SIMONETTA SALVINI – I am a dietitian nutritionist, who graduated in 1981 from the University of Pavia, Italy. I got a Masters degree in Science of Technical Health Professions in 2006, from the University of Pisa.
Member of the board of directors of ASAND, the Scientific and technical Association of Food, Nutrition and Dietetics.
I have worked for several years in the epidemiology field, collaborating in the development of instruments – like food frequency questionnaires, food diaries, data banks – for Italian and international research projects on the relation between food intake, physical activity and chronic disease (mainly cancer). I have planned and conducted a randomized trial on extra virgin olive oil, which showed that olive oil phenols are able to protect DNA form oxidative damage. I have promoted and implemented, in collaboration with other research groups in Italy, a food composition database (BDA); I obtained funding from the AIRC (Italian Association for Cancer Research) for these two projects.
For four years (from 1986 to 1990) I was a researcher in Boston, USA, at the Harvard School of Public Health and Brigham & Women’s Hospital, working with the famous Nurses’ Health Study and the Physicians’ Health Study. In 1990 I came back to Italy: first in Milano, at the Istituto Europeo di Oncologia and then from 1999 in Florence, at ISPO – Cancer Research and Prevention Institute (now ISPRO Istituto per lo Studio, la Prevenzione e Rete Oncologica).
Since 2006 I write for the section Sano&Buono (Healthy&Tasty) of the magazine La Nostra Salute (Our Health), published by the Florence section of LILT (Lega Italiana per la Lotta contro i Tumori – Italian League Against Cancer). With LILT I help to plan and conduct health promotion actions in the Florence area.
I am now a free lance dietitian, working as a consultant for private clients and for research groups. In CUCINA³ I offer a variety of classes aimed at helping people to find the best way to include a healthy diet in their daily routines.
IN PRIVATE LIFE
I am married to Andrea, whom I met through the ski mountaineering course of the Alpine Club in Milano. We have four children (Matteo, Martina, Lucia e Giacomo), born between 1989 and 1997, with whom we try to spend as much time as possible, though they are now scattered around the world for their studies and work: sports are our common activities, like biking, skiing, and sailing, depending on the season.
I like cooking, experimenting with new recipes, participating in and organizing cooking classes. With just a bit of fantasy and love of risk it is possible to try new dishes or modify traditional ones, to adapt them to specific needs. As an example, experimenting with gluten-free bread can be of help for people suffering from celiac disease. Inventing or just testing some butter-free and reduced-sugar cakes, allows us the opportunity to taste a “prohibited” food, without an assault on the arteries and without causing the dangerous glycemic peaks, that are not good companions for our metabolism.
In the blog you can find some of “my” recipes, that I hope you will be curious to experiment with.
I try to practice what I preach, i.e. simple food habits, mainly based on foods of vegetable origin and a healthy life-style: outdoor life and physical activity, integrated in daily routines as much as possible. In our family, butter, cream, and processed food are ingredients to be used in tiny quantities and only for special events, while vegetables, legumes, and fruit of all colors should always be included in our meals, even now, when we don’t always sit around the same table.
Now that we have moved to Il Cubo, CUCINA³ is one of my activities, trying to transmit to clients my passion for food, cooking, and wellbeing. In addition, my daily routines include taking care of our vegetable garden: I’m not an expert yet, but I am very happy with the results, so far. We also have some land with an olive grove, fruit trees and lots of wild fruit and herbs. SO in the family we always enjoy our own extra virgin olive oil, homemade jams, herbal teas and other preserves, for family consumption.