Extra virgin olive oil, your food’s personal trainer
It’s not easy to win the battle for a beach-ready body. All those cheeky beers, outdoor snacks, ice creams, mojito sundowners and the like soon add up… Paradoxically, the time of year when you keep a keenest eye on the scales is also the season with the most temptations, what with a hectic social life and those tempting calamari under the sunshade. How can you possibly hope to resist towering ice creams, dreamy milkshakes and caipirinhas that slip down a treat. Well, thanks to extra-virgin olive oil! Read on to find out how.
From now on, steam all your vegetables and dress them with a dash of extra-virgin olive oil, a pinch of salt and your favourite herbs or spices. Nothing more, nothing less. Once your body has adjusted to the benefits (and taste) of steamed vegetables, you’ll never want to go back.
Well, except grilled vegetables. Courgette, aubergine and peppers are excellent grilled with a little extra-virgin olive oil. You won’t need anything else to be happy. Serve with grilled chicken at a family barbecue for a light, balanced and delicious meal without having to forgo anything.
Say goodbye to biscuits, sugary cereals, chorizo sandwiches and, above all, cakes and pastries for breakfast. From now on, some decent-quality bread, a drizzling of extra-virgin olive oil and a pinch of salt will make the ideal start to the day. Have you tried alternatives to wheat? Spelt, kamut and rye bread are all wonderful. Add some sliced tomato and you’ll wonder what you ever saw in your early-morning blowouts of the past.
Try grilled fruit. If you get bored with eating fruit every day, even with the abundance of different kinds of fruit on offer in summer, trying grilling it with a drizzling of extra-virgin olive oil. Watermelons, pears, peaches and more make the ideal garnish for fish or meat. See (and taste) for yourself!
Yes to salads, but don’t go mad. If you’re counting the calories, go for green salads, with cucumber, tomato, onion, peppers and some pulses to fill you up and get your digestive juices flowing. But go easy on the cheese and carbohydrates, above all at night. Always opt for extra-virgin olive oil with a pinch of salt as a dressing: you won’t need anything else.
Call time on sauces. You may think you’re looking after yourself by eating a tofu sausage or a healthy Russian salad, but you’re piling on hidden pounds in those innocent-looking sauces. From now on, keep an eye on them wherever you find them: in burgers, sandwiches and cold summer salads. A good olive oil gives a distinguished flavour that’s every bit a match for any sauce.
Pasta to the rescue. If you want to watch the calories and don’t like (or don’t have enough time for) cooking, here’s the solution: al dente pasta with a drizzling of extra-virgin olive oil, a pinch of salt and some good grated Parmesan cheese. Finish off with a bowl of different fruit and you’ve got a filling, balanced, healthy, and delicious meal!