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What I Eat in a Day in Italy ~ (Healthy, Realistic)

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What I Eat in a Day in Italy ~ (Healthy, Realistic)

I decided to create a post about What I Eat in Day in Italy because people wrongly assume that a full of day of meals in Italy consists of three course lunches and dinners, several plates of baked pasta, and hours spent preparing food. That is simply not true, or better: it’s not the reality for a large part of the population, and it’s more of a stereotype that you may be able to witness in the house of some really old person or during a special occasion or a family lunch.

Growing up in Italy, that has never been my reality. My family has always put an emphasis on simple dishes and ever since I started living on my own, I made eating healthy even more of a commitment as I firmly believe that that is the best way to take care of your self.

What I Eat in a Day in Italy - Healthy realistic version

Please leave a comment letting me know if you like this format and what you’d like to know more of. I am excited to start a series of “What I Eat in Day” posts that can inspire you to eat healthy and add lots of veggies into your meals!

Like all the food you’ll find on my blog, my meals are always gluten free and dairy free, and all of my dessert ideas avoid refined sugar. Also, I heavily rely on plants (this “What I Eat in a Day in Italy” for example is completely plant-based) and while I am not vegan, I limit my consumption of animal products as much as possible and make sure they come from humanely raised sources.

What I Eat in a Day in Italy - June 2020

1. Breakfast

Breakfast Food:

I diced 2 organic apricots and ½ an organic apple, topped them with 4 or 5 tablespoons of unsweetened coconut yogurt, a handful of puffed millet, 3 tablespoons of raw pumpkin seeds and 1 teaspoon of raw cacao.
This breakfast is very fast and simple to put together and very healthy for you as well. Of course, when you start mixing all the ingredients together it doesn’t look as pretty but it’s just as delicious!

What I Eat in a Day In Italy - Healthy Breakfast

Breakfast Drinks:

My day always starts with a big glass of water with a half a lemon squeezed in it. Then, right after I am done with breakfast, one thing I always prepare every single morning, regardless what day of the week or month it is, is a big pot of green tea. I keep it right next to me while I work and I fill 3 cups of tea within the next two hours of my morning. I only use one teabag of green tea for the whole pot.

I never drink green tea on an empty stomach as it makes me feel horrible: headache, nausea… not a good idea.

What I eat in a day in Italy - Healthy drinks water with lemon

2. Mid-Morning Snack

I don’t really have the habit of snacking before lunch, but when I do, I love snacking on raw pumpkin seeds while I am working. They are really tasty and full of antioxidants, zinc and other essential nutrients such as iron, selenium and calcium. Lastly, pumpkin seeds contain 19 gr of protein per 100 gr.

3. Lunch:


I always make sure my lunch is filled with vegetables. Today’s plate is full of plants cooked in a different way. I have some pan fried “trombetta zucchini”, some baked Swiss chards and a veggie patty made with quinoa, yellow pea, carrots, leeks and ginger.

These burgers are one of the very few things I buy already made as they have clean ingredients are free from gluten, dairy, flavorings and preservatives. One of these burgers contains 7 gr of proteins and it’s nice to have healthy food ready to eat sometimes!

What I Eat in a Day in Italy - Healthy Lunch


I always like to end a meal on a sweet note. Simply by throwing together some berries (now that cherries are in season here in Italy, I love to go for them), 90 or 95% dark chocolate, dried fruit and nuts you can create a delicious, healthy treat.

In particular, I love to take an organic dried apricot and stuff it with a Brazil nut! This little combo tastes better than a cookie and is a real powerhouse of potassium and selenium. My functional medicine doctor actually prescribed these foods to me instead of giving me supplements. Could it get more “food-as-medicine” than that?

One more thing. Brazil nuts are also rich in plant based proteins (14 gr per 100 gr of procuct)

What I Eat in a day in Italy - Healthy Snacks

4. Mid-Afternoon Snack

In the last few months, to boost my vitamin C intake, I have been consuming fresh citrus juice every day. I squeeze one orange together with half a lemon, add a tablespoon of pure ginger juice to it and fill the cup with water. It’s delicious!

5. Dinner:


Most of the times, Alec and I combine some of the leftover food we have from lunch and through together a quick meal so that we can be done quickly and go on a long walk in the fields after dinner. These days are incredibly long, it gets dark at 10 pm and it’s so nice to go out at this time of the day since the temperature cools down a lot.

When we are in the mood for something a bit more indulgent, I like to throw together a risotto. Our two favorites are Pumpkin Risotto (in Italy you always make that with Kabocha squash) or Mushroom risotto. It takes me about 25 minutes to make, but while I look after it we chat while Alec enjoys a glass of wine and time flies by.

What I Eat in a Day in Italy - Healthy Dinner Risotto


Last but not least, I could’t end my post about what I eat in a day in Italy without a little post dinner treat. Now that apricots and peaches are in season I love to enjoy some every day. For dessert, I made myself a little bowl with a diced peach and a couple apricots (the ones I get are quite small because I get them from an organic farm). I topped them with some unsweetened coconut yogurt (not only is this one of my favorite ingredients in the kitchen, but it’s also great for you as it’s filled with probiotics).

