When I picked up Spiri Tsintziras’s book “My Ikaria”, I read it in two days. I loved it. Passport and suitcase in hand she takes us on a journey to a rugged little Greek island isolated in the roughest part of the Aegean. It is also in a Blue Zone – famously known as “where people seem to live an inordinately long time” Diane Kochilas Ikaria, Lessons on Food, Life, and the Longevity from the Greek Island Where People Forget to Die”
Spiri’s own journey to Ikaria reflects on how this little island, described once by Lawrence Durrell “as if it has never been loved by any of its inhabitants”, is instead a place of knowledgeable, joyful, and caring people. Its inhabitants not only love their island, they protect it fiercely.
It’s long been accepted that the Mediterranean diet is one of the healthiest cuisines in the world and Spiri draws on Ikaria’s strength to safeguard and continue the traditions to this day.
She’s able to immerse herself effortlessly, showcasing why the Islanders don’t seem to suffer from heart disease and chronic health issues facing our modern world today. She watches people growing their own vegetables, living and consuming sustainably, using resources with care and creating meaningful relationships. A sense of true balance.
A quest for answers draws the reader to question his or her life in comparison. Are we living the best way we can? For Spiri we should take a leaf out of the Ikarians and use their knowledge and apply it in our own lives wherever we can.
She says ” I look around me on the Terraza, the string beans in a bowl, a plate of cumquats, conversation that ebbs and flows. At this moment I feel content”.
For me, her book was timely and especially important. You see, I am in the process of reversing my own health concerns. It’s a big deal. I don’t want to become the next heart disease statistic and complacent as year after year blood results get progressively worse. I don’t want shiny “magic pills” to rely on. I wanted to question, get angry, proactive and eventually become the CEO of my own health.
Now, It’s my turn to become the very best version of myself by living as healthily as I can. This book is a glimpse into the life of an Ikarian and “My Ikaria” spoke to me in a way an old friend can with dignified truthfulness and respect – Thank You!