So, all of my life I’ve been told that the Mediterranean diet is the healthiest and that the people that live in the Mediterranean know how to take care of themselves and live longer due to their overall health. At first, I thought it was all a little exaggerated but I was just looking for a quick fix to get ready for summer. So, I hopped on the Mediterranean diet fad like everyone else.
But, time would only tell that my initial perception of this Mediterranean diet was all wrong, it really is the healthiest!
Now, I moved to my beloved Italy 7+ years ago and since then I can tell you, I have yet to feel the need for a quick diet fix or working out in the gym 7 days a week (I even stopped going to the gym all together). And you know what’s even crazier, I was eating pasta 5 out of 7 days a week! You may think, “there’s no way – for sure you gained weight like crazy, I mean you live in Italy”, but in fact I didn’t. Instead, every time I went home, family and friends commented on just how great I looked and couldn’t believe it when I would tell them time and time again that no I was not dieting and I was eating whatever I wanted in Italy; I was living the Mediterranean lifestyle. They just couldn’t believe it. So, I found myself sending pictures of first, the food I was eating then, of the food I was actually cooking myself because my family, (especially my mom!) is a bunch of foodies and wanted to live every delicious bite full that I was having along way.
Looking back, this was really where my true passion for cooking all began. My love for capturing my recipes lead to an organic development into what was once sharing foodie pictures with my family to what is now Eat Bene.
I am happy to share with you my discoveries of how to live well and healthy from my own personal experiences here in Italy.
What I have learned from adapting to my host country is that the time spent around the dining table is cherished, truly cherished. And what we to eat on that table is cherished as well.
There is a phrase I have found on a closed store front of a local market here in my Italian city, and it goes,
“You always think of someone while you’re cooking, otherwise you’re just preparing something to eat”.
This has really stuck with me and it always reminds me of the real importance of eating fresh, home cooked meals.
The trick to staying healthy is to eat in moderation. Everything that you are able to make yourself, meaning , no freezer foods, no prepackaged, no ready made. It means taking that extra 30 minutes and boiling a pot of water for pasta and having fresh produce ready at your fingertips. It only takes a few times and you’ll realize the difference that the extra time dedicated can mean to your overall health.
And, moderation is key- not dieting! Don’t cut anything out, eat little bits and balance it all out in the span of a week’s time. If you had pasta at lunch, don’t have pasta at dinner. It’s best to always eat a pasta or rice dish at lunch. But, you can eat pasta everyday and following the Italian food culture, you should eat a small portion of pasta each day. However, that doesn’t mean either to eat 2 rolls with that pasta! Everything is a balance and taking the time to prepare home cooked Italian or Mediterranean inspired recipes, like we do here at Eat Bene, is the only secret you need. Because, our motto is that life should happen around the dining table!
Remember, if you eat well you’re more likely to do everything else well in your life. They say, “mangiare bene” here it Italy for eat well and we say Eat Bene, taking a little bit of Italian inspiration to our dining table.
Here’s a look at how we like to eat during the week – pasta, brioche, wine and all…. yes you can eat it! – you just have to balance it out and maybe even walk to your nearest farmer’s market for tomorrow night’s fresh produce !