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My name is Erika Simons. I’m the head recipe and life coach over at Mediterranean Refresh. I’m reaching out to you today because I’ve seen first-hand how a disastrous diet can lead to terrible consequences for a person’s health.
If you’re like me, you’ve always struggled with your weight. In my teens and early twenties, I could eat anything that I wanted and not gain a single pound…. Man, I wish I could go back to those days.
But then it seemed like 30 hit and since then it’s been so hard to keep the scales from creeping up.
The problem (at least for me) was that I never built a solid foundation for how I consume food because my body was so forgiving. I never figured out a healthy eating style. Which foods would give my body the nourishment that it needed without tasting bland….
Sure, I’ve tried all of the crash diets, keto, paleo, the zone diet, expensive meal replacement shakes…. The list goes on.
And I learned a lot from those diets, which leads me to one of the main problems… the cost!
Despite what you read online; diets aren’t cheap! Often times they use ingredients that are hard to find at your local grocery store, or if they are there, they cost a hefty premium.
Don’t get me started on those meal replacement shakes either, they wind up costing more than the price of a AAA steak, just to feel starved afterwards.
One day I decided to take a step back and re-evaluate this love-hate relationship with my diet, and the cost associated with them. Was I really getting out of it what I was putting in? Was my body reciprocating my relentless efforts to keep it healthy?
So I started this journey, which has led me to this book today: The Mediterranean Refresh: Meals on a Budget.
As I started researching more about our typical American diet, the more I began to resent it. I felt like I had been duped by big companies into believing that their tasty foods were fine for my health. That maybe I just needed to exercise more.
But then found the Mediterranean Diet… And I’ve been hooked ever since.
And while it says “diet” in its name (hands up if you hate that word), it’s more like a lifestyle. It’s about enjoying food again. Good food. Food that uses real, healthful ingredients and is so easy to make!
But the best part? The Mediterranean Diet doesn’t need to be expensive!
Quite the opposite actually, the Mediterranean Diet can be more budget-friendly than the traditional American diet.
I didn’t realize it at the beginning, but since I started my whole family on the Mediterranean Diet, I started seeing my food bills shrinking.
It wasn’t until my husband, while helping me in the kitchen with one of my famous Mediterranean bowls and brought up the question…
“Wait, Erika… This is my favorite dish and it only costed us $10 to feed the whole family?”
Ok, it was less of a question and more of a statement, but it got me thinking. I make this all the time for my family of 5 and EVERYONE LOVES IT.
Yeah… that means my husband’s favorite dish (and one of my favorite to make) is only $2/serving.
After this conversation, I got to work and started calculating the cost per serving of all my favorite dishes.
I couldn’t believe it!
No wonder my grocery bill was so low. With the exception of a few recipes, most were coming in under $3/serving, so I got to work on a BRAND NEW book.
You've heard me talk about enough yummy food, but you haven't really seen it until now. Take a quick glance at some of the AMAZING mains above that you WON'T BELIEVE cost $3/serving (OR LESS).
These mains are all my favorites I've accumulated over the years. Shocking enough, after tallying up the majority of them, I realized they almost all fit the budget constraint of the book without any substitutions or changes. Can you believe that? Fish, shrimp, you name it — this book will have it.
…even the desserts!.
The Mediterranean Diet is all about eating food that is closest to its original state and lots of good fats.
Fats. That’s what was hard to wrap my head around at first. How could eating fats actually help my heart in the long run?
It’s common knowledge that too much cholesterol and other fats can lead to disease, and that a healthy diet involves watching how much fat we consume. However, our bodies do need a certain amount of good fats to perform essential functions.
Good fats are primarily responsible for storing our energy. But they also control other aspects of basic metabolism.
Relying on pre-packaged flavourings and sauces can have dire effects on your health goals.
Benefits of a Mediterranean Diet:
Our body’s use fat as their main source of energy.
If you stick to a low-fat life, you’ll find that your energy levels are all over the place. Not to mention the risk of diabetes, heart disease, and higher blood pressure
But I want to teach you that striking the balance of heart-healthy fats doesn’t have to be time consuming, expensive or bland….
And I want to prove it to you with a BRAND NEW FREE copy of The Mediterranean Refresh: Meals on a Budget!
