Tag: fat

Fat Tuesday: why is it called that? – Italian cuisine reinvented by Gordon Ramsay

La Cucina Italiana

Here we go, it’s Carnival: February 13th is Shrove Tuesday. We celebrate in costume, and – for us adults – we celebrate above all at the table, with typical dishes that differ from region to region. In Campania with lasagna with meatballs, in Piedmont with fagiolata, and then many desserts, from chiacchiere to fritters in every possible version: in Venice the fritole (together with the “mammalucchi”), in Abruzzo the mignozzi. They deserve a separate chapter pork dishesfrom grilled meats to fried (again!) passing through cured meats: the carnival period coincides with that of the slaughterhouse.

Why is it called “Shrove Tuesday”?

It is therefore easy to understand the origin of the name: if it’s called “Shrove Tuesday” it’s because there is a gastronomic reason. But not only. What perhaps not everyone knows, in fact, is that there is also a precise reason that “justifies” so many excesses, and ultimately it’s not just religious. Celebrating (also) by eating such rich and important dishes is a thousand-year-old tradition that dates back to ancient Rome and ancient Greece. In fact, many believe that Carnival has its origins from the Saturnalia and the Dionysian festivals: occasions in which people danced, sang and dressed up so that everyone could be anyone else for at least one day, and above all we ate. Or rather: everyone could eat, without distinctions of social class.

A tradition then taken up by Catholicism (like many other pagan-derived festivals, after all), and “officialized” as Carnival around 1400. The first evidence of the use of the word “carnival” comes from the texts of the jester Matazone da Caligano at the end of the 13th century and of the novelist Giovanni Sercambi. Furthermore, the word itself says a lot about how much the festival was then linked by religion to food: it derives from Latin “carnem raise” and that is “remove the meat,” precisely because after this period of revelry the fasting of Lent begins. In short, Shrove Tuesday is nothing more than the last day of binging.

Because it’s called Shrove Thursday

For Catholicism, in fact, in the forty days preceding Easter – excluding Sundays – meat must be banned (in the most orthodox interpretation any other food can also be considered a sin of gluttony). This is why before Ash Wednesday it is “allowed” to exaggerate. In particular, it starts from the last Thursday of the carnival period, the “Shrove Thursday”: also in this case the origin of the name is therefore linked to the table. Moreover, in addition to the fact that the float parades begin on Thursday in many cities, there are also specific gastronomic customs linked exclusively to the day: in Catania, for example, people eat the pasta che cincu puttusa”i.e. pasta with five holes (which is a very particular shape, seasoned with tomato sauce), while in Florence you eat the Berlingozzodonut-shaped baked dessert.

Because Shrove Tuesday and Thursday always fall on different days

If every year we celebrate the carnival on different days it is because Easter always dictates the calendar, which every year – as foreseen by the decree of the Council of Nicaea in 325 AD – is celebrated the first Sunday after the first full moon following the vernal equinox, in a time interval ranging from the second half of March (the 22nd) to the second half of April (the 25th). Once Easter Sunday has been established, we count backwards 46 days (excluding Sundays, in which, as already written, there is no fasting), until Ash Wednesday. The day before is therefore Shrove Tuesday, Carnival.

Because in Milan the carnival ends later

The same goes everywhere, except in Milan, where the carnival is celebrated for four more days, until Saturday (“fat”, too). According to legend, it has been like this ever since Bishop Ambrogio, in Rome for a pilgrimage, asked the faithful to wait for his return to start the celebrations of Lent. Another legend instead says that the bishop asked the Pope to be able to extend the Carnival by including Sundays in the 40 days: in short, a way to celebrate a little more.

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Diet after the holidays, the mistakes that are likely to make you fat – Italian Cuisine

The Christmas holidays are one of the times of the year when people tend to eat more and gain weight. Here's what to avoid to be able to shed the pounds gained

During the Christmas holidays, letting go to the table is very frequent. Between lunches and dinners on average every year in January we find ourselves with at least a couple of extra pounds. What to do to eliminate them? "The first thing that can help is to focus on more balanced menus and dishes not only in terms of portions, but also the quality of the food", suggests the nutritionist Valentina Schirò, specialized in food science. Then, you have to pay attention to mistakes. "Often you continue to gain weight even after the holidays because a whole series of behaviors are implemented that if apparently seem to favor weight loss, in reality, for various reasons, over time, risk facilitating the accumulation of extra pounds in critical points such as stomach, legs and hips . Here then are a series of mistakes that risk making you fat if you decide to go on a diet after the holidays.

Doing crash diets

Bring mini portions to the table and start skipping meals after Christmas? Nothing more wrong. It promotes the accumulation of fat around the waist and weight gain over time. "When you eat little, your body tends to conserve fat reserves and burn less. The consequence? The metabolism becomes slower, the appetite increases and we end up eating more than necessary, "explains nutritionist Valentina Schirò. Another aspect that should not be underestimated is the gratification factor. "Sad menus and too small portions risk increasing the desire for food even more, in particular for foods rich in sugars and fats such as panettone, nougat and other sins of gluttony that are easily found in the pantry after Christmas".

