Mäni’s Morsel: “Club Med”… sort of.

 

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In last week’s Morsel, Olive Oil or Olive "Oilay", we talked about how fabulous olive oil is and how studies show it’s use, in combination with the "traditional" eating practices of the people around the Mediterranean, called "The Mediterranean Diet", can significantly reduce the risk of early death.

So, for those of you not familiar with The Mediterranean Diet, let’s take a quick look inside the secrets of this new way of eating… you just might want to join the "club".

First of all, according to Colleen Barry, a Clinical Dietitian at The Cheshire Medical Center, "The Mediterranean Diet" isn’t a "diet" per se, but rather a loose term that describes the "traditional" eating practices of the people living in the Mediterranean region.

imageThe traditional diets of this region were mainly based on foods from a rich diversity of plant sources and included fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts and seeds. Throughout the Mediterranean bread is a staple in the diet but traditionally it is eaten without butter or margarine.

It’s a diet very low in saturated fat with most of the balance of fat coming from monounsaturated fat in olive oil.

Dairy products, primarily in the form of cheese and yogurt, were consumed in low to moderate amounts.

imageAll foods from animal sources, especially red meat, were used sparingly.

The people of the Mediterranean incorporate physical activity into their everyday lifestyle with walking and bicycle riding often being the main form of transportation villagers use to get around locally.

image While not specifically stating the percentages or amounts of energy (calories) that foods should account for in the diet, The Mediterranean Diet "Pyramid" may be of some help in illuminating relative proportions and a general sense of frequency of servings, as well as indicate which foods to favor.

So, although olive oil alone may not be the key to the fountain of youth, it certainly seems to play a central role in an "anti-aging", well balanced lifestyle.

Dr. Dimitrios Trichopoulos, MD, PhD, of Harvard School of Public Health, says of olive oil; "it’s among the divine mix of several factors that, when used in combination, help provide strong evidence of something that is very important -eating the proper diet can significantly reduce your risk of early death."

If the Mediterranean style diet sounds interesting to you, you’ll be glad to know that at Mäni’s we are pleased to say we use no hydrogenated fats in our freshly baked products. In fact, in most cases we replace them with organic alternatives.

Because we make our own vegetable stock- the basis of all our soups- from fresh vegetables, all Mäni’s soups are vegan. (containing no animal products) Of course our homemade Chicken Noodle Soup isn’t vegan: we just can’t find any "vegan chickens"! 

Our Vegetarian Chili with white beans, carrots, celery, onions, mushrooms, black eye peas and spices is a perfect choice in keeping with the Mediterranean style diet. Have some with a salad!

Of course, we offer a variety of salads including a Grape Spinach Salad with fresh spinach, walnuts, grapes, & feta cheese served with a light raspberry vinaigrette on the side; and our Mediterranean salad with mixed greens,fresh tomatoes, walnuts, crumbled bleu cheese and balsamic vinaigrette.

If you’re not familiar with Mäni’s new menu, with more vegan and vegetarian dishes, you haven’t been around enough lately… better come in and taste for yourself!

Whether you want breakfast (served anytime), lunch or dinner, Mäni’s has healthier alternatives to offer you. We even have delicious Boca Burgers, steamed spinach and broccoli!

It’s the quality of the food and wholesome goodness of the  ingredients that makes Mäni’s a destination for Angelenos; and it’s our uncompromising commitment to providing high quality wholesome foods which results in Mäni’s simple motto: "Good food that’s good for you!"

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