Yes, I said that right… FREE!
You’ll get the full physical 130-page book, sent straight to your door. With recipes designed to SAVE YOU MONEY for every part of your day, including: Zucchini Pancakes with Flavorful Carrots (page 78) and Saganaki Prawn Stew (page 98)!
You’ll also find delectable desserts like Sour Cream and Berries Brûlée (page 110) and French Chocolate and Clafoutis pear (page 124) all in your very own copy.
All of this in a beautiful, full-colour imagery book with nutrition facts and dollar per serving values. Not to mention some helpful tips about the Mediterranean Diet in the introduction.
To celebrate the launch of my BRAND-NEW book (it only finished printing a month ago) with the hopes to save money during times like this and help mend your relationship with food, we’re giving it away for FREE!
We hope this book sends you on a journey to help be more conscious of your costs and meals and shed those unwanted pounds.
And we’re not joking when we say FREE. This book comes with zero commitment, no hidden fees or charges. We just want to give you the information and save our customers money along the way. Something that I wish I had when I began this journey.
One of my biggest struggles with sticking to any mainstream diet has always been the cost. Most diets don’t come cheap, some of the replacements are hard to find and can often be marked up.
Which leads to me to…
My journey to create a delicious and budget-first book started because of the realization of how EXPENSIVE other diets are. Recipes can be both DELICIOUS and cost efficient.
But when I started on this journey, I decided to take it a step further and beat the cost of the traditional American diet.
I worked on this book for what felt like ages! So many recipes that got cut because they didn’t quite reach my $3/serving threshold or were too “plain” for my taste.
But budget isn’t the only thing that’s important. We need nutritious, filling and weight-cutting meals. Like I said before, my relationship with food hasn’t always been easy.
I used to think no one would understand what I was going through.
I was trying to eat properly…. and get enough exercise. But everyone would just look at me and assume that I was lazy.
I had weight in unwanted (and unpleasant) areas. I generally just seemed weak, and even my family called out my sluggishness both mentally and physically.
But for so many years, I had been starving myself with meal replacement shakes or meticulously counting calories to avoid this.
There were so many rules attached to my eating that it was no longer enjoyable. And that depriving my cravings would just lead to ‘cheat day’ binges.
When I found the Mediterranean Diet, I realized that I had just be feeding my body with the wrong things. There was a whole variety of foods that I could eat and until I was full.
Foods that weren’t only satisfying to eat, but also good for my body and reasonably priced!
I wanted to share these recipes with the world. This way of life.
The Mediterranean Diet is liberating!
One of my biggest struggles with sticking to any mainstream diet has always been cutting out sweets. My sugar cravings always take over. I end up binging on ice cream or cookies. And then feel immensely guilty - which sends me into another diet tailspin.
That’s why I wanted to make sure that this book took a real, holistic approach to how we all eat and enjoy food. I mean, who could actually stick to a diet that didn’t let you satisfy those cravings!?
All of my life, I have watched the people closest to me struggle with their eating habits. I never wanted anyone to feel like they had to starve themselves to keep the weight off.
It’s also never sat well with me when someone is spending thousands to maintain their diet, whether it’s through meal-replacements shakes or fad diets with unique ingredients.
Because food is truly nourishing for the body and the mind, and that doesn’t need to come with a heavy price tag.
So nourishing in fact, that I found myself powering through my day without relying on coffee. I was waking up in the morning without hitting the snooze button multiple times… It was like I was in a new body!
No longer did I struggle with energy issues… instead, I felt so refreshed!
I quickly learned I wasn’t the only one either. Hundreds of community members have come to tell me how refreshed they feel after shedding bad fats from their diet. Finally, no more brain fog!
It wasn’t just me that noticed either… my family remarked that it had been a transformation for me.
And that’s what really hooked me on the Mediterranean Diet. There’s such an intrinsic sense of culture and community eating. People coming together to enjoy a delicious (and nutritious) meal.
Most diets that I’ve been on throughout my life have all been super restrictive! Only allowing a certain number of (small) meals each day. And definitely no snacking.
If you tried to make a “Keto Diet on a Budget” book, you’d be pretty upset to turn the page to a lunch of cold cuts.
