Greek Goes Keto Mediterranean Retreat 2023: A Journey to Wellness in Ancient Marathon

Our 2023 Keto Mediterranean retreat – an unforgettable 7-day event of friendship, connection, learning, enjoying and exploring is behind us. However, we keep thinking about it daily! It is quite difficult to express all the feelings and memories in a single article. Nevertheless, we are sure you’ll be able to get the image composed of some mosaic tiles.

This year’s event combined the breathtaking beauty of the Mediterranean zone with the traditional way of living and eating in Greece. Our friend American orthopaedic surgeon Dr. Shawn Baker, known as the “Carnivore demigod” was our special guest again. His impressive physique and strength are well known in the online Keto/Carnivore universe. However, when people get to meet him in person, they learn about his gentle side! A superb father (we had his youngest son Lucas with us), and a loving husband to his lovely wife Jasmine who also joined the retreat.

Additionally, we were honoured to have Dr. David Unwin with us. Dr David is an award-winning general practitioner known for pioneering the low-carb approach in the UK. he is also a leading expert in reversing Type 2 Diabetes with the low-carb approach and has published several studies on this subject, of which this is the most significant one! During our seven days together, we had the opportunity to learn many things from him. For example, how to combine kindness, politeness, and intellectualism with a good sense of humour! Let us not forget the child-like curiosity!

And then, the real supernova of our KMD retreat, his wife, Dr Jen Unwin. As a clinical psychologist and expert in food and sugar addiction, Dr Jen treated us with sessions of mindfulness practice. As if all this wasn’t enough, Dr Jen brought us many books including her own called Fork in the road. This book will teach you about freeing yourself from the emotional and physical dangers of overeating sugars, flours and processed foods.┬áBut that was not all, as Dr Jen informed us -“I am a feeder by nature, I like feeding people”. So, she cooked with us every day and taught us how to make the most velvety scrambled eggs. During the barbecue evenings, she was leading a small team preparing side-dishes and colourful salads. We did a lot of meat roasting together and she also perfectly decorated our Greek yoghurt keto cake! If we could only steal Dr Jen and have her with us in Greece forever! ;)

Keto Mediterranean retreat 2023 brought together participants from around the world, each with their unique story and a shared passion for the ketogenic lifestyle. Let’s embark on a journey through this unforgettable experience

Greek Goes Keto family

Our retreat attracted a diverse group of participants from various corners of the globe. Among them was our dear friend Richard Hadwina, a swimming coach and an expert in the Keto Mediterranean diet, hailing from California. Everybody enjoyed Richard’s great attitude and cheerfulness! From pro-level grilling, solving technical issues to swimming lessons – nothing was difficult for him!

Another GGK family member Paola Lopez journeyed from Arizona to be part of this unique event. Paola had previously experienced the spirit and atmosphere of the Greek Goes Keto retreat in 2021 so she couldn’t resist rejoining us again! We felt truly blessed to have her and Richard with us for one more day after the retreat.

The importance of being different

It was great to meet and befriend Irina and Silvana, two best friends with origins in Ukraine and Peru. They initially booked the first retreat that was supposed to happen in 2020, but was postponed due to the pandemic. Somehow they were not able to come last year and we were happy to welcome them this year! They came from different spots in the USA to immerse themselves in the KMD culture. Both of them are doing a sort of Keto or Low-Carb for health reasons while Irena even does occasional Carnivore sessions.

Todd and Jen, a friendly and lovely Canadian couple enchanted us with ther personalities! Tod was unofficially named the head director since he virtuously took care of all the IT issues and did a lot of filming for us. They enjoyed Greek Olive oil culture, seafood, lamb and in particular mastic! Imagine how happy we were when they informed us that they decided to come back next year and bring their two daughters with them!

Christopher and Jennifer from Colorado were first-time travellers outside the USA, motivated by their pursuit of a healthier lifestyle through the Keto diet with our Greek twist to it. Their unique stories about keeping their T2D and other health issues under control with Jennifer’s great talent in preparing healthy yet delicious meals were inspiring. The diversity of backgrounds and motivations added depth to the retreat, making it a truly enriching experience for all of us.

