Year after year, the Mediterranean diet is voted the best diet. Greek-American Elena Paravantes, a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, points out that despite its popularity, information on the Mediterranean diet is often inconsistent and limited to stereotypical descriptions, by individuals who have never experienced the diet in its environment.
She said: “Most often, you see a watered-down version of the Mediterranean diet with vague descriptions that can be confusing and frustrating for anyone trying to follow this diet. The authentic Mediterranean diet is in fact a very specific way of eating and following it will have results, as long as you do it right.”
Raised on the Mediterranean diet in Greece and the U.S., Paravantes has authored The Mediterranean Diet Cookbook for Beginners, published by DK/Penguin Random House. She spoke with The National Herald about the informative book with its delicious recipes and practical advice.
“As a Greek, I have been following the Mediterranean diet my whole life, and have firsthand experience,” Paravantes said. “With that in mind, I felt that it was time to clear up misconceptions and misunderstandings that have been circulating for years. With this book I provide true, easy to follow information and make the diet relevant today and applicable to the modern way of life without sacrificing its true nature.”
With roots in Arcadia, Paravantes, RDN, is a Mediterranean Diet expert, writer, consultant and lecturer with over 20 years of experience. She is also the creator of Olivetomato.com, the top online resource for the authentic Mediterranean diet.
An award-winning expert on the Mediterranean Diet, her interviews and articles have been published in many publications including U.S. News and World Report, CNN, Prevention, Men's Health, Women's Health, NPR and more. Paravantes is the past food and nutrition editor of the Greek editions of Men's Health and Prevention magazines and former President of the International Affiliate of the Academy of Food and Nutrition. She has collaborated with a number of organizations including Yale University, Loyola University, University of Missouri, Louisiana State University, and American College of Greece among others.
The book is an insider's guide to the diet and lifestyle, packed with information that will be useful to anyone who wants to follow an authentic Mediterranean diet. Apart from 100 recipes (including many passed down through the generations in Paravantes’ family), shopping lists, menu plans, cooking techniques, detailed guidance for creating your own menu plan, it also includes a whole section on lifestyle information that promotes longevity such as naps, socializing, and having a purpose.
Among those praising Paravantes and The Mediterranean Diet Cookbook for Beginners, is Dr. Antonia Trichopoulou, President Hellenic Health Foundation; Professor Emeritus, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens Medical School, who said: “The Mediterranean Diet Cookbook for Beginners provides valuable information on the traditional Mediterranean diet and its representative foods, identifying mainly Greek foods, mostly of which are virtually unknown, together with some recipes from southern Italy. Indeed, a much-needed book in this time of confusion. Elena Paravantes provides us with an informed approach to the traditional Mediterranean Diet offering a clear method to introduce this dietary pattern with its health benefits, delicious taste, and contribution as a sustainable food system.”
Among the recipes included in the book are roasted white beans with summer vegetables, citrus Mediterranean salmon with lemon caper sauce, and roasted stuffed figs, as well as many gluten free, vegetarian, and egg-free options.
The Mediterranean Diet Cookbook for Beginners by Elena Paravantes, RDN, published by DK/Penguin Random House, is available online: https://www.olivetomato.com/the-mediterranean-diet-cookbook-for-beginners/.