Fun things to do in Cinque Terre, Italy

Cinque Terre, or „five villages“ in English, is located along the coastline of North Italy. It is very popular among tourists, I mean, look at all the colourful houses! <3 I fell in love with this place and I really enjoyed my time there in each one of those five villages: Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, Riomaggiore (West to East)! I could go back any time!

Here is my list of fun things to do in Cinque Terre:

Hike and take a dip on each village’s own beach(es)

You can hike your way through Cinque Terre, unless a hiking trail is closed for maintenance. Besides taking the train, this is the best way to get around Cinque Terre. You will be rewarded with great views and you can lose some weight doing so 😉 haha. Whenever you arrive at a village you can take a dip in the sea, cool down, relax, and recharge with some snacks!

Picnic with a view!

Enjoy a picnic with the best view possible over Vernazza! Isn’t it totally worth the photo? =D
I recommend having a picnic in the early morning or late afternoon to avoid the heat. Grab a blanket, some fruits, baked goodies, drinks and you are good to go!

How to get there?

Follow the hiking trail from Vernazza to Monterosso for about ten minutes. This place is hidden behind a fence, which I climbed over, haha! Be careful yourself if you do that too 😉

Snorkel to a private beach

I have a thing for rocks at the beach and this private beach in Monterosso has a huge one! However, despite having to pay for entry it still gets crowded. Since I arrived early afternoon, it was full and further entry was not allowed. =/ But well, I always find ways to get what I want…haha.

So I kept walking further until there was a stairway down, which leads to a restaurant, but if you keep on moving downwards there will be a stony path to the waters! There are big flat rocks on which you can lay your towels and things and then jump into the ocean. I snorkelled my way to the private beach, which took me around 10 minutes (I am a slow swimmer =D). Nobody noticed nor cared, so enjoy your time there 😉

Try their local delicacy: Anchovies (Acciughe)

I love to try local delicacies and these anchovies are a great snack inbetween, especially after a morning dip in the sea! They are freshly caught, marinated and deep-fried. Not the healthiest thing, as it is deep-fried, but good for the occasion.

Enjoy the sunset

Sea and sunset go hand in hand. I love watching them and there are numerous nice places to do so. My favourite place is in Riomaggiore. There is a rocky path at the coast, which is safe to climb and you get an amazing view from there! Enjoy it with a slice of take-away pizza or some anchovies =)

Rent a kayak or a boat

There are boat rentals everywhere and you can take a kayak or a boat to get to the next village. While doing so you can enjoy the great view from the sea! It will be worth the photo =D

Stargazing at the beach

Monterosso has by far the longest stretch of beaches and in the evening, there are empty sun loungers everywhere. So after dinner, occupy an empty lounger and gaze up at the starry sky to some nice music 😉 Isn’t it romantic? *.*

So these are my favourite things to do there, I hope it inspires you for your next vacation.

Have you been to Cinque Terre before and if yes, will you go back again? If not, I hope it is now on your bucket list. Share in the comments below 😉

How intermittent fasting keeps you fit and healthy

Did you know that digestion consumes the highest amount of energy out of all bodily functions? When too much energy is used for digestion, there will be less available for repair and detox. As a result, we age sooner, get sick easier, and it takes longer for us to heal.

There is a reason why fasting is present in so many cultures. It is not only beneficial for your body, but also for your mind. As a matter of fact, not only will you lose body fat during your fasting period, but you will benefit from greater mental functions. Thus, fasting increases your productivity!

1. What is Intermittent Fasting?

It is a way of eating and scheduling your meals within a period of time. Usually, it means eating within a 6 to 8 hours time frame and not eating for 16 to 18 hours as a result.

