Do you see the proverbial glass as half empty or half full? When it comes to nutrition, it appears that the latter, more optimistic approach may be best. Not only is Mediterranean-style eating associated with fewer heart attacks and strokes in people with pre-existing heart disease, but the results also suggest that a focus on eating more of the “good stuff” rather than on strictly avoiding the processed foods associated with the Western diet may be sufficient. That makes sense: After all, it’s hard to fit a muffin in your mouth if you’re already chewing on a bite of apple. Numerous studies point to the nourishing power of plant foods and other Mediterranean staples. Vegetables, fruit, beans, whole grains, nuts, fish, and olive oil are loaded with abundant nutrients, fiber, and delicious, nourishing fats that keep your whole body (including your brain) healthy. And a funny thing happens when you embrace Mediterranean-style eating and allow nourishing, fiber-rich plant foods to fill you up: They keep your blood sugars stable and reduce your risk of diabetes. The upshot? Empty calories from the standard American diet (SAD) get crowded out, and cravings are diminished. Once you start dedicating yourself to cooking with the delicious, intense flavors of colorful herbs and spices, the manufactured flavors of convenience foods become pale and unidimensional in comparison. This time of year, with farmers’ markets bursting with local produce, you don’t have to book a trip to Italy or Greece to go Mediterranean. Of course, if you’re ready to go all the way, don’t let us stop you!