Do I have a special blog today! Last weekend we celebrated the 100th birthday of my grandmother Dalal, otherwise known as “Sito Dalal.” She was born in September 15, 1922, then got married in 1944. My grandparents decided to move out of Palestine after the war in 1948, and waited to move legally to the United States in 1958. They had five children, including my father, who was the oldest. Five children led to 15 grandchildren, which led to over 20 great grandchildren.
Sito survived multiple wars, the death of her husband after their 50th anniversary, an armed robbery in her home in her 80s, getting hit by a truck while going for a walk in her 90s, as well as a heart stent surgery in her 90s. What was the key to her surviving so many traumatic experiences? A very simple approach to life. She lives every day in the present moment, not worrying about the past, nor worrying about the future.
Her diet is simple- no processed foods. Her staples are olive oil, olives, eggs, chicken or lamb, labneh cheese, za’atar, rice or bulgur wheat, pita bread, hummus, tomato and cucumber salads, all fruits in season, and one vegan day a week where she will eat rice and lentils or vegetable based stews. Excercise has always been important to her, especially walking. Even now as she walks with a cane, if she overeats a little she will walk around her kitchen until she feels better. Her favorite desserts are kunafa and carrot cake, which she only eats on special occasions.
If there is a living testament to the Mediterranean diet and lifestyle, it is my grandmother. To check out her birthday bash, click on my new video below!