I constantly think about food. When I look dazed and confused, it’s not because I’m trying to solve mathematical equations nor contemplating what was contested in the latest presidential debate. It’s because I’m deciding where and what I’m going to eat next, and whom I’ll be eating with. This is not an uncommon. Since birth, we’ve been bombarded with food messages everywhere we go and many cultures combine family traditions that revolve around the kitchen table. I am Greek. My food fixation definitely stems from the fact that I am Greek.
Greeks love to eat.
We’ve all seen the Nia Vardalos hit movie “My Big Fat Greek Wedding”, right? As she showcased exactly on point, Greeks do everything larger than life. We talk loud. We find any excuse to dance and party. We are driven. We are proud. We are hopelessly romantic. We cook non-stop. We are in love with our culture and our food—which we share in abundance with our family, friends and even strangers. That is the Greek way, our parea.
However, our non-stop cooking often leads to far too many calories being consumed in a day or week or year. That topic—Greeks and calories and what we can do about it–is the purpose of this blog. Future chapters will tackle the wide variety of what it not only means to eat Greek, but what it means to eat Greek in ways that lead to healthier lifestyle choices. It’s all about balance. Like all Americans, Greeks, too, are becoming noticeably larger. Some of us handle that with the strength of Greek character. Some of us have real difficulties looking in the mirror.
Not all of you may be Greek, but each of you will be able to relate to the typical day in the life of living and eating like a Greek. Future chapters will discuss portion control, controlling those urges at the next party with your koumbaroi (like always), surviving fasting periods while not overly feasting afterward and selecting the best choices during the holidays. But it’s not all about eating. We can eat and enjoy, but we must also move about. Have you reached the stage where you just watch the young kids do the kalamtiano at weddings? I will also discuss how you can get more physical activity into your daily lives, either by simple habits you can incorporate at home all the way through more rigorous activities and exercise.
We are here to learn about the right approaches to being Greek and to set the stage for living a long, happy and healthy Greek life. Follow me. We will have our moussaka and eat it too.