If we could live out of our suitcase, we would. Trying local food, visiting new places and meeting interesting people fill our souls with happiness. However, the late nights, heavy meals, and few too many cocktails that usually accompany our holidays leave our body feeling a bit blah. So, after spending some time in Europe, we were surprised that we came home generally leaner and more energized. How could we eat pasta, gelato, and unrestricted amounts of cheese and actually feel…healthier?
Here are five wellness hacks from the land of love and wine- we promise they will make your life easier and better!
1. Live an active lifestyle
Living a generally active lifestyle is better (and easier) for you than spending an hour at the gym and doing nothing else all day or week. Walk to run your errands, walk to the coffee shop instead of sleeping in and scrolling Instagram, walk home from dinner instead of cabbing it. We swear walking will solve 99% of your life problems. La Passeggiata is the Italian ritual of going on a leisurely evening stroll. The goal of this walk isn’t to break a sweat, but rather to catch up with loved ones. How beautiful is that?
2. Enjoy the carbs
Yes we were all taught that carbs are the enemy growing up. But carbs are energy, and can actually fuel you for the day and make you feel energetic and good! They will actually fill you up instead of feeling still hungry and unsatisfied after a meal which leads to spontaneous snacking. Eat well and feel well.
3. Eat non-processed foods
Put away the frozen dinners and meal bars. We promise you are better off having a bowl of pasta and fresh cut tomatoes than that granola bar or pre-packaged stir fry. Processed foods contain empty calories, chemicals and preservatives that aren’t doing you any favours. Also just buy the real butter and enjoy yourself a bit- fake butter is for people who hate themselves.
4. Romanticize your meals
If you’re anything like we were, you scroll Instagram while eating breakfast, work on your computer while shovelling down lunch, and curl up to Netflix at the end of the day for dinner. While it’s tempting to multitask while you eat, it can work against your wellness goals. Research shows that looking at screens while eating can cause overeating, plus you are just not fully mindful to allow your digestive system to relax.
Italians approach eating differently. You won’t find them eating in front of a laptop at lunch or staring at a TV screen during dinner. There’s no eating on the go or while distracted. Instead, Italians have long lunches and dinners, taking the time to savor each bite and catch up with friends.
5. Prioritise leisure
It's easy to fall into the productivity trap. Eight-hour workdays easily become twelve-hour workdays, and Saturday mornings turn into an opportunity to squeeze in a couple of hours of admin. Overworking can leave us uninspired, tired, and depressed. But after a little bit of mental white space, energy levels and excitement are on the rise.
Italians have perfected the art of relaxing. Long lunches, evening strolls, and kicking back with a few friends and a glass of wine aren’t occasional treats. They’re the norm. This balanced approach to life can help reduce stress, ultimately making you happier and more productive when you need to be.