As promised here are some tips and sample food habits on eating like an Ikarian.
A few weeks back I wrote a blog on the merits of the Ikarian diet. How I effortlessly lost 3 pounds in a span of 1 week when I adopted it. Even more spectacular than losing the first 3 pounds while exercising at the same rate as before, is how fabulous I have been feeling on my newly adopted Ikarian diet. I feel so much better than before embarking on what I hope will be a way of eating for the rest of my days.
I did not have to convince my wife to change to the Ikarian way of eating. She had been nudging me to read on health and nutrition for more years than I care to count. When I asked her if she could come along for the ride, all she said was great!
And so we embarked on the Ikarian diet. Not necessarily for the weight loss but for how great it makes us feel. And so we have taken off.
Basically, we are now focusing on the following Ikarian diet alternatives:
The Staples of an Ikarian diet
Beans: Chickpeas, Pinto beans, black beans, black eyed peas and Lentils. We eat a serving or two of beans every single day. We eat chickpeas for breakfast 3-4 times a week. Chick peas are sustaining, reducing my need for snacking. When I snack, I make healthier choices.
(My wife cooks 2 large pots of beans on weekends and they are used for all kinds of stews and stir fries. Chickpeas are a must every week. We also keep cans of chick peas, kidney beans, and black beans handy)
Grains: pita bread, rice, whole grain bread
Vegetables: sweet potatoes, white potatoes, spinach, kale, lettuce, peppers, eggplant, carrots, fennel, cabbage, onions (red and yellow), garlic, parsley, cilantro (because my wife loves it), dill, mint, thyme, rosemary, paprika, turmeric, ginger, black pepper, little to no salt.
Fruits: whatever fruit is in season and likely to be cheapest.
Dairy: almond milk, Greek yogurt, feta cheese, mozzarella cheese
Meat, Fish, and Poultry: we eat fish: 3-4 times a week, including canned fish. We have chicken 2 times a week and other types of meat are limited to 1 or 2 times a month.
Oils: olive oils, olives, peanut butter, almond butter, avocado, very little butter
Sweeteners: raw honey, maple syrup, dates (used in oatmeal), occasional brown sugar
Other: nuts – cashews, almonds, and peanuts. Seeds – pumpkin, sunflower, and chia
Here is a sample of what we eat in a week. Ok, this is our basic Ikarian diet menu with a few changes here and there.
Choose from the following for Breakfast:
- Steel cut oatmeal with half cup berries and half a banana to sweeten.
- Whole grain toast bread with eggs (any style)
- Avocado and Egg on toast.
- Chick peas and feta cheese (eaten most mornings)
- Greek yogurt parfait (Greek yogurt, 1 tablespoons flaxseed or chia seed, berries – mixed berries or blueberries. Most of the time we buy our berries frozen.
Choose from the following for lunch:
- Chickpea salad
- Tossed salad topped with chickpeas, black beans, kidney beans
- Whole grain sandwich made with hummus, mozzarella cheese, and leftover roasted chicken
- Coleslaw and a piece of chicken. May substitute beans for the chicken
- Black eyed pea stew topped with 2 tablespoons of feta or goat cheese
- Lentil soup
Choose from the following for dinner. Have a salad or cooked vegetable with every meal.
- Chickpea stew served over rice
- Black eyed pea stew served over rice or with Pita bread
- Salmon served with mashed sweet potatoes
- Sardines, black eyed Pea stew and braised kale
- Greek Inspired Chickpeas Cooked in Tomato Sauce served over rice
- Roast chicken, green salad, and half a pita bread
- Eggplant stew with rice or pita bread
- Greek chicken cooked in tomato with rice or pita bread
- Black eyed pea stew
- The occasional red meat (any way you like it)
- Roasted chickpeas
- Rice cakes topped with almond butter and pepper jelly
- Smoothie- drank every weekday and most Saturdays
Sweet potatoes – microwave for 4 – 5 minutes (for a medium potato).
I make my 18+ ingredient power smoothie every weekday. See it here.
Periodically I will be putting some of the recipes we cycle through. These are only guides. Cook the best you know how. Just remember to use lots of olive oil, rosemary, dill mint, marjoram, and feta cheese or goat cheese like the Ikarians do. We also use lots of turmeric and ginger.
Download the link to the Ikarian Stew recipe as seen on Dr. Oz show here. Go to your email for the download link: