It’s time to forget the Canadian food groups and follow something Italian!

After getting married last year, a Calabrese-Pugliese-Sciliano wedding, I’ve done my fair share of eating. It’s been an all-Italian free-for-all, starting with antipasto buffets and ending in a sausage and sopressata making fest this last weekend. It’s time for a diet. But I still want to eat Italian!

My largest problem with dieting has always been what prescribed diets want you to eat. I have no desire for cottage cheese or bananas or some bland chicken breast. I still want Italian food – in my own way. I was trying to create a healthy menu for this week and I remembered when I was young being taught the “Canada Food Guide”, particularly the 1980s version. It told you how much to eat of all the food groups. Great. Except the food groups didn’t include taralli, polenta, figs, tomato sauce (is that considered a vegetable serving?), ricotta or anything else recognizable. I hated that. Just like we all hated having the smelly mortadella sandwich at school when everyone else had peanut butter.

Searching for the food pyramid or food groups these days shows just how far thinking in diets has come. There’s an Italian Food Pyramid (and an Indian one, Mexican and so on.) Finally something I can relate to! It inspired me to put a nice looking one together – for all those young Italian-Canadians learning about food groups, this is for you! Polenta and foccaccia for grains, figs and grapes for fruits, artichokes and rapini for veges, parmesan and calamari for proteins. Did I miss anything integral? Let me know in the comments!

(images are courtesy of various sources from depositphoto.com)
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