Monday, May 24, 2010

Day 9 - European Pounds

I just read that Last Saturday was European Obesity day. I just got back from a trip to Italy for business and ended up loosing 5 pounds or so - a combination of lots of walking and great wholesome food - the Italians do a great job here. Directly after the trip I headed to North Carolina for another round of business stuff and found the contrast amazing and unfortunately gained those 5 pounds back.

I found the food in Italy generally flavourful and natural tasting, fresh and clean while States side it was overburdened with salt, fat and in a portion size twice as big.

Just off the highway going to Milan I stopped for some Italian "Fast Food" I had some whole wheat pasta, a salad with balsamic vinegar and fruit - this was as bad as the fast food got.

The other aspect that I found interesting was how my Italian partners changed orders, asked the waiter for things not on the menu and casually insisted on getting what they liked. By the end of the trip I was doing the same and enjoying the fact that I could get what I wanted without extra charge.

I made the mistake of trying this at home and got a funny look, the waiter checking if it could be done and then charging me extra for the trouble.

North America and increasingly the rest of the world is becoming more processed, automated and refined. In order to get your $12 steak they need to prepare it earlier and hire a cook who does not have the skills to work on the fly.

I also saw that the Italian/French/Spanish etc. attitude toward food is more sacred and they take the time and have patience for it. My worst meal in Italy would be one of my best back home, partly because of the attention given to it.

Lastly I found that there were so many restaurants that were doing well in Italy, despite the economy. They have great respect for waiters, chefs, managers and owners and it is usual for a person to work their entire career at one restaurant, starting as a waiter and one day owning it. Quite different from the way we think about waiters/cooks/restauranteurs over here in North America.

Worked hard today burning out my power kicks and punches. I'm getting pretty good at the maneuvers concentrating on my form up to the last hit.

My meditation has been off - My mind is such a mass of voices and ideas lately - I've got alot on the go and have to quiet those voices down - Any Suggestions?

See you soon.


  1. Hmm...I found it helpful at first to call each thought a thought and then move on, but I've been distracted much more easily as we've gone on. I think at this stage, being aware of that activity is probably the most important thing. I imagine Patrick will give us some tips soon.

  2. I wish the world would move in the direction of Italy's eating culture. As you said is the attitude towards food: eating mindfully.

    While living in Germany I have noticed a different attitude: people tend to not care so much about quality of food but its price. There's a lot of fatty processed fast food everywhere and eating a meal is something to do as fast as possible.

    I wonder: is it the attitude of people what creates healthy cuisine or is it the other way around?