Scientific Program

Cretan Lifestyle 2023: Mediterranean Tradition & Modern Applications
2 nd Annual Experiential Conference with American, International and Greek Scholars

Overall Conference Program with Activities, Excursions and Symposia
November 13-18, 2023

Grecotels Creta Palace & Caramel Boutique Resort
Rethymno, Crete, Greece

Day 1 - Arrival day - Monday, November 13

20:00 Welcome Reception & Inauguration Ceremony 2023
Live Greek Music - Buffet style, Dinner with Healthy Greek Cuisine; Greek Wine & “Tsikoudia” (Cretan Grappa).

Day 2 - Tuesday, November 14 

07:00 – 09:00 Breakfast and free time & Optional Yoga Workshop.

09:30 - 10:55 Longevity & Healthy Aging

09:30 - 10:00 Frank Hu, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, East meets West: Lessons in Longevity - Crete & Okinawa.

10:00 - 10:20 Fernando Artalejo, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, The Med Diet & Healthy Aging.

10:20 - 10:40 Nick Buettner, Blue Zones Project, Secrets of the World’s Blue Zones.

10:40 - 10:55 Magda Tsolaki, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Evidence for Olive Oil Supplementation as a Dementia Prevention Strategy.

10:55 - 11:20 COFFEE BREAK – Village Square & Kafeneion.

11:20 - 13:00 Magna Graecia

11:20 - 11:40 Antonia Trichopoulou, Member of the Athens Academy, President of the Hellenic Health Foundation, Herbs and Herbal Infusions in the Traditional Diets of Greece and Italy.

11:40 - 12:00 Pasquale Strazzullo, Federico II University of Naples (Emeritus), Common themes in Mediterranean Diet between Southern Italy and Greece, focused on the Italian side.

12:00 - 12:20 Christos Lionis, University of Crete, Determinants of Cardiovascular Disease in Crete.

12:20 - 12:40 Antonino Bianco, University of Palermo, Athletics in Sicily from the Ancient Olympics to Present State of the Science.

12:40 - 13:00 Stefanos Kales, Harvard Medical School & Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, Why Crete for the Hellenic Center of Excellence.

13:30 – 18:00 Featured Excursion - AGRECOFARMS, depart 13:30. “The estate recreates centuries-old farming methods in a traditional village setting. Shaped by hand, every stone at Agreco preserves the delicate balance between man and nature.” We will enjoy traditional farm experiences as well as a real Cretan celebration feast!

19:00 Free Time -Debrief and connect with the attendees.

Day 3 - Wednesday, November 15 

07:00 - 09:00 Breakfast and free time & Optional Group Walking.

09:00 - 09:40 Med Diet & Sustainability

09:00 - 09:20 Walter Willett, Professor of Epidemiology and Nutrition, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Med Diet and the Planet: Updates from Lancet Commission 2.0.

09:20 - 09:40 Michael Katharakis, Mediterranean Agrofood Competence Center (MACC), Cretan Diet Preservation: A Multifaceted Approach to Saving Crete’s Intangible Cultural Heritage.

09:40 - 10:40 Wine in Moderation

09:40 - 10:00 Miguel Ángel Martínez-González, Professor and Chair of the Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health at the University of Navarra Medical School, Is Wine in Moderation Healthy? Emerging Data and Future Research on Alcohol.

10:00 - 10:20 Maria Nikolantonaki, Associate Professor at University of Burgundy, IUVV, Polyphenols and other Phytochemicals in Wine versus other Alcoholic Beverages.

10:20 - 10:40 Markus Stolz, Wine Dealer, Greek Wine – A German Wine Consultant’s Perspective from Greece.

10:40 - 11:10 COFFEE BREAK – Village Square & Kafeneion

11:10 - 11:50 Hotels & Health Promotion

11:10 - 11:30 Kalliopi (Popi) Kalaitzi, Athens University, Attikon Hospital, Mediterranean Lifestyle: a brave new opportunity for wellness tourism

11:30 - 11:50  Demetrios Kalaitzidakis, Grecotel Operations, Cretan Lifestyle as Wellness Tourism

11:50 - 12:50 Selected Young Investigators - Moderator & Chief Judge Mercedes Sotos-Prieto, Autonomous University of Madrid, Conference Faculty will select the top five submissions prior to October 15, 2022. These top five papers will give plenary presentations. Faculty judges will select 3 prize winners (Mercedes Sotos-Prieto session moderator).

13:30 - 14:30 Lunch & Learn “Cutting Edge Strategies in Greek Hospitality” During lunch, we will hear from Dipnosofistirion Catering and Gefsinus, two of Greece’s leaders in the hospitality sector, in the voices of a Michelin Star Chef (Skarmoutsos) and a Marketing Executive (Mourmouri).

14:30 - 15:30 Free time/Siesta.

16:00 Arkadi Monastery - depart 15:45: We will tour the famous and sacred Arkadi Monastery. The tour will be followed by a Dinner of Monastic Cuisine prepared in a manner consistent with Greek Orthodox Fasting guidelines.

21:00 Free Time.

