With all the takeaways and processed food around today, it can be difficult to eat mindfully – especially if you have a busy schedule. If you’re finding yourself struggling when it comes to cooking, try taking a page from a Greek’s cookbook and start seeing meals, their preparation and their ingredients as an art. You’ll be eating better (and enjoying what’s on your plate far more than you ever have before) in no time with these healthy Hellene habits.
- Salads should be every meal’s appetiser (and, in ancient times, they were even served as dessert). To eat like a Greek, you should eat one before your main course even touches the table. And if you’re having the popular mixture of cucumber, olives, onions, tomatoes and feta cheese? Call it a kalamata, not a Greek salad.
- Serve a variety of veg with everything. Leafy greens are the traditional staple – add them as a side, or include them as an ingredient of your main.
- Heap on the herbs. Give your dish a kick (and a bunch of flavours) without any of the extra calories.
Focus on Your Food
- Prepare with care – and have a good time while doing it. Whenever possible, skip takeaways and opt for making homemade meals. Incorporate a harmonious, chaos-free, joyful mind (what the Greeks call agapi) and a cheerful mood wherever you can, especially during meal prep. Experiment and have fun with your food – after all, cooking isn’t a science, it’s an art.
- Be present. Turn off your telly and put your phone away – you spent all that time making a delicious meal, you want to give it the attention it deserves (and enjoy the company of your dinner companions). Being aware of your food while you’re eating it will not only increase your enjoyment, it will also help you recognise when you’re full.
Back to Basics
- KISS. No, not the band and definitely not smooching – Keep It Simple, Stupid. Stay away from processed foods with a million ingredients, and keep things… well, simple.
- Start from scratch. When it comes to dessert, it’s definitely okay to indulge, but only if you’ve made it yourself. Not only will that help you avoid binge eating packaged sweets, you’ll also get to improve your baking skills and, when you finally do sit down to your dessert, you’ll really want to savour it because you took the time to make it!
- Invest in ingredients – try to stick to foods that are local to where you are and in season. Doing your fruit and veg shopping at a farmer’s market is an easy way to achieve this.
Now that you know how to eat like a Greek, the only thing left to do is put your newfound skills to the test… ideally while on holiday in Greece!