Orsi San Vito Wine – Made with Passion, Love and the Way Nature Intended

The focus on what we eat and how our food is produced is thankfully becoming more and more important. We are asking questions about our food. We want to know what’s in it and how it is produced. Is it natural, organic and are we actually getting what we are paying for? Because of these questions the food industry is forced to become more and more transparent.

But do you ask the same questions when it comes to the wine you drink? If not then come along with me to Orsi Vigneto San Vito  winery in the magestic hillside of Bologna and learn more!

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I was lucky that Alessandro Martini from Italian Days Food & Wine Tours was able to take me to meet Federico and his beautiful organic and biodynamic winery!

Natural wines are becoming more and more popular as we also understand that it is not only our foods that are being tampered with, but our wines as well. There is also a clear trend in going back to old, traditional methods of producing  and conserving foods and drinks for the sake of our health, to enhance flavour, and also to work more in tune with nature.

Federico and his wine production is a very good example of this philosophy in practice. He is extremly knowledagble and passionate about his wine, and ensures quality and respect for both the ingredients, the environment and takes great care in every single step of the process.

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Federico explains the natural fermentaion process of his wines. The famous Pignoletto Frizzante. Sparkling white wine from the region.

Italian Wine Culture

It was also important for me to get a better understanding of the Italian wine and drinking culture related to “Project Healthy in Italy” ( Read about it here ) as I know it is a part of the big picture as to why Italians are rated as being the healthiest country in Europe and second in the world.

As Federico tells me, “Drinking wine in Italy is about the social aspect as well as the enjoyment of something delicious, made with care and love. Also, we never drink on an empty stomach without food”.

Hense the Italian tradition of “Aperitivo”, a pre-dinner drink always accompanied with snacks or tapas style food.

Organic vs. Biodinamic Wine Production

To produce organic does not mean to produce biodynamic, but biodynamic produced food and wine is always organic. As a biodynamic wine producer there is a holistic approach to everything.

Federico shares, “To produce true wines of this terroir, we practice an agriculture which is capable of revitalizing the soil, stimulating plants and producing fruits with a strong bond with the territory. We don’t use chemicals and we work with nature to ensure the best possible conditions for our vines.

If the vines are under-performing and need nitrogen we plant beans or other pulses, leaving the cut plants to nourish the land. If on the other hand the vines are over-active we’ll plant grasses.”

Biodynamic wines are wines made employing biodynamic methods both to grow the fruit and during the post-harvest processing. Biodynamic wine production uses organic farming methods (e.g. employing compost as fertilizer and avoiding pesticides) while also employing soil supplements prepared according to Rudolf Steiner’s formulas, following a planting calendar that depends upon astronomical configurations, and treating the earth as “a living and receptive organism. Wikepedia

The fermentations are spontaneous without the use of selected yeasts, and there is no clarification or filtration on the wines. Federico is passionate about producing distinct wines with character and a non-standardized personality.

The farm also breeds free range Mora Romagnola pigs  and makes its own mortadella (famous from the area) using the best quality meat and spices.

San Vito has been producing wine for fifty years but since being awarded DOCG certification (controlled and guaranteed designation of origin) the popularity of Pignoletto has grown and wine buffs and entusiasts are starting to take notice.

Federico produces about 60 000 bottles a year and exports about 60 %. Both the USA and Nordic countries are buyers and recently the famous chef Gaggan Anad is on the waiting list to buy the latest vintage for his new restaurant in Bangkok.

Federicos also produces biodinamic vegetables and here we are inspecting the last of the farms artichokes. San Orsi also supplies the Michelain restaurant Amerigo with vegetables. I am visiting them next Friday! 🙂

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After roaming the vinyards, tasting mulberries straight from the tree, visiting the pigs and the spelt fields (!) it was finally time to taste the famous housemade mortadella and wine.

I love the dry, fresh tast of the natural fermentation process! There is also a low sugar content in Federicos wines, which gives them an extra star in my book. They have a very differant taste and mouth-feel than other wines I have tasted and go perfect together with the local charcuterie which is famous in the region. They taste natural, fresh, (even healthy) and are made with passion, love and the way that nature intended…

And finally the weekend sets in and we may enjoy the wine, eachothers company and shameless self- promation of our books, wine, mortadella and food and wine tours.

Learn more about Orsi San Vito Winery here

Book a food & wine tour with Alessandro and Italian Days here


Healthy Habits, Healthy Lifestyle. How to Change Your Diet and Lifestyle with David Mariani

Eat simple food, move with nature and make time for your spirit, is Italian health guru David Marianis philosophy on how to live a long, healthy and happy life.

