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The Mediterranean Secret: Losing Weight While Eating in Italy

September 14, 2010

Since it’s Travel Tuesday all over the Twittersphere, I thought it would be cool for Sara to write a quick blog about her recent trip to Italy. At Oldways and the Mediterranean Foods Alliance, we try to stress how delicious and healthy the Mediterranean Diet is, and surprisingly, we are met with a tidal wave of doubt. I think people are under the impression that healthy for the body = disgusting for the taste buds. Well, that’s simply not true as Sara personally found out during her stay in molto bello Italia. – Alison

After eating and drinking with gusto and little reserve during a week in Pantelleria, the dramatic, rocky island between Sicily and Tunisia, and another week in Italy (Chianti, Parma, Todi and Rome), I came home to find I’d lost weight. There was not a lot of strenuous work or hiking involved, only luscious Mediterranean meals in restaurants or at the tables of close friends Fausto and Mar Luchetti in Pantelleria or Elizabeth Minchilli in Todi, AND lots of walking.  These are the secrets, ones that are really not so secret, only elusive.

The Mediterranean tables we shared with our friends were filled with salads of all kinds, bruschetta with endless variety of toppings, vegetables cooked, grilled or marinated in extra virgin olive oil, a wide variety of daily pasta meals, cheese from up and down the boot of Italy, fruit of the season (grapes, figs, and watermelon) and Italian wines of all varieties.  The plates and the glasses were all small-sized.  We ate nothing between meals.  We sat together and talked.   We were full (but not too full) and completely satisfied.

And I lost more than 5 pounds.

The Mediterranean secret.  It doesn’t have to be elusive.

– Sara

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