Hi, hello my loves!
How are you guys? It’s FRIDAY. Which never disappoints. We are still packing over here. Still.
I know, it seems weird because I went to Italy last June. So, I waited quite a bit before posting this. It also seems weird that I take a shot of olive oil at 6:30AM. BUT – you should know, I only do this because I rarely ever put olive oil on my salads or food throughout the day. IF I am having a salad, I will just add the olive oil to that. If not, I do try to get my shot in. GAH.
The reason I haven’t talked about it much is because I like to do my research first. I am a very into knowing my who what when where and why’s. I need to know details, you know? There are so many things that are supposably good for you these days that I get kind of sketched out by the ‘fads’ and what not.
So while I was in Italy, I really took in how the Italians ate. Before I left, I was super concerned about what I would eat because I took dairy out of my diet prior to the vacation and I didn’t want to be bloated the entire time (the struggle). I also didn’t want to come home.. er.. struggling to fit into my jeans. I mean, it wouldn’t have been the worst thing and it is FINE to indulge on vacation, so don’t take that wrong. I was just super cautious on this trip because my diet changes had helped my allergies and energy an insane amount.
It was intriguing, to say the least. They have a completely different way of living over there and to be able to experience that really (really) showed me how wrong I was doing the whole eating deal back at home.
After coming back, I started to incorporate some of there eating habits into my routine – like drinking olive oil in the morning if I’m not getting it in throughout the day, eating WAY smaller portions, not being afraid of good fats, to stop obsessing over food, and keep it simple.
The Italians don’t shove their faces with a huge plate of pasta every hour of every day, which many would think. Their portions are so much smaller than ours and I actually had pasta at almost every dinner, a glass of wine at probably every lunch and dinner, and I didn’t gain a pound.
The best part? It wasn’t hard at all. They almost make it easy for you over there.
WHAT I LEARNED:
OLIVE OIL. They have fresh, extra virgin olive oil. Do you see canola and other oils in your ingredients all the time? I do. I check for it now, and I actually check for it in my dogs food ingredients as well. I know, psycho. But it is so bad for you (and them!). Extra virgin olive oil on the other hand, it is the complete opposite. I used to be convinced it was bad for me and wouldn’t even put it on my salads, but the past is the past for a reason, right? I drink a shot in the morning now and I also have it throughout my day and always on my salads.
Olive oil has a weird rep, because it is a fat. People think (me in the past) it is loaded with calories and is only going to make you gain weight, which yes it has a good amount of calories, but it actually helps with weight loss. It is going to keep you fuller longer, which I am a huge fan of. I am not drinking olive oil and then eating a pound of pasta and tons of bread, you know? I have figured out how to benefit from taking it instead of over-doing it. I wouldn’t say it is a free food like cucumbers and peppers where you can just inhale it all day long, but I do like to get my dose in.
It is loaded with antioxidants, which makes it very well known to help fight diseases. It also has a good amount of vitamins E and K.
It is known to help with inflammation.
Olive oil and some other monounsaturated fats may actually help with heart diseases.
It is known to help the skin a huge amount (I use it as a makeup remover as well!).
It can help you feel fuller longer, which is why I take a shot in the morning and now before dinner. This way, I don’t grab a sugary morning snack or over eat before bed!
WALK. They walk everywhere over there, and I think that’s a huge reason I didn’t see a change in my weight after indulging a bit. You feel so much better after your meals by walking it off, and it is really good for your digestive system! That’s why I don’t obsess over workouts. I do make sure I’m getting good workouts in, but walks are something I try to incorporate into my routine and a lotttt throughout my day. Having a dog helps with this.
SMALL PORTIONS. They eat right over there, trust me. The portions are so much smaller than what you would get in America. I have made it a thing to buy smaller bowls and plates to make sure I’m not over doing it. When we go out to eat, I actually push aside half of my pasta (if that’s what I got) and ask for a box to take the rest home.
STOP OBSESSING OVER FOOD. This is huge. The Italians have this confidence and way about them that I feel like we should all have (it’s hard, I know). They do indulge on some sweets and have a small dessert, but it seemed like they didn’t stuff their faces with it. I keep it simple now and keep dark chocolate in my cabinets to make sure I have a sweet to grab if needed, but I don’t go grab a gallon of ice cream. When you stop obsessing over it, it becomes a lot easier. Keep it simple! If you cheated, let it go. Move on. Don’t go starve yourself for five days. Just start a different way of eating.
FRESH AND MINIMAL. While we were in Capri, I noticed people going to the local markets and buying fresh ingredients just for that day. Of course, they walked there too! That was what their mornings looked like and it was really eye opening. I’m not saying they all do this, but a lot did. Everything was so fresh and they don’t add insane amounts of ingredients to their meals. It was always simple, but so good. Obviously olive oil was a huge ingredient. Fresh pasta, vegetables, olives and fruits, they were always available. You didn’t see them snacking on bagged chips or bars, they were more focused on actual meals. I try to make sure I’m focused on eating dinner with BA, having lunch when it’s time and keeping my metabolism moving instead of skipping out and snacking on a million almonds instead. Don’t get me wrong, I love a handful of fresh almonds when I’m hungry in the middle of the day, but I really focus on giving my body meals and nutrients. Also, FRESH is huge. For the past few months I have been removing things from my kitchen and replacing it with fresh foods and snacks. It’s been life changing, but it does take a lot of effort and time. I will probably do a post on it soon!
Those are the main things I learned and took back with me, which has really helped my eating habits all around. Have you guys been? Agree, disagree, don’t love olive oil as much as I do? Let me know – comment below!
The freshest LEMONS.
LOOK AT THAT PORTION SIZE.
Tea before bed AND olive oil make up removal!