The actual connection

Apollonas and I felt as if we are on a family vacation! Our Greek Goes Keto Mediterranean retreats are created out of the wish to welcome and engage positive atmosphere for all participants. We gave our best to include trips to various archaeological sites and museums. We visited Marathon and Vravrona, offering a glimpse into Greece’s rich history and culture.

The City of Athens was also on the itinerary, where a Greek doctor who accepts the low-carb and Keto approach Thanos Efthimiou joined the group. Our friend Nikos spent almost all days with us, taking photos and helping us organise all the trips. Then we had many friends who kept visiting villa on daily basis. Everyone will remember Yannis, Vaso, Pavlos, Kalliopi, Elisabeth, Fotini… We will especially remember Dr Baker’s Greek-Scotish fan named Andy with his lovely accent and friendly giant appearence!

Exploring Ancient Sites

The retreat offered a unique opportunity to explore some of Greece’s most treasured archaeological sites such as the sanctuary to the Egyptian gods, the Thumb of the Athenians and the temple of goddess Artemis. Participants ventured into the mystical Socrates’ cave, marvelled at the grandeur of the Philoppapou monument, and wandered through the ancient Plaka and Monastiraki districts of Athens. These excursions allowed attendees to immerse themselves in the ancient world while learning about the historical significance of these sites.

It’s all Greek food

No Mediterranean retreat would be complete without indulging in the exquisite flavours of Greek cuisine. The group dined in charming seaside tavern, where they savoured traditional dishes prepared with a Keto twist. Fresh seafood, olive oil, and locally sourced vegetables took centre stage, showcasing the heart-healthy Mediterranean diet. One highlight was a visit to a traditional Greek folk festival in Marathon, where everyone relished succulent roasted lamb cooked over an open flame.

Barbecue Delights

Back at the villa, barbecue parties became a cherished tradition. Apollonas’s father, Apostolis, took charge of the barbecue fire and charcoal, while everyone else joined in meal preparation. Together, we crafted mouthwatering Keto meals that satisfied both the palate and the body. The gatherings were not only about delicious food but also about fostering connections and sharing stories of health transformations.

Ancient Greek Nutrition Insights

At the very first evening of the retreat Apollonas gave a thought-provoking presentation on Ancient Greek nutrition and meat consumption in antiquity. Drawing from historical sources and modern research, the discussion shed light on the dietary choices of ancient Greeks and their potential relevance in today’s context. This session offered explanation of the Keto Mediterranean approach and its historical roots.

Movie Nights and Culinary Creations

Evenings at the villa were filled with entertainment and camaraderie. A memorable movie night brought everyone together to enjoy a Greek comedy. Additionally, participants had the opportunity to channel their inner chefs and recreate some of the delectable Greek Goes Keto recipes. Notable mentions include the Greek Yoghurt Keto cake, Keto Tiramisu, and Keto crepes, all prepared with a focus on health and taste.

Aqua Aerobics and Mindfulness

The retreat also catered to the body and mind. I lead morning sessions of aqua aerobics in the stunning infinity pool, providing a refreshing start to the day. Dr. Jen Unwin offered wonderful mindfulness training, helping participants find inner calm and balance amid the beauty of their surroundings. These activities contributed to a holistic wellness experience.

Retreat 2023 and swimming

How we loved all the beaches! We swam on so many different spots. Swimming enthusiasts were in for a treat with Richard Hadwina, the swimming coach, who shared his expertise in swimming techniques. Participants honed their skills and gained valuable insights into how swimming complements a Keto lifestyle. Dr David Unwin’s contemplative sessions provided a space for introspection, allowing participants to explore their health journeys and aspirations.

Life is all about making memories

The Greek Goes Keto Mediterranean retreat of 2023 in ancient Marathon will stay a remarkable memory for all of us. A mix of culture, cuisine, and health. With a diverse group of participants, esteemed guest, and dedicated hosts, this retreat was something that will bring smiles to our faces whenever we think of it. Against the backdrop of Greece’s rich history and natural beauty, attendees embraced the Keto Mediterranean lifestyle, deepening their understanding of nutrition, and forging lasting connections with like-minded individuals. As the full moon was arising over the Aegean sea, it marked not only the end of an extraordinary retreat but also the beginning of many new friendships!

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