Let’s look «back to the future» for a moment and explore a holistic lifestyle philosophy (and integrated approach to health and wellness) that is rooted in ancient Greece and which holds promise for dealing with the obesity crisis and longevity issue. The so-called Mediterranean Diet, which actually stems from the original «Cretan Diet,» is a major part of this philosophy of life and practical approach to promoting optimal health and well-being. Operating on a new type of food and diet pyramid, the Cretan Diet has proven its health and longevity benefits for millennia (and can be traced to the Minoan civilization).
Last month I had the wonderful and very meaningful occasion to participate in a traditional Cretan cooking lesson in the beautiful village of Vamos, located in the rolling foothills of the White Mountains only a short distance from the Cretan Sea, between Hania and Rethymo, Crete. The instructor for this hands-on class was Koula Barydakis, a renowned expert on the Cretan Diet and author of the book, Foods of Crete: Traditional Recipes from The Healthiest People in the World. Besides immersing ourselves in the local traditions of Cretan cooking and nutrition, we had lots of fun during the process and afterward when we all celebrated in communion with the fruits of our labor! Indeed, eating the Cretan way transcends food itself and, as we learned from our extraordinary teacher, Koula, is truly a way of life and living.