The past week in the Italian Alps was fabulous. Crisp, fresh snow and aquamarine skies made for a wonderful combination of a snow/sun holiday….all a welcome relief from the rapidly rising temperatures, and what I understand was one of the worst sandstorms, of the sandpit.
As much as I dreaded returning to the rising mercury of Dubai, and saying ‘arrevderci’ to la Bella Italia, I think my jeans’ belt was looking forward to a holiday from overindulgence in Italian cuisine. I know we all tend to take our foot off the portion control break when we are on hols, and are guilty of having more cheat days than ‘good’ days. On active holidays, such as ski holidays, it is even more acceptable to ensure that energy levels are kept up with generous servings at all three main mealtimes.
Having enjoyed a number of ski holidays, I was amazed at how famished I was after a few hours on the slopes. I guess regularly having to pick yourself up from each wipe out is a real calorie burner! So to top up a low fuel tank and preserve against what can often be a brutal wind chill factor on the chair lifts, full, warm meals are something the doctor would definitely prescribe!
The only thing is, that this time around, I have been a mere spectator as the kiddos and DH brace the wintry conditions in pursuit of skiing (as opposed to snow ploughing!). Not willing to aggravate a recently recovered knee injury, I decided to sit out skiing – literally sit it out on the freely available deck chairs at the bottom of the slopes! Tan top up anyone???!!
Mornings saw DH and me encouraging the kids to fill their boots with the plentiful and varied buffet on offer. Hot chocolate and scrambled eggs were favorites for my boys whereas DD zoomed in on all things pork and nutella related. Not generally a big breakfast eater, I found it very difficult to resist the variety of homemade, wholemeal breads on offer. In Dubai (thankfully) I am not tempted by supermarket bread (the day Pain Quotidien supplies supermarkets, I am in big trouble!). Alas here in Italy, the first thing in the breakfast room attacking all of my senses was the smell of freshly baked bread. How could I resist???!!!
Joining my starving budding winter Olympians for lunch I felt part of the ‘team’ as they excitedly recounted their adventures on the slopes. Feeling as if I had also expertly weaved my way down the mountainside time after time, my appetite seemed to match my imagination, and not my sometimes sedentary morning. Succumbing to my stomach’s demands, my eyes veered from their usual healthier side of the menu and wandered to the risotto, pasta part of the menu. After all eating a salad in snowy conditions just didn’t seem right; surely I would suffer brain freeze or something similar to the numbing pain of biting into a fresh scoop of ice cream with sensitive front teeth…no, it just didn’t seem right.
Well, about five days of this rich, carb filled diet, my entire digestive system just didn’t feel right, and in very unladylike and unmannerly terms seemed to be screaming at me to stop, to eat something light, something that would not induce a nap within an hour of finishing my plate. Mental note for next ski trip: only skiiers are permitted a diet of twice daily carbs. My waistline (and probably the weighing scales!) are more likely to thank me!