The Mediterranean lifestyle
Living on the Mediterranean comes with a certain panache, as we say in Italy “Dolce Vita,” a life of pleasure and luxury.
Recognized globally not only as a destination but a way of living as well, people who choose the Mediterranean lifestyle either have or are looking for an easier, less complicated, less showy life. And we at KAMPOS believe that these attributes or behaviors are indicative of our brand.
Many of these principles are embedded in the soul of the KAMPOS brand and are meant to accentuate the merits of living in the Mediterranean outwardly with our products and internally by the shared mission that shapes our brand:
- Be stylish without too much effort
- Eat to live. Eat to celebrate
- Share your life
- Be Hungry (for life, in life)
- Connect with and respect nature
Many images are conjured up when you mention “The Mediterranean Lifestyle”: diet, pristine beaches with crystal blue water, simplicity, healthy living and much more. These days, most people associate the Mediterranean Lifestyle with eating a certain way… but there is so much more that, of course, includes food. In reality, the Mediterranean Lifestyle is more about a way of living, interacting with others, history, culture, the importance of comradery, pride and social interaction.
When KAMPOS was conceived, it included in its corporate vision a company that promoted being healthy in many ways with a focus on combining individual style with social consciousness, all of which are part of the Mediterranean culture. One of the more popular references to living in the Mediterranean are summed up with a popular saying: “Live Healthier, Happier, Longer.” No doubt, these are daily objectives for which each of us strive and there is both theoretical and practical proof that this Mediterranean moniker has inherent value. Generally speaking, individuals who live in the Mediterranean follow seven simple principles, many of which serve as part of the KAMPOS mission:
- Eat Healthy
- Spend Time with Friends of Family
- Find Time to Relax
- Laugh Often
- Enjoy Life and Simple Things
- Be Productive
- Stay Physical Active
To many in the “Western” world, these are aspirational meaning we want to do them, believe inherently that they are true elements to longevity, but many seem to find it difficult to maintain these tried and true keys to life longevity difficult to follow. Why? The answer could be as simple as choice, but its roots go far deeper dating back to historical – and quite human traits – of not knowing how to find the right balance and in inherent societal pressure to succeed (however one defines that term). The bottom line is that most of us are stuck in a historical rut of doing things that have been passed on from generation to generation. Most of us are resistant to change old habits in lieu of ones that might actually increase our health, longevity, social interactions and general sense of well-being.
So, the question remains? Why do those who abide a Mediterranean lifestyle appear to “live life to the fullest,” an aspirational quest for which most human beings crave. The answer, while perhaps a bit trite, is simple: the culture encourages, promotes and, to a degree, demands a unique lifestyle that conjoins food, travel, wellness, the benefits of the Mediterranean diet and sustainability of the whole Mediterranean region. This is perhaps the best way to summarize why KAMPOS came to be and why it is focused, through the products it offers consumers, to perpetuate the valuable attributes of living the Mediterranean lifestyle.
The distinct variances between the Mediterranean lifestyle and “others” became so intriguing to several researchers analyzed why such a stark difference in how living a vastly different life can affect health outcomes, not just what you consume. Their findings, while note entirely surprising, yielded interested results that should be a wake-up call to the rest of the world – but it seems many of are stuck in cultural and community norms that are engrained in our DNA. After observing people on the Greek island of Crete lived longer than the general population and people in nearby areas of the Mediterranean had similarly lower rates of chronic disease, the found that diet AND lifestyle were key contributors of living longer, healthier lives. And while diet definitely was a vital ingredient, the key word in their findings was lifestyle – it wasn’t just about how people ate, but how they approached food and their overall daily lives. So, again, the word balance takes center stage.
Most people probably know that a Mediterranean-style diet (eating plenty of vegetables, fish and whole grains, along with foods high in good cholesterol like olive oil) is good for you. It improves your health and helps you live longer. The latest thinking is that it is not just the diet, but an overall Mediterranean Lifestyle that matters. This includes not only eating foods associated with a Mediterranean diet, but also enjoying strong and frequent social connections, and engaging in regular outdoor activities and exercise.
Another group of researchers reached similar observations in a study they completed about why the Mediterranean lifestyle resulted in such dramatic positive results on the people in the region. What they realized or, as they said, were “surprised by” was how the people they encountered enjoyed and savored their food, turning every meal into an excuse for a social occasion with friends and family. They noticed that people spent a lot of time outdoors getting fresh air. Instead of designating daily periods of time to jog or exercise, they engaged in a great deal of leisurely physical activity like walking and riding bicycles. And they seemed to have low levels of chronic stress. In the summary of their findings, which were published in the New York Times, this was their closing statement:
“We need to redefine the Mediterranean diet… The truth is that it is a lifestyle. It’s the whole approach. It’s the food. It’s the social interaction. It’s getting the right kind of exercise. It’s being outside. It’s getting sunlight and sunshine.”