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March 28, 2013

You Get The Picture: Greeks must be doing something right

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — Coffee, olive oil, fish, abundant sleep, and socializing apparently are the ingredients for a long, healthy life.  Scientists and researchers are currently raving that a Mediterranean diet is like reaching into the fountain of youth and that Greek islanders are the new poster children for a fulfilling lifestyle.

I suppose Paula Deen will be having a difficult transition, as will her viewers, when she blurts out, “Hey ya’ll, today, we’ll be cooking with butter…I mean…olive oil.”  You can’t necessarily make the best pie crust with olive oil, but you sure can substitute it for any instance in which you may use butter to bake or fry with.  

The real question lies within which type of olive oil to use. I mean, what gives olive oil the right to be called virgin or extra virgin?  I highly doubt olive oil can be especially abstinent, but I do know the more authentic and extra virgin you choose, the higher the price.  All olive oils are not created equal, but extra virgin is, in my opinion, your best choice.  

Coffee, of course, is my joy in life, besides my faith, and I can attest to its positive effects.  Although, I choose coffee for all the wrong reasons — taste, aroma and to increase my brain activity in the wee hours of the morning.  According to research, coffee protects against Parkinson’s disease, type 2 diabetes and liver cancer.  Who knew?  One thing I know is that it certainly produces is a great atmosphere for socialization, just take a look at Starbucks or even the new local coffee house, Brie’s Brews.  There’s never a dull moment or somber face to be seen at a coffee shop.

Years ago, when I was a frequent traveler, I took a trip to the Greek Isles, and saw for myself the Grecian, free spirited way of life.  I truly believe it’s something land-locked Americans cannot fathom, especially not with a 40 hours a week workload.  For one reason, Greeks have a vast, deep blue ocean to gaze at with wide-open beaches, fresh seafood, outdoor cafes and no reservations about strangers.

While speaking with the locals, their main concern was not what agenda had to be met by the end of the week, who was at church last Sunday or which restaurant they were going to choose to eat out at next — they didn’t have any concerns at all.  Laughter was always overheard at outdoor cafes as they drank their coffee or shared a friendly conversation with a stranger.  They lived off local resources that their families farmed or fished, took naps everyday and walked through beaches and gardens regularly, basking in the vast sunshine.  

I believe the world should take note, not only the Mediterranean diet, but also of their care free culture.  Even though Greece is going through tough economic times, it seems as if they have an astounding well-being and are apparently doing something very right.  

mmccrarey@sentinel-echo.com

 

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