When I decided I would feel better with a few less pounds, of course I turn to my Mediterranean roots of Southern Italia. There are a few myths that need to be cleared up for those you who think a good Italian meal consists of a troth of saucy spaghetti piled with soccer-ball sized meatballs. That is not how Italians in Italy really eat, and my cross-cultural research on body image bore that out by showing a significant difference in the body weight of Italians (sans the stereotypes) as compared to Americans. The American “salad-on-steroids”, for instance, had become clearly one of my pitfalls. Who doesn’t like some nice spring greens tossed with sugar-sweet dried cranberries, bits of walnut, goat cheese, raspberry vinaigrette and a myriad of ingredients that make the final creation hard to still recognize as a green salad. Why don’t we just break a candy bar in and throw it atop, too? Then we don’t even have to taste what we should be tasting—food that is really good for us. Of course, I didn’t realize all of this until I wrote down all the salad ingredients that appeared on my own plate. Back to basics, to the semplicita’ of the simple luscious taste of Italian arugula lettuce drizzled with a hint of extra virgin olive oil and a spritz of fresh lemon. A bit of sale e pepe and what’s better than that? Far less calories, far more taste, a retraining of the taste buds to identify and learn to relish individual flavors of foods that sustain life..and make us slim and sexy, to boot (no pun intended). Now its off to the produce market!