Kathy McManus Has Mediterranean Memories From Years of Practice


Kathy McManus is a longtime friend of Oldways and happens to be the Director of Nutrition and Director of The Dietetic Internship at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, a teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School. Over the years we have had the privilege of Kathy joining us on many of our Oldways adventures. Today she visits our blog to share how the Mediterranean Diet has made a lasting impression on her life.

My interest in the Mediterranean Diet first started when treating patients who had lipid abnormalities with Dr. Frank Sacks in 1989. We found that when following a Mediterranean Diet our patients successfully lowered their LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, their HDL cholesterol either remained the same or increased a small amount. My interest increased substantially when I started cooking the Mediterranean way – with plenty of vegetables, fresh herbs, extra virgin olive oil, garlic, nuts, seeds, beans, spices, and whole grains.  

I am so pleased my experience with the Mediterranean Diet spans further than my practice and my pantry. You see I have also had the pleasure of

visiting various destinations throughout the Mediterranean, making for some special Mediterranean memories of my own.  Last September I had the opportunity to visit the island of Pantelleria with Oldways. Every dish sampled was fresh, simple, and absolutely delicious!  My favorite was an afternoon visiting the Abraxas Winery. There was a team of chefs cooking alongside the Master Chef, Peppe Trilol.  We had a fantastic pasta dish, called Pesto Trapenese, with a fresh tomato sauce – no cooking! The ingredients were simply garlic, parsley, basil, extra virgin olive oil, and fresh luscious tomatoes. The garlic, parsley, and basil were creamed in a mortar. Simply scrumptious!

One of my other fun memories from the trip was visiting the caper farm. I was amazed at how these plants grow everywhere on the island – even in some of the rocks by the roads. The variety of recipes that utilized capers was just astonishing – now definitely a part of my Mediterranean pantry.

- Kathy McManus

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