If you follow me on social media you will know that I have just been on a wonderful break to Barcelona with my lovely mama. We packed so much into our four days and really tried to absorb ourselves in the Barcelona way of life and learn as much about the lifestyle, culture and city as we could at the same time as trying to get some time to relax in the glorious warm sunshine! Barcelona really is a treat!
My first post from my Barcelona blog series is a question my mum asked to a very talented michelin star chef (Amelia) who was also very Spanish and very slim! We were lucky enough to have a Spanish cooking experience with Amelia. Spending time chatting, walking around the market and cooking traditional Spanish dishes with her! The question my mum asked was “we’ve noticed all the women here are very slim and beautiful, how do you stay so slim considering the spanish diet is known for bread, paella, olive oil, wine?!”
I wanted to answer this question with notes from what Amelia said and also from what my mum and I observed during our time in Barcelona. It’s always interesting to learn from other cultures and to get ideas and inspiration for a healthier lifestyle from around the world so I hope you enjoy this post…
Fresh and organic ingredients – it’s about the quality of the fish or vegetables or eggs for example you are eating that counts and makes primarily the food taste much more delicious but also means you absorb more nutrients and energy.
Simplicity – we did laugh at some of the menus that read things such as ‘Hake and vegetables‘ or ‘Grilled Vegetables in tomato sauce’. And that is simply what you would get! With a drizzle of lemon or olive oil and there you have it, delicious simple food. I think us brits sometimes over complicate things in many ways (not just food ;))
Walking- we must have walked at least 10 miles a day during a 4 days in Barcelona and obviously this is because we were exploring but Amelia said everyone walks here. The city is large but you can walk from the beach to the town and around the different neighbourhoods. With the sun shining of course it makes sense to walk rather than get the underground or tram!
Park- our hotel was near a big park called Park Zoologic de Barcelona and of an evening we would walk through this park to get to the trendy area of El Born and noticed that the park was a buzz of activity and had a great community feel. From people walking their dogs (everyone has a dog), to riding bikes, to outdoor yoga classes, personal training session, using the table tennis paddles occasionally. They’d be live music playing and it seemed be a common thing for people to go to the park after work which I loved!
We visited La Boqueria Market on our second day which is the big busy tourist market in La Rambla and it amazed me! Amelia then took us to Market Santa Caterina which was much smaller and full of locals getting there ‘weekly’ but probably more like ‘daily’ shop. Amelia told us that there are over forty covered markets in Barcelona! Sainsbury’s doesn’t compare to a Spanish market I’m afraid- a paradise of fresh fruit, fish and cold meats. You won’t find any processed or microwave meals that’s for sure!
Little sugar- I must admit when in Spain or Italy and on holiday, I do eat their ice cream every day! I love ice cream and when it’s such good quality I just can’t resist. However, when we asked Amelia, she did say that Spanish people don’t eat loads of sugar. The desserts they enjoy contain little sugar compared to ones we enjoy in England or America. We made Creme Catalana with Amelia which is different to the French Creme Brûlée we typically enjoy here. It’s typically eaten during springtime and simply contains whole milk, egg yolks, corn flour, sugar, cinnamon and the zest of lemon and orange.
So there we have it! Some tips and inspiration as to how Spanish women stay so beautiful and slim but still enjoy paella almost every day!
Thank you for another amazing unforgettable trip Mum!
Love Lottie x
If you’re planning a trip to Barcelona and want to go to the Spanish cooking class with Amelia then you can find details here… BCN kitchen