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  • Italian-Inspired Resolutions
    Start the year off as an Italian would. After all, Italians do it better, baby.
    Our Paesani

    by Francesca Di Meglio

    The new year is a clean slate, a chance to change your life for the better. Or at least that is how most people like to think of it. Granted, many of us make resolutions that we never keep. Somehow, those 10 pounds we want to lose, we end up gaining. And looking for that new job seems like a hassle when you already have one that is so-so but pays the bills.

    So, why not make a list of resolutions that you will actually keep? What better than a list of resolutions that help you get in touch with your heritage? Here are some resolutions that will have you fitting in more with the paesani:

    Drink more…
    red wine, that is. We all know that Italians are wine drinkers. Most of the stuff is cheaper than Coca-Cola in the Boot. It appears on the table at dinner and often even at lunch (at least that's how it is in southern Italy). And it's good for you. Just drink it in moderation and refrain from turning into drunk Zio Guido, who's always falling all over himself at family weddings and funerals. Salute!

    Mangia bene.
    I'm not talking about dieting because that would fall into the category of those resolutions that no one sticks to. How long has that gym membership been burning a hole in your pocket? Probably since last Jan. 1. I'm talking about savoring your meals and trying new foods and eating organically. You don't have to restrict yourself to dietary shakes and tofu.

    In fact, the Italians, for the most part, don't restrict their diets. These are people who would give up an arm before giving up their carbs. (I'm living in Italy at the moment with a bunch of natives, and we eat pasta every single day. Every. Single. Day.) But Italians eat everything in moderation – no super sizing here – and they pay careful attention to what they ingest. They'll have a small breakfast of a pastry and espresso, one big meal a day – at lunch – and a small dinner. Many of them snack on fruits in between lunch and dinner.

    They don't put garbage into their bodies because they appreciate food too much for that. Every bite is to be a revelation. Every taste is to be judged and analyzed. Essentially, Italy is full of food critics. And many of the southerners still keep gardens and eat organic – straight from their own backyards. Fresh herbs, fruits, and veggies make the meal tastier and healthier without having to settle for that “diet” stuff. Trust me, these meals taste mmmhhh, mmmmmhh, good!

    Be so vain.
    Italians believe in the bella figura. It's basically the exact opposite of the American mantra of never judging a book by its cover. They believe you should judge and judge away. So, they all try to protect themselves by making a bella figura, dressing as nicely as you can, prettying yourself up (male or female), and strutting your stuff all over the piazza or nonna's pad or wherever you may be.

    Sure, this might come off as arrogance. And you don't want it to go too far or you could end up looking – or worse acting - like the Situation. But paying attention to your appearance and giving yourself a makeover are great ways to boost self-confidence and tell the world (not to mention yourself) that you're worth it. Go ahead make a bella figura without any guilt.

    Make amore.
    The Italians invented the philosophy of making love and not war. Ok, so, they all have wars with their relatives over property. And they are so passionate with their lovers that they're constantly arguing – but they are also constantly making up. They are also known to be Latin lovers. Granted, some of them are making love with the wrong people (namely not their husbands and wives). But, for your purposes, you can just commit to having more sex with your beloved wife, husband, girlfriend or boyfriend. Just be smart, be safe, and be in love. Seriously, who's gonna say that they're having enough sex or that more sex is a resolution they can't keep? More sex – now that's a happy new year.

    Di Meglio is the author of Fun with the Family New Jersey (Globe Pequot Press Travel, 2012) and you can follow her life and travels on the Two Worlds Web site.

    Article Published 12/9/13


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