Showcasing the Mediterranean diet and Asian diet  
 
 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Imagine, for a moment, that every day you could indulge in a large variety of tasty and satisfying foods such as pasta dishes, stir-fries, pizzas, curries, risottos, and sushi—all washed down with a glass or two of your favorite wine or beer. Imagine, as well, that you never had to formally exercise, and that every day you got to set aside special time to relax and unwind.

Now, imagine if eating and living this way could help you stay lean and healthy, substantially reduce your risk of contracting heart disease, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, many types of cancer (including breast, prostate and colon), and increase your chances of living longer.

This way of living might sound like the impossible dream, but in reality people from Mediterranean and Asian cultures have been living like this, and reaping the rewards, for more than 5000 years.

The Benefits of Traditional Mediterranean and Asian Eating and Lifestyle Practices

There's actually no such thing as a uniform Mediterranean or Asian diet and lifestyle. The Mediterranean region, for example, encompasses such diverse countries as Greece, Italy, Morocco, Turkey, Spain and Tunisia (See map). Not only do these countries have different ethnic, cultural and religious backgrounds, the dishes traditionally eaten in these countries are equally diverse and use a wide range of different cooking techniques as well as different herbs, spices and other seasonings.

The cultural and culinary diversity seen throughout the Mediterranean is equally apparent in Asia, which includes such countries as Japan, China, Thailand, India, Vietnam, Indonesia and Korea (See map).

Yet, despite the differences, research over the last 50 years has shown that there are also many distinct similarities between the traditional eating and lifestyle practices of Mediterranean and Asian cultures:

Their diets include abundant amounts of plant foods such as vegetables, fruits, grains, legumes (beans, peas and lentils) and nuts
They consume only small amounts of red meat
They consume fish regularly
Most of the fat they consume comes from plant and fish oils
They consume alcohol regularly in moderation (usually with meals)
They are physically active as part of their everyday lives
They tend to have an optimistic view of life, family ties are strong and special time is usually set aside each day to relax the body and mind

According to a large body of scientific research it's these similar eating and lifestyle practices that help explain why Mediterranean and Asian peoples also share the same good health, low rates of chronic disease and long life expectancy.

How to Incorporate Traditional Mediterranean and Asian Eating and Lifestyle Practices into Your Own Life

So, how can a Westerner living in this fast-paced, high-stress modern world possibly adopt traditional Mediterranean and Asian eating and lifestyle practices? If it sounds difficult, let us assure you, it's not! We both lead busy Western lives, and we've done it. In fact, for well over a decade we've been incorporating traditional Mediterranean and Asian eating and lifestyle practices into our lives. Over that time we've not only had lots of fun and discovered a world of wonderful tastes, we've also experienced a remarkable improvement in our physical health and emotional wellbeing. And through this website we'd like to show you how to easily follow a "MediterrAsian" way of eating and living too.

About us

Ric’s Story

When I was a teenager I lost two very precious things—my dad and my health. My dad, who suffered from bouts of severe depression, took his own life. Then, less than a year later, I was involved in a motorcycle accident that nearly took my life, and robbed me of my health.

There was nothing I could do to bring my dad back, but I put all my heart and soul into getting my health back. Unfortunately, no diet or exercise plan I tried ever helped me fully recover from my accident. It was only when I was introduced to traditional Mediterranean eating practices by my uncle (who had been stationed in that region with the British Air Force during the 1960s) that I finally regained my health and mobility and got back into shape again. Not only that, migraine headaches that had plagued me since I was a young child simply disappeared, and have never returned.

Apart from all the health benefits, what amazed me about a Mediterranean way of eating was how utterly delicious the food was. Rustic stews, warming soups, plates of herb-infused pasta, pizza hot from the oven, and other scrumptious foods like paella, risotto, and hummus.

When I met and fell in love with Trudy, she introduced me to authentic Asian food and cooking, which she herself had been introduced to by her Chinese-Malaysian sister-in-law. And what a discovery that was! It opened up a whole new world of incredible flavors, textures and aromas. I also happily discovered that traditional Asian diets shared many similarities with traditional Mediterranean diets (including a high consumption of plant foods, moderate consumption of fish and poultry, and low consumption of red meat), so I didn’t have to worry about losing my hard-won good health by incorporating Asian dishes into my Mediterranean-style diet.

Thankfully, Trudy also adored the Mediterranean dishes I introduced to her, and the time we’ve spent together cooking and eating Mediterranean and Asian foods have been some of the happiest times of our lives.

We created this site to share our passion for Mediterranean and Asian food and cooking with others. We’re absolutely convinced this way of eating isn’t only the healthiest way you can possibly eat, it’s also the most enjoyable. And because a MediterrAsian way of eating emphasizes plant foods over animal foods, it’s also very beneficial for the planet too.


Trudy’s Story

From as far back as I can remember I’ve had a real passion for food and the rituals surrounding it. Some of my fondest memories as a child were weekend barbecues in summer. I come from a big family (there are nine of us all counted) and I remember the table was invariably weighed down with large amounts of delicious food. I loved being outdoors in casual surroundings, and I really relished the joy and togetherness that sharing good food can bring. That feeling has never left me.

Something else I’m passionate about is looking after my health. I think my respect for health comes mainly from my parents, who were both physicians for over 30 years in the small town in Australia where I grew up. In fact, my parents’ medical practice was attached to our house, so you could say I was raised in a health-conscious environment!