That’s where a Mediterranean Diet is so different, which is quite refreshing.
Mediterranean Diets open the door to so many different types of ingredients, and the diet itself is not very restrictive at all!
Any diet where a nice glass of red wine with dinner is RECOMMENDED is a diet I am all in for.
When you talk budget, several meals can be made well in advance so that when you need a quick boost, you won’t reach for unhealthy options like chips.
A nice refrigerated brûlée is my current go-to!
But I have to come clean...
When my husband first made that comment to me about how cost-efficient my meals were and I started on the Meals on a Budget book, I wasn’t making it with the public in mind.
No, I was merely working on a catalog for my own usage so I could budget better. With the idea of MAYBE sharing it to a few of my close friends.
But then my publisher got word I was working on this and their JAW DROPPED. $3 a serving for DELICIOUS recipes comparable with my best-seller, the Mediterranean Refresh?
In times like these, saving money is very important, and I think that’s why most people have struggled with maintaining a diet in 2020 and not much has changed now that we’re into 2021.
I wanted to prove that these recipes weren’t just cost-efficient but were also DELICIOUS. So, I started cooking some of these meals for people at my office, and we started to play the game.
“Is this recipe from my new on-a-budget book, or is this recipe one of my traditional famous Mediterranean Recipes I’ve had for years?”
Even the health experts at my office STRUGGLED to figure out the budget picks. Although, sometimes either answer was right because I put some of my old family recipes that also happened to be budget friendly right into the book as well.
But after some taste-testing and threshold cutting, I’ve now finished 130 pages of crowd-pleasing hits that will delight you for any meal of the day.
PANCAKES?! Yeah, you read right.
In the Mediterranean Diet, I was going to make sure we had a way to squeak in some DELICIOUS pancake breakfasts still. You truly won't BELIEVE that these meals are HEALTHY and can help you SHED WEIGHT (rather than put it on)
I know you'll enjoy these breakfasts as much as I do... Every. Single. Day.
Mediterranean Couscous Cauliflower salad
Mediterranean Tuna Fry
Hot Bulgur and Lentil Salad with Grilled Shrimp
Garlic Basil Sausage Farrotto
Braised Cod Skillet with Asparagus and Potatoes
And more recipes under $3/serving!
What’s so refreshing about the Mediterranean Diet is that it isn’t restrictive. There are no hard and fast rules about what you can and can’t eat.
Instead, the Mediterranean approach is to eat more healthy fats and fewer processed, empty calories.
It can be tough to make these changes. And I’m definitely not saying that it’s going to be over night.
But what’s beautiful about this book is that you can incrementally add more good foods into your daily routine. Whether you start skipping take-out lunches for tasty Tuna Pita Pockets. Or replacing sugar drinks with Fruit Detox Water.
Not to mention when compared to those take-out lunches, you’ll find savings of over three times the cost. Remember, every meal is only $3/serving — how many meals are you getting for just $3 when you grab take-out?
You’ll reach your goal in no time!
But this is more than just a recipe book. By claiming this book you’re taking the plunge into my Mediterranean community.
You’ll find yourself in a community of like-minded peers just like you. People that understand the importance of saving money and are willing to take the same plunge into the Mediterranean Diet that you are today.
And the best part?
Close your eyes and picture a classic Greek meal being prepared.
You probably saw overflowing baskets of fresh herbs and peppers. Olive oil. Lots of olive oil. Maybe someone slaving away in the kitchen for hours, carefully preparing a recipe that has been passed down through generations.
As delicious as that sounds….
Who has time for that? I know I don’t!
I’m constantly running around after my kids or at the office.
That’s why I’ve fine-tuned these recipes so that they still pack a nutritional punch but are SUPER easy and quick to make.
We’re all busy, which is why none of the recipes in this book require fancy techniques or hard-to-find ingredients.
And no need to worry, many of the ingredients that we use in this book can readily be found in most pantries or at your local grocer.
Join the hundreds of thousands of Americans that are saving money daily and shedding unwanted pounds with the Mediterranean Refresh: Meals on a Budget
Register me for the FREE offer of The Mediterranean Refresh: Meals on a Budget