Andreas Agelidakis: "Connect with nature - it's your source of inspiration!"

Reading time 4 minutes
Andreas Agelidakis: "Connect with nature - it's your source of inspiration!"

Did you know that people on the Greek island of Crete live to be much older than those in Northern and Central Europe? "And when I say much older, I mean 90 years and up!" knows Andreas Agelidakis - and as he explained in detail at the speaker night at the Volksbühne am Rudolfplatz. "I'm originally from Crete. Today, I want to take you on a journey through time and give you the thought processes around the mystery of 100-year-olds!"

Andreas Agelidakis: "I was in nature the whole day".

Andrea's grandpa died of natural causes at 104. His grandma died of pneumonia at 110. And it's as if he can still hear her say today: "I think the good Lord has forgotten me!" The Greek native's story begins in the 1970s. "At that time, my parents were in Germany as guest workers to earn money. I went every morning with my grandma to milk our goats. My grandparents' house had a fruit, vegetable and herb garden - a real natural pharmacy. A few meters away there was a fresh water spring from which the whole village fed. I played with the children there for hours. In between I helped my grandpa to collect wood so that my grandma could cook. So I was out in nature all day," Andreas remembers fondly.

"I felt the need to hide".

"My parents come back to Crete almost every summer. On the one hand, of course, to see me. For another, to relax. I remember clearly when my grandpa came to me to tell me that my mother and father would finally arrive in an hour. I felt the need to hide, though, because I barely knew them. Of course, the prospect of both of them bringing lots of nice things abruptly changed my mind... But this distance I have from them, they sense. So in the course of the next few weeks they decide to take me with them to Germany."

Andreas Agelidakis: "They're taking me away"

On the day of departure, Andreas sits in the back seat next to his parents. "My grandpa is reaching his hand out to me through the window. I've never seen him cry before. I felt that today is a different day than usual. In the back window I see my crying grandparents, waving and waving. Until they all get smaller. In that moment, I realize one thing: they're taking me away. My parents try to comfort and distract me. Which they succeed at times. Still, I know I won't see my grandparents again for a long time..."

"Our food is our medicine!"

Arriving in Germany, Andreas Agelidakis observes things with his parents that he didn't know about his grandparents. "They take medication every day. That makes me very thoughtful. That's how time passes. It's finally summer again and I'm so excited to see my grandparents again. Directly I ask him if he and grandma also have to take so many medicines. Our food is our medicine and our medicine is our food.

Medicine only treats symptoms

This sentence impresses me a lot. My grandpa goes on to explain: "Your parents are only treating symptoms, the cause is still hidden in the body. In addition, they eat many things that do not grow on bushes - pasta, bread, sausage and drink many drinks with a lot of sugar. I'm sure it all fills you up. But our bodies aren't designed to process these foods over the long haul. Watch out for this: A lot of people who have the same eating habits, they eventually suffer from the same diseases."

Andreas Agelidakis: "City dwellers lack important nutrients".

This answer left a deep impression on Andreas. Just like the secret that his grandfather then shared with his grandson: "The last ten days in the ripening process of a fruit are the most important and most valuable for us humans. The fact that we get to consume it directly without a transport route where anything is lost is the most beautiful gift." So slowly it becomes more and more clear to me why my parents in the city are getting sicker and sicker. "Are they actually underserved?", Andreas wonders at the time. His father had to concede and tells his son, "The other day I was invited to a barbecue by a friend. He wanted to show me his new grill, had gotten some meat for it. Cheap meat. And at that moment I realized: the 'cheap is cool' mentality makes us sick in the long run!"

Unite with nature - then you can grow old and robust

This mentality makes us sick in the long run - this sentence hangs over Andreas Agelidakis for a long time. What keeps us healthy and vital is something we very often skimp on, he thinks. "My grandfather sits at the table and says to us: "Do you know that we have our last ten years of life in our own hands? We decide whether we are on this earth ten years longer or less. And above all, we decide whether we spend this time healthy and vital or fragile. An olive tree can become very robust and old.

"Olives are like liquid gold"

Unite with nature, then you can become just as old and robust." Then he picks an olive with his fork, shows it to us, and explains, "The olive was an important food in Crete as early as 6000 BC. Olive oil is so nutritious, it's called liquid gold." This was one of many inspiring evenings between Andreas, his father and grandfather.

Andreas Agelidakis: "Never save on your health".

"The summer vacations are over and it's time to say goodbye. Before I go back to Germany, my grandfather says to me: 'If you're not feeling well, go out into nature. It will give you the strength and the Inspiration to keep going. Move your body every day! It is designed to move 15-20 km a day. If you don't move it, it will make you sick. Never save on your health. Because if you do, you will pay for it. Our food is our medicine! And our medicine is our food!" Stay healthy and grow really old!

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