Three whole weeks have passed by without me writing here. The reason? The book I co-wrote was published at the beginning of this month, and it's been non-stop. I'm not sure I've talked that much here about the book - The Mount Athos Diet - before, so here's the lowdown.
Back in 2008, we three authors (Sue Todd, who I first met when she edited the BBC Food website and I was a researcher; Richard Storey, my father, who has been going to Mount Athos as a pilgrim for around 13 years now; and I) developed The Mount Athos Diet. Based on a centuries old way of eating, the diet consists of three different eating patterns over the course of a week: Fast Days - virtually fat-free, vegan (x3 days); Moderation Days - classic low-fat Mediterranean diet (x3 days); and a Feast Day - eat whatever you want.
The monks of Mount Athos are an exceptionally healthy population; researchers have studied their diet and lifestyle to find out what causes the inhabitants of this monastic state in Halkidiki to live such long lives, with rarely any instances of cancer or dementia. A combination of regular, traditional Greek Orthodox fasts, a lack of processed foods, plenty of fresh air and exercise, plus the peaceful life of the monastery are all contributing factors, and it is this combination that forms the basis of our diet book. Of course, life isn't quite as peaceful for the rest of us, but the idea is to incorporate as much of the good stuff into our Western lives as possible.
It has taken six years of research, writing, perseverance, hard work, and determination to get to this point, where our book is on sale, and I couldn't be more proud. Always an ambition to have my name on a book, the novelty hasn't yet worn off.
And, since the beginning of May, we've spotted the book in quite a few magazines and newspapers, and have appeared on local radio. So it's all a bit exciting, really. And here's hoping I'll get back to more regular blogging soon.
If you'd like to find out more about the book, head over to Amazon or Hive, or like our page on Facebook.
I really must get myself to Greece someday soon...
Photo: Alyssa Aldersley