Lessons from Crete on food identity

Lessons from Crete on food identity, but more importantly from my blender or lack of modern culinary comforts.

Who would’ve thought that my blender is such a good teacher?

We’ve been in Crete for almost a month now and I haven’t used a blender since then.

You may say, well that’s not such a big deal Denisa!

Well, I didn’t think so either, but it seems that it is.

The blender is my go-to tool for expression. My nutrition mixer, where I can add liquids and solids and create an alchemical concoction for my body and mind.

I feel creative, able to make something out of nothing, to reuse leftovers and trims and make something else out of them.

My blender is a privilege and I took it for granted. I’ve attached my creativity and health to it.

After almost a month of no blender, I feel it’s been good to detach and to understand where are my beliefs around healthy eating are stemming from.

What is healthy eating?

What is health?

How do you quantify it?

What does healthy food mean?

Being on an island where people live some of the longest lives in the world, up to 10 years above average in Europe, you’d think there would be a thing or two around being healthy. 

“It has been debated that the reason for the great health of Cretans is not just an exceptionally healthy diet but a strong loving family structure, daily robust physical exercise, a strong spiritual belief system and a philosophy of life which minimises stress and exaggerates happiness.” source

And one other thing I’ll add to this: they don’t obsess around food.

From what I’ve seen here in Crete they eat what they plant or forage and what their little livestock provides: eggs, sheep and goat milk for cheese and yoghurt and fish and seafood. And gallons of olive oil which is so abundant here.

They don’t overthink it, they don’t count it, they don’t plan it. The dishes change with the seasons and they take joy in eating and being with family.

That is the biggest link they have – family is sacred. And being able to experience that after being invited in by a local family has been a privilege. Unconditional love and care beyond language and age. And we’ve been lucky enough to experience that when we were taken in and invited to family meals by our hosts that we’re renting our house from. It’s another level of hospitality.

That brings me back to what I’ve learnt from not having my blender around my health and food creativity.

I’ve learnt that it’s not conditional.

That local produce is prevalent and ripe tomatoes with salt and olive oil are the best thing I’ve ever eaten.

That I’m not defined by boundaries and your healthy eating reflects your happiness.

If you’re happy you eat differently, so work on your happiness levels alongside any healthy eating endeavours.

That labels are dangerous and when something doesn’t fit your ‘ism, you’ll have a clash of beliefs and an existential crisis.

That we need only be closer to nature to find ourselves more and keep what we eat as close to that as possible.

So now I ask you, what’s your food identity?

How is it helping you? Or not helping you?

What do you think of first when you read this?

And lastly, how can you be more the real you in relation with what you eat? 

I’ll leave you with these questions, and if you’d like to explore them together and beyond I’ve made some room in my diary and I’ve opened up for Clarity calls in the next week. Click here to book a complimentary session. 

 

Much love,

Denisa xoxo 

P.S. And here’s one of my favourite recipes I’ve put together here in Crete – without a blender! It’s hearty and comforting for a cooler spring day. I didn’t even get to take a proper photo, but then again, beauty is in the eyes of the beholder!

INGREDIENTS
Makes 4
 
4 medium potatoes, wedged
4 artichokes, peeled and quartered – you can also use canned for this 
1 x 400g can chopped tomatoes
1 courgette, sliced
1 red onion, quartered 
 
Spices
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp sweet paprika
4 dried prunes, chopped 
1/2 lemon’s juice 
100ml white wine* optional
4 sundried tomatoes, chopped
1 handful walnuts 
1 tsp salt 
4 Tbsp olive oil
200ml water 
 
HOW TO 
 
1. Preheat the oven at 180C. In an ovenproof casserole add all the ingredients and mix them together. Sprinkle with salt and olive oil and cover with the lid. 
2. Place it in the oven and let it cook for 60mins – this may vary depending on your oven – you want the potatoes to be thoroughly cooked, so try them with a fork. 
3. Enjoy with a fresh salad or with freshly baked sourdough bread on a spring/autumn day. 
 

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Hi there beautiful! I’m Denisa, Health Coach, Healer, Plant Based Chef


Whether through food or developing an emotional and spiritual practice, my passion is to help you lead a much healthier, happier and fulfilled life, without being constrained by appearances or a poor relationship with what and how you're eating.
Food is so much more than fuel. Food is an experience. It's passion, energy, memory, connection, and plays a big role in the healing of our minds and our bodies.
On this website, you can find recipes and lifestyle tips and explore different ways of healing through food and I'll be there for you every step along the way, as your coach and mentor to guide you back to better health.
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