Gloria Barraco is a Nutritionist Doctor, author of the successful book “Matricole a Tavola”. After having deepened her studies in Spain and having carried out field research in Peru, Gloria with her boyfriend Francesco Morano (Nutritionisti Doctor, too), successfully started her professional activity, without giving up continuing her studies, completing the path with a degree in medicine.
Today, I taught to her patients to nourish themselves with respect for their body, first of all without this becoming a source of stress but, on the contrary, of well-being.
One of your most popular slogans is “Throw the Scale”! Can you explain why this tool, so popular, can be harmful for a healthy nutritional journey?
Weighing yourself, and doing it frequently, is counterproductive, even harmful. As I explain to my patients, it’s like not having a phobia of a spider but stopping to look at it insistently. We would see the thorny legs, the protruding eyes, the stinging fangs and the phobia manifests itself. So it is weighing yourself and staring at that number that becomes an obsession, becomes fear and, for the most vulnerable, it is possible to fall into a real eating disorder. Weighing does not make sense, our body is made up of lean mass, fat mass, water, lots of water and the fluctuations of weight from day to day and within the same day can be there and are absolutely normal. We are worth much, much more than that number!
You teach your patients not to see food as an enemy. How?
By presenting it to them as an instrument of well-being and above all by teaching them to know it, to make us in some way “friendship” as a source of health. By explaining what each food provides to our body and, therefore, making the patient aware of what he is eating, food is transformed into the form of nourishment. Not an enemy to be eliminated and reduced as much as possible. Not an enemy of the line. The patient needs to be “taken by the hand” and accompanied in a path of nutritional education.
The obsession with the balance leads many to the so-called “do it yourself” and to eliminate some foods from their daily diet, perhaps in favor of others, apparently “lighter”. In this regard, those who follow you on your social profiles know your philosophy on “light” foods well. Can you summarize it, for our readers?
Absolutely. Our followers are well aware of our decided NO to light foods! We do not recommend them to anyone. They are foods deprived of a component that is their own and, very often, to achieve the same consistency they are additives of emulsifiers, to achieve the same flavor they are additives of sweeteners and various aromas. What is the point of eating a food that is impoverished and industrially deprived of its natural integrity and then finding oneself eating a food enriched with unnatural additives, preservatives and flavorings. We prefer 100% food. Because our wonderful human machine needs to receive 100% food to stay healthy and fit again.
One of your mantras is “Living in harmony with rhythms and colors”. How is it possible to mark the food day “with rhythms and colors?
The biological rhythms lead us to a king’s breakfast, a prince’s lunch and a poor man’s dinner interspersed with two small snacks. The colors of Nature guide us to introduce at least 3 portions of fruit, to be distributed between breakfast and the two snacks, and 2 portions of vegetables and / or vegetables, to be included as an appetizer and side dish at every meal. This way of eating is in harmony with the rhythms of our metabolism and with the colors of Nature, even more so if you prefer seasonal foods, in the fullness of their vitality.
Some tips for a better quality of life, not only from the food point of view?
It takes rhythm. As a scholar of chronobiology, the science that studies our hormonal and biological rhythms, I can say with certainty that the quality of life is “fed” by rhythm. Taking care of the sleep-wake rhythm, for example. an activity so vital and almost unconscious that sometimes you forget to take care of it. For example, diaphragmatic breathing should be practiced every now and then. gymnastics or just putting on some music and dancing.
Your definition of well-being?
Wellbeing is harmony. Harmony of rhythms. If we learn to heal these intrinsic rhythms in our physiology, we will already be doing a lot to fuel our well-being.