I’ve been occupying space in The Florentine for the past three months, writing about eating together, our relationship with the scale, and where to go when you need a “WiFi diet.” But I haven’t told you anything about myself yet!
My origins are a bit tough to guess. With a father from Cameroon and a mother from Russia, I was born and grew up in Paris and then spent 12 years in Berlin. Now I’ve called Florence home for 18 years.
What would one naturally be obsessed with given my upbringing? Food!
And... a fear of gaining weight, of course.
This was what motivated me to become a nutrition coach and yoga teacher and to found FiloCIBOsofia Slow Life” (side note: “CIBO” means “food” in Italian). Getting to know the huge food world “behind the scenes” allowed me to understand how I could become free of mea culpa and my fears surrounding food. The answer was very simple: practicing slowness, especially at the table; and for doing that, the practice of soothing yoga is a wonderful tool in learning to listen and respect the signs our bodies send us while we eat.
But enough autobiography: what do my clients say about me? They describe me as empathetic, a good listener, and they consistently comment positively on my deep and soothing voice (check it out here). But I also have a sense of humour, which, of course, I can only prove to you in person.
It will be my pleasure to meet you soon at one of my yoga events!
Last weekend I was at Villa Casagrande spending time a la slow life. It’s a spectacular place—serene and peaceful and amidst nature. I was struck one afternoon when I saw a vacationing couple lounging together on a centuries-old stone terrace. They were lying in the shade of a magnificent old oak tree…and what were they doing? Scrolling passively on their phones.
How depressing! And what a pity to be tied to a cell phone, unaware of the landscape or surroundings and rather unappreciative of each other’s company.
Even when we are on vacation, it’s nearly impossible to let go of our phones and disconnect.
But in all honesty, although it’s a real challenge to be offline for an extended period of time, it’s a vital exercise, especially in this day and age.
FiloCIBOsofia Slow Life is offering the opportunity to try a 24-hour digital detox in a luxurious paradise 30 minutes from Florence at Hotel Villa Casagrande.
- A one-night stay, in a double room including breakfast in the Countess’ antique kitchen, with free upgrade (upon availability)
- A “Slow Life Dinner”, a unique and exclusive experience in the noble apartment of the Villa
- A spa experience in areas exclusively dedicated to “Live Slowly” guests
- A relaxing 50-minute massage with essential oils
- A visit to the villa’s historic cellars including a wine and olive oil tasting of the villa’s products
- Two light yoga and meditation lessons
- An opportunity for an individual nutrition coaching session;
- An introduction to vegetarian and vegan cuisine;
- A “Live Slowly” farewell lunch
All the areas used for the activities related to “Live Slowly” will be used exclusively by those who are part of the experience and all the services described are included in the package. Total cost 330 euro /person.
Let’s be honest. Who hasn’t trembled standing in front of the scale?
Why we have such a complicated relationship with it is one question. For the time being, let’s try to answer a different one: when is it best to weigh yourself?
Monday morning? Don’t torture yourself. Who wants to start the work week feeling guilty about weekend indulgences?
What about Tuesday? Still too early.
Wednesday morning? Maybe...there’s a slight possibility that by Wednesday the “sins” from the weekend will have started to melt away, with the scale delivering a verdict you could accept.
Thursday? Better to avoid it. Usually by the third day of sticking to a strict food plan, we need a little break, and the scale isn’t forgiving.
Friday? Oh, happy Friday... the day our gastronomic sins start reaching the “unforgiveable” stage.
Saturday? Sunday? No comment.
The Verdict typically brings with it an ego blow. In extreme cases, we may lash out at our loved ones (perhaps those who generously cook all those memorable meals for us); in average cases, we may feel the urge to destroy all the mirrors we encounter during the day.
But then there are those rare days when the scale shows us a number we consider a reward for all our sacrifices. In the meantime, we continue to approach it with hesitation, with some variation of the same question always in mind: “What if I already gained back the 1,32 pounds I just lost?”
So now we’ve come to the first tip in my series of slow living advice for The Florentine: treat the scale as a tool, not an enemy.
Instead of wasting energy feeling guilty for putting on some weight (or simply assuming, perhaps mistakenly, that you’ve put on weight), approach your body as a well-equipped, data-emitting GPS. If you take the time to listen to it, and to follow its directions, you can be sure you’ll reach and remain at your ideal weight.
This is one of our most meaningful human rituals and yet we don’t always treat it as such: eating together should, in part, mean waiting for the other person or people around the table with you before picking up your fork. It goes far deeper than just good manners.
Awareness is key: it is important to realize and recognize together that we will soon be sharing something with people whom, usually, we hold dear to us.
Too often we sit down at the table and people start eating without observing if everyone has all they need, without appreciating the moment together. Lost as we are in our thoughts and to-do lists, we may not even realize we have started eating prematurely ourselves. How can we avoid these all-too-common contemporary experiences and get back to really eating together?
My second tip is table-based: take a moment—just a moment!—with your fellow diners before beginning to eat
as a way of acknowledging the meaning of sharing a meal together. You could give thanks together for the person who prepared the food; take a few seconds to sound off about the scents and colors of the food before you; or simply look each other in the eyes to express gratitude for this peaceful and nourishing moment of rest.
Eating together—really together—is one of the most beautiful “nutrients” that exists.