The Mediterranean Diet is widely considered to be the ‘healthiest in the world’ so if you are joining us on a Healthy Options holiday it will be easy to make good food choices during your stay.
There is plenty of evidence everywhere you look to support the claim that the Mediterranean diet is the healthiest. Many studies have highlighted the benefits of eating this seemingly magical combination of foods. The diet is linked to better overall health as well as reductions in chronic diseases such as heart disease, strokes, diabetes and dementia and a reduction in incidences of cancer. In addition to preventing chronic health problems a Mediterranean diet can also help with weight loss and reduce the chances of depression.
So, what is it about the Greek diet that is so fantastic for all aspects of our health?
Unprocessed and to a large extent organic, the diet is rich is abundant in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes. The wide range of colourful plant-based foods provide a rich variety of nutrients for the body. The use of herbs for flavouring rather than salt and olive oil rather than butter are good for protecting the heart.
Healthy Options is not like a Yoga retreat, we will not tell you what you can eat and when, you are free to eat whatever and whenever you like. Food is not included in the holiday package (except for a buffet breakfast in Syvota,) however there are plenty of great local tavernas to eat at onsite and nearby.
If you have any intolerance or allergies don’t worry these foods can easily be avoided and we are happy to provide you with a card with details of your intolerance or allergy translated in to Greek so that you can take it with you when you go out to eat.
If you would like to bring a little of the Mediterranean influence to your diet, here is a recipe for the local Greek dish of Tzatziki.
Tzatziki is another popular dip and spread used in Greek cooking. While it is very creamy, it is still low in calories, the reason why it tastes so rich is because Greek Yoghurt is creamier and thicker than regular yogurt. Greek yogurt has been strained to remove the liquid whey. Historically, Greeks strained the yogurt to reduce its water content and prevent spoilage.
But straining Greek yoghurt also reduces its lactose content and makes it higher in protein. Protein is one of the most important nutrients for weight loss. It can help reduce appetite, regulate hunger hormones and increase metabolism. So you can tuck in to a portion of Tsatsiki and guilt free!
Recipe for Tzatziki.
1 Cup of Greek Yoghurt
2-4 Cloves Garlic
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
Finely chop the garlic and mix with the olive oil. Leave to soak whilst you prepare the rest of the ingredients. Peel the cucumber and roughly grate onto a clean cloth. Squeeze the cloth with the cucumber inside to remove the excess water. Put the Greek Yoghurt into a bowl then add the cucumber and mix. Put a sieve over the bowl and add the olive oil to the mixture without the garlic. Mix and serve. You can add either chopped mint or dill to taste. Serve with pitta as a starter.
Amy, centre manager for Healthy Options Vassiliki offers some good advice to start the year off...Read on