 

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Changing ones lifestyle, getting into better shape and perhaps also losing weight is something both I and many of you are familiar with. I have been doing this on a personal level for years and also helping others do the same.

Therfore it was very exciting to meet Italys’ health guru and best-selling author, David Mariani in Montecatini for “Project Healthy in Italy”. (Read more about it here)

The passionate and humble David invited me to his wellness resort where he has been helping people change their lifestyles and health for over 40 years. He works with doctors, psychologists and nutritionists. But perhaps the best secrets and advice on the subject are those found in the answers from his many interviews with  Itailian nonnas (grandmas). These women are all well over 85 and still thriving! Their knowledge has become part of his teachings.

 

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David has recently turned his many years of research into a best-selling book “Reborn in 21 Days”, where he shares his knowledge on how important movement is for the body, mind and spirit. The book sold over 35 000 copies in Italy in its first week of release. Due to the success the book is also in the process of being translated into 21 Spanish speaking countries. Hopefully the best-selling book will also be translated into English soon!

David works both one- on- one with clients, loves to give speeches to larger audiences and is also passionate about sharing his “Healthy Habits” with companies as well.  His goal is to use his methodology to help prevent and cure, both short term and long term disease and illnesses that are due to a seditary and “modern day” lifestyle.  According to David’s research there are over 3, 5000, 000 premature deaths related to the lack of physical activity.  Luckily there are people like David wanting to help change our unhealthy habits and turn them into healthy habits one step at a time…

 

Read on for Davids best tips on how you can change your habits today!

 

 

 

Change Your Lifestyle the “Healthy Habit” Way- David’s Best Tips

1.Focus on what you are gaining. To permanatly change your habits and therefore lifestyle, focus on the positiv as you are actually adding value to you life and not taking something away. This is key.

2. Find you “inner spark”. Identify your inner motivation and use that as your motivator and you will acheive longlasting results. A typical inner motivtaion factor is wanting to have the health to see your children og grandchildren grow up.

3. Learn to listen to your body. Stop looking for answers outside and turn the focus inward.

4. Forget the words “have to”! Davids daughter, who has lost 26 kg in a year using Davids methods tells us wisley, “To lose weight, don’t think about losing weight!”. You don’t have to do anything, you want to do something.

5. Slow and steady wins the race. Change one small thing every day, every week and make sure to implement it everyday and soon it will be a habit. As David says, “It takes 9 months to be born so it will at least take 9 months to change.

To learn more about David and Healthy Habits visit here

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Sharing our books and knowledge with eachother:)

 

 

 

 

 


Spelt Orecchiette with Summer Zucchini and Parmesan

Try taking the pasta away from the Italians and I am sure you will live to regret it! Luckily there are so many healthy options being grown and produced in Italy that are a great alternativ to the refined white, wheat based pasta.

These products are being exported all around the globe and I can even buy some of them back home in my country of Norway at my local heath food store.  So today I have a great vegeterian, healthy pasta dish for you!

 

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Blood-sugar friendly whole grain spelt pasta.

I am a carbohydrate loving girl, but unfortunately my weight nor my blood sugar feels the same love, and being in Italy for a month with “Project Healthy in Italy” (read about it here) doesn’t exactly make it easier for me to stay away…

But luckily there are so many healthier alternatives to the white, processed wheat pasta at every corner. Italians are actually  large producers of the healthy ancient grain spelt, and i love it! My body digests this so much better and the taste is fantastic.

So todays recipe is made with organic whole grain spelt orecchiette ( a type of pasta from Tuscany that looks like ears) and local produce that I bought at the market today.

Italy is famed for its’ zucchini vegetables and come in all shapes and sizes, so I simply had to make something with these beautiful and healthy vegetables.  This recipe is vegeterian and vegan if you leave out the parmesan.

 

Spelt Orecchiette with Summer Zucchini and Parmesan

  • Whole grain spelt pasta. (It does not have to be orecchiettie)
  • One green zucchini
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • Parmesan ( Real Reggiano parmiggano and not the fake kind!)
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Fresh basil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • White beans, fresh or canned (optional)

 

How to: Cook the pasta as advised on the pack. In a pan, fry the chopped garlic with finely sliced zucchini. Add salt and pepper and fry until golden. Mix with the cooked pasta and add more olive oil, salt and pepper to taste. Add parmesan and fresh basil. If you have beans (like I added in my dish because they we so beautiful), you can cook them with the pasta if fresh, or add to the zucchini mixture before adding to the pasta.

