A Typical Day On The Authentic Mediterranean Diet

Curious about the Mediterranean Diet? Here’s what a typical day looks like on the Authentic Mediterranean diet.

Mediterranean Roasted white beans

What does a typical day on the authentic Mediterranean diet really looks like? You’ve probably seen many videos where people are showing what they eat in a day, and they say they are following a Mediterranean diet. Honestly though they are not. I can tell you that as someone who has been raised on this diet, a true Mediterranean diet is different.

I have been following the Mediterranean Diet my whole life, and have firsthand experience, and I am going to share with you what we actually eat and do on an authentic Mediterranean diet. Because remember a Mediterranean diet is not just a diet, it’s a lifestyle. So here we go straight from Greece, let’s begin!


First thing in the morning, I will go outside for a minute just get a feel of what the weather is like and get some fresh air. Opening a window is good too. For breakfast, I will typically have a cup of coffee, a glass of water and small rusk (kind of like a biscotti but not sweet). In the traditional Mediterranean diet breakfast is not a large meal. Instead, we have a small bite and then 2-3 hours later a midmorning snack which could be considered a breakfast. This may be some bread and cheese with some olives, or I like having a piece of spinach pie. More ideas below:

Breakfast or Mid-Morning Recipe Ideas:


Between 1- 3 o’clock is when we have lunch, it is the main meal of the day. It is the largest meal of the day and studies have shown that when you eat your largest meal earlier in the day you eat less the rest of the day. A weekday lunch is typically plant-based. I like having a lunch that is rich and vegetables and of course olive oil, but I avoid a very starchy meal that can make me feel sleepy later in the day. A typical lunch right now might either be a vegetable casserole such as green beans, peas, or beans. In the summer it might be more like eggplant or zucchini casserole. This is cooked and olive oil and accompanied with a slice of bread and some cheese. I will finish the meal with some fruit, typically something seasonal and something local.

Plant Based Lunch Recipe Ideas:


After lunch I will take a 10–15-minute time-out. Ideally this is the time for a rest break. Years ago in Greece, most adults would take a small nap. This is common in the Mediterranean. In Greece it is called mesimeri, in Italy riposo and in Spain siesta. Nowadays on weekdays there is no time for a nap, but a 10–15-minute quiet time is feasible.

Afternoon coffee

How to make Greek coffee

My favorite time of the day. I make a Greek coffee and I have this usually after quiet time. Along with a tall cold glass of water.
In this post I show you how to make a Greek coffee: How to Make and Drink Greek Coffee


Classic Arugula Salad Recipe 1

Dinner is a smaller meal and consumed a bit later. Around 9 o’clock, dinner might be leftovers from lunch or a hearty salad with some bread and maybe a fried egg or an omelet. In the summer, I do enjoy having a Greek salad with a rusk and in the winter more green salads. Although typically salads were either a tomato-cucumber or a green salad, below I suggest some other choices as well.

I will supplement the day with a yogurt. And that’s it!

Light Dinner Recipe Ideas

As you can see the meal plan on an authentic Mediterranean diet is very rich on vegetables. Meat and seafood not a daily occurrence. Most of the meals are vegetarian. The dishes consumed also follow the seasons.

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Best Mediterranean Diet cookbook for beginners

Tips to remember

  • Limit sweet snacks even if they are natural. Move towards savory.
  • Don’t drink your calories. Consume water as your main beverage. Smoothies and juice do not provide the same satiety.
  • Incorporate herbal teas. They are rich in antioxidants, and they can have a calming effect.
  • Stay active throughout the day. Apart from structured exercise, find ways to stay active throughout the day. Take a walk, park further, do some household chores every day. This helps maintain overall health and vitality.
  • Respect your hunger cues. Eat when you are hungry. Pay attention to how you feel and adjust so that you feel energized but also satisfied.
Photos by Elena Paravantes All Rights Reserved

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  1. Alicia Owen says:

    Thank you for all you do in posting these wonderful dishes. I have looked around for good Mediterranean dishes that u can get the right supplies for. I have started trying your recipes for only 2 days and I feel they are exactly what I was looking for!
    Thank you!

  2. Mike L Keyes says:

    Awesome i wish I seen this before I joined a place to try to lose weight but think I’ll hang on to this and might look into the book thanks for the info what they really eat

  3. I’m curious about protein though. From what I can estimate, the menu here is probably just under 50g protein assuming that there is one ounce of cheese with morning snack, lunch, and dinner. Would the dairy serving be more generous than I’m estimating to get that protein up higher?

  4. I have been told my A1C is in the prediabetic range, I have to keep cabs around 50 a day which is difficult, but I have been trying since January, and have lost 20 lbs. Are Mediterranean diet recipes typically low in carbs? I really don’t want to lose any more weight but at 50 carbs how do I not?

  5. What brand of Greek yogurt do you eat? I’m having a hard time finding one that doesn’t have a lot of sugar and is plant based. Also, are Avocadoes ok? Is sourdough bread ok?
    I’m loving the recipes in your book! Thank you!!

    1. I have another question. You say that most people who claim they are living a Mediterranean lifestyle are doing it wrong. What kind of things are they doing wrong?

    2. Robin, The best is Fage greek yogurt. It comes in fat free and 2% if you want to cut calories. 17 gm protein in 3/4 cup

  6. What great info. My husband and I are new to the MD and we’re struggling a bit with portions. Mainly cheese,breads and rice. How many Oz of each daily are typical for this way of eating?

    1. I have the same question! I love the recipes but am gaining some weight!

    2. Peggy Key says:

      Have had your cookbook for beginners for a while and love it. Can tell you are oridinal compared to a few others i have. Thank you so very much.