Help! I'm going to Italy to study in a week for the next two months, and I have no idea how I am going to survive. I have a little apartment with kitchenette so I should be ok when cooking at home. Problem is, this is going to be a very social experience, and I suspect will involve a lot of eating out and drinking. Can anyone give me advice of foods I might find on a menu in Italy that are paleo. Pizza and pasta and gelato is really going to test my resolve. Also is there any less bad alcohols? Limoncello is yummy but from memory is very sweet.
I think it is easier to eat healthy in Italy that it is to eat here personally. I don't think you should be worried about it at all. They don't sit around eating big bowls of pasta all day long. Think veggies, seafoods and meats and salads!!! --edit--- As for the booze...yes lemoncello is basically sugar, lemons and vodka or some other clear grain alcohol. Stick to some red wine...as most everyone else will be doing as well :)
If you're not allergic or celiac, why stay paleo? Seriously... Keep a paleo kitchen, but don't sweat eating out.
I'll add: if you were going to be there longer, I'd encourage you to get in neck deep with the locals. Go to the markets, go to the little butcher shops to get your provisions for the week. Heck, I'd even say hit up the local bakery for some good bread now and then (again, assuming you're not celiac). 2 months really isn't much time to immerse yourself completely in the culture, you're going to be more or less a tourist in a foreign land (how's your Italian?) If you had more time, yeah, try to make paleo work there within the culture. Don't waste your precious time there worrying about gluten-free and grass-fed...
Italian food in Italy is quite different from elsewhere. The menus are very varied and they eat a lot of fresh vegetables , great salads, steaks,soups. For example this evening at an Italian restaurant we had a mixed charcuterie plate as a starter, my husband had steak and I had chicken wrapped in bacon with spinach as a side dish.
Examples from tonight's menu
Rocket and parmesan salad
Tomato, fresh basil and onion salad
Mixed leaf salad, vine tomatoes, cucumber and olive oil dressing
Broccoli rabe with chilli and garlic
Potatoes Dauphinois with capers Mashed potato with garlic and herbs Fresh spinach sautéed in extra virgin olive oil & garlic
A Rib-eye steak served with a peppercorn sauce and French
Chicken breast cooked in a fiery chilli sauce served Parmesan risotto
Fegato di Vitello alla Diavola Calf’s liver, a delicate diavola jus & creamy mash potatoes Chicken breast wrapped in Parma ham & sage, cooked in white wine Pan-fried Salmon served on a bed of lentils & spinach
Pan-fried fillet of sea bass, Sicilian caponnata, tomato & extra virgin olive oil
A pan-fried tuna steak served with a classic Niçoise salad**
You will love the healthy organic fruits and veggies as well as all the affordable grass fed beef. I think grain fed beef is hardly existent in Italy! Enjoy.
Italy is one of the most aware countries when it comes to gluten free things. You'll likely find a gluten free menu at many normal Italian restaurants you visit. Even stopping at a highway gas-station when I was there last summer there was a whole shelf dedicated to gluten free snacks and awareness brochures. You'll be fine.
Also, live a little and have fun....some gluten free pizza / pasta and fresh Gelato won't kill you within 2 months.
Italy is also home of lardo, real fermented salamis, bottarga, and the best bacon (quanciale). And perhaps the coolest butcher, Dario Cecchini, on earth : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mKeBpGlJ5dw
Robb Wolf went to Italy a couple years ago and he said he found it easier to eat Paleo there than in the US or Canada. He wrote a short post with a video about it.
Good luck and have fun!
Have a wonderful time and enjoy yourself. You'll figure it out. For pasta dishes eat the meat, sauce, and veggies. Salads are everywhere. You'll be fine just use common sense. Basically everything is game except the pasta and bread- eat around it. Again, have a great time and try soak up the culture.
Italy is the perfect country if you want to eat strictly paleo! The most of italians are proud of their traditional, organic and local foods! I live near Florence and as other tuscanies we love our famous beef steak "Fiorentina"! And if it doesn't come from grass-fed cows, who can live freely in our wide landscape you don't call it such like this! We also have a great variety of ham and salumi, not wurst or hot dog.
I can also tell you that the organic farmers are increased in the last ten years, when you will here ask for "BIO" products or "KM 0" Markets. I'm a Bio Farmer, in my house we eat only our chickens, eggs, veggies from our land; boar and other game meat from hating of my grandfather.
I had more difficulty to eat paleo out of my country. I'm sorry for my national proud, i'm too much in love with my land.
i would just eat the local cuisine if i were you. try everything, food in italy is generally a much higher quality then it is here. there's a big difference from SAD and the italians Mediterranean diet... also any weight you could potentially gain will almost definitely be offset by the amount of walking i bet youll be doing... when you're making your own meals eat paleo but other than that don't stress it, it's only 2 months. try the delicious pizza, gelato, pastries and even indulge in the world famous pasta dishes... i know this is paleo blasphemy but you only live once and as long as you don't have any serious allergies i can't see how you could gain anything from restricting yourself from one of the greatest cuisines in the world. just my 2 cents hope you have a great time.
They have wonderful, wonderful leafy greens in Italy. Fresh, tasty... makes my mouth water! Have those greens and fish/meat at every meal. Vegetables in season are always good. Why grains? They are not good anyway!