Tackling the obesity crisis through a love of food
4 September 2018
Can enjoying food and fighting obesity exist together? It may seem like an oxymoron, but Brisbane-based Authors and Dietitians say they can, and should.
Desi Carlos and Lisa Peterson of Two Greek Girls Cooking, say that encouraging a love of good quality food is a key part of preventing obesity and chronic disease.
“More people need to embrace a culture which has no baggage around loving food. Meals should be a natural, enjoyable part of every day, and we as a country can be much more mindful about that. That’s how we make inroads in fighting our obesity epidemic,” Desi Carlos says.
Desi, who has been practicing in dietetics for the past twenty years with Tree of Life Nutrition, says people are often swinging from mindless eating, to a very controlled approach to food.
“In one corner, we are busy, and reaching for things, usually packaged, with little thought for where our food has come from, and what it has in it. In the other, we have this culture of restrictive and fad diets. Neither of those approaches are healthy or sustainable,” she says.
Two Greek Girls Cooking believe that the changes can begin on a wider level, by making food an important part of daily life, a way of showing care and love to friends and family. A culture they were lucky enough to learn in their traditional Greek childhoods.
“In the Mediterranean culture we grew up with, food isn’t a side thought. It’s an expression and a celebration. Traditionally, Mediterranean people grow and cook food at home, and it is eaten together often. It’s very mindful and the bonus is, traditional recipes are borne from the abundance of highly nutritious foods,” Lisa Peterson says.
“The fact that these two beautiful things exist together in one food culture is what makes the traditional Mediterranean diet so exciting for Australia.”
Desi and Lisa are passionate about bringing the traditional Mediterranean diet to Australian shores through their lifestyle and cookbook Mediterranean Eating: Cook, Eat, Live and coming up in Brisbane on October 21 at The Greek Club, a world-first Mediterranean Diet Expo.
The Mediterranean Diet Expo is a day where all Australians can understand the health benefits of traditional Mediterranean eating for nutrition, weight loss and chronic disease prevention.
“There are many studies around the efficacy of the Mediterranean Diet for chronic disease prevention and longevity. We will be bringing together a range of health experts to explain this,” Desi says.
Speakers include a Clinical Psychologist, a General Practitioner specialising in Diabetes, an Exercise Physiologist, Dietitians, an Oral Health Specialist and Psychiatrist as well as renowned Cardiologist Dr David Colquhoun, Consultant Cardiologist at Wesley Private and Greenslopes Private Hospitals.
“A Mediterranean-type diet is associated with very low rates of heart attack, stroke and importantly, less depression – and it tastes great! Hippocrates got it right over 2000 years ago when he said ‘let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food’.” Dr Colquhoun says, who is also President of the Queensland Branch of the National Heart Foundation of Australia.
Two Greek Girls Cooking will be demonstrating how to easily incorporate a Mediterranean way of eating and living into daily life, with cooking sessions, food tips, and stalls throughout the day.
“This is the simple, fresh traditional food our yiayias learnt to cook and eat in Greece, rather than the Western version we’ve been more exposed to,” Desi adds.
“Lots of seafood, fresh nutritious vegetables and fruit, whole grains and dairy plus the abundant use of olive oil. It’s all about balance, and that includes the occasional treat and glass of good quality red wine,” she adds.
The girls say that this kind of eating is maintainable over the long term because it can be enjoyed by the whole family and is flavourful.
“The Mediterranean diet is sustainable because there’s no restrictions. It’s family eating, using delicious time-honoured recipes which people have been eating for generations to enjoy a long and healthy life,” Lisa says.
Lisa adds, that a renewed love of food, and a sense of empowerment, is the most important takeaway from the event, and their book.
“We hope that people come away from the Mediterranean Diet Expo loving this beautiful culture and food as much as we do. We hope it gives them a passion for cooking and eating that will be life-changing for them and their family,” she says.
Tickets for the upcoming Mediterranean Diet Expo can be purchase via their website, twogreekgirls.com
About Two Greek Girls Cooking
Lisa Peterson and Desi Carlos are dietitians with over 30 years combined experience in private practice at Tree of Life Nutrition in Brisbane. Their vision with Two Greek Girls Cooking is to educate and inspire all generations and ethnicities in Australia to encompass a Mediterranean diet – enjoyment of delicious food, at the same time as providing high nutrition for long-term health. Their lifestyle book Mediterranean Eating Cook-Eat-Live (available online https://twogreekgirls.com/shop/ and through selected bookshops) is a comprehensive plan for adopting the Mediterranean lifestyle as the optimal way to live for chronic disease prevention and longevity.
About Dr David M Colquhoun
Dr Colquhoun is Consultant Cardiologist at the Wesley Private Hospital and Greenslopes Private Hospital and Medical Director of CORE Research Unit. Associate Professor David Colquhoun is a cardiologist in clinical practice and is actively involved in research. He is the President of the Queensland branch of the National Heart Foundation of Australia (NHFA); a member of the Scientific Committee of the National Institute of Complementary Medicine (NICM); a member of the Scientific Committee of the Gallipoli Medical Research Foundation; and Co-President of the Clinical and Preventive Cardiology Council of the Cardiac Society of Australian and New Zealand (CSANZ). He was chief author of the 2008 NHFA Statement on omega-3 fatty acids and heart disease. This was updated in 2015.
For interviews please contact:
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Dr David Colquhoun
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Learn more about this event
Visit our webpageMEDITERRANEAN DIET EXPO