Do you ever wonder why Italian women are usually always thin? Is it because they starve themselves (kind of an impossible feat when everything is so good in Italy)? The answer may lie in those recommendations handed down from generation to generation – recommendations that make so much sense because deep down we already know them. Occasionally, though, we just need a little nudge to remember these basic rules for maintaining a healthy lifestyle! So here we go:
Nonna’s recommendations for staying slim!
1. Enjoy your food: This means eating slowly and savoring every bite. If we take the time to really taste our food, we will eat slower and ultimately, eat less. We should learn to eat calmly, rather than gobbling down our food as quickly as we can.
2. Eat lots of fresh fruit and vegetables: In order to really get the most of this most important food group, buy a little at a time, making sure that it is fresh and in season. When you want to have a snack, eat a piece of fruit, maybe accompanied by a yogurt.
3. Turn off the TV: Do not eat dinner in front of the TV. When we are immersed in a TV show or watching a movie, we become absorbed in the show and forget that we are also eating – making it easier to overeat. Eating should be shared with others where we can talk and share of ourselves. If we are alone, turn on some classical music instead – this will help us be calm and have the knowledge of what we are eating.
4. Eat food that is genuine! Let go of all those processed foods, even though they seem to be easier to prepare but, which, in reality, don’t save us all that much time! A healthy meal can be created from REAL ingredients in a jiffy – Italian food, is by nature, usually very simple and only requires a few ingredients – just make sure that they are fresh and of high quality!
5. MOVE! This is the key, I think, to everything. Italians do a lot of walking and they also do a lot of cleaning! Give exercise a purpose – walk to do the grocery shopping, ride your bike to the farmer’s market, sweep and mop the floor…the key is to keep moving.
Our Nonna’s lives weren’t easy and they didn’t drive everywhere – they walked, in rain or shine (or snow) to get the fresh ingredients to prepare the delicious family meals. They washed their clothes by hand and hung them out to dry. They scrubbed their marble floors until they shined, and not only the floors of their homes, but those thousands of marble stairs leading up to their 3rd floor apartments. We may have more modern conveniences to make our lives easier, but it’s important to remember that the old fashioned ways sometimes really are the best if we want to live a healthy life! If we listen to our Nonnas and incorporate these basic rules, hopefully we’ll avoid packing on the pounds…and if you’ve lost your way (like I have, sadly), we’ll hear that little voice gently nudging us to get back to the basics of a healthy lifestyle!
So please excuse me as I get off my duff – I have a date with my kitchen floor and the mop!