Ciao, Bella! | Romey

It’s been a while since I’ve checked in, but I’ve recently had a wonderful experience that I want to share. I was very fortunate to be able to spend two weeks with my entire family at a villa in Tuscany. There were thirteen of us and every moment was precious. I could go on and on about the sights, etc., but I’d like to speak about the health and wellness aspect of the trip.

First of all, when I saw pictures of our accommodations, I was awestruck by the beauty; but what really excited me was the fact that there was an in-ground pool and an outdoor gym. I was delighted to know that I would be able to work out even though I’d be halfway around the world from Pacifica Wellness and Dr. Tim. My plan was to exercise a bit every day. How was I going to accomplish this, however, without workout clothes? I was so exhausted when I packed for the trip that I actually forgot to include them. I realized my oversight while en route to Chicago where I was going to spend the night before flying to Italy. With very little time to spare before the overseas flight, I made my brother take me shopping so I could purchase what I needed. Disaster averted. My sister-in-law was so impressed by my goal that she was inspired to exercise on vacation, too.

We spent a great portion of every day walking through the magnificent hill towns. These were not gently rolling hills; they were steep and winding. These excursions were workouts in themselves. We watched as the towns’ inhabitants lithely made their way to and fro. We watched little old women walking or biking with their groceries in tow. Back home we’d never think to walk to the grocery store.

Speaking of groceries, we shopped every few days for what we’d need. In the produce department of the grocery store, one is required to put on a plastic disposable glove before touching anything. In the mercato or open-air market, customers are not allowed to touch the produce. Instead, one tells the owner what and how much is needed, and the owner fills the bag. In both instances, the produce is touched the least amount of times before it’s sold.

I am lucky to have had a mother who focused on a balanced diet. Because of her, I’d been following the Meditteranean diet before even knowing that one existed. This trip was a great opportunity to actually be where it’s followed as a way of life. We noticed that everything tasted so fresh. We also noticed the portion control. Nothing was super-sized, but we never left a table feeling hungry.

Because there were six nieces and nephews, we must have stopped at every gelateria that we passed. I admit to indulging a few times, but what I noticed was this: Even if you ordered two ‘palline’ (scoops), it was still less than one scoop of ice cream that we’d get here at home; yet the amount was satisfying.

I’m happy to report that I ate and drank what I wanted when I was hungry, but I did not gain any weight. All of our walking plus the laps in the pool plus the workouts in the outdoor gym equaled no additional weight. What was most remarkable to me, though, was when my brother-in-law mentioned that he did not experience indigestion for the two weeks that we were in Italy. This may not sound like a big deal, but it spoke volumes to me. When we give our bodies what they need—fresh food, simply prepared, in sufficient quantity—we reap the benefits of feeling good and being healthy. Hopefully we’ll continue to do so now that we’re back home again.

Italy was great and I miss it terribly, but I’m glad to be back—there’s no Dr. T in Italy!