Despite the deep fried pastries smothered in honey I had just eaten with a frothy little coffee, everyone around me was remarkably healthy. Stalls were run by husband-and-wife pairs in their 80s, moving quickly from one sale to the next, packaging up a bundle of squash blossoms or a handful of wild greens. People in the market carried bags full of vegetables and showed healthy signs on their faces of time spent in the sun.
Wandering through the market I wondered: how are the Greeks so healthy? During my trip I came across a fair share of healthy appetites, a devotion to the pleasures of cheese and wine, and yet I felt completely surrounded by fit people who all looked ten years younger than their age.
I explored this question recently in an article for the Toronto Star, getting my hands dirty in an olive harvest to learn about the magic of olive oil and how both laughter and lifestyle can contribute to a longer, healthier life.
Not only did I find out about all the work, precision, and love that goes into a single bottle of olive oil–but I also returned home with a new perspective on how to bring some of that Mediterranean approach to life back home with me.
In the words of Chef Doxis Bekris, “The Greeks are also healthy because of the mentality we carry inside. We live for today, we don’t worry, we find balance.”