A New Yorker's Fitness in Italy

Here, we all eat together, including lunch. Lunch is a break in the day--a time to come together.

Here, we do not work on weekends: That is family time.

Here, we drink wine every evening. Delicious wine. (Here, we have to fit food around wine bottles in the refrigerator.) And here, two-yr-old Gioah already knows the meaning of  "Cheers!" and holds up his plastic cup (or, on occasion, a wine glass of water) accordingly.

(* Click the photos below to see more)

As a fitness and nutrition coach and writer who greatly values eating very nutritiously and exercising daily to feel good and be well...

My "workouts" look like this:

  • For the first two weeks in Italy: Schlepping around a 10-kilo bambino
  • A few morning HIIT workouts

I just did my second day in a row of a 40-min bodyweight/band workout/running with the bambino in the stroller, and it felt fantastic. Some mornings, I might wake up early enough to do solo workouts, but if not, I will try to continue this approach. Ettore, so far, sleeps or chilaxes, likely wondering what on earth his zia (aunt) is doing. #babysfirstworkouts

My diet is essentially the opposite of what is usually is:

  • Pasta on pasta, bread on bread, a bit of cheese, wine on wine, and desserts full of flour and butter and sugar.  
  • Eating more protein and vegetables where I can now that we're back at home in Montaldo.

The bottom lines:

  • Still eating primarily whole foods, versus crap. And it's true: Food, in general, is of a different quality here. 
  • Still listening to my body. If it cries, I change course.
  • Embracing the experience and not obsessing. Life is too short.
  • Feeling okay overall--and my clothes seem to fit the same way so far. Just sayin'.
  • Moving however I can, because I know that I feel better when I do. 

I am in Italy, taking it all in. I can still do things that make me feel good, knowing that I am essentially on a different planet, far far away from the hustle and bustle and fitness-obsessed UES of NYC and constant movement and energy. These beautiful bambinos pack a punch, and life is beautiful.

  • Simplicity + going with the flow of whatever craziness the day brings.
  • Plenty of smiling and laughing.
  • Lower stress ("Ab health"!)

And if I lose some precious muscle and my body reacts to all of the inflammatory foods and less-frequent go-go-go pace that is my life in Manhattan, I can get back on the wagon upon my return to the big city. And all will be okay.

Those Alps...

Those Alps...

What does fitness mean to you? 


Today, for me, it means:

  • A simple and creative mish-mosh of a breakfast: Tuna, chia pudding, and grapefruit. (Packing in some protein!)
  • A 45-minute creative workout, pushing the stroller on beautiful Italian country roads: Some sprints and hills, some Superband and bodyweight exercises.
  • Now sitting on a ball as I write this, Bjorning the bambino (about 10 kilos at about four months old).

(This suddenly feels like the ABCs of Baby Fitness…

  • A is for Anything Active You Can Do with a Stroller
  • B is for Bjorning and Bouncing on the Ball...or Baby-Made Biceps
  • C is for Constant Care, Constant Core

How about: Spingere the Stroller or Push il Passeggino?

Combine inglese e italiano, and you have some pretty fantastic alliteration happening!

Huh…Possible book idea?)

Okay, moving on:

  • A simple salad for lunch: Tempeh, endive, orange peppers, zucchini, olive oil/pesto dressing. 
  • A quiet afternoon at home, helping with the boys. Taking Gioah for a quick walk in the stroller so that he falls asleep for a nap, then back to Ettore so Summer can get some more work done before the evening.
  • A possible aperitivo ("Happy Hour") with Summer in Casale, which I have not been to yet before dinner with the family. Delicious wine, simple and delicious food, likely with vegetables from the backyard/nearby.

my fitness is holistic, creative, and connected:

  • Nutrition: Local, high-quality food and community. Enjoying good wine every evening--and, sometimes, a glass with lunch.
  • Exercise: Movement however I can fit it in. And, yes, carrying babies all day definitely counts. (Ladies, want to know a secret for getting some guns and shoulders and back? Carry around a 25-lb baby in your arms or in a Bjorn, or push a stroller up a hill!)
  • Mindfulness and Gratitude: Appreciating the slower pace, which serves as a constant reminder of what matters most: Connection. Family. Love.