Day 4 - Thursday, November 16 

07:00 - 08:30 Breakfast and free time & Optional Group Mindfulness.

08:30 - 11:40 Translation of Med Diet to Institutions

08:30 - 08:50 Phil Kafarakis, President & CEO, International Foodservice Manufacturers Association, Greek & Med Mega-Trends in the US Market.

08:50 - 09:10 Angelo Mojica, Johns Hopkins Hospital, Making Food Healthy for Johns Hopkins Medicine.

09:10 - 09:30 Midgie Cajayon, Food Services Officer, World Bank Group, Encouraging Employees to eat Healthy & Authentic Food.

09:30 - 09:50 Amanda Goldman, Gordon Food Service, Mediterranean Mindset – a Food Service Innovation.

09:50 - 10:10 Iakovos Apergis, Tzanneio Hospital Athens, Bringing Greek Food back to Greek Hospitals.

10:10 - 10:40 COFFEE BREAK – Village Square & Kafeneion

10:40 - 11:10 Miguel Ruiz-Canela, University of Navarra, Teaching Kitchens to Translate Med Diet to the Community.

11:10 - 11:30 Ken Toong, Executive Director of University of Massachusetts, U-Mass Dining, How Eating like a Greek Made UMASS the #1 College Food.

11:30 - 11:50 Rafi Taherian, Yale Hospitality, Med Diet goes Ivy League – Yale leads the way.

12:00 Featured Excursion HERAKLION AREA - depart 12:15

  • Stop 1 - Lyrarakis Winery Tour and Light Lunch Since 1966, a family winery producing high quality wines; focused on rare local varieties & credited with saving several Cretan ancient varietals
  • Stop 2 - Knossos Greece and Europe’s oldest City. Epicenter of the ancient Minoan Civilization
  • Stop 3 - Archeological Museum Building on our visit to Knossos, we will take a guided tour of the foremost collection of Minoan artefacts

19:45 - 21:00 Free Time.

21:00 Buffet Dinner & Wines of Crete Tasting.

Day 5 - Friday, November 17 

07:00 - 08:00 Breakfast and free time.


(Bus Departure 08:00) We will travel to Chania Prefecture to visit a the Organic Biolea Olive Estate

At Biolea, we will see and practice traditional methods of harvesting olives, and contrast these with modern methods. We will then take the olives to Biolea’s olive mills and see and taste how their unique extra virgin olive oil is made from a combination of traditional and modern techniques

We will be led through an olive oil tasting session, and culminate our experience with a lunch prepared by Biolea consisting of local “Chania-Style” Cuisine.

13:30 - 15:00 Bus back to Rethymno (Creta Palace Conference Facilities).

15:00 - 15:30 Coffee Break – Village Square & Kafeneion.

15:30-17:45 Lifestyle Medicine/ Mindfulness & Self-Care

15:30-16:00 Beth Frates, Harvard - American College of Lifestyle Medicine, State of the Art Behavior Change
16:00-16:30 Elissa Epel & Lilian Cheung, UCSF, Harvard, A Dialogue on Mindfulness and Metabolism- Evidenced-based Data

16:30-16:45 STRETCH BREAK – Village Square & Kafeneion

16:45-17:15 Robert Saper, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Preventing Burnout: Self-care for Healthcare Providers
17:15-17:45 Labros Sidossis, Rutgers, Defining the Healthy Mediterranean Lifestyle: Results of an International Symposium

Parallel Session for Friday afternoon
Olive & Olive Oil Production – Establishing a Dedicated
Network of University Institutes in Greece - Moderator, Dan Flynn

15:30 - 15:45 Prof. Prokopios Magiatis, Associate Professor of Pharmacognosy and Natural Products Chemistry at the Faculty of Pharmacy of the University of Athens.

15:45 - 16:00 Aris Kefalogiannis, Independent.

16:00 - 16:15 Dr. Eleni Melliou, Laboratory Teaching Personnel

16:15 - 16:30 Vasilis Vasiliou, Yale School of Public Health

16:30 - 16:45 George Sakellaropoulos, Producer.

16:45 - 17:00 Apostolos Kiritsakis, Emeritus Professor of International Hellenic University, Chairman of the Greek Observatory of Oxidative Stress.

18:00 - 19:45 Free Time.

20:00 - 24:00 FAREWELL PROGRAM: Aperitif, Cretan/Greek Super Foods Expo “Bottarga” (Greek Caviar), Mastic Gum Krocus Kozanis (Greek Saffron), “Mountain Tea” (Sideritis), Prickly Pear, Pomegranate, Capers, Spirulina.

GALA DINNER: Theme Greek Super Foods & Wine Pairings.

Day 6 - Saturday, November 18 

07:00 – 08:00 Breakfast.

08:00 Transportation options to Airport, or to Optional trips.


In this program there are included: 

  • 5 hotels nights (single rooms)
  • Meals and transfers (including from and to airport)
  • Experiences listed
  • Certificate of Participation


This Conference is Sold Out.
Only one-Day passes are now available ($450/day).
Register here:


Additional information please contact: +1 908 212 7846
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