While in Italy my mom and I have been emailing back and forth. I have been telling her everything that I have been doing and getting updates on my family and dog. She asked me to teach her about Mediterranean cooking before I went back to school. I briefly told her in an email that the Mediterranean diet we study in class is not really practiced here anymore because of how westernized Italy has become. The Mediterranean diet that was heavily studied and has been proven to have health benefits was the diet eaten during the 50s and 60s. The Mediterranean diet is a plant-based diet with a focus on fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Meats are not eaten everyday; seafood and poultry is suggested two times a week. Red meat is used sparingly throughout the month and used mostly as seasoning. Due to the reduced amounts of meat, olive oil is the main fat. Reduced portions of dairy such as milk and cheese are spread throughout the week. They drink lots of water and wine is enjoyed in moderation. In the Mediterranean meals are enjoyed with friends and family and they get moderate amounts of exercise.