2. Benefits of Intermittent Fasting

  • It allows the body to burn stored fat.
  • It increases your productivity.
  • It is a natural way to promote detox.
  • It promotes longevity and anti-aging, because cells become more resilient and thus withstand damage by oxidative stress better.
  • It promotes smoother, firmer skin due to the same above mentioned reason.
  • It reduces your chances of cancer! It might shock you to hear this, but as a matter of fact, our body produces millions of cancer cells EACH day! However, a healthy body can fight them off and fasting promotes healing, as we will have more energy!
  • The same goes for other common diseases such as diabetes or heart problems!
  • It saves time, as you will spend less time cooking, eating, and thinking about what to eat. It frees up time for other important things in life!
  • If you tend to think about food often during the day, then this is the solution! 😉

3. How do you practice Intermittent Fasting?

The best thing about Intermittent Fasting is that you can implement it so easily and really perform it consistently. My method of implementing it is by skipping breakfast and depending on my schedule only to start having my first meal from 12-2pm and have a snack or a dinner at 4-8pm. During the fasting period you are allowed and recommended to drink lots of water or unsweetened tea.

4. My experience with Intermittent Fasting

I tried intermittent fasting for three weeks and it was great in so many ways. Since I previously have tried fasting already, it was relatively easy for me. However, if you are new to fasting, the first few days will probably be difficult, but the good thing is that your body will adjust to it in around three days!

Major differences I noticed during the intermittent fasting period was my overall higher energy level. I had a clearer mind and was more productive, especially in the morning! Moreover, I had more power for a workout! Yes, intermittent fasting made me stronger! I had more free time, as I did not have to think about what to have for breakfast and could do other things for the time I usually spent on having breakfast.

After three weeks of intermittent fasting, I lost body weight, but not overly so, because I gained more muscles (muscles weigh more than fat), as I was working out (lightly) as well. Furthermore, I increased my portion size for my lunch too, so I do not think that I had much less calorie intake than usual. Still, I was recognizably in a much better shape and felt amazing!

 

Conclusion: Intermittent Fasting is easy to implement, stick to and it offers amazing benefits! I can not think of a reason not to try it out yourself. It will be even more efficient if combined with a clean diet!

How to enjoy a lavish feast without feeling stuffed

It is Christmas time and like any festive holiday, we tend to celebrate it with a lavish feast. This certainly applies for the Chinese New Year, which is mainly celebrated by eating with your family and friends.

In this article, I am going to give you some tips on how to eat a generous amount and still feel good afterward! Yes, you can eat a lot without feeling stuffed later on (of course, still up to a certain extent) 😉

So here are my tips…

1) Do not mix high-protein with high-carbs in one meal!

This will make a huge difference and is one of the main principles of food combining. Small amounts of each can be eaten together though 😉

High-protein foods are meat, sea fruits, fish, nuts, seeds etc.
High-carb foods are grains, beans, legumes, bread, pasta, potato etc.

 

Why should you not mix?

Because protein and carbs are digested differently. Protein, when eaten alone requires about 4 hours to digest and carbs 2 hours. However, when eaten together, it can take up to 13 hours. So mixing both will make it more difficult for our body to digest and keep us fuller. In the worst case, it will sit in your stomach, start to ferment, make you feel tired and is a cause of premature aging!

I still remember the time when I had lobster and lots of potato fries in one setting – I could not eat anything else that day…

2)  Avoid/limit fried food

Ever noticed that fried food is served in high amounts in buffet styled restaurants? They are designed to make you full in a fast way in order to keep you from eating too much. So if you want to make the most of your money when heading for buffets, skip the fried food section. They are not healthy anyway 😉

3) Drink tea

It is kind of a Chinese cultural thing to tell each other to „eat more“ whenever one stops eating. So when eating with my Chinese relatives and friends, I have to be really careful and I always try to eat as slowly as possible. Still, each time I say I am full I will be told to drink some tea, so I can keep on eating more! Haha!

And well, in those times I’m persuaded to do so, it really works! In China, we like to drink Pu’er tea to our meals, but any green, chai or herbal tea will aid in your digestion!

4) Chew some ginger

Chinese love to use ginger in their cuisine and it has been regarded as a digestive aid for thousands of years. It is an antioxidant and works anti-inflammatory, which will „relax the gut lining“ and help you avoid digestive problems such as gas, bloating, nausea.

 

In case you still ate too much and feel tired, take a 20min slow walk to aid in your digestion.

I wish you happy holidays and happy feasting! 😉