Friday, November 15, 2019
The gelato diet
A bit less than a year ago I restructured the way I eat. This was for a variety of household and health reasons, and to make a little more room for my hobbies of cocktails and coffee. One thing about the restructuring meant that I eat less. Sometimes it seems like a lot less. I don't use sweeteners. I don't eat or drink after seven. I have very particular meals and mealtimes, and not that many of them. And I can't complain. All of this has largely done the job. I still have my middle age issues, but I feel pretty much healthier and less inclined towards physical breakdowns, back injuries, colds, and some other miscellaneous ailments, than I had before. Plus I look dashing in my vests.
But when I went to Italy I decided, for my two weeks there, to set all that carefully to the side. As my wife and I tramped all over Florence and Rome I ate and drank whatever, and whenever. I had as much coffee as I could manage. I drank regularly- a bottle of wine, Fernet Branca at night, cocktails on piazzas, afternoon Spritzes like it was a religion. I consumed great quantities of cheeses, finding our first great cheese plate at Pitti e Gola where I had three glasses of sparkling wine and one of something called Orange Wine. I ate plates of raw meat. I had pastry every morning stuffed with creams and chocolate. I bought porcini mushrooms and swordfish and fried them in olive oil. I ate all the potato chips they brought me with my Spritz.
And I had gelato.
I had gelato every day. I had gelato in the morning. I had gelato in the evening. I had gelato in the afternoon. I would get gelato, eat it, and go back to order more gelato. I ate gelato walking along. And I ate gelato sitting down. I ate planned gelato and I ate spur of the moment gelato. I had whipped cream on my gelato and I had gelato plain in a cup. Sometimes I had espresso over my gelato. I ate a lot of gelato.
Outside of one unpleasant night early in the trip which I blame on an injudicious nightcap of Fernet Branca and possibly a questionable panini, my health was excellent in Italy. I felt good. A few weird home ailments ceased to bother me in Italy. I came home well and whole and I might have even lost a pound or two while I was there, or so it was suggested to me.
Now surely one could say that our near constant walking in Italy wiped away all the other sins. Or that for all I ate it turned out we were too busy for me to actually eat all that much. One could argue that the joy of Italy helped me out, the lack of stress, the complete cessation of anything remotely comparable to a sedentary lifestyle.
And those would be good arguments. Very sensible.
It was the gelato.