 

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Drink Yourself Healthy Just Like the Ancient Romans- Project Healthy in Italy

Drink the healing water of Montecatini just like the ancient Romans and Verdi did, and perhaps you too will be able to compose music of the Gods!

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Just one of the beautiful scenes of Therme di Montecatini

Nestled in the hills of Tuscany in Italia lies the small town of Montecatini. Little did I know that this town once was the destination for the rich and famous who were seeking a “healing vacation” and to rejuvinate from lifes demands.

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Thermal baths in the early days.

Audrey Hepburn, Madam Curie and Guiseppe Verdi are just some of the famous names of people who have stayed in this charming town because of the healing thermal waters.

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Can you imagine the time when horsecarriages dropped off health seeking people at the main entrance?

I was invited to visit this place for “Project Healthy in Italy” (read about my project here) as it is definitely something to explore in seeking the answers as to why Italy is the healthiest country in Europe and the world.

Montecatini is also the birthplace of the Italian health expert David Mariani (More on this later), who I visited with the same day, and was gracious enough to arrange everything for me.

The history of the city and the baths date all the way back to Roman times ( read about the exciting history here) and were a common part of their way of life.

They knew what we have lost along the way to what we call a “modern and progressive” life: The knowledge of how nature heals, and posesses the power to help us maintain and achieve, optimal health and a disease free body. Drinking and bathing in the mineral-rich thermal waters of Montecatini may well be one of the answers.

The time has finally come to go back to what once was lost and to rediscover old traditions and remedies for how to heal the body.  The time has come to rediscover the healing powers of the thermal waters of Montecatini…

Have a look at the video below to learn more abot the secrets behind this healing water!

To learn more about the Montacatini thermal spas visit the website here


Day 1 Project Healthy in Italy- Discovering Bologna

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I have arrived in beautiful Bologna, Italy where I will be living and working from for the next month with “Project Healthy in Italy”.

In case you are a new reader, get caught up on my project here

I got my gym membership in order, tasted some local food and wine for lunch to help me ease into everything. 😉 You can see some pictures below…

I am loving my apartment right by Piazza Maggiore, and I am settling in and getting ready for a really exciting and hectic month. I can’t wait to take you along on the journey to discovering why and how the Italians are so healthy!

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Lunch (pranzo). The Italians are so good at making vegetables taste yummy! Grilled zucchini with local cheese. 

Tomorrow I have a really exciting day as I am travelling (by train) to the very small town of Pieve a Nievole where I will be meeting and interviewing the famous Italian health guru, David Mariani. Make sure you tune in tomorrow via my Instagram ( watch Instastories) account here to see everything happening live. I will be visiting some exciting places with him to discover the secrets to living a long and happy life.

Just a short update for you today as I am still getting installed here. I will be back with a lot more to inspire you on how to live a happy, healthy life the Italian way!

Ciao!


Food, Storytelling and Anthony Bourdain

“What makes you happy? What do you eat? What do you like to cook?”

3 simple questions yet hundreds, if not thousands of exciting and inspiring answers. This was the recipe and secret behind the television success that was world- renowned chef, writter and tv personality, Anthony Bourdain.

As I am packing my bags, my camera and preparing all my interviews and stories for “Project Healthy in Italy” (read about it here), the sad news that Mr. Bourdain has passed away reached me.

The world will definitely be poorer and a great storyteller and  food guru has left this world all to soon…

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Anthony and his work has been a great inspiration and a catalyst  behind my upcoming month long quest in Italy. I will explore the stories behind the people and food that make up the sum as to why the country and its’ people are so healthy.

Along the journey I will do my best to honor the spirit of Mr. Bourdain and I will vow to ask eveyone I meet on my journey: “What makes you happy? What do you eat? What do you like to cook?” 

See you in Italy June 9- July 6.

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Almond Ricotta “Cheese”- Project Healthy in Italy (Vegan)

Oh, my goodness, I am almost afraid to post this recipe as I might get banned from the country (Italy)and not be let in when I arrive on Saturday! The Italians take their food traditions very seriously! (Read all about Project Healthy in Italy here and follow my quest.)

Ricotta cheese is a sweet, fresh cheese made from milk and is a typical Italian cheese used for both savoury and sweet dishes. My favorite being ravioli filled with ricotta cheese and ricotta, baked cheese cake. They are both to die for!