Consequently, as much as I love good food, the health aspect of food has always been just as important to me. Unfortunately, good food and good nutrition are often mutually exclusive, and on many occasions my taste buds have had to suffer in order to eat healthfully.

But my whole concept of “good nutrition” changed entirely in my late teens when my brother, Neil, married Vivian, who is Chinese-Malaysian. It was through Vivian that I had my very first introduction to truly authentic Asian cuisine. I remember it was a generous serving of fragrant chicken curry. It was an irresistible and unforgettable taste experience that left me with an addiction to Asian food for life! Incredibly, this traditionally-prepared food was not only delicious, it was also very nutritious—consisting primarily of plant foods such as vegetables, grains and legumes, and lean protein sources such as fish and chicken. This inspired me to try cooking authentic Asian dishes myself at home, and often.

Vivian was an invaluable source of advice. She shared her own favorite recipes and gave me an inspiring cookbook that featured many of the diverse and wonderful cuisines of Asia. I also remember how much it fascinated me going to Asian grocery stores with her to shop for exotic ingredients like curry pastes, fish sauce and Asian greens—ingredients that were considered “foreign” at that time, but are now commonplace in most supermarkets.

My career in the travel industry has also exposed me to many cultures and cuisines other than my own. I now live and work in New Zealand, but for many years I worked as a senior international travel agent in Australia. One of my duties as a travel agent was to go abroad and inspect the facilities of international hotels. These overseas trips allowed me to have a first-hand look at the traditional foods of different places and peoples. For someone like me who’s greedy and loves good food, I took great pleasure in doing my “job.” Apart from inspecting hotels, I sampled dishes in foreign restaurants, tasted exotic foods from market stalls and street vendors, and gathered recipes and ideas to recreate at home on my return.

In the years since that first fateful curry, my appetite for ethnic food and cooking has grown and grown, especially after meeting Ric, who introduced me to the wonderful tastes, textures and soul-satisfying goodness of traditional Mediterranean cuisine. Over the years we’ve not only formed a loving relationship with each other, we’ve also formed a loving relationship with Mediterranean and Asian food! We’re now delighted to have the opportunity, through this site, to share our passion for ‘MediterrAsian’ food and living with you.

Press


"An elegant and joyous site."

USA Today

"The creators of this site hope to promote longevity and good health by highlighting some of the best food practices from other cultures around the world. And they do it with terrific recipes and beautiful photos. From paella to pad Thai, you'll find inspiration with an international essence."

Tufts University Nutrition Navigator

"Run by an Australian and a New Zealander who are fans of Mediterranean and Asian cooking, this unique site is about the melding of two traditionally healthy cuisines. The site features recipes, scientific information about the diet and a seven-day sample diet."

Parade magazine

"Two great tastes that taste great together."

Yahoo!

"Dust off your spices and live healthier with terrific recipes from two corners of the globe. These time-tested dishes have been proven to lead to lower rates of heart disease and other health issues. Get recipes, diet plans, and a total approach to fitness featuring food that's both flavorful and filling."

Earthlink's eLink Newsletter

"The MediterrAsian diet takes the best aspects of the Mediterranean and Asian diets and combines them to create optimal lifestyle conditions to improve and extend your life."

3FatChicks.com

"MediterrAsian.com gives you the tools to make flavorful, filling and healthy food. Getting started is simple, with lists of the gadgets you should stock in your kitchen and the staples you'll want to keep in your pantry. You can also browse an archive that conveniently lists recipes by type of dish or by country of origin. And if you're curious about the science behind the cuisine, the site also has a section dedicated to studies and research about the health benefits of Mediterranean and Asian cuisine and lifestyle."

Philadelphia City Paper

"Research has proven that people from Mediterranean (like Greece, Italy, France, Spain, Morocco, Turkey, Algeria) and Asian (like Japan, China, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia and Korea) cultures share good health and long life expectancy. Although there’s no ‘uniform’ Mediterranean or Asian diet, there are many similarities: consumption of abundant amounts of grains, vegetables, fruits, legumes and nuts, and fish; consumption of only small amounts of red meat; and moderate consumption of alcohol. This site shows you how to incorporate these dietary practices into your life with Italian, Spanish, Thai, Provencal, Indonesian, Japanese, Chinese, Vietnamese and Greek recipes — from pasta and pizzas, stir-fries and curries, to rice and noodle dishes, salads, spreads, soups, appetizers and desserts."

Harmony magazine

"Mediterranean and Asian diet and lifestyle practices come together at this site, which is more than just a site for recipes. You'll find an explanation of the many health-giving benefits of the Mediterranean and Asian diets which can be easily incorporated into your everyday meal plans."

News8 News Channel, Austin, Texas

"Providing a wealth of information on healthy Mediterranean and Asian diets and lifestyle practices, this site includes an abundance of delicious recipes."

HelpGuide.org

"This site really helped me understand why Asian and Mediterranean folk enjoy exceptional health and long lives."

AskMen.com


"Looking for a healthier way to eat? There's something about the Mediterranean and Asian diets that help them to live healthier and longer lives, so maybe we should take some diet advice from them? Try www.MediterrAsian.com! This website will help you learn to cook healthy, balanced meals and how to shop for healthier foods."

NewLife 91.9 Morning Show