And because lately I have been been obsessed with making my own granola, I topped my bowl with some of my seed and chocolate granola which is seriously addicting.

Healthy Dark Chocolate Granola gluten free

Did I forget anything? Is there something else you want me to cover in the next post? Let me know in a comment below! I hope you enjoyed this post and that it gave you a nice glimpse on what I eat in a day in Italy!

If you enjoy this post and think it can inspire others to eat healthy, please share  with your friends on Facebook, save it on your favorite Pinterest board and subscribe to my weekly newsletter so that you never miss a post!!

Lots of love from Italy and ciao!


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Ambra Torelli
Born and raised in Italy, Ambra visited over 20 countries and now she divides her time in between Italy and the US, where her husband is from and where she moved in 2011 work as university professor of Italian Literature. She writes about food, travel and things that inspire her! more about ambra

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  • Aleta June 25, 2020 12:12 pm

    I love the what you eat in a day.. Thank you for that. All your meals sound so good hope to continue to post more daily meals. Have a great weekend.❤🙏😷

    • ambra June 26, 2020 3:45 am

      Thanks so much for the great feedback Aleta! I am excited to create more of these!!

      • Susan June 29, 2020 1:26 pm

        Hi Ambra, I LOVE your new ‘What I Eat In a Day’ too ❤️
        I have been logging my meals since the 4th June and it really does help me eat more healthy. Now I want to try some of what you are having….the photos look great and so appetizing, you already gave me a great ideas for tomorrow. Thank you so much 🤗

        • ambra June 30, 2020 2:22 am

          Thanks so much for the lovely feedback Susan! So glad this post inspired you!!

  • Sylph June 25, 2020 1:43 pm

    This was a lovely article, Ambra. It was a peaceful and healing read. We eat in very similar ways!
    I love how you pass your time when you are making risotto! ❤️
    Every time you share a bit of your life, it helps us all to feel comforted, hopeful, reassured and encouraged to go forward on our own healing paths.

    • ambra June 26, 2020 3:46 am

      Aww, thanks so much for the lovely words Sylph! Your support through all these years had been wonderful! Much love to you 🙂

  • Olia June 25, 2020 3:19 pm

    Looks amazing!! Btw I noticed that you have the same water filter. Is Berkey available in Italy or did you bring it from the US?

    • ambra June 26, 2020 3:48 am

      Thanks so much Olia! I didn’t have a recent photo for my morning water with lemon and used one I took in New York a few months ago. No, I don’t have a Berkey filter here in Italy, but I belive you can get one imported pretty easily.

  • Heather June 25, 2020 5:57 pm

    Your meals are simply beautiful! Do you find that at certain times you need more protein? I think I would be quite hungry with protein.

    • ambra June 26, 2020 4:06 am

      Great question Heather! My veggie burger contains 7 gr of plant based protein. Ingredients like cacao powder (in my breakfast bowl) and seeds (which are in my breakfast bowl, in my snack and in my granola) have about 20 gr of protein per 100 gr. And Brazil nuts are rich in protein too (14 gr per 100 gr). Some days I eat more proteins then other, I just try to balance things out 🙂

  • Stella June 26, 2020 2:21 am

    Looks so delicious—and so full of “summer.”. It has me so looking forward to getting back to farmers markets overflowing with fruit and veg. Hopefully before the season ends.

    • ambra June 26, 2020 4:07 am

      Thanks so much Stella! I am gonna prepare a farmers market edition soon! 🙂

  • Rachel June 26, 2020 6:47 pm

    I loved every meal! I’d love to hear more ideas for mushrooms. I’ve never really eaten them (ever) but would like to start angling a bit more towards plant heavy diet and I need some variety ideas!

    • ambra June 29, 2020 1:35 am

      Thanks so much for the love Rachel! And great question: The way I cooked mushrooms in this recipe is my favorite way to prepare them. Also, you can see in this recipe how I incorporated them into my sweet potato toasts: or in this other one you can see how I like to bake them and add them as topping to my zoodles : Enjoy!!

    • Susan June 29, 2020 1:37 pm

      Hi Rachel, I too never really ate mushrooms and so decided to start with a homemade mushroom soup. Real easy and absolutely delicious! I fried one large onion and 2 or 3 garlic cloves in olive oil, added 600g of fresh mushrooms in with the chopped onion and garlic once they were soft. Heat 1L of good water and add the cooked ingredients and simmer for 30 minutes. Wizz or blend till super smooth, add fresh parsley, maybe a little grated Parmesan, salt and pepper to taste and it’s all yours😉 Enjoy

      • ambra June 30, 2020 2:22 am

        That sounds delicious Susan! Thanks so much for sharing 🙂

        • Rachel June 30, 2020 5:33 am

          Thank you both! I’m going to give mushrooms a try!

  • Jolanda July 29, 2020 9:46 pm

    Do you make your own coconut yoghurt? I’d love a recipe!

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