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You can make a delicious dairy- free ricotta in your own kitchen!

My personal recommendation is to limit dairy as much as possible as it is a typical allergen, causes inflammation in the body and is acidic in the way it digests. Eating and drinking a lot of acidic forming foods is linked to diseases such as auto-immune illnesses. There is also more and more evidence that dairy may raise our risk of both prostate and breast cancer.

We also see a greater focus on eating vegan and plant based no matter what your dietary preferances are. I am personally not vegan, so the chances of me being able to stay away from all the temptation 100 % of the time when I am in Italy are slim! Ha, ha. So I would like to share this option with you just in case I post a dish using ricotta and you would like an alternativ.

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Nuts make the most delicious “cheeses” when done right.

It is really amazing how many nut cheeses are out there and the complexity of them are simply amazing! After experimenting a lot in the kitchen this is my almond “ricotta cheese” recipe from my lastest book: Carina’s Healthy Kitchen.

Almond Ricotta “Cheese”

  • 2, 5 dl (about 2 cups + 1/3 cup) almonds without the skin
  • 1, 25 dl (about 1/2 cup) water
  • 1/2 ts. Himalaya salt
  • 1 tbs. nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsb agave syrup (or honey if your not vegan)
  • 1 ts lemon juice

How to:

  1. Blanch the almonds by boiling them in water for 1 minute. The skin will peel right off.
  2. Place the almonds in a food prossesor or blender with the rest of the ingredients and blend until smooth. Add a small amount of water if needed.
  3. Using a cheese cloth, place the colth over a bowl and add the mixture. Tie the cloth together to form a “bag”.
  4. Keep refrigerted over night placing a bowl underneath to catch the liquid being released.
  5. The next day, squeeze out any excess liquid and place the ricotta (without the cloth) on a baking sheet and tray.
  6. Form the cheese into a circle shape and a thickness of about 3 cm. (1 inch).
  7. Bake the cheese in the oven at 80 degreess celcius (176 F.) for 40 min. (Or in a dehydrator over night)There is to be no color.  The baking is to soften it and bring out the flavours and sweetness.
  8. Let cool and store in the fridge for up to two weeks.

Tip! Spread on crakers, eat with fruit, fill pasta, use in pasta dishes for added creaminess.

 

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Day fresh ricotta with balsamico jam in Modena, Italy.

 


Tasty Secrets That May Prevent Prostate Cancer- Project Healthy in Italy

I am all about food that nourishes us as a whole; body, mind and spirit. I love making and eating food, but I am equally into, or even more into, the way certian foods make my body and mind feel.

The “right things”, being food that encourages a healthy internal enviorment and therefore reducing the risk of disease as well.

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Unfortunatly there are too many choices being made in our modern society that encourages the growth of disease and prostate cancer being one of them. It is one of the most common cancers among men and in the world.

Some of the greatest risk factors for developing this disease are being overweight, eating dairy, cured and prosessed meats, high alcohol and sugar consumption, and not eating enough fresh fruits and vegetables.

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Have you ever juiced tomatoes? It s a yummy and easy way to enrich your diet with natures’ best medicine. Remember to add healthy fats like olive oil to ensure that the cancer- fighting lycopen is absorbed. 

 

My country of Norway, is unfortunately in second place as the country in the world with the highest rate of prostate cancer. We eat and drink tremendous amounts of dairy, bread, cured, prosessed meats and have a low intake of fresh fruits and vegetables.

Italy on the other hand is a country with significant lower prostate cancer rates , bringing the country all the way down to the 124. place on the list. There are also findings that show Italian men living in the south of the country have lower cancer rates compared to those living in the North. This is probably due to the diet being very rich in tomatoes in Southern Italy. Tomatoes are a great source of the powerful antioxidant- lycopen and is crucial in preventing the disease.

 

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This is one of the reasons why Italy is the healthiest country in the Europe and second/first in the world, and also why I am looking into the case and exploring more. Read more about Project healthy in Italy here

It is quite easy to make changes that can impact your health in a positive way. What you eat plays a huge part.