Eat only soups and salads

Seasonal vegetables should never be missing from the table. It provides water, minerals and vitamins that detoxify the body and stimulate the work of the liver and intestines especially after a period of excess. It is also rich in fiber which slow down the absorption of sugars and fats and ensure good satiety. Eating it alone, however, is not a valid strategy to get rid of the extra pounds gained during the holidays. "Vegetables lack essential proteins, carbohydrates and fats, necessary for metabolism," explains nutritionist Valentina Schirò. The ideal is to always combine them for lunch and dinner with a portion of proteins (lean meat, eggs, fish or legumes) seasoned with extra virgin olive oil, rich in "good" fats and slow-absorbing carbohydrates such as spelled. and in general to whole grains in grains that promote the sense of fullness.

Diet after the holidays, the mistakes that are likely to make you fat

Bring plain dishes to the table

Too rich dips and dishes are not the best for your figure and health. But also focusing on dishes without any seasoning to remedy the excesses of lunches and dinners is not the best for the diet after the holidays. «The classic dish of plain pasta or plain rice that we often tend to choose after a period of excess is likely to have more disadvantages than advantages for getting back into shape. Compared to the same dish seasoned for example with vegetables and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, it causes a greater glycemic response and consequently stimulates an excessive production of insulin, a hormone that facilitates hunger and promotes the accumulation of weight in particular at abdominal level ".

Dine on fruit only

It's okay to stay light at dinner, but trying to make up for the Christmas extravagance by eating only pineapple, oranges or mandarins, for example, is not a good idea. “Fruit cannot be a valid substitute for a main meal. From a nutritional point of view, it provides many sugars that are easily assimilated by the body and is free of proteins, good fats and complex carbohydrates, essential nutrients that promote satiety and help the metabolism stay active ", says the expert. The ideal is to eat it as a snack to break the appetite. "Combined with dried fruit, for example, it is a snack that helps regain the regularity of meals and lends a hand to the hunger-satiety rhythm".

5 tricks to not get fat on vacation – Italian Cuisine

A souvenir that we don't want to take home from our next holiday, are those two extra pounds that we regret every time we return. Here's what to do to prevent it from happening

On vacation everything is allowed. Small hours, fish dinners by the sea, dolce far niente and a toast in profusion. But in all this relaxation creeps of small bad habits that make us cry on the scales on our return. Taken from theenthusiasm, free time and curiosity for dishes far from our routine housewife, we tend to overdo it. And since prevention is better than cure, here are 5 small things to consider to avoid turning holidays into the cause of your next diet.

1 – Sugar free

The first thing to consider is liquids. Very important during the summer season to give the body the amount of water necessary to rebalance the water lost through sweating, they turn too often during the holidays into a continuous transgression. Carbonated and sugary drinks, fruit juices and alcoholic drinks I'm a real one sugar mine ready to turn into extra pounds. The bad news also is that they don't have good moisturizing power. Then focus onwater, drinking about two liters a day. All the rest of the drinks you take will not have to quench your thirst, but accompany the highlights of your day. Yes to a natural pineapple juice for breakfast, a glass of wine or beer as an aperitif and an after dinner drink. But without exaggerating!

2 – Ice creams? counted

One of the most popular foods in the summer is ice cream. Refreshing, tasty and available in every corner of the beach is a sweet temptation to which we say yes too often. The habit of eating it every day on vacation is to be lost: try ad take it on alternate days. On bad days, you can count on a good slice of watermelon or on an ice lolly.

3 – Mon amour grid

Pasta with seafood, mixed fry and chips. If you also ordered these things in your favorite restaurant by the sea last night, it's time to give us a cut. A menu rich in carbohydrates and fats it may be a tear, but never the rule. One of the easiest moves to avoid nasty surprises on the scale once you are back from vacation is to count on cooking that does not require the addition of fat. Just like the grill.
Here are some ideas for preparing fish:

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4 – Let's get organized

One of our favorite things about holidays is the lightheartedness they give us. For a few days we don't think about anything, not even what to eat. So go ahead for breakfast at the bar and lunch with focaccia, panzerotti and pizzas. But a little organization could be our lifeline. Let's start at regularize our breakfasts preferring energy and fiber to the caloric combination hood and brioche yogurt and cereals. For lunch, then, let's organize ourselves with simple preparations like ham and melon, mozzarella and tomato and salads rich in vegetables and fruit.

5 – The happy hour

The aperitif is a ritual that in the summer has the character of the indispensable. But just like in the case of ice cream, doing it every day could be harmful for our line. Let's start at change our habits by dedicating a few moments before dinner to different activities. Like a photo shoot to take advantage of the hottest hours of the day, a long walk on the seafront or simply reading the book that we are passionate about.

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