Skip to main content.


Oct. 25, 2005
Take the Canoli & Leave the Trans Fats
Hello! I just returned from a quality visit my Italian grandparents. At 88 years young, Nana is still cooking strong! Eggplant Parmesan, homemade meatballs, ravioli, potato pie, and the list goes on. She is a machine, cooking for days. Papa, also renowned for his kitchen skills, has, at 92 years, stepped back to let his wife wine and dine him.
Nana and PapaNana's food is quite nutritious because it's not only fresh, but it's also infused with love and great attention. She takes the time to cook from scratch using the freshest ingredients that undoubtedly are more nutrient-dense.

Good food and good company has helped them maintain extraordinary health. Excessive salt, butter, shortening, and over processed-ready-to-eat foods of our fast-paced existence today are uncommon to their old-school, slow food, Italian repertoire.

Homemade pasta and olive oil are staples. Cooking to them means seasoning with fresh herbs, fresh vegetables, and good wine. Pasta is always al dente, never overdone and sauce is made from fresh plum tomatoes, never a jar. To Nana, salt and artificial additives are unthinkable shortcuts.

This diet has carried them all these years and keeps them looking about ten years younger then the calendar states. On Papa's 91st birthday, he took a tumble down 5 concrete steps and came out with nothing more than a few scrapes and bumps. No broken bones (unheard of for people in their nineties) -another testament to their eating plan—thanks to plenty of milk and cheese. I am sure their favorite dessert, canoli, is also a good source of calcium (wink, wink)!

So, yeah, maybe they have carried a few extra pounds over the years from overindulging in glorious homemade goodness, but the pounds came on with great pleasure and the food with loads of nutrients—a far cry from the common overindulgences of partially hydrogenated oils and high fructose corn syrup that are over-stimulating our taste buds and leaving many people overweight and under-nourished today.

I feel the same pride and satisfaction in helping create healthy, tasty food at Clif Bar as Nana does when serving up her masterpiece lasagna! We choose real ingredients, infused with our time and attention, to make some of the best foods out there.

Posted by:
Tara, the RD
Food Matters

More Topics

Blog Contributors

RSS Feeds:
RSS Comments
Podcasts Feeds:
My Yahoo

About this Blog

We like getting our heart rates up, taking a big breath of fresh air, savoring delicious food. But we also love telling stories and here's where we type 'em up. (BTW, it works both ways; leave a comment—please and thank you.)

Blog Leaf