Ayhan Hassan is a New York City restaurant owner originally from the island of Cyprus. He created the 28 Day Mediterranean Diet with help from a nutritionist. This weight-loss diet is based on traditional foods from the Mediterranean region. Dieters follow the meal plans for 28 days and hopefully adopt these healthy eating habits for a lifetime.
Fresh vegetables and fruits are a major part of the 28 Day Mediterranean diet. Common vegetables include spinach, grape leaves, tomatoes, cucumber, eggplant and bell peppers. Dieters will eat about five to eight servings of fruits and vegetables a day. Chicken, fish and beans are the main sources of proteins. Nuts, seeds and whole eggs also provide extra protein.
Extra virgin olive oil and canola oil are used for cooking instead of butter. Savory cheeses like feta and Parmesan, along with Greek style yogurt, add flavor and calcium. Calories are limited to 1500 calories per day.
The Mediterranean diet uses healthy oils and lean sources of protein. Since dieters eat foods low in saturated fats and avoid trans fats altogether, they reduce their risk of heart disease. According to the MayoClinic.com, adopting a Mediterranean diet reduces the risk of heart disease.
This diet also reduces the risk of developing chronic conditions. According to a 2006 research paper in the “Journal of Public Health Nutrition,” eating a combination of foods like olive oil, fish, fruits and vegetables lowers the risk of several types of cancers.
The Diet Book, Online Plan and Online Marketplace
The “28 Day Mediterranean Diet” book explains the background and key concepts. Dieters can also buy the e-book online. Alternatively, dieters can join the online diet program for $19.50 a month as of November 2010. It includes 28 daily meal plans, recipes, nutritional information, tips and online nutritional counseling.
Dieters can also buy Mediterranean food staples like grape leaves, couscous, olives, dried fruit and dressings/marinades online at the Ayhan Marketplace website.
Breakfast and Lunch
Breakfast dishes on the Mediterranean diet are simple and quick to make. Granola and milk, a spinach and olive omelet or yogurt and honey are among the choices.
For a quick and healthy lunch, enjoy a stuffed grape leaves and walnut salad, or a roast beef and feta salad. A turkey sandwich with eggplant and roasted red pepper topping is another lunchtime meal choice.
One dinner option is chicken kebabs with basmati rice. For a change of pace, try the Grilled Chicken and Artichoke Pizza or the Breaded Shrimp with Marinated Diced Tomato. For a no cook option, opt for a Mediterranean tuna salad made with salad greens, pignolia nuts, olives, and artichoke hearts.
Sweets, Snacks and Beverages
Snacking options include: almonds, a piece of fresh fruit, trail mix or roasted soybeans. Sweets such as halwah, a sesame seed sweet, or dark chocolate are also allowed in small quantities. Beverages are limited to water, diet drinks, black coffee or tea.