The Mount Athos Diet (2014)

The Mount Athos Diet by Storey, Todd, and Storey is a Mediterranean Diet based on the eating rhythms of the monks of Mt. Athos. Richard Storey devised it after a week-long retreat on the Holy Mountain. It features three fast days, three moderation day, and one feast day each week. The fast days are vegan; Storey writes, “For [the monks], fasting means eating in a simple, restrained and modest way, as well as avoiding the excesses of meat, dairy, oil, and alcohol” (15). The moderation days are essentially pescetarian. And feast days are a free-for-all of sorts, the only advise is to go light on red meat. “No calorie counting here: monks don’t count calories—the only things they count are the knots on their prayer ropes” (23). Since the goal is to eat monkishly, “No meal should be more than what you can cup in your two hands” (42).

The authors offer some steps to success: think positively, put yourself in charge, be very specific about the ways in which you will ensure your objective is met, and be able to articulate how you will prove to yourself that you have achieved your objective. The fourth involves the four senses, “Ask yourself: what evidence will I see, hear, feel, smell, or taste which will confirm that I have achieved my objective?” (54).

The authors say that “our inner voice is a powerful tool of self-regulation and motivation” and they advise the use of a mantra to see one through difficult periods of cravings (56).

The book includes lots of recipes. We’ve started on the diet, and I lost almost 7 pounds in the first week. Almost halfway to my goal already!

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