” She also touted the Middle Eastern spice harissa, saying, “[It’s] like a chili paste. It’s great on sandwiches, and it’s ideal on vegetables if you just put a little bit of olive oil in them.” The Modern Mom co-founder also revealed that lunch is usually her largest meal, and it’s often sushi or a mixed greens and veggie salad topped with avocados and a piece of fish.
The actress was named Fitness magazine’s Hottest Celebrity Body of 2013 just five months after giving birth to her second child, and she credited her way of eating for helping her to lose her baby weight. The Latina beauty told The Mirror that she eats food from her native country of Spain: “I love Spanish food,” she said. “My diet is the Mediterranean diet, which is good food. I eat well but I try to eat healthily.”
When her husband Helmut Huber was diagnosed with atrial fibrillation, soap superstar Susan Lucci decided it was time to change his eating habits. The actress told Fox News she ditched his “Austrian diet” of butter, jam, hot dogs, sausage and cheese, and said, “Now he’s on a Mediterranean diet – and he’s learned to love it, it’s a different way of eating, but a healthier way of eating.”
In an interview with Everyday With Rachel Ray, Lucci detailed her healthy lunch ritual back when she was on the “All My Children” set: “I usually get a turkey wrap with arugula, tomato and julienne-cut vegetables, then I deconstruct it,” she revealed. “I take it out of its wrap and have this fabulous chopped salad.” She also dished on her hubby’s cooking skills: “My husband, Helmut, is fabulous in the kitchen…He makes wonderful sole with Cajun spices, lemon and garlic. I put a few mandarin oranges on top, and we have carrots or spinach on the side. “
Speaking of Rachael Ray, the TV chef told OK Magazine that she and hubby John Cusimano cook together every night. And – you guessed it – their menu is mostly Mediterranean: “We eat a largely Mediterranean diet, so lots of canned fish, lots of canned tomatoes, lots of canned peas, lots of fish,” Ray said. “We love sardines and anchovies, which are also healthy for you, which is great. Pasta, of course. You’ve gotta love it.”
Ray’s magazine recently featured a spread on “New Mediterranean” cooking, which includes recipes inspired by the Mediterranean countries Israel, Turkey and Morocco.
The ’80s teen idol asked Dr. Oz – and he answered. In 2010, Molly Ringwald joined “The Dr. Oz Show” via satellite to ask the good doc about the merits of Mediterranean eating. (Her Greek husband told her it was the healthiest diet!) Dr. Oz confirmed to the “Sixteen Candles” star that that the Mediterranean diet is “the number one tool that reduces death in the world,” and he listed olive oil and nuts as everyday diet staples.
You can check out the Mediterranean Diet pyramid here.