F.A.Q.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where is Olive Tomato?

I currently write from my home in Athens, Greece or wherever I travel. I spent half my childhood growing up in a suburb of on the south side of Chicago and my teens growing up in Athens, Greece.

 

Is Olive Tomato a food blog?

Yes and No. I do post many Greek and Mediterranean inspired recipes, but I also post about the Mediterranean and Greek diet. The latest news, research and health benefits of this diet.

 

Are you qualified to present information on health and diet?

I am a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (former American Dietetic Association) provides a good explanation of a RDN’s credentials:

“A registered dietitian nutritionist is a food and nutrition expert who has met academic and professional requirements including:

  • Earned a bachelor’s degree with course work approved by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). Coursework typically includes food and nutrition sciences, foodservice systems management, business, economics, computer science, sociology, biochemistry, physiology, microbiology and chemistry.
  • Completed an accredited, supervised internship
  • Passed a national examination administered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration.
  • Completes continuing professional educational requirements to maintain registration.”

However, apart from a nutrition degree, I also have a degree in psychology.

 

What made you start writing?

I’ve always liked the idea of promoting healthy eating habits to larger audiences. I have been writing in magazines, newspapers, websites for almost 15 years. I also worked as a food and nutrition editor for several magazines in the past.

 

Where do you get your recipes from?

Some are developed by me. Others are recipes from my mother or grandmother and others are traditional Greek recipes that I have added my own little twist.

 

What is your food and cooking philosophy?

Obviously I am the ultimate proponent of the Mediterranean diet. That means a diet that is tasty, hearty and healthy. I do lean towards more vegetable based dishes rather than meat based dishes which is what the traditional Greek-Mediterranean diet is about. Also most of my recipes are simple and not time-consuming.

 

Are you a trained cook?

I am not formally trained. However apart from learning most of the things I know from my mother, I have worked in various jobs where recipe development and cooking was required. I was the Food and Beverage Director for Starbucks here in Greece when they first opened. I was in charge of developing recipes, choosing the food to be sold at all the stores and making sure that food tasted well. I also worked as a Food Service Manager when I was younger in a hospital, where I was in charge also of overlooking the kitchen, making sure the food tasted well, as well as providing the right food for specific diets of the patients. And of course I cook every day for my family, developing new recipes and perfecting old ones.

 

Do you take your own photos?

Most of the photos are taken by me. If they are not, than I have provided the appropriate source with a link.

 

I really liked one of your articles, can I publish them on my blog, publication, etc. ?

All my articles are protected by copyright, as are my photos and republishing is prohibited.  I put in a lot of work, research and time in writing the articles, testing recipes, and taking the photos, so we can all agree that it only would be fair to not want someone using my material for free. If you would like content, recipe development or social media content, I would be happy to develop this for your website, business etc. Please look under the link “Services” for more information.

I occasionally share my content with non-profit organizations.

 

Do you speak Greek?

Yes I am bilingual. I am fluent in both English and Greek, spoken and written.

 

Is your blog a bit nationalistic?

Definitely not. The definition of nationalistic means a belief that your country is better and more important than other countries. I really do not think Greece or any other country is better than the next, nor have I expressed this anywhere. This blog is an objective look at the Greek and Mediterranean diet. Of course as I was raised on the Greek food there is an affection for this cuisine as I have grown up with it, the same way one would have memories of the food of their childhood. However, the Greek Diet is a different issue. Objectively research has shown that a traditional Greek Diet which served as the prototype of the Mediterranean Diet, is in fact healthier than other traditional diets, this is not an opinion, but an objective, evidence based observation.

 

I left a comment on your blog and it was not published or it was deleted, why?

This blog is a my home on the web, so I like to keep things pleasant and respectable for my visitors. If you are being insulting, mean or trying to sell something, your comment will not be published.

 

Do you provide individual diets or nutrition consultations?

Not at this time, but I am working on something similar for the future.

38 Comments

  • Reply Robert November 3, 2019 at 12:42 pm

    About six months ago, I had two bleeding gastric ulcers, which fortunately healed now. is the Mediterranean diet beneficial for my health?

    • Reply Elena Paravantes RDN November 6, 2019 at 6:22 am

      Hi Robert, Yes. The Mediterranean diet is a diet rich in vitamins important for healing ulcers as well as foods with probiotics (such as yogurt) which also maintain a healthy GI tract. In addition, olive oil which is the main source of fat in the Mediterranean diet has been shown to play a role in the prevention and healing of ulcers due to the antioxidants it contains.

  • Reply C December 8, 2019 at 5:46 pm

    Hello! Does oatmeal and oat bran play any role in the diet? I didn’t find it in the meal plan, but a couple of the articles on your site mention it. For example, having oatmeal instead of processed cereal for breakfast. Is it an ok part of the diet?

  • Reply Cathy Bathurst January 6, 2021 at 2:12 pm

    Is there a shopping list for the 21 day challenge?

    • Reply Elena Paravantes RDN January 6, 2021 at 7:06 pm

      Hi Cathy, Each day I post a mini-challenge, it is not so much a strict menu plan,although I did post suggestions on Day#1.

  • Reply Rebecca .Hall January 7, 2021 at 7:23 pm

    Hi Elena,
    I am new to your site and plan to start incorporating your recipes into our healthy foods diet. One question to start with, I do not care for feta cheese that is used in many mediterranean recipes. Are there other cheeses I can try that will still work well with your recipes?
    Thank you very much.
    Rebecca

    • Reply Elena Paravantes RDN January 7, 2021 at 8:48 pm

      Hi Rebecca,
      In many cases you can just omit the feta, otherwise depending on the recipe you can use ricotta or a crumbly goat cheese.

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