Wild Mediterranean: A Resource for Restoring Microbial Balance
Stella Metsovas is passionate about the bacteria in your gut. A globally recognized clinical nutritionist, media health expert, and specialist in food science and human nutrition, Stella has written a resource for restoring the microbial balance in the gut and rebooting overall health.
Her new book Wild Mediterranean* features a simple 6-day, 2-phase detox cleanse protocol for preparing the gut to heal, over 50 delicious Paleo-meets-Mediterranean recipes, as well as key lifestyle practices to support overall wellness, and the scientific evidence to back it all up.
A Mouth-watering Cookbook with Eye-opening Images!
The book is clearly designed to be much more than a cookbook with stunning photography. Stella’s goal in writing the book is to offer a new approach to a healthy gut microbiome. Her promise: “You won’t find any suggestions that will make you feel deprived or joyless. On the contrary, this new approach to healthy living is meant to give you more—more foods to eat, more options for how to nourish your body and feel amazing…more ways to have fun and enjoy life.”
The commitment to helping others to achieve better health, with a focus on gut health, came about during her 10 years in private practice when Stella researched and promoted the importance of gut balance as a key component of complete wellness. She also integrated the knowledge she gained during her travels around the world with the United Nations in their “Food for Work” program, where she experienced the lifestyles and diets of the Blue Zone longevity villages firsthand.
About Your Digestive Health
In her cookbook Wild Mediterranean, she breaks down the complex science behind digestive health and shares a deceptively simple and down-to-earth plan for ending the digestive issues that can have far-reaching effects on our everyday lives. Using tasty foods from Mediterranean and Paleo cuisines, she’s devised unique village-to-table recipes, all based on the historically prebiotic-rich cuisines favored by the world’s healthiest populations and her own Greek family heritage.
“I’ve always known that immersing myself in the way of life practiced by my Greek relatives made me feel more vibrant and strong,” says Stella. “…So it came as no surprise that the newest frontiers of science validated the results that I’d observed anecdotally.”
Keeping Microbes Happy and Thriving
“Your gut is home to trillions of cells that literally feed your brain, hormones, and body,” she explains. “The key to great digestive health lies in rewilding the gut and keeping the diverse microbes that inhabit it happy and thriving.”
While her recipes focus on foods rich in prebiotic fiber, Stella also recommends taking a prebiotic inulin-type fiber: “Prebiotic fibers are an important part of gut health—if not the most important—perhaps more so even than probiotic-rich foods.”
According to Stella, with this optimal approach, “It’s easy to reintroduce essential microbes to your system and cultivate a healthy microbiome to banish bloating, discomfort, and irregularity forever.”
A Solution to Our Toxic World
Before writing her book, Stella had developed the “Wild Mediterranean” concept—her solution to our toxic world. She writes on her website, “Our bodies were not built to withstand the abuse of modern inventions, whether industrial farming practices and pesticide-soaked crops; or foods stuffed with additives, preservatives, and artificial coloring; or animals fed unnatural diets laced with hormones and antibiotics; or diets made up mostly of refined carbohydrates and little to no plants; or desk-oriented jobs that require long stretches of sitting (followed by hours vegging on the sofa); or isolation that comes from increasing dependence on technological communication; to almost complete separation from real, live nature.”
Instead, Stella advocates a return to a simpler lifestyle of home cooking, plenty of outdoor activities, and a fresh food diet of whole foods prepared at the peak of their seasonality, flavored with olive oil and spices and unadulterated by modern food additives.
“The Wild Mediterranean lifestyle is composed of those basics,” says Stella. “Innately, in stripping things down to their simplest practices—from what we eat to how we move to how we interact with others—we are benefiting our health at the deepest, most crucial level.”
She doesn’t focus on “fad enemy food”—only the processed foods that are typical in the standard American diet are on her hit list. Instead, by eating and living the “Wild Mediterranean” way, we can combat or prevent metabolic and digestive ailments by diversifying nutrient sources and “feeding the good strains of bacteria we all carry within us,” she explains.
Going Against the Cultural Grain
Stella’s message is consistent, whether she is giving cooking tips on Hallmark Channel’s Home & Family program or contributing her down-to-earth practical health advice in a wide range of publications, from Glamour to Men’s Health magazine.
Stella is never afraid to go against the cultural grain—she tells her readers and followers to return to the kitchen, to share meals with family and friends. She encourages them to say “no” to processed food, to microwaved meals, and other “timesavers.”
Instead, followers of the Wild Mediterranean lifestyle say “yes to simply (and quickly) prepared meals with a few quality ingredients; no to not knowing where their food is coming from, yes to digging in and getting their hands dirty (literally—hello, bacteria-rich soil) by growing their own.”
Stella calls this approach “age-old, science-new” since her recommendations are based on the latest research in health and nutrition. “Returning to the rituals of simpler times armed with the knowledge of now is a potent combination for our wellness of body, mind, and spirit,” she summarizes.
“Diversify your diet. In doing so you’ll feed your best gut bacteria; one of our greatest allies in the quest for good health. If we are what we eat, then we should eat well!”
* Wild Mediterranean was released August 1 of this year and is available on Amazon and Barnes&Noble Booksellers. Prebiotin® prebiotic fiber is listed in the book’s Resource section under “Prebiotics.”
Watch for recipes from Wild Mediterranean on the Prebiotin website and on social media.
Reprinted from WILD MEDITERRANEAN by arrangement with Pam Krauss Books/Avery, a member of
Penguin Group (USA) LLC, A Penguin Random House Company. Copyright © 2017, Stella Metsovas
Sweet Scallop Skewers
If you could wrap up all the flavors of the Mediterranean into one dish it would be this one. Blending bitter and sweet with the fresh, briny flavor of the sea, this recipe brings me back to the Greek Islands. It’s almost effortless to make. The great thing about scallops is that they’re low in mercury and rich in the quality proteins I recommend in the sea-tox. Remove the tough little side muscle from each scallop before skewering.
Wild Bonus: Radicchio, a bitter green is part of the chicory family. This family of greens has been studied for its ability to replenish and balance gut bacteria.
- 12 medium sea scallops (about 1 pound), tough muscle removed
- 1 medium red onion, cut into chunks
- 1 head radicchio leaves separated
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, plus more if needed
- 2 tablespoons organic honey
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Celtic sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
Thread the scallops, onion chunks, and radicchio leaves alternately onto four 12inch skewers. In a large cast iron pan or grill pan, heat the butter over medium high until very hot but not smoking. Working in batches if necessary, add the skewers and cook, flipping once, until the scallops are golden brown and just cooked through, about 2 minutes per side. If needed, add a tiny bit more butter between batches so the scallops do not stick to the pan. Transfer the skewers to a large plate.
In a small saucepan, gently warm the honey and olive oil over low heat. Season with salt and cracked pepper. Drizzle the sauce over the skewers and serve immediately.
Each and every microbiome is as different and unique as we are, which is why Prebiotin doesn’t endorse any specific food or diet plan mentioned within our online platforms. Our articles, blogs, and content are strictly informational. Before starting any new diet or food program, please consult with your health professional about any diet changes.