Med Instead of Meds

— Written By Teresa Goley

Teresa Goley, FCS agent for Clay County Cooperative Extension, hosted a series of lunch programs for Moog employees in Murphy and Hayesville County employees. The program is called Med Instead of Meds. This program is sponsored by North Carolina State University and is based on the Mediterranean  Diet and lifestyle. For those living in the Mediterranean area, research shows that these people have a decreased risk of some forms of cancer, fewer problems with managing blood pressure, and are also able to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease as much as 30-60%. Additional advantages include, 40% lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s, Mediterranean diet is more effective than a low-fat diet for weight loss, decreases  the risk of macular degeneration, and decreases the risk of type 2 diabetes!

The diet includes many of the general healthier food choices such as five servings of fruits and vegetables daily, whole grain foods, three ounces of nuts and seeds per week, and olive oil instead of other fats such as butter or margarine. In addition, eating seafood at least three times per week and replacing salt with herbs and spices to flavor foods also puts one in the Mediterranean frame of mind. Red meat should be limited to only 2-3 times per month. The Mediterranean Diet also stresses physical exercise and the importance of family and social gatherings. This could be interpreted to mean less fast food and the importance of meaningful eating, slowing down our meals and enjoying food with family and friends. You can even enjoy a small amount of red wine with your Mediterranean meal!

During the month of May, participants were treated to a Med instead of Meds lunch each week. This included freshly baked whole wheat bread, fish tacos, Strawberry Quinoa Salad, Citrus Honey Drumsticks and a Mediterranean Diet approved beverage such as Cranberry Lime Soda. There were different lunch recipes featured each week with recipes provided. Each class included tips and suggestions about the Mediterranean Diet and how it is not only delicious but also better for your health!

Image of Moog Participants

Moog Participants learning about the benefits of the Mediterranean Diet.

In addition, participants who attended the lunch program were eligible for the grande finale drawing after the last lunch session. The prize was an Instant Pot! Not only does the Instant Pot save time, it is a perfect way to prepare food the Mediterranean way. Amanda Cabe was the lucky winner of the Clay County Employees and Sue Bryson won the Instant Pot at Moog. Many thanks to all Moog and Clay County Employees who participated!

Image of Amanda Cabe