April 2013

how to eat in italy

How to eat in Italy and still fit into your jeans when you get homeMy best friend once gave me sage advice: never travel with drawstring pants.

You see, she had backpacked her way through Southeast Asia and her wardrobe staple consisted entirely of drawstring pants.

She lamented she was the only person who travelled Indonesia and got fat. Usually you expect to return from backpacking through Asia emaciated from a few bouts of dysentery and the lack of cheese staring you down at every meal. But it didn’t work out that way.

My friend simply didn’t realize the pounds she gained cause she didn’t pack her jeans. Her jeans were her barometer of ass fatness. If they were too tight – she cut out the cheetos. If they were too loose – she got to eat more cheetos. Get it?

Does Travel Devastate Your Fitness Routine?

I asked people on Facebook if travelling devastated their fitness routine (if you’re the type who has this sort of thing).

Most said: hell yeah!  Except for my friend Tim. She said, “Hell no. I still drink wine every night”. Now you know why we’re buds.

So today, I share with you my 10 commandments on how to eat in Italy.

How to Travel Italy and Fit into Your Jeans upon Return.

(Or: How Not To Get A Fat Ass On Your Two Week Italian Vacation)

1. Thou shalt not eat gelato alla fragola, gelato alla crema and gelato al chocolato after each and every meal.

2. Though shalt not eat those bloody brioche filled with cream every bloody morning.  Yes, even if they’re free at your hotel. Apples are also free at the hotel. Coincidence? I think not.

3. Thou shalt follow my 80/20 shoe rule. Wear really comfortable shoes 80 percent of the time – so you can walk all day in joy.  Cause else you’ll be slumming it in a cafe at 3pm cause your feet are aching. Wear your “these devastate my feet but look damn hot” heels for 20 percent of the time – preferably at night when you’re sitting down eating. It’s my 80/20 #winning strategy.

4. Thou shalt not drink soda pop in Italy. Instead drink “una spremuta” (fresh squeezed orange juice made to order) served at most bars and cafes and yes – even in the train stations. For realz. Check out the gal below to see how you order one of those bad boys.

5. Thou shalt not eat like a tourist into a gluttonous stupor. Of course one night a week of food hangover is reasonable. Being a tourist has its perks.

6. Thou shalt learn to eat like an Italian girl.  Eat “antipasti” (appetizers) then skip the pasta and have “il secondo” (fish, meat etc.) Also try “i contorni” (sides of vegetables). Stick to “Il primo” (pasta, rice, polenta etc.) when you won’t be eating anything else. Like, ever.

7. Thou shalt learn the words for salad: “insalata mista” (mixed green salad) “insalata di tonno” (salad with tuna and sometimes corn) or “insalata caprese” (tomatoes and cheese). Yum.

8. Thou shalt love carpaccio. It’s fish or meat — thinly sliced and tasty as can be. Ask the waiter to suggest a wine pairing for the carpaccio you’re diving into.

9. Thou shalt spend an entire day rejuvenating oneself with exercise in the countryside. Bike through some olive groves. Walk a dirt trail to a remote village. Swim in a grotto.  Organize these experiences with a map and a prayer or join our trips some day.

10. Thou shalt adopt the coffee ritual of an Italian gentleman. Espresso in the afternoon and cappuccino in the morning. Multiple cappuccino shouldn’t be consumed all day – it’s too heavy. Cappuccinos were designed for mornings.  Or for children. Just kidding.


What’s your favourite commandment? What commandment can you offer up? What the hell should I do with my drawstring pants? I’m all ears.

Thanks for adding to the conversation. xx Bianca