“Food shared with love satisfies the palate, brings connection to one another and delivers joy to the heart."

AphFoodite™ in Crete on Romance & the healthy Mediterranean diet & lifestyle VIDEO.

Check out this video I did as AphFoodite™ – the Greek goddess of food, romance and love – that was filmed in Crete.

James Stathis and Cynthia Daddona
What brought us to Crete? My husband Jim and I were delighted when the Pan-Cretan Association of America (through the Greek Trade Office and the Greek National Tourist Organization) invited us on a press trip to the wonderful island of Crete during the summer.

Filming a segment about the Mediterranean Diet & Lifestyle at Kosta Mare Palace Resort & Spa

Filming a segment about the Mediterranean Diet & Lifestyle at Kosta Mare Palace Resort & Spa

As a husband and wife creative team of Mediterranean descent – I am an American-Italian-Greek and my husband Jim is an American-Greek – we have a deep love for producing stories, videos and documentaries about our heritages. We enjoy sharing information about the Mediterranean especially on the country of Greece and Italy – its culture, history and cuisine – through our combined websites RomancingTheTable.com®, a celebration of life, love, food, wisdom and travel with a Mediterranean twist and CelebrateGreece.com®, providing video journeys exploring ancient and modern Greece. As a result, we also produced the #1 New York Times’ About.com culinary travel DVD, A Greek Island Destination Cooking Class, filmed in Santorini. Most of all we enjoy eating the Mediterranean diet which is not only one of the healthiest in the world but offers many delicious dishes.

Cynthia at the Minoan Palace of Knossos

Cynthia at the Minoan Palace of Knossos. © RomancingTheTable.com and CelebrateGreece.com

During our visit to Crete, we enjoyed the beauty, romance, culture, history and cuisine of Crete. Back in 2006, we spent part of our honeymoon in Elounda, Crete after being married in a Greek island wedding in Santorini. We were very happy when we returned to Crete and had the opportunity to visit a variety of wonderful new locations. We discovered that Crete has something for everyone – from the finest hotels, located on the magnificent Mediterranean Sea, to the agro-tourism farms/wineries to the archaeological splendors of Knossos Palace and the Herakleion Archaeological Museum.

We particularly enjoyed the hospitality shown to us whether it was from an owner of a hotel, agro-tourism farm, or even a psaro-taverna (fish restaurant).

Cynthia smiling after talking horta with a real Cretan Yiayia

Cynthia smiling after talking horta with a real Cretan Yiayia.

I also loved that we had the chance to visit the kitchen and talk with a yiayia (Grandmother) about horta (greens), one of my favorite staples of the Mediterranean diet. The same psaro-taverna, in anticipation of our arrival, went fishing the previous evening and caught a 10+ kilo fish, which was grilled to perfection and served beachside. Talk about fresh from the sea!

Click here to see a video filmed in Santa Barbara and Crete that includes my award-winning horta (greens) recipe.

UPDATE: This month is also National Mediterranean Diet Month (Med Month!) created by Oldways, a world-renowned source of Mediterranean diet information, “to highlight the healthy Mediterranean Diet and its lifestyle practices.” It is based healthy foods “that have traditionally been consumed by people living in the countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea.” In celebration of Med Month I have also posted my video on Romantic, Healthy and Delicious Mediterranean Date Nights with recipes.

The quintessential romantic table at Manousakis Winery (Nostos Wines) near Chania.

The quintessential romantic table at Manousakis Winery (Nostos Wines) near Chania.

Agreco agro-tourism site.

Agreco Farms, an agro-tourism site.


Research that began on the Greek island of Crete after World War II proved that the Mediterranean diet is one of the healthiest in the world. It is often described as the “gold standard for healthy eating” and has been proven to reduce the risk of developing chronic diseases and increasing brainpower.

Oldways created the Mediterranean Diet Pyramid along with the Harvard School of Public Health. According to the pyramid, we should eat mostly vegetables, legumes, grains, fruits, herbs, spices, and healthy fats such as olive oil on a regular basis. Seafood should be eaten at least twice a week, poultry, diary, and eggs consumed daily to weekly, and red meats and sweets should be on the menu less often. Being physically active and enjoying meals with others is also an important part of the pyramid and the Mediterranean lifestyle.

James and Cynthia enjoying fish, horta, Greek salad and Octopus seaside in Crete.

James and Cynthia enjoying fish, horta, Greek salad and Octopus seaside in Crete.

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