Allora… so I’ve decided to dust off the old keyboard and get back into this blogging about Italy thing. It’s been a while and I’ve missed it! Is it possible to be sentimental over something as inanimate and nebulous as a website? I think it is; I’ve poured a lot of my heart and soul into this frivolous endeavor over the years. I mean, it’s not the “website” so much (obviously), as the habit of writing about a topic that you love, and connecting with other lovers of Italian culture.
Soon, I will also be announcing Season 2 of my podcast, “The Fatal Charm of Italy.” More on that at a later date, including a call out for guests.
Blogging about Italy - What inspired me to restart?
So why restart now? It was the confluence of a few things...
The first thing happened back on January 1st, when I made the typical New Year’s pledge to start eating better, exercising more, and generally focusing on my health. Pretty cliche, huh?
I had several false starts before something finally clicked. In the beginning, I listened to both friends and experts who hurled their advice at me: Paleo! Gluten-free! Keto! Raw vegan! Green juice! Bulletproof coffee enemas! And the worse advice of all, “It’s just a math equation. Eat fewer calories, and burn more calories through exercise. Simple as that.”
Wrong. Anyone who has ever tried “dieting” knows that it’s never as simple as that.
So what did I do instead? Well, if you’ve ever followed my blog in the past, then you’ve already guessed the answer.
Eat. Like. An. Italian.
The common sense approach of a traditional Mediterranean Diet gives you the most nutrition, the most satisfaction, and crucially, it removes any over-thinking from the process, unlike the aforementioned fad diets. Just eat like your Italian bisnonna ate and you don’t have to worry much beyond that. (As for MY bisnonna, that's her in the photo below, circa 1948. The scene looks like it could have been in Italy, but no, this after she'd already immigrated to Chicago.)
The “Miracles” of a Mediterranean Diet
There’s even a growing consensus in the scientific community: Mediterranean diet named the best for 2019
Simple? Yes. Easy? Well, in theory it is, but when confronting the great beast that is the Global Industrial Diet and our broken systems of food delivery, then it becomes a good bit more of a challenge.
But I was determined and resolved to return to the lifestyle that had created a similar transformation nine years ago when I first moved to Rome. Unlike then, I knew this time it would have to be a very deliberate effort to accomplish this goal while living in the land of fast food and fad diets. I needed to do some research to give me the blueprint that had been unnecessary in Italy.
After pouring through endless articles and chasing more than a few misguided “gurus,” I eventually found some consensus on “why” the Mediterranean Diet works so well. I mean, we intuitively have a sense that it’s healthier, but I really wanted the scientific research to back it up.
I discovered quite a goldmine of knowledge. I am sharing this information on a new site that I’ve created called, appropriately enough, Eat Like an Italian. Check it out:
I’m not a chef or hardcore foodie. I’m a passionate Italophile and former healthcare professional who approaches this topic at the crossroads of cultural traditions and healthy living. In Italy, they are one in the same. In the U.S., the road map gets considerably less clear.
(And by the way, yes, it worked. I lost 30 pounds in about 5 months.)
To go along with this new site is an accompanying podcast.
And there will also be a second edition of the eponymous book that I wrote several years ago. The updated version be available in mid-2022. This time around it will be much more erudite and (a little bit) less irreverent.
Great to see you back blogging Rick I look forward to your articles esp now as I’m no longer living in Rome
Welcome back to blogger world! American life makes it hard to maintain or lose weight. It was the worst thing about moving back for us. Luckily we embraced a more-or-less Med. diet as well. We miss dining out in Rome but our annual trips to the Dolomites help us stay connected. Looking forward to your renaissance online!
Thanks Laurel! Yes, it’s a real uphill challenge, but worth the effort. Annual trips to the Dolomites? Beato te!
Oh, bene. I’m happy you are back. Grande Rick!
Grazie, professore! Spero che ci vediamo presto!!
Great plan, Rick. Definitely look us up. Congrats on the weight loss. Odd how you were so fit in Rome. What food was your downfall in Florida? Here in Rome I’ve had problems gaining weight. When I arrived in 2014 I lost 10 pounds in two months. Then I got a gym membership, lifted weights again and got it back. Now I’m just trying you move it around. Emphasize how different Italian food in Italy is compared to the U.S. Here pizza s practically health food.
John, like it or not, you’re on my short list for upcoming podcast guests. Want to talk about food or sports?