Arrivederci student lifestyle – internship update and healthy living!

It has certainly been a busy couple of months here in Milan. Although I began my internship doing a lot of admin, I’ve ended up being heavily involved in marketing strategies and the launch of a new website as well as doing lots of translating. In the meantime I’ve also been working on my dissertation… about 14000 words down at the moment – phewww! I am investigating the consumer habits of classical music listeners in order to advise the record label on how to cater for the changing marketplace. Balancing hobbies, dissertation work and guests with full time working hours and other distance work for London has proved a little tricky but I like to keep busy! Having now done a lot of translating, a few interesting things have arisen. Mainly, that the concept of having a sentence which is too long doesn’t seem to exist, in fact in Italian many sentences are about a paragraph long with commas everywhere in place of full stops. It can get very confusing when you’re trying to distinguish between a finished clause and something that is leading on from the last thing. I’ve also discovered that translating into English is no biggie but going from English to Italian can be tricky, especially when it’s something like a track description. Try translating “knee slappin’, foot stompin’ Memphis blues” into Italian… ermmmm. Word Reference is by new best friend. There have also been a few funny mistakes that have crept up, ‘explode’ instead of ‘expand’ was particularly amusing – I’ll admit I held my breath when I clicked that. Everyone is really nice in the office and it is very small with only a handful of staff which has meant I’ve got to know everyone and it’s also ridiculously close to where I live so being able to go home and cook a nice lunch every day is pretty cushty! I’ve had a few visitors since January which has been lovely! With my busy schedule I rarely get the time to wonder around Milan and enjoy the exhibitions and architecture so it gave me a good excuse to get out and do that again. I’ve now climbed the duomo around 10 times with various people but it still takes my breath away (no really, there are a lot of stairs). One of my friends brought a brilliant camera with him and we got some great snaps – here are a few of my favourites. Photo credit: Berdel Gulsen.for blogfor blog 4 for blog 2 for blog 3for blog 5 Since writing my last post I also decided to make some lifestyle changes, mainly eating more plant based, natural and home cooked food and moving a bit more. It’s no secret that I love food, but I also associated food with guilt and have always been a bit of a yoyo-er going from one extreme to another. With more of a focus on what goodness I get from every meal and the health benefits of various foods, that relationship is changing. Of course I still have the odd piece of cake (just had my Birthday and I ate A LOT of cake) or whatever I fancy and that’s okay too.

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Eg. Famous Torta Babbà soaked in Rum made by a true Neapolitan for my Birthday – grazie Manlio!

So here I am, having lost around 10kg since my last entry (woop) and with more energy than ever, so I thought I’d share some of my favourite healthy discoveries.

–  Fry veg up in soy sauce and then once off the heat stir in a spoon full of natural peanut butter – instant satay sauce. Lots of fibre and goodness from the veg plus healthy fat, protein and magnesium from the peanut butter.

–   Zucchini tagliatelli. No need for any fancy equipment (although I am investing in a spiralizer!). Just use a vegetable peeler to make pasta out of courgettes then serve with whatever you fancy. I opted for pesto with tomatoes. So delicious and satisfying! 20150222_124149 –   Dark chocolate. Did you know a small amount of dark chocolate is a great source of antioxidants and can improve blood flow and lower blood pressure? For me it also keeps those sweet cravings at bay.

–   Buckwheat. This food is amazing! Contrary to the name it is gluten free and a great source of protein, but fills you up like a plate of carbs! It’s delicious, easily digestible and is great for reducing and stabalising blood sugar. My favourite way to eat it is in a mushroom risotto: fry up some onions and garlic, add the buckwheat then add veg stock and mushrooms and simmer. Easy! I sometimes add a little almond milk at the end too which makes it a bit creamy.

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–   Quinoa: full of iron, B vitamins, calcium, vitamin E and fiber, this is one of few plant foods that is considered to be a complete protein so great for those reducing their meat intake. It’s delicious and I like it best in a stir fry or added to soup (broccoli, sweet potato and quinoa is my new staple!).

–    Aubergine parmigiana. This is just the nicest thing ever! There are lots of great recipes out there but I like to grill the aubergine, make a simple red sauce (onion, garlic, olive oil, tomatoes) and then layer up with grated parmisan and fresh basil and bake! This is particularly good in Italy where the veg is so fresh, cheap and delicious! 20150308_204816 –  Deliciously Ella. Read her blog, buy her book. Amazing wholesome recipes and great outlook on eating… includes a homemade nutella recipe and sweet potato brownies. It’s the stuff dreams are made of folks.

So there you are, a bit of a long one today but it’s been a little while and lots has happened! It’s also starting to dawn on me that my time in Milan is drawing to a close… so many things I am going to miss!

Until next time,

Chiara x

P.S. If you’re based in London make sure you head to the Bloomsbury theatre for a Stravinsky Double Bill by Constella Ballet and Orchestra (tomorrow and Wednesday). You’d be mad to miss it! www.constella.org.uk