After living in the Mediterranean for nearly 8 years, I realized that the girls out here know a thing or two about living. It’s not all about a quick buck, a long career, a fast night out, a slow kiss. It’s about taking care of one’s self and one another. It’s about cherishing relationships, our community, our family. It’s about getting involved in your community and caring for your neighbor. It’s about the village life and the beaches. It’s about eating well and nourishing our bodies, our children, our parents, our husbands, and our careers. It’s about connecting and having a life worth living. And oh, it’s about feeling good on the inside and looking good on the outside.
With that, I believe there were 5 Pillars for Goddess Living – to help us all live like a Mediterranean goddess – no matter where in the world we may be.
- Mediterranean Diet – is a natural, healthy combatant to heart disease, helps lower HDL cholesterol levels, Type 2 diabetes, many food allergies and intolerances. Oldways, a nonprofit think tank in Boston, considers the age-old dietary traditions of Crete, Cyprus, Greece and southern Italy as the most authentic “Mediterranean diet”. Continue reading in the Recipes page for authentic, healthy Mediterranean dishes – taught to me by my mom, my mother-in-law, and the other Mediterranean women in my life
- Beauty Tips & Tricks – We women of the Mediterranean like to feel beautiful and sexy. We recognize there is a certain power we ascertain in our beauty; and we go to lengths to make certain they look and feel as desirable as we naturally can. From lemons in our water, and on every vegetable you can imagine, to lemons on our elbows, there are real nuggets of beauty tips that are passed from generation to generation. Click on the Beauty tips page for more.
- Healthy Attitudes & Faith/Spirituality- as a former (current? I fight this one.) control freak, I was amazed at how many of my Cypriot friends seemed to navigate the difficult nuances of normal life. Whereas I stress and get my stomach in knots over a negative review by a boss or a catty comment by a supposed friend, many of my friends seem to let things glide over them. They were secure in who they were, and I believe it is partly because they were taught some valuable insights of growing up in a large, tight family or community. Some funny, some harsh, and most downright spot-on, I share some of my favorite ones and their hidden meanings here.
- Career – Only a generation ago, most Mediterranean women were stay-at-home mothers and wives. They were completely dependent on their husbands and fathers for financial stability. In an ideal setting, these mothers/wives would be respected and adored by their husbands and children. But since that is not always the case when there is a parity of power, last generation’s mothers often times push their daughters to have a career and be self sufficient. Interestingly, the most successful women I witnessed were those who recognized careers, money and wealth were a means to an end. They cultivated a technical trade and started a business that would enable them to set their own hours, their own wages in the marketplace. Yet, all the while, they maintain their relationships with their children, their friends, their family and their community.
- Family & Community – Family is everything in the Mediterranean. One only needs to watch The Godfather to see how important it is in these parts of the world. There is a multi-generational aspect to parenting. Grandparents are directly involved in the rearing of the grandchildren. Meals are shared, savored and enjoyed over a single table, not eaten in the car or on the run between meetings, practices and appointments. If things can wait until tomorrow, they do. The greater community is part of this “family-centric” focus; this “village mentality” is real, since people know and care for their neighbors. Spending time really talking and connecting strengthens the bonds of the Mediterranean community.
These are my little beliefs about how I learned a thing or two by living on an island in the Mediterranean. It changed my life, and I hope you will read and follow along for a healthier life, as well.