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Julie and Marie

Posted by Dorothy on 9/21/04 at 22:17 (160305)

Julie and Marie -

Thank you for asking about me not too long ago. I hope I haven't missed too many posts and none that were direct inquiries of me. I saw Pauline's post tonight mentioning my name and so did a search on 'Dorothy' and think I saw anything that was there but may have missed something. If so, sorry.

I have been seriously ill and nearly didn't make it. Still weak and very tired so I might not be here much, but thought I'd comment when I saw my name in Pauline's post tonight. I don't like to have my name bandied about erroneously.

I was tempted to say: Pauline is not a doctor, but she likes to wrestle doctors. But I didn't.

Hope you are well and that neither hurricanes nor feet nor the heartbreaking daily news has gotten the best of anyone here. Not so much in the news as the hurricanes, but my friends and family in Pittsburgh have had a devil of a time with flooding there. Very bad.

When more able, I may look into the Tatami Birkenstocks. I've seen them advertised but never worn them. They sound good, don't they.
I got a notice from Zappos that Brooks 'Addiction' is being completely discontinued. Ok, that's it for me. Best to you all-

Re: Julie and Marie

Julie on 9/22/04 at 02:16 (160322)

Hello Dorothy, and welcome back. I'm sorry you've been so ill. Your last post said that your cough had turned into bronchitis, which can be very serious. Did it turn into somethingelse - pneumonia?

Anyway, it's good you're back, and yes, the Tatami Fulda's are gorgeous. I'm tempted, as I said to Suzanne on another thread, to try them myself, except I have low arches so they're probably no good for me (which wouldn't stop me wasting my money, necessarily...)

I'm well. I'm off to Crete in a few days, so will be missing myself for awhile. Looking forward to the mountains, the sea, and the air. And the sun, after our non-summer here.

Re: Julie and Marie

Dorothy on 9/22/04 at 16:39 (160354)

Thanks, Julie.
Yes, pneumonia with lots of complications and difficulty recovering, and still doing so.

Your trip to Crete sounds wonderful. Because the Cretan diet gets so much positive press for its health benefits, would you mind giving some details about it - beyond what the cookbooks say? For example, I have wondered what the Cretans and the Greeks eat for breakfast.
And I know that good fish are in ever-shorter supply there, and everywhere, so what do they eat, given that change in their diets?

When I was still so sick but starting to pull ahead of it, one of mine said, 'Do you want me to tell those 'foot people' you correspond with?' (e.g. about the illness) and I said no.
It's kind of funny though, this odd little international community of foot people, isn't it.

Re: Julie and Marie

marie on 9/22/04 at 16:52 (160355)

Dorothy so sorry to hear that you were sick. I had hoped you were just on vacation at some tropical place in the South Pacific. I hope you get to feeling better soon. Pnuemonia is a bear to get over. Well you stay compfy and keep us updated on your recovery. We miss you.


Re: Glad you're improving, Dorothy...

Suzanne D. on 9/22/04 at 21:28 (160363)

Dorothy, I'm sorry you have been so ill and relieved that you are recovering. I kept looking for a response to Julie's post to you and worried that you might be sick.

I know from my husband's past experiences with pneumonia that it can take some time to fully recover. Be good to yourself, and take it slowly.

Take care!
Suzanne :)

Re: The Cretan diet

Julie on 9/23/04 at 01:34 (160368)

Dorothy, here is a link to an article about the olive, which I think you''ll enjoy reading the whole of (nice pictures, too).


Towards the end of it there is a paragraph about the Mediterranean diet which I'll copy here in case you're still too frail to read the whole thing and in case anyone else is interested. here goes:

There is increasing scientific evidence that there
are positive health effects from diets which are high in fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains, and which include fish, nuts and low-fat dairy products. Such diets need not be restricted in total fat as long as there is not an excess of calories, and emphasize predominantly vegetable oils that are low in saturated fats and partially-hydrogenated oils. The traditional Mediterranean Diet , whose principal source of fat is olive oil, encompasses these dietary characteristics.

