(Italian for measure, I think)
((It is a brand name, so all copy lefts and rights to where they are due. This is not brand-shaming either, I love that shit. It is just a good example to illustrate international – and interspecies – differences.))
When I was nearing my 40th birthday, I was under the influence that I needed to do something to get in better shape. So I underwent a 3-month body shaping course which involved two fitness sessions a week and a nutritionist. At the beginning I was measured in many places, weighed and introduced a 3-hour feeding schedule, like a puppy. The best thing about it was the stylish, demurely lit swimming pool and a jacuzzi to use freely after each session. Swimwear was optional.
My trainer was a hilarious and chiselled blonde girl who liked going skydiving with her dog. Watching my progress she said that she would never again made the mistake of thinking that big girls – not don’t cry, but can’t move.
So I was running on that damn track machine, lifting them weights but when they tried to infiltrate a nutritious shake, for extra pay of course, I rebelled. What I did embrace was one of the suggestions by the nutritionist for my 3-hour in between meal: she told me to buy Misura crackers. First I made a mistake and bought Misura cookies, which were not all that, but when this was clarified I tasted my first Misura cracker. They were wholegrain, not particularly salty or full of taste, but they did their job: they kept me nicely full during meals.
When I moved to Italy a year and a half ago, I noticed immediately a few things: fruit and vegetables taste better here, Italians are very proud of their recipes and don’t like interferences, and food is generally much more expensive (as is mostly everything else). So imagine my surprise when I went to a supermarket and saw my Misura crackers, nicely lined up and on offer too! The price was about one half of the price back home. And it has stayed low ever since.
When my amore tasted one, his face changed into one of his “Why?” expressions. Why no salt? You see, Italians you can’t take thirsty over a brook. They are not falling prey to “healthy” eating. They have their own eating habits which place them at No. 3 on the world’s least fat nations list (I forgot where this data is from). Seeing how little they exercise – automobilism is not their national sport by accident – their feeding must surely be magical. Especially since they seem to cherish the taste above all else.
Two examples of my kind of happy meal: spaghetti con vongole (up) and paella (down). Photo: MM, chef: MC.
When I returned from my one-month holiday in my old country, the new mirror in our bedroom did not greet me with a happy sight. But that changed a little after a very short time due to order, proteins, strict adherence to recipes and no emo eating in front of the fridge. In short: Italians might be a hedonistic nation, but their recipes are sensible, not overindulgent, ingredients are sparse, and they don’t cram too much different foods on their plates but eat them in layers instead.
And so now I still munch on my Misuras between meals sometimes since they are so cheap and all, and my amore is looking at me with his unasked question in his eyes (Why not the normal, salty ones?), and sometimes I give them to the dog too, especially when we’re travelling. The grin on his face when the dog turns his head away in disgust is worth a million words. (Truth be told: when the dog makes sure there is absolutely nothing else to be had, he eats them most gladly.)
To return to my birthday diet and training: when I was weighed and measured again after three months and the lean, thin, barely there nutritionist saw my new data, she clapped her hands and squealed and I’d be damned if not wetted her pants a little. I was very glad for her, her plan obviously worked. As for me, I was there for the pool.