A great big thank you to Mary for welcoming us last weekend, it was super! And thanks also for allowing me to re-post this remarkable description of our fun evening. Words and photos: Mary Anglberger.
And since International Women’s Day fell on a Saturday… we just had to celebrate it with a dinner. I had been planning for a while to host an event together with ‘Mums in Cyprus’ – a really impressive and well networked Facebook group with a great website (www.mumsincyprus.com) – and we decided this would be the perfect occasion. And it was!
The event was fully booked before it even made it onto Facebook as Carine, the founder of Mums in Cyprus, and I had both contacted some amazing women we felt should meet early on. As a guest speaker we had agreed on clinical dietician Tina Christoudias-Spyrou, a mutual friend and also a mutual inspiration, as Tina is half Cypriot – half American and her down-to-earth approach resonates with both of us. Tina prepared to talk about nutrition for women, specific nutrients and hormones…
The aim was to create a useful and inspiring event for women and so Carine also introduced Stella Makrides who is a wellness coach and who talked about a special insurance plan called ‘Lady Plan’ – all very useful information that was very well received. The guests were equally inspiring. Young mums with 2, 3 children who somehow found the time to start their own businesses and still come out and socialize, one woman how had just launched her own radio show for and about women, an artist, a writer, a teacher, a massage therapist…
The atmosphere was fantastic from the beginning and the energy high, with introductions being true testimonials of what women really are capable of – very befitting for March 8th!
There was quite a bit of ‘action’ and exchanging and of course a round of introductions before we were ready for Tina’s presentation, but when she did start speaking, she sure had us quiet – mostly we were silenced by disbelief, but also bombarding her with ‘But I…’ questions and remarks. We all agreed that most of all Tina has changed the way we now think about milk – the news on that front from a nutritionist’s perspective were not too encouraging. But we did receive many other positive and practical tips and even got to participate in a little quiz in the end where the ‘winners’ walked away with bags of flax seed, goji berries, Himalaya salt… a fun and really insightful presentation that added a lot to the already rewarding evening.
I was obviously ready to go with the healthy flow and had prepared a buffet of healthy foods and salads. Some of them were based on my fresh-off-the print cookbook – the ingredients for which had actually been inspired by Tina at a previous event where she had asked for recipes with quinoa, buckwheat, chard…
As dinner time was going to be a bit late, I had prepared nibbles for during the talks on small tables including homemade bread sticks, dips and vegetables sticks and delicious freshly picked cherry tomatoes just given to me by my new sponsor MTFresh vegetable farm. Then, once the presentations were over I actually had ample time to set up the buffet as everyone had been munching on healthy snacks and was eager to get up and talk to each other.
Once again the weather was perfect and our group of 15 spilled out onto the balcony, laughing, chatting, introducing each other. Once people did start eating it was not long before I got requests for recipes and lots and lots of compliments on every single dish. My food generally gets very good reviews, but this time every single dish just seemed to have ‘hit the spot’ perfectly. The Burmese pumpkin-fish soup, the Syrian potato salad, the Moroccan chick pea salad with goat cheese, the Israeli cabbage-dill-dried cherry salad, the Italian cannelloni with feta and spinach… all of them got raving reviews and between lots of talking and mingling the feast actually went on till past eleven.
We finished off with warm zucchini-pumpkin muffins and coffee (most took it without milk) and lots more conversation and exchange of business cards and phone numbers. There was an incredible sense of satisfaction and accomplishment in the air, when at around midnight everyone went back home to their families that kept them so busy and I was left alone feeling very, very happy with the way things had gone and the many new, useful connections that had been made! The true purpose of Dinner Clubs!
Now I look forward to next week’s book launch party of my book ‘On Healthy Eating – Quinoa, Chard & Co made easy’ on Saturday at 6:00 p.m. at 6×6 Centre for Photography – see more at www.marysworld.org