The term traditional 'Mediterranean diet' has a specific meaning. It reflects food patterns typical of some Mediterranean regions in the early 1960's , such as Crete, parts of the rest of Greece, and southern Italy.


an abundance of plant food (fruit, vegetables, breads, other forms of cereals, potatoes, beans, nuts, and seeds);

minimally processed, seasonally fresh, and locally grown foods;

fresh fruit as the typical daily dessert, with sweets containing concentrated sugars or honey consumed a few time per week;

olive oil as the principal source of fat;

dairy products (principally cheese and yogurt) consumed daily in low to moderate amounts;

fish and poultry consumed in low to moderate amounts;

zero to four eggs consumed weekly;

red meat consumed in low amounts; and

wine consumed in low to moderate amounts, normally with meals.

As much as can be determined, this diet was low in saturated fat (less than or equal to 7-8% of energy), with total fat ranging from less than 25% to more than 35% of energy from one area to another. Data also indicate that work in the field or kitchen resulted in a lifestyle that included regular physical activity and was associated with far less obesity than was observed in the United States.'

The interesting thing is that this is written in the past tense: in other words, the mediterranean diet that typically prevailed until the 1960s is now no more. The changes that come with increased prosperity have affected Crete as they have other nations (I recently read an article about Greek obesity!)

I would say - but it is a guess, because I don't know that many Cretans, that in the rural areas, especially in the mountain villages, where people are still poor, the diet is much the same as it has always been, and is a healthy diet for the reasons stated above. In the towns, and of course in the tourist centres, my impression is that there is a much heavier consumption of meat (lamb, goat, rabbit, chicken, but rarely beef because there are no cows and such beef as there is is imported) and a correspondingly decreased consumption of vegetables and legumes.

The mediterranean IS almost fished out, and I would imagine that only well-off Cretans eat very much of it. But fish would have been a staple of the diet only in the coastal fishing communities - I wouldn't have thought the mountain communities ever saw much fish, and they certainly don't now.

I have no idea what Cretans eat for breakfast! But there is a joke that the typical Greek breakfast is ten cups of coffee and ten cigarettes. But I'll see if I can find out and tell you next month.

Take care.


Re: The Cretan diet

Julie on 9/23/04 at 01:38 (160369)

I don't know what that 'however' is doing there.

Also I meant to say that I will look out a few more links for you. I know my way around several websites to do with Crete, and it might be interesting for you to peruse them in your convalescence, which I hope is proceeding smoothly. In fact, here are some website addresses:

http://www.west-crete.com (this one has marvellous photos)

Re: The Cretan diet

Julie on 9/23/04 at 01:40 (160370)

From the west-crete site, here is a picture of the oldest olive tree in Crete:


Re: The Cretan diet

john h on 9/23/04 at 09:42 (160377)

That is some olive tree. How old is it? Can one eat olives right off a tree?

Re: The Cretan diet

Julie on 9/23/04 at 10:43 (160384)


It really is some olive tree, isn't it? 5,000 years old! There are many olive trees in Crete that are at least 2,000 and more years old - the path that leads up into the hills out of Loutro ('my' village) is lined with a dozen or so of them.

No, I don't think you can eat olives off the trees. The branches are too high off the ground - but you might be lucky and find some ripe ones on the ground late in the Autumn. But you'd be lucky only if they were olives grown for eating, and very few of the olives on Crete are: most are cultivated for their oil (and Cretan olive oil is the best in the world, though as so little of it is exported you're unlikely to find any unless you buy it on the internet).

When the olives are ripe the trees are shaken so that the ripe olives fall into nets spread under the trees. They are then gathered and taken to the local co-operative and made into oil. The harvesting of olives is a huge, backbreaking job which involves everyone in the community, and it's traditional for young people who have spent the tourist season working in the tourist industry to return to their villages to help with the harvest.

I usually bring back a couple of litres of oil with me when I go, and enjoy it - till the next time (but it rarely lasts till the next time).

Re: The 5,000 year-old olive tree on Crete

Julie on 9/23/04 at 10:52 (160388)

Hurry, hurry, hurry. For anyone else who wants to see a picture of this magnificant tree, look now. Jean, the website owner and photographer, posts a new photo every day. It's still there, but won't be for long.

Re: The 5,000 year-old olive tree on Crete

Julie on 9/23/04 at 10:54 (160389)

John, did you notice I mis-spelled Magnificent? (Actually, I mis-typed and didn't proof-read it.)


Re: The 5,000 year-old olive tree on Crete

Cyndi on 9/23/04 at 12:18 (160391)

This 'Mediterranean Diet' sounds like something I could live easily with.
I will copy it off, I got to see the tree(Yippee) and I think I will go have an olive. LOL :-)

My DR. gave me some Neurotin samples yesterday and I am mellow today, Oh it feels good for a change.

