14/09/2016 07:49 BST | Updated 14/09/2017 06:12 BST

Food Obsession

If my grandma was still alive she would say that we've hit rock bottom. We are constantly dragged from My 600 lb Life to Bake Off, Cake Boss and so on. I have nothing against baking cakes, of course. I like cakes, and I like baking for family and friends. I like looking for recipes, on the net or, better, browsing those amazing books full of the most tempting pictures in the world! God, I wish I was able to take one of those pictures at least once in my lifetime, instead of those ugly, blurry, sad ones! Anyway, I like baking and eating cakes, cookies and everything, that makes me happy, of course. And there's nothing better than a nice smell in the kitchen: coffee, fresh baked bread, home made tomato sauce, is there?

Cooking at home is the best thing we can do to improve our eating habits, but all this attention towards food can lead to obsession and, even if the food we eat is made at home, if it's too elaborate and it's too much and/or consumed too often...well, we are on the highway to hell!

We are tempted all the time; apart from the old good TV, the web is a non-stop tour of the Gluttony Circle: recipes, recipes and recipes on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. And, yes, "LinkedIn is not Facebook", but with kitten and recipes anyway. Everybody is sharing recipes, everybody has at least a mom, a grandma, an aunt, an Italian relative producing the most delicious recipes in the world. The problem is: we only have one stomach, one body, and one life! We can't have Thanksgiving dinner everyday! How to cope with this endless temptation? Simplicity!

I live in Sardinia (Italy), where people often live more than 100 years in good health. My grandparents used to follow a plant based diet, with a lot of whole grains, beans and small quantities (if we compare them to today's consumption) of meat, fish, bisquits and cakes. Their life, like ours, was very demanding, and they didn't have much time to try new recipes all the time. Many relatives of mine lived a long life, one of their secrets of longevity is certainly simplicity. They ate in moderation, very simple meals, made with quality ingredients that were easy to cook, and saved all the richest and complicated recipes for special occasions, when they gathered with family and friends.

From my experience, I can assure you that avoiding food temptation is not so hard if you follow the principle of simplicity:

  • Detox from Internet and TV recipes. Turn off the TV, don't even put it in the kitchen. Cooking programmes could make you drool, even after a huge Christmas dinner. Stop watching them so much! Don't even put the TV in the kitchen and you'll be free.
  • Go out, exercise in nature, meet friends for a walk, do shopping (yes, shopping!), crochet, make love, anything instead of cooking all the time! Moreover, dedicating quality time to your relatives and friends will nourish your soul and keep you in shape and in a good mood.
  • Cook simple healthy meals. Forget recipes and food competitions, relax and use your intuition to make your meals in a simple way. You'll save time, money and stay healthy!
  • Save elaborate dishes, cakes and sweets for Sundays and special occasions, you'll appreciate them more, with your family and friends.