Felice anno nuovo!
(That’s “Happy New Year!” in Italian!)
The Candoni family wishes you health and happiness in the new year. We enjoyed some time off over the holidays with family, friends, and plenty of delicious food. Of course, many a bottle of wine were uncorked as well! In our family, New Year’s isn’t New Year’s without a case of tart, bubbly Prosecco to pass around.
But now that January’s here, it’s time once again for us to resolve to lose those lingering holiday pounds, and for some of us, to make this the year we finally lose weight once and for all. Funny enough, Italians hardly ever resolve to “lose weight,” because the Italian way of life bends naturally toward good health and moderation. Here are a few tips and tricks anyone can steal to keep the pounds off “The Italian Way!”
Start at the markets. Do you have a farmer’s market in your town? It’s a great place to get heatlthy! Italians know you can do just about anything to a fruit or vegetable and it will still be better for you than something processsed or man-made. The freshest, most organic produce is something Italians are passionate about, and it’s partly why the best italian dishes are so simple. When you cook with the best ingredients, you don’t have to do much to make them taste wonderful!
Skip fat free. Along the same vein, know that Italians rarely look for “low-cal” or “fat free” ingredients. We prefer instead to use heart-healthy fats like olive oil and understand that a calorie is not a calorie. A fatty piece of wild salmon, for example, might contain 500 calories, but those calories are far superior to 500 calories you might consume from a pack of boxed cookies.
A wine a day keeps the doctor away. No, really! Plenty of studies point to the health benefits of a glass of red wine each day, preferably drunk with food. Not only does the food help your body absorb all the beneficial elements of the wine, it’s more likely to bring out some of its flavor, too. Good wine just tastes better when enjoyed alongside a well-paired dish. And the truly health conscious may want to consider going organic for wine, meat, and produce. Some science even suggests that drinking organic wine can actually prevent headaches!
Enjoy the ritual of eating. No one can argue us Italians don’t know how to savor a good meal! You hear the saying, piatto ricco, mi ci ficco around Italy, which basically means we’re excited to dive into a delicious-looking meal. We don’t feel bad about eating well, but we make an event of it; friends and family come over, a few great bottles of Italian wine are opened, and we sit around the table for hours eating small portions and conversing about anything and everything.
The “secrets” Italians practice aren’t really secrets at all…they’re just built into who we are! For us, life’s nothing without the small pleasures of every day, and eating well, moving often, and living socially are all pieces of the puzzle.
We hope these tips will guide you well in the new year to a healthier you!
We’d love to hear your tips for healthy living – share them with other Candoni De Zan wine aficionados over on our Facebook page or Twitter feed!
In bocca al lupo!
(Best of luck!)
-Barbara Candoni De Zan