Happy Day 5... To A New You!

Remember how I said I ended up going out to dinner at 9:30pm with the Italians i met at MeetUp...? Well, I didn't mention that EACH one of them ordered their OWN pizza!
Anyway, it struck me that every single person sitting at the table was fit and definitely not over weight.
How is this possible?
And that's today's healthy living tip...
How to eat like an Italian and not get fat!
It's simple really and here's how:

I thought "portion control" was the most important key to staying healthy.  But there is something more important than the number of calories you are putting into your body and that is the type of calories you are putting into your body...
Have you ever known anyone to get fat from cooking their own meals made from grains, lean meats, fish, fruits, veggies, nuts, whole dairy and extra virgin olive oil!? NO!  
But people do get fat from eating poptarts, soda, canned soups, frozen dinners, venti caramel frappaccinos and delivery pizza!

My Italian friend, Vince, I met at meetup explained to me the true secret:

Italians eat WHOLE!
This is a foreign concept to most Americans but the way of life for most everyone else in the world.
You wont find a pantry in Italy full of sugary cereals, white wonder bread and diet coke.
1) Try to avoid packaged foods with more that 5 ingredients on the label
2) If there is an ingredient on the label that you wouldn't cook with or have in your pantry (maltodextrin, dextrose, hydrogenated oils, MSG, lactic acid: just a few of the many ingredients in Cheetos) don't eat it.
3) Avoid fat free and low fat whole fat dairy and cheeses.

And as Gabliele points out, "Italians like their food simple.  For example, we eat a lot of pasta, but rarely with those dense creamy sauces so common here (Fettucini Alfredo? And who the hell is Alfredo by the way?"

Michael Pollan just published a book called, Food Rules.  It is basically all the shit Italians already know, and live by... don't eat processed, chemical filled, packaged foods.  SIMPLE!

You have to understand Portion Control too (here)  I can't stress this enough! Yes, Italians eat a ton- but it is clean healthy food... not processed s*** like Big Macs and DiGiorno

More Italian lifestyle and eating tips:

They believe this:

Definitely NOT this:

Move your Body
good for your heart and the earth  

Enjoy more of this:
Sit and Enjoy...

And less of this:
Grab and Go...
Today's menu is Italian inspiried as well.
Breakfast is always small and light.  Which I too believe in.
Lunch is the heaviest meal of the day: carbs and protein
Dinner is often late, therefore lighter.

Banana Bread Bars
I made these up! There's only 5 ingredients

Pesto Pasta with Shrimp and Spinach
I made this in ONE POT! So Simple.

White Bean, Barley and Kale Soup

Banana Bread Bars
Perfect example of breakfast you can make on Sunday and enjoy all week!
3 bananas, 6 cups oats, 1 cup honey, 1 cup chopped walnuts, 2 eggs
Combine and add spices like cinnamon
Line a sheet tray with parchment paper
Spread out
Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.
Cool completely before cutting
Makes a ton!

Pesto Pasta with Shrimp and Spinach

This was so simple to make...You just keep adding the ingredients to the same pot of cooking pasta.
So my gluten free pasta took 5 minutes to cook
Boiling shrimp takes 2 minutes
Wilting Spinach take 30 seconds.

Add the pasta to boiling salted water
After 3 minutes add the shrimp
When you have about 30 seconds of cooking time left, add the spinach
Meanwhile, in the pot add the oil and pesto (I used the kale pesto) heat and add the pasta and shrimp back to the pot.
Serve with toasted pin nuts and fresh grated parmesan cheese

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