Wellness
19.Jun.2015

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BEAUTY FROM ABROAD: “EATING THE ITALIAN WAY”

MORNING BEAUTY’S EDITOR SPENT FIVE DAYS IN THE AMALFI COAST, ITALY. HERE SHE SHARES HER THOUGHTS ABOUT “EATING THE ITALIAN WAY” AND HOW TO ACHIEVE THE RIGHT BALANCE BETWEEN HEALTH AND HEDONISM.

Pizza. Calzone. Risotto. Spaghetti, fusilli, penne and tagliatelle. I just came back from Ravello, in the Amalfi coast, where I spent five delightful days. Nearly half of this time however I was eating and drinking wine. I enjoyed every minute — and every meal I had as well — but I can’t avoid feeling bloated. I’m also really intrigued about how Italians consume that amount of carbohydrates and still keep fit.

They stay hours in front of the dinner table chatting and tasting different starters before finally ordering the first main dish. This first main dish, which is usually pasta or risotto, is followed by a second dish mainly composed of healthy protein (fish, poultry or meat). Wine is largely consumed with all savoury dishes. Eating in Italy is pretty ritualistic, and it traditionally lasts for hours.

I’ve seen plenty of people asking for fruits as dessert, although the local granita is highly appreciated as well. After the dessert – at least in Southern Italy –, the meal is finished with Limoncello, a liqueur made with lemon that is served chilled in small ceramic glasses. It’s worth mentioning that Limoncello is the source of income of many inhabitants of Ravello, Amalfi and Positano.

So, for God’s sake, how Italians keep fit? As Italy is a country with many regional differences the answer is not straightforward but fortunately there are some similarities from North to South: they do not snack, they eat plenty of colourful vegetables, fruits and good fats, and they usually don’t order takeaways. Although they undeniably eat a plethora of simple carbohydrates they balance it with nourishing grains and food rich in antioxidants. And they walk a lot.

It’s unlikely to see overweight people in Italy as they go almost everywhere on foot – and in the Amalfi coast it means climbing a good deal of stairs and hills. Living an active life, which does not imply becoming overenthusiastic about gym, and consuming nutritious, yet tasty food seems the Italian secret to shun obesity and reduce cardiovascular diseases.

Below I listed three of the best restaurants I visited while in Ravello:

Cumpà Cosimo
Via Roma, 44, Ravello
+39 089 857156

La Vecchia Cantina
Via della Marra, 15, Ravello
+39 089 858 6203

Pizzeria Bar Mimi
Via San Francesco, 12, Ravello
+39 089 857134