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Food Culture in Italy/Paris

23 Oct


(In Paris, outside the Louvre)

Obviously, as a self-proclaimed foodie, I was looking forward to trying all sorts of dishes during our honeymoon in Italy and Paris.  After months of dieting, I was ready to let loose and let my food-obsessed flag fly high.  And to be honest with you, in Italy especially, it seemed like everyone we met wanted to talk about food, eat food or make food.  What a wonderful country!

Our itinerary included: Venice, Florence, Cinque Terre, Rome and Paris.  We spent the most time in Florence, and we were in Europe for a total of two weeks.  Each city had some high notes and low notes in terms of food, and we loved being tourists in every city.



(In Venice… the canals here are breathtaking)

Since 10 out of our 14 days were spent in Italy, I felt like we really got to participate in Italian love of food.  There is a whole romance about it. Everywhere you go — at any time of day — Italians were smoking (everyone smokes there!), sharing a glass of wine, and eating something delicious. Beautiful cafes and wine bars lined every block — none of them chain restaurants — and even the humblest of cafes still had amazing food. I could seriously relate to those food sensibilities; my Italian-Hungarian family very much shares those ideas. Food should be lingered over, savored, never rushed and always delicious.


(from a small cafe in Florence)

Everything was delicious there, almost decadent.  Everything was also portion controlled (Chris and I joked that we couldn’t find a decent cup of coffee anywhere — the cappacinos, although delicious, were miniscule).  No super-sized fries. It seemed like almost every restaurant had extreme pride in their food (the only exception we found was in Rome; however, although we couldn’t find a good restaurant there — except for this random amazing Indian restaurant — that doesn’t mean that there aren’t good restaurants, we just could not find any!).


(Croque madame sandwich in a Parisian cafe/bar)

There is a real celebration of local cuisine and fresh ingredients. We had the best pesto in Cinque Terre smothering a bed of freshly-made gnocchi and an amazing carpaccio in Venice surpassing anything I’ve ever had before.  There was this life-changing burrata in Florence (check out La Giostra if you’re headed to Florence any time soon!) served with honey and nuts and jams. We found pear and pecorino raviolis in multiple restaurants in Italy and fell in love with the salty-sweetness.  We had amazingly flaky croissants in Paris, and delicious crepes at 10pm in our quirky Marais neighborhood. 


(pulled burrata — best 40 euros ever spent)

I reconsidered the obvious, but rarely utilized in the US, pairing of salad with almost everything in Paris (quiche, egg dishes, sandwiches).  I thought about how sometimes we rush through dinner, even eating it while multi-tasking (I am especially guilty of multi-tasking while eating lunch at the obvious). I thought about how gelato should be present at every meal (only slightly kidding). 

(deliciously fresh pasta with simple ingredients at a small restaurant on a square in Florence)

My goals: to savor food more every day, living in the food moment. To consider lighter sides with heavier entrees. To continue to eat locally and in season. To get back to Europe as soon as possible. To spend longer with loved ones over dinner.

My elopement, picnic and honeymoon were literally the three most magical weeks of my life. I hope to continue to travel and be romantic with my husband for all the years to come.


Our Wedding

26 Sep

The last three weeks have been hands-down the best weeks of my life.

Chris and I eloped to New York City. We had a private ceremony in Central Park. Everything was magical that day — from my hair and makeup being done, to our bouquet arriving and being more beautiful than anything I could have asked for (including our florist attaching the crown from my grandmother’s veil to the bouquet), to Chris’s face as we saw eachother for the first time, to taking a cab to Central Park and giggling in the back like excited kids on Christmas morning, to Chris’s beautiful vows by the water, to everyone on the streets shouting their congratulations like all of New York was celebrating with us, to a wonderful dinner in Columbus Circle (which we found out as we were leaving is owned by Marc Murphy) overlooking the city with free appetizers and desserts, to flowers and chocolate cake left by our hotel in our room — seriously, a magical day. The best part was getting married to the love of my life.


And guess who wasn’t worried about my weight or feeling fat that day? This girl. I felt beautiful — if not a little bit constrained by my corset dress. And who totally owned that burger in a wedding dress? Oh yeah, I did — not feeling like a fat girl at all! Just a lady celebrating her romantic Central Park elopement with her man. With grease and cheese and fries 😉


Totally blissfully happy.


