Here’s a quick action plan for living La Dolce Vita. Follow these 10 steps to the sweet life and your lifestyle is sure to improve.
1. La passeggiatta. Take a walk or do some kind of pleasant movement every day. Keep some juice in the joints. Movement should be a part of life, not just a way to rid yourself of calories.
2. Learn to enjoy cooking. You don’t have to do it every day, but embrace it. Eating out can make us gain weight. The only way to know what is really in your food and how it was prepared is by making it yourself.
3. Resolve to eat as few prepackaged foods as possible. Processed foods are killing us. Ingredients like high-fructose corn syrup, sodium nitrite, ingredients labeled as “natural flavoring” to name a few, are not things we should be putting in our bodies. Eat as clean and as close to nature as possible.
4. Take some time on your appearance. Fix your hair and possibly your makeup every day, even if it’s just lip balm. It’s not shallow to look good. It physically makes us feel better and brightens our mood. It also shows respect for yourself and others. The Italians have a concept called la bella figura, which means putting your best foot forward in social situations.
5. Buy quality over quantity: in fabrics, foods, shampoo, everything. This doesn’t necessarily mean brand names, designer labels, or the most expensive things. Buy bread from your local bakery instead of the pre-sliced loaves at the supermarket. Get your meats from the butcher instead of Costco. Buy the highest quality items you can find and afford.
6. Cook with seasonal vegetables. There is nothing like fresh foods that are in their prime season, like strawberries in spring and apples in autumn. Find local farm markets or try growing your own herbs and vegetables. You can easily grow grape tomatoes in your kitchen or herbs in small pots.
7. Nurture your friendships. The sweet life is not just about food and health. Connection is key to a happy life. It is the root of all happiness. Sharing yourself with others is time well spent. That’s why we say that we “spend” time. It’s a commodity. It’s our greatest and most valuable possession. Find friends who are various ages, backgrounds, ethnicities, and with varying interests. Go out into the world and find people who aren’t like you. If you never venture out of your neighborhood, you’ll never know how many different and wonderful people there are in this world, and how at the end of the day, we’re all the same, no matter what color, religion, income level, gender preference, and education.
8. Make time for family. No one will ever love you like your family. They may be crazy. They may embarrass you. They may get on your case. But they’ll always be there. If you don’t have a good family, make your own out of your best friends. Family does not need to be related by blood.
9. Savor your experiences. Take your time. Do things well and thoroughly. Eat in courses. Enjoy good conversation. Have long, lingering kisses. Stop rushing through life. Collect experiences.
10. Do everything with passion. How you do anything is how you do everything. Anything worth doing is worth doing well.
Do you have anything to add to this list? Which ones are your favorites? Are there any you disagree with? Let me know in the comments section.