Tasty ways that may prevent prostate cancer: 

  • Eat lots of tomatoes both fresh, juiced or in home made dishes. Not ketchup and prosessd foods! Also make sure to not buy canned tomatoes due to the aluminium content. Go for glass or paper packaging. You can get my favorite tomato based recipes here and here
  • Eat lots of vegetables and focus on cruciferous vegetables like onions, garlic, broccoli, kale and cauliflower. Get my dairy free califlower soup recipe here
  • Get juicing! Juicing is a fantastic way to add more vegetables, especially inflammation reducing ginger and leafy greens, to your diet. Get my green juice recipe here
  • Add and use healthy fats, the right flours and spices when cooking. Read more about my basic healthy kitchen “rules” here.
  • And also, last but not least, drinking espresso the Italian way may be a great way to prevent prostate cancer! Of course without dairy or sugar. Read more here.

 

 

 

Here are some resources:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5573712/

 


Meet Alessandro Martini – Mr. #DOP!

I am so excited about my upcoming trip and quest to Bologna, Italy this Saturday, June 9th!

Project Healthy in Italy is officially launching this day (read about it here) and I hope you come along with me for the journey both here on my blog and through my social media accounts. 🙂

*Follow Carina’s Healthy Kitchen and Project Healthy in Italy on Facebook here and Instagram  here

But, what I really am excited about today is the introduction of my main partner for my month long quest- Alessandro Martini or as I will be calling him, Mr. #DOP!

DOP  is short for Denominazione di Origine Protetta (“Protected Designation of Origin”) and is a very important classification that garantees that the (Italian) food is made by local farmers and artisans, using traditional methods. Alessandro is an expert on this, among many other things related to Italian food and wine.

The reason I first visited Bologna in the Emilia- Romanga district ,was due to the food culture, but the reason I came back was Alessandro and his family owned food & wine tour business, Italian Days.

I also knew that for my quest in Italy I would really love to have Alessandro aboard as he knows all there is to know  about Italian food culture. He is the perfect person to help me find the answers as to why Italy is the healthiest country in Europe and the world.

When I reached out to him about “Project Healthy in Italy” I was so happy that he wanted to be a part of the journey as my “partner in crime”, food expert and as a genuine, enthusiastic, knowledgeable, warm hearted Italian.

You can follow us during June 9- July 6 th and there will be some really exciting things to see and learn more about. Olive oil in Tuscany, organic wine production, truffle hunting, cooking with nonna are just some of the things coming up!

You can visit his website here and I garantee you will not regret booking a tour when you are in the area! Make sure to use my name when booking and I am sure he will take extra good care of you;)

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Alessandro on his nr. 1 rated food tour experience. At a Reggiano parmesan factory. A must! I have been two times:)

*It is important for me to share with you that everything related to “Project Healthy in Italy”, its’ partners, products and recommendations are 100 % authentic and mine. They are not sponsored or paid for in any way. Everyone involved is choosen specifically and they are giving their time, energy and knowledge to make this project a succsess! Thank you everyone! See you soon!


Healthy, Arugula, Pear and Parmesan Salad- Project Healthy in Italy.

This salad is my absolute favoritt and so easy to make!

It was the first evening of our girls weekend to Rome, Italy and by chance we discovered this lovely restaurant in an old cellar by The Spanish Steps. Luckily we got a table, and discovered quickly, we were the only tourists there. That is how you know you’re in the right place…

This is also the restaurant where I tasted the lovely arugula (rocket), pear and parmesan salad for the first time. I fell in love with the flavour combinations and just had to recreate the dish when I got home.

( Hey, by the way want to know more about my “Project Healthy in Italy” kicking off June 9th? Read more here)

 

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This salad is so yummy, healthy and easy to make!

Italians use a lot of leafy greens, and especially arugula, also called rocket. It is a bitter green which has a peppery taste and is excellent for the digestion, and therefore usually eaten as an “anti pasti”- appetizer. It gets those digestive juices flowing!

The combination of bitter, sweet, salt and sour is what makes it so irresistable and satisfying. It is also great for balancng the blood sugar and is low carb as well. I usually make ths salad as an evening meal when I’m feeling a little peckish.

 

Healthy, Arugula, Pear and Parmesan Salad ( 1 portion)

  • 2 handfull fresh arugula (rocket)
  • 1 pear
  • 1 tbs, roasted pine nuts
  • Reggiano parmesan shavings
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt (Maldon)
  • Lemon juice

 

How to: Roast the pine nuts (in a skillet) until golden to bring out the flavour. Wash the arugula and cut the pear into desired pieces. Shave some parmesan. Mix together with the pine nuts and sprinkle with olive oil, lemon juice and sea salt.

Tip! Want my best tips on how you easily can do a mini kitchen make-over for a healthier diet and cooking? Read more here