Julie, Have a wonderful vacation in paradise!

Re: Glad you're improving, Dorothy...

Cyndi on 9/23/04 at 12:30 (160393)

Good MOJO to your improvement Dorothy! My Dr had me blowing up ballons
when I had it has a kid. Hope you are feeling better real soon.

Re: The 5,000 year-old olive tree on Crete

Julie on 9/23/04 at 14:03 (160394)

Thank you, Cyndi! I shall. :)


Re: The 5,000 year-old olive tree on Crete

john h on 9/23/04 at 15:04 (160399)

Julie you could have spelled it begining with an X and I might not have known. Now if I had a student pilot be 1 degree off on a power setting I would konk him over the head.

Re: The Cretan diet

john h on 9/23/04 at 15:06 (160400)

I always dreamed of stompping olives like they stomp grapes in a big vat with aobut 10 or so people.

Re: The 5,000 year-old olive tree on Crete

Suzanne D. on 9/23/04 at 16:02 (160409)

I'm glad I got to see it! I love trees of all kinds. That truly is a magnificent tree!

Thanks for posting the link. I remember looking at sights from Crete which you posted once before. Reading on this site about various places and seeing pictures - as well as reading John H's stories - is the next best thing to being there myself!

Suzanne :)

Re: John...

Suzanne D. on 9/23/04 at 17:23 (160413)

That's just the point I'm always trying to make to my students: everyone is unique, and each person has certain areas in which they are the best.

I have a little boy in my room this year who is having a dickens of a time learning to read. It is just so hard for him. You can see the intense concentration on his face as he tries so hard to make sense of it all. But give him something to put together, and he finishes first every time! And it is very well done. If it is cutting on the solid line, folding on the dotted line, making a book; putting together a puzzle; cutting and pasting - I never have to give him any extra help, and he often helps the others.

I am trying to capitalize on this strength to help his confidence. Today I said, 'Well, here's Jared's monkey. He's our best at building anything. Someday you're going to be fixing my van engine, Jared.' And he just grinned. And if I'm still around to see it, I think he will be doing just that!

Suzanne :)

Re: Stomping olives

Julie on 9/23/04 at 21:51 (160427)

John, it would be terribly painful! All those sharp little stones digging into one's plantar fascia.

Come to think of it, it might be just the thing....

Hey, everyone! John has discovered the Cure for PF! Stomping Olives!

Re: The 5,000 year-old olive tree on Crete

Julie on 9/23/04 at 21:59 (160428)

Yes, Suzanne, that is a wonderful website. Jean Bienvenue (he is French but has lived in Crete for many years) is an excellent photographer, and I look at his site almost every day to get my 'fix' of Crete when I'm not there. If you explore the photo sections there are hundreds of marvellous pictures of Crete, and it IS the next best thing to being there oneself. Jean is also a guide, and a couple of years ago I went on one of his treks to the summit of the highest peak in the White Mountains. We drove up a rough track in a pickup truck with no seats for about two hours and then climbed to the summit - another two hours. Here is a link to some photos of it, and of the views from it: an incredible mountain desert landscape:


Jean's caption to these photos says: 'I long thought that Pachnes, apart from being the highest summit of the White Mountains, had nothing much spectacular, not much of a 'personality'. And it is true that, being very much at the center it doesn't offer spectacular views of the coastline. It doesn't have much of a distinctive shape either, with a rather flat top that extends for about 2 km. But what it has is being at the center, right in the middle of this lunar landscape that characterizes the White Mountains at high altitude. And it is so isolated that it gives you the feeling that you are the only person left on the planet. '

That was true!

As you can tell, I am getting very excited about going in a few days' time (so much so that I have insomnia tonight, which is why I'm here. (It's 4am in London.)

Good night - I'm going back to bed now.

Re: The Cretan diet

marie on 9/24/04 at 19:44 (160450)

Pretty olive tree! Thank you!

Re: The 5,000 year-old olive tree on Crete

Suzanne D. on 9/25/04 at 07:28 (160477)

What a truly incredible sight!! Thank you for sharing this link, Julie. Even looking at pictures, one gets that distinct, 'only one left on the planet' feeling!

Suzanne :)