When out and hungry, my friends may grab food at the nearest take-out, like fried chicken or a burger and chips or donuts; I would let them get on with it while I would wait and drive out a little further in order to get near to a place where I would find some wholesome food, without any deep frying, preservatives or other things added.

Since I had started my hard training around the age of nineteen, I have never had a burger, fries or fried chicken. I am exactly the same through festivities and on holiday. I never feel like I miss out, as if I fancy a type of food and can’t find a healthy version in a restaurant, I just wait till I can make it myself.

Healthy eating is a way of life. I am probably what most would call extreme but I like to know what goes into the preparation of the food that I eat. I like to know what oil is used and how it is cooked, grilled or fried. So at restaurants, I often cause a little trouble with lots of questions and often end up eating the same basics as it is safe. Being allergic to milk doesn’t help as it rules out a lot of food that is prepared with ordinary cow’s milk; since so many of our dishes are prepared or marinated with milk and yoghurt, it can make things a little limited in choice.

The Mediterranean cuisine is one of the healthiest with its grilled vegetables, potatoes or meats all basted and cooked in our healthy olive oil; Fresh fish cooked and garnished with lemon and herbs; The chicken souvla, one of my favourites, is the perfect test for me as it is this and the fish that makes a large bulk of my eating.

All this can hardly leave even a health conscious bodybuilder hungry, but we all want a little more variety.

Being one of the most awkward eaters when going out, I was thrilled to hear that one of my favourite places, that is mainly a take-out restaurant, is now opening and having a full blown restaurant with full on entertainment of live music at the weekends. You may wonder why I am so excited but for those of us with an allergy to milk, and there are so many of us now, ‘A Taste of Cyprus’ at The Sun pub in Waltham Abbey, not only do the traditional Cypriot souvla with its well known added parsley and onion, but they also make Moussaka and Makaronia Tou Fournou (Pastitsio) on special pre-order with lactose free milk and cheese or even lactose free skimmed milk and cheese if you like to maintain a slim silhouette. Well done ‘Taste of Cyprus’ and let’s hope other cuisines follow your example, where people like myself can eat some traditional food and enjoy it when I don’t feel like cooking it myself for a change.

The traditional Greek cuisine is great, and though may vary slightly from region to region, each has its speciality. Cyprus has lots of its own dishes but it also has the added influence of many other countries that have been adopted over the years, giving dishes their own extra unique flavours.

Add along some good country red wine, in moderation of course for the antioxidants, and what more could one ask for. There are no excuses not to eat and drink in a healthy manner, whether you choose to steak out and party, or take out and relax in the comfort of your own home with friends and family.

You really are what you eat so think carefully before you order your food.


Love and Sparkles

Samsara x

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