Becoming Healthier with Diet


There are numerous articles on the internet stating the healthiest diet to help us stay healthy is the Mediterranean diet. *


In my opinion, I agree. But of course, diet alone is not going to keep us completely healthy. Our genes, our upbringing, our beliefs, how we think (negative or positive), our behaviors, our self-care, and the environments we live in right now all affect our health. To help ourselves become healthier, we can start with one of the easiest ways to change and become healthier-our diets.

For this article, I’m going to talk about  how easy it is to change our diets to a healthier version, the Mediterranean diet.

To eat the Mediterranean diet, doesn’t mean we have to give-up our favorite dishes we grew-up with. It does mean we will need to alter our recipes to be healthier.

In my old Betty Crocker cookbook that was printed in 1976 there are many recipes that call for shortening, an artificial trans-fat product. Years ago, the U.S. Food and Drug administration came out with a comment saying that all artificial trans-fat is not fit for human consumption. Unfortunately, many food products still have it in them in the USA. *

So, getting back to the Mediterranean diet.  What is a Mediterranean diet and why should I go on it?

In my own definition of this diet, a person needs to replace most of their fats with olive oil.

Olive oil is high in Monounsaturated fatty acids. Which means when we replace most saturated fats (found in animal products: dairy, fatty meat, lard) with olive oil, we can help lower our LDL cholesterol. (Bad cholesterol).  When we replace all shortening  with Olive oil, we may see body inflammation go down, and LDL cholesterol go down.  Thus, our bodies have no reason to over produce LDL cholesterol, unless you are eating refined sugar, found in desserts, breads, sauces, and many store-bought food items. Refined sugar also causes detrimental effects in the body in the form of inflammation.


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 Read ingredients for each food item you want to buy, looking for shortening, partially hydrogenated fat, hydrogenated fat, sugar, Dextrose, fructose, Galactose, Glucose, Lactose, maltose, Sucrose, Corn syrup, rice syrup, etc.

To see a whole list of refined sugar names, go to

Try using olive oil as your spread on bread instead of margarines. Margarines are made with refined oils and animal fats.  Take some olive oil and place in a shallow bowl or in a jar.  Place in the refrigerator.  After 1-2 days, the olive oil tends to be fairly solid.  You now can spread your olive oil on your bread. Just don’t forget to place the container of olive oil back into the refrigerator when you are done to keep it solid.

The Mediterranean diet also needs to include legumes/beans, lots of vegetables and fruits, seeds and nuts, fish, low fat meat, and whole grain breads/pasta.  Many Mediterranean meals include lemon. *


I know lately I’ve been making sure I have enough veggies and fruits in my diet.  And so, each meal I will fill my luncheon size plate ½ with veggies (fresh or frozen),  a credit card size portion of low fat meat/fish and a small piece of whole grain bread or pasta. Dessert I will eat my fresh fruit.  For snacks I enjoy eating a handful of my roasted beans (Garbanzo beans and/or small beans).

 Eating this way is different for many of us, but it is also enjoyable. 

When you try to use your family recipes, you will need to alter them to be a bit healthier.  For example, if you’re making Sloppy Joes for dinner.

Try purchasing 90% ground beef (or better yet, try using 90% ground turkey), pan fry it in olive oil, do not add refined sugar to the tomato sauce (skip using commercial ketchup for sauce unless there is no sugar added in it), try adding raw honey instead, and serve the sloppy joe on a whole grain, small bun. 

Some of those hamburger buns are huge in size!  Try cutting down to a small, whole grain bun.

Serve your sloppy joe with a fresh salad topped with an olive oil based dressing that has lemon in it (no refined sugar in it), add fresh roasted beets chunks, fresh carrot slices, olives, and roasted beans on top of your salad. A great start to changing out your recipes for a healthier, modified Mediterranean diet. (Beets and carrots help to clean out the liver.) *

If you’re making bread or baked goods, instead of shortening or lard, use Olive oil in place of the shortening and/or lard.

If your recipe calls for butter, you can replace the butter with olive oil.  If the recipe calls for ½ cup of butter, use 1/3 cup of olive oil.

Lately I read that Coconut oil (the un-hydrogenated form) helps to raise good cholesterol, but it also helps to raise the LDL cholesterol as well more so than Olive oil. (* Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN )

Wow, basically I rarely use Coconut oil anymore.  Only occasionally for its flavor.

As far as olive oil taste, if you do not care for the taste, try other brands from other countries.

I have found from my own taste there is a big difference in flavors.  My favorite is Sicilian olive oil, although the USA olive oil comes in at a close 2nd.  Don’t be scared to try the different olive oils from different countries.  You just may find one you absolutely love.

Eating healthier has so many benefits to you.  You’ll feel lighter, you’ll see weight shed off effortlessly, you’ll see your thoughts about your physical body change and become more positive, you’ll feel more confident, you’ll have a better cholesterol reading, you’ll become physically healthier, and you’ll become more mentally healthier as well.

If you’re on medication for cholesterol, blood pressure, Diabetes, etc.,  you may find your medical doctor telling you, “You’re too healthy to be on medications! It’s time to get off of the meds!”

Your physical body is the only one you will have.  You are worth the small effort of eating a better diet.

I challenge you to change over to this healthy way of eating.  If it seems overwhelming, start off slowly by changing your old family recipes to include olive oil, legumes/beans, and lots of vegetables.

Here’s to being our best in life.

By Cynthia Bergsbaken, Reiki Master of Reiki in the Prairie LLC


Disclaimer by Reiki in the Prairie LLC and Cynthia Bergsbaken copyright 2015

I am not a psychologist, psychiatrist, or medical doctor.  These articles I have written, are from reading and experiencing them.  Many of these articles are my own experiences with my own inventions to heal as well.

If you have a medical condition-physically/mentally/emotionally, please see a qualified medical doctor.  Do not substitute my articles for proper medical care.  You are too important to the world.

I have used all procedures I have written about and have found them to be helpful as tools to help myself become a better person.   I am sharing them with you because used as a tool, they are helpful in Shadow working on ourselves.  (Shadow working is healing our inner shadows that are unconscious or subconscious.  Inner shadows are our belief systems, our thoughts, our behaviors, our life experiences.)

I created this blog for my Reiki clients originally.  Combining these tools with Reiki creates a happy, healthy person.  These tools, when used alone are also beneficial!

  ***All original content is copyrighted by Cynthia Bergsbaken, Perceptive Blogger & Reiki in the Prairie LLC.

Reiki in the Prairie LLC is a legal Entity under law, 2015.

This includes, but is not limited to all photos, writings, products, designs, pages and posts, advertisements, social media posts, etcetera.

April 11, 2020

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