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

Hi, we’re Ric and Trudy, and we absolutely love the taste of traditional Mediterranean and Asian foods such as stir-fries, pasta dishes, curries, risottos and sushi. As a wonderful bonus, hundreds of scientific studies have shown that basing our diets on these delicious foods is also the healthiest way we can possibly eat. MediterrAsian is where we document our culinary adventures and share our best recipes.

Want to know more about us? Here are some frequently asked questions:

What got you both interested in Mediterranean and Asian cuisines?

Trudy: When I was a teenager my Chinese-Malaysian sister-in-law introduced me to authentic Asian food. I fell in love with her cooking, and she shared traditional recipes and showed me the best Asian products to buy—which in those days were only available from Asian grocers. Thanks to her guidance I discovered that with very little fuss I could create delicious and healthful meals that tasted wonderfully different from the rather bland Western foods I'd grown up on. When I met Ric he introduced me to the Mediterranean-style of eating he was following and I introduced him to Asian cooking. Thankfully we ended up bonding over pad Thai and paella!

Ric: Before I met Trudy I was already a big fan of the Mediterranean diet—not just because the food tasted so good, but because it had also helped me regain my health after I almost lost my life in a motorcycle accident. When Trudy introduced me to authentic Asian cooking I not only found out how amazing traditionally prepared Asian dishes can taste, I also realized that the traditional diets of Asia and the Mediterranean share many similarities. For example, in both cultures plant-based foods such as vegetables, grains, beans, and nuts take center stage; fish and shellfish are eaten regularly; healthy plant oils and fish oils make up the majority of their fat intake; and red meat doesn’t feature prominently. So even though cooking techniques and seasonings may differ, the nutrient profile of traditional Mediterranean and Asian diets is very similar. This may help explain why people from Mediterranean and Asian cultures also share the same robust good health, lack of chronic disease and long lives.

Why did you start this site?

Trudy: We’ve benefited enormously from eating this way and also from adopting other lifestyle aspects of traditional Mediterranean and Asian cultures—like moving naturally as part of our everyday lives instead of slogging away in the gym, being more mindful eaters, and having a more laid-back attitude towards life. We felt it was really important to share what we’ve learned with others—especially with all the mixed messages out there about food and nutrition.

Ric: Also, throughout the Mediterranean region and Asia traditional diets are rapidly dying out and being replaced by modern Western diets high in processed foods, red meat and junk foods. The corresponding health effects of these changes have been dramatic, with greatly increased rates of obesity, heart disease, Type II diabetes and certain cancers in these regions. This makes us even more determined to keep the culinary traditions of the Mediterranean and Asia alive.

What aspects of traditional Mediterranean and Asian diets make them healthy?

Trudy: There are so many! First and foremost, traditional Mediterranean and Asian diets are rich in plant-based foods such as vegetables, fruits, grains, beans and nuts. These foods are packed with essential vitamins and minerals such as beta-carotene, vitamin C, potassium and folate. They also contain other powerful health-giving compounds such as antioxidants, phytochemicals and dietary fiber. These compounds have all shown remarkable potential for reducing the risk of cancer and heart disease, slowing the aging process, boosting immune function, and improving overall wellbeing. High plant food intake has also been shown to lower potentially harmful LDL cholesterol levels in the blood.

Fish and seafood are also a staple part of traditional Mediterranean and Asian diets. Fish is a great source of protein and varieties such as salmon, anchovies, tuna, mackerel and sardines contain high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids. This special type of fat has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease, certain cancers, and also the risk of stroke. Omega-3s have even shown a great deal of potential for helping those affected by brain and immune system related illnesses such as arthritis, asthma and Alzheimer's disease.

The plant oils that are regularly used in Mediterranean and Asian cooking, such as olive oil and peanut oil, are very heart-healthy and also reduce the risk of stroke and high blood pressure.

And moderate alcohol consumption, which is a common trait in most Mediterranean and Asian cultures, increases levels of 'good' HDL cholesterol in the blood, which helps reduce the risk of heart disease.

Have the recipes and information you share been of benefit to others?

Ric: We’ve received hundreds of emails from people all over the world who’ve told us how the recipes and information we share has made a difference to their lives. For some it's been simple differences—like finally being able to get their kids to eat vegetables and actually enjoy them; or being able to regularly put a healthy and satisfying dinner on the table without having to slave away in the kitchen for hours.

For others the differences have been more profound. We've heard from people with high cholesterol who were able to bring their cholesterol levels into a healthy range within only a few months. We've heard from diabetics who are now far better able to control their blood sugars. We've heard from people with high blood pressure who've lowered it so much that they've been able to stop taking blood pressure medication. We've also heard from people who've lost significant amounts of weight without ever feeling deprived, and from those who've said they've never felt better or had more energy in their lives.

These success stories aren’t just incredibly heartwarming to us, they also confirm that traditional Mediterranean and Asian eating practices really are the healthiest and most enjoyable in the world.

How do you come up with so many recipes?

Trudy: Eating this way has introduced us to a world of wonderful new tastes and experiences. Over the years we've also learned a lot about authentic Mediterranean and Asian ingredients and cooking techniques. So, some of the recipes are our versions of classic Mediterranean and Asian dishes like paella and sushi. But we also love to spend time in the kitchen experimenting and developing new recipes using traditional Mediterranean and Asian ingredients.

What's your favorite food to cook and to eat?

Trudy: That depends on the season. During the colder months I crave hot and hearty comfort food like curries, risottos, pasta dishes and stews. In spring and summer I could happily survive on stir-fries, fresh salads, sushi and grilled seafood from sunrise to sunset.

Ric: When it comes to food, we’ve got incredibly similar tastes, so everything Trudy said applies to me. In fact I think the only food that I love that she doesn’t is raw oysters.

Who takes the photos for the site?

Ric: In my day job I’m a freelance graphic designer and photographer, so I designed and built the site and take all the photos. When it comes to styling the shots, we do that together—and usually as fast as we can so the food doesn’t go cold!

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

 

"This unique site is about the melding of two traditionally healthy cuisines."

Parade magazine

"Two great tastes that taste great together."

Yahoo!

 

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

HelpGuide.org

 

"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

 

"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

 

"MediterrAsian.com gives you the tools to make flavorful, filling and healthy food."

Philadelphia City Paper

 

"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."

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