Just a few pictures — more to come! And we followed our elopement with a picnic with our loved ones and a wonderful two week foodgasm touring Italy and Paris… aka a honeymoon.

More to come with food porn and details about each place we visited — as well as thoughts on food cultures in other countries and ideas for fall meals!

Wedding Countdown

15 Aug


I’ve been stalled.  In case you cannot tell, this is me losing basically nothing per week for the past month.  What’s been going wrong?  Well, I had my body being crazy for a while, but outside of that issue, I haven’t been working out much and I haven’t tracked in weeks.

Do I think I’m staying pretty much on point? Yes.  Do I think that I should be tracking? Absolutely.  Do I feel like I honestly cannot squeeze more gym time in at this point because my wedding is in less than a month and I’m going bat shit crazy? Yes.  (was this true always? no. now it is, though.)

I’ve been doing the no-carbs, no-white stuff, no-starch situation for a while, and so far so good. No cheating, although I still have cravings. I’ve been considering what to do with the fact that I haven’t lost that much in the past month… should I eat a carb? Should I not? It’s not good to have this indecision hanging over me.  For right now, I’m just continuing as is and hoping that some lightening bolt will strike me down from the sky and make me lose weight by virtue of the fact that I have not had a carb in TWO WHOLE MONTHS.  

So, what is my problem?  I am so goddamn comfortable at my curerent weight. So comfortable. I wake up every morning and put on clothes that I feel good about because I don’t feel fat. Everyone says I look good. I feel thin-ish. My fiance loves me at this size. I don’t know how to balance wedding stress and honeymoon stress and job stress and still continue to lose weight in a concentrated way.  For now, I guess I will just glide. Maybe some extra burst of energy will take over and I’ll become a tracking machine and a gym-enthusiast again — but maybe this is the weight I’m going to be when I marry the love of my life. And I guess that’s okay too.

Some random things:

We’ve had:
frozen yogurt. From the ice cream maker. (My darling man bought me one! So delish!). Sugar free!Image

I have a dress fitting tomorrow, and I’m excited to wear my new shoes:


I guess this is the final countdown for me.  Maybe I’ll be able to lose another pound or two before I get married, and maybe not. I’m going to try to do the best I can HEALTH-WISE for my body within the next few weeks, and I will let go of any expectations or results. 

One thing that’s been great about the no carbs thing? Besides losing 8 lbs in 2 months, I have also given up on food being a drug. I have nothing to comfort me. Ice cream does not solve my emotional problems anymore. And hey, that’s definitely a good thing for an emotional eater like me!

1.5 Months of No White Stuff

31 Jul

After 1.5 months of my strict diet (to recap: no flour, sugar, grain, starch), I have learned a few things.
A. I am clearly not a size 10 or a large anymore in most stores
B. Sometimes it’s about patience
C. I need some outside help sometimes

I guess this might be TMI for some people, but it’s a fact of my life so I wanted to share… Maybe it will help someone else.

I haven’t been going to the gym as much as I wanted to and my eating habits have been all off. I’m always full and I always feel bloated or queasy. I haven’t been losing as much weight as expected. The reason for all this? I have been having severe digestion problems, which has led me to not want to update. I’m doing the right things but I feel like I’m getting no where. (This is where patience comes into play.) This isn’t necessarily a new development — I think I’ve always had some stomach troubles but it was never continuous or pinpointed to one particular food (ie: not lactose intolerant).

Luckily, I talked to my aunt who is super into homeopathic remedies. She had a few suggestions, including an herbal tea to promote regularity (sorry again if this is oversharing). I’m starting to feel normal again, and even took a long hike on Saturday!


This is my drug mug for my tea, bwahaha.

Anyway, my dress fitting (because I’m getting married in a few weeks!) is Saturday and I think I’ve lost about 10 lbs since I started this whole no white stuff diet. Hopefully the dress will fit beautifully!

One thing I’ve been enjoying as I’m losing more weight is the few clothes I’ve managed to purpose in the right size and how I manage to put together outfits for my very corporate work environment.




(cropped black pants from Gap, top from NY&Company, black target wedge sandals and a blue junky necklace from an Eastern Market stall in DC)

Although it’s a corporate world, I still try to be young and fun with my clothes. I like how my butt looks in these pants and I think my arms and face look thinner than even how it looked in June! It’s good to fit into a size 8 again and feel like I look good.

Hopefully I’ll continue to feel better and will be able to get more gym time in this week! Starting to feel more normal — love that feeling!