What’s for breakfast?



Everybody knows that breakfast is the most important meal of the day – and researchers have now proved it. In fact, skipping breakfast increases your risk of heart disease.

People who don’t eat breakfast are more likely to have early signs of atherosclerosis, a thickening of the arteries that can lead to heart problems.

But researchers from Mount Sinai Heart Hospital in New York don’t think there’s a direct link; it’s more likely that skipping breakfast is symptomatic of poorer eating habits and lifestyle.

The researchers looked at the health and eating habits of 4,052 healthy men and women who all work in banks. Those who eat around 20 per cent of their daily calorie intake at breakfast weren’t showing any signs of atherosclerosis, whereas 75 per cent of those skipping breakfast were.

The breakfast-skippers were also more likely to be obese, have high blood pressure, drink more alcohol, smoke and eat a lot of red meat, the researchers discovered. They surmised that missing breakfast disrupts the body clock, which can cause people to eat more calories at unusual times.

The researchers say their findings have limitations: just 3 per cent of people in the study admit to missing breakfast (perhaps they were a bit embarrassed), and even those eating breakfast were consuming low-calorie food. *

The good news is that breakfast is celebrated at the Writer’s Retreat in Crete.

Every day you get a delicious breakfast provided for you on the sunny front balcony, weather permitting, or at the dining table. You choose what you fancy…

There is a great little bakery close by for fresh bread, Cretan Cheese or Spinach Pies and pastries. A delicious smoothie with fresh fruit and vegetables? Seasonal fruits? Local creamy yoghurt and honey? Cereals or Muesli? Or maybe a boiled egg? Fluffy omelette? Hot coffee, Earl Grey or a cup of the famous Cretan Mountain Tea called Malotira? What you would enjoy most?

Malotira tea is used not only for its excellent aroma and taste, but also for the treatment or prevention of many diseases. According to the Venetians, the name of Malotira or Maletira, came from the Italian words “male (illness)” and “tirare (drag, drive out)” in order to express the great healing properties that it has.

It is mostly recommended for colds and respiratory diseases. When steeped for 3 to 4 minutes with some cinnamon stick and a teaspoon of local honey it also traditionally used to ease coughs. Malotira is an Antioxidant, helps with Digestion and is a Diuretic.

There are other herbs used in Crete for health and well-being, including:

Dittany:  Properties: For Stomach, Aphrodisiac, Nerves , Healing Traumas (External use)

Sage:  Properties: Tonic, Stimulant, Depression, Sweating, Indigestion, Gastritis, Arthritis, Hypertension. (This is apparently great for reducing hot flushes in menopause)

Oregano: Properties: Cough, Stomach pain, Asthma, Diarrhea, Intestinal disorders, Rheumatism, Toothache. Ingredient for cooking many dishes. (I have also been told that organic Oregano essential oil is a natural antibiotic).

Thyme: Properties: Tonic, Diuretic, Stimulant, Digestion, Wellness, Colds. For cooking: fish, seafood, chicken, potatoes, etc.

Thrympa (Savory of Crete): Properties: Cold. For cooking: potatoes, omelets, sauces, meats.

Antonaida-Kalokoimithia (Verbena or Cretan marjoram): Properties: Insomnia, Anxiety, Stomach pain, Headache, Bellyache.

Louisa: Properties: Fat burner, Blood pressure, Cholesterol, Relaxant.

Chamomile: Properties: Calmant, Anxiety, Indigestion, Insomnia, Stomach ulcer, Colic, Diarrhea, External cleanser of infected wounds.

Lavender: Properties: Tranquilizer, Migraine, Headache, Neurasthenia, Insomnia. **

The Mediterranean diet is one of the healthiest in the world… so why not book Your Writer’s Retreat now and give it a try? Your heart will thank you…

* Source: Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 2017; 70: 1833-42  **Source: https://www.bioaroma.gr/gb/content/16-votana



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