How to do PB in Italy?
I have to be in Italy for 3 months this coming fall. I am kind of nervous about how to survive over there in the land of pasta, pizza, bread, and gelato. I think I'll be able to get in plenty of walking and can do bodyweight workouts in my hotel, thank goodness, but how would you go about eating there?! Any PBers travelled to Italy or maybe live there? Do you have any tips on how to eat and live primally over there? Is it very hard or expensive to do so?
Forgive me if this is incredibly idiotic, but I'm just paranoid.
Hello! I live in Italy (near Lake Como), and I've been PB-ing for over a year now. To be honest, it is not the easiest place to do it - you won't find a whole range of products US or UK people rely on, and good luck with asking a butcher about grassfed beef ("all cows eat grass"!). On the other hand, nearly all fruit and veg is seasonal and local - in fact, it can be quite hard to track down imported food. Most meat is reasonable quality, and there is increasing availability of "bio" food (including meat). Look for "allevato a terra" (free range) chicken and eggs, "bio" meat and regional speciality meat (piemonte, chianna, etc.) and cheese, which adheres to strict quality guidelines. "latte di montagna" is effectively milk from grassfed herds (although the concept is not even considered important here - the italians are interested in the flavour of the alpine grasses more than the nutritional breakdown), and unpasteurised milk, cheese and yoghurt is everywhere. Seafood is locally fished and WONDERFUL if you go anywhere near the coast.
Ok, you won't find coconut oil, kefir and bacon. But you will get top quality olive oil, crescenza and pancetta. When in Rome...
Oh, for restaurants, it's easy - just order a "secondo con contorno" (meat or fish with veg side), and skip the "primo" (most italians eat pasta first, then a "secondo" plate of protein). Ask for a "torta caprese" (dark chocolate almond/hazelnut flour cake), "macedonia" (fruit salad) for dessert, and look out for "paste siciliane" (almond flour biscuits, similar to marzipan but less sweet).
You will also find great "delis" where most people order sandwiches, but you can skip the grain fold and just order this, that, and the other thing from an array of delicious options. That was how I did lunch when I was bicycling in Italy (of course, back then I always ordered a sandwich, but there is no need for it). You'll want to learn to say things like "no bread, please" and "please pile everything onto a plate and leave out the bread."
The people are wonderful (when they're not driving). Very friendly, full of life, and good looking. Have a great time and don't worry.
I had lots of grilled salmon and veggies in Italy. it was easy. People have too many pastries at breakfast though, plan ahead.
Pizza crust is very, very thin. It you can't resist, one of those is not as bad a thick, gooey Domino's.
throw the bread out and eat the meat, honestly that would be my course of action in any place in the world. Meat first (assuming that fat will come with the meat) then veggies and yeah, that's about it for me really.
I wasn't primal when I visited Italy 5 years ago, but I was eating low carb and had no problem at all. Food is delicious everywhere, and I personally found it easy to fill up on meat, fish, veggies in any restaurant. No waiter batted an eye when I skipped the pasta course, and ordering coffee for 'dessert' is fairly standard. (I'm an Italian-American--second generation--and I know that Italians rarely eat dessert with meals, except for fresh fruit. Desserts in restaurants are for tourists.)
I'm a great ice-cream lover so I DID sample gelato at one of the most highly recommended shops in Rome, and quite frankly, you won't miss much if you skip the gelato.
Thank you all so much! This forum is full of so many cool folks.