What is the Real Mediterranean Diet? My first trip to Crete, the Greek island considered to be one of the healthiest places in the world, was the beginning of my education about the true Mediterranean Diet. This island has some of the highest longevity rates in the world and the men here live to be […]
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The most asked question about the Mediterranean Diet is: “What do they eat for Breakfast?”. It’s easy to see why there is confusion. I probably have over 100 different cookbooks from all over the Mediterranean and rarely is there a section on breakfast. If you look on-line you will often find “Mediterranean Breakfasts”, but they are often far from what is actually eaten there. Here are 7 of our favorite traditional Mediterranean breakfasts.
When I first informed my friends and family that I would be studying abroad in Italy for a month to study the Mediterranean Diet, their initial response was, “What are you going to eat?” They all know I have been gluten-free (GF) for a year and while they were excited for my opportunity, it was clear that images of pizza, pasta, and grains were flying through their heads.
A recent study showed that people who followed the Mediterranean Diet were up to 35% less likely to develop dementia.
I would like to share Cretan dishes that I have eaten in a two week period, all cooked by my aunt in a small village in northwestern Crete. All of these dishes are eaten for the lunch meal and leftovers are served for dinner. Lunch and dinner is enjoyed with a Greek salad, crusty bread and glass of wine.
The Mediterranean Diet is considered one of the healthiest in the world. And, the Greek island of Crete is a great place to explore this traditional, healthy diet. The unique climate of Crete allows everything to grow in abundance. Wherever you travel in Crete, you are surrounded by olive trees. Cretans consume the most olive oil of anybody in the world. This is one of the keys to their extremely healthy way of life.
The Cretan diet consists of lots of olive oil, vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and small amounts of meat and fish. Cretans also consume moderate amounts of wine and Raki, the local aperitif. They cook everything in olive oil and they hardly use butter. Butter is used for certain dishes and special occasions like rice pilaf. Could this way of eating explain why Cretans have some of the lowest rate of heart disease in the world? This is certainly part of it.
If you are interested in Mediterranean Diet & Lifestyle you have come to the right place. Allow me to share some insights I have gained over the years in immersing myself in the Mediterranean way of living.
It’s the truth: I love food; whether it is “good for me” or not. I will eat almost anything that is put in front of me. From tasty white bean soup with a Greek salad to hot dogs from the grill with a bowl of Cool Ranch Doritos and a Guinness, I’m all in. When I was younger and didn’t think much about my health, this was a real problem. That is because most of what was put in front of me wasn’t healthy. Now, at home or on the road, I choose to eat delicious, healthy food that makes me feel good. Occasionally, I end up in situations where baby back ribs and french fries are my choice. Let me reiterate that when this does happen I love it. But, I don’t make this kind of choice on a daily or even weekly basis.
Crete isn’t just a place where people eat healthfully. There is an enchanting simplicity to the mountainous villages on the Mediterranean island. The sound of bells on herds of wandering goats; the smell of veggies, meat, and herbs long stewing over a fire; the warm breeze that tousles your hair and gently blows away your stress like a leaf in the wind all weave together to create a feeling of magic and possibilities. My first trip to Crete almost 10 years ago began an odyssey of change that continues for me to this day.
In 2006, after years of gaining weight, dieting, losing weight, counting calories, restricting foods, and binge eating, I made a two month trip that would gradually change not only my dieting life, but every aspect of my life, for the better. For those two months, I lived on the relatively small Greek island of Crete, […]
Does the word ‘diet’ fill you with dread? Does it make you think of deprivation, eating food that tastes like cardboard, and feeling hungry all the time? There are many ‘diets’ that cause these feelings for people, and they don’t provide long-term results. The Mediterranean diet is different. Here is a list of reasons why.
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Foods of Crete Cook Book
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healthiest people in the world?
In the 1960’s, the Greek island of Crete had the highest longevity rates in the world, the men lived to be the same age as the women and researchers could only find one man on the island who had heart disease.
In our cookbook, Foods of Crete: Traditional Recipes from the Healthiest People in the World you will find over 110 delectable recipes by Koula Barydakis, a chef and cooking teacher from the island and a guide to eating the Mediterranean diet by Bill Bradley, Registered Dietician.
Buy Olive Oil From Crete
Delicious and buttery, this is the oil that can be used for all your cooking needs including sauces, dressings, soups, bread dipping and even baking! Makes everything taste better!