Widely known around the world, the Mediterranean diet boasts of being one of the best and healthiest. But the well-being of the Mediterranean does not depend only on a diet. It is a set of factors.
Mediterranean populations have unique conditions which, when combined, shape what is known as the Mediterranean lifestyle. Traditions, customs, places, interpretations or history among others are part of the combination that makes life in the Mediterranean so special and enviable.
Traditions and customs
Anyone who lives it or has lived it closely will understand that it is not easy to point out what makes the lifestyle of this place so special. Here we detail some of the elements that we consider essential in the Mediterranean way of living.
- Simple life. Calm, relaxed, no hurry, but no pause (sin prisa, pero sin pausa). Each person spends his days absorbed in his chores, maintaining a productive rhythm, but with his spaces to think, contemplate and socialize. Enjoying the little things.
- Spending time with friends and family: everything is better when it is shared. Good relationships and socialization contribute greatly to well-being. And in the Mediterranean, we follow pretty good this advice, you just have to look at the bars and terraces, people talking in the street or walking in groups.
- Outdoor life. Walking around, the beach, eating on a terrace or the old people sitting “al fresco” on their doorstep. In the Mediterranean there is a good climate and it is enjoyed. You can live outdoors practically the whole year.
- The siesta. It is a concept, more than a moment to sleep. The day is split into two parts, the morning and the afternoon, with a transition of approximately two hours known as “la siesta”. You either use that period to sleep and rest, or to do something else. What is clear is that you don’t want to be working or out in the sun between three and five in the afternoon. It is pure ancient wisdom to take shelter at home or in the shade during those hours when the sun and the heat are pressing.
The Mediterranean Sea
The best scenario for one of the best lifestyles. In front of the sea or close to it. In the villages of the Mediterranean, the sea plays a major role. Since fishing was a subsistence activity, until today. The ancient fishing arts are still present, but other activities as water sports are practiced in the sea and some other people are sailing around the beautiful beaches, mountain and cliffs.
Without forgetting to enjoy the view with the beautiful landscapes that form the combination of mountains and small towns with the calm of the Mediterranean Sea. Or the red sunsets that Serrat sang to in his song “I was born in the Mediterranean”.
And, of course, the gastronomy
The Mediterranean diet is considered one of the healthiest based on the low amount of saturated fats and the consumption of vegetable oils, such as olive oil. Olive oil, which has been made for thousands of years, is without a doubt the superstar of the Mediterranean diet, a highly healthy product that is essential in all Mediterranean homes, used in many dishes. Not for nothing they call it the liquid gold.
But, in addition to oil, bread, wine, cheese, fish and seafood, nuts and fresh fruit and vegetables are part the Mediterranean diet. With the amount of agricultural production that is developed around the Mediterranean thanks to its favorable climate, it would be a sacrilege not to consume fresh food from the area.
With this list of ingredients available and the culinary tradition of the Mediterranean, it is more difficult to eat badly than to eat good and healthy.