I am so thrilled to introduce you to an amazing woman, wife and blogger behind Little Bites of Beauty: The lovely Ambra Torelli originally from the beautiful Italy and actually travelling the world in an eternal idyllic love story with her husband Alec Torelli!
Despite her exciting nomadic lifestyle, Ambra keeps up with her healthy eating habits, self care rituals, blogging and inspiring more and more people everyday to live in a happy and healthy way!
Excited to know more about her? Here are some questions I put together to get to know this beautiful woman a little more.
I hope you enjoy this as much as I did!
Nathalie Sader: I know you are from the beautiful Italy, tell us a bit more about the culture, especially around food and women?
Ambra Torelli: You can take an Italian girl away from Italy, but you can’t take Italy away from her. ;)
I left Italy in 2011, and since then I’ve constantly been traveling and had the chance to meet many different cultures and lifestyles. Of course, these experiences made me a more eclectic person, but no matter where I go, I always keep a part of Italy inside of me. This is most notable seen in my approach to food, which must be simple, pure and fresh and in the way I approach my role as a woman, which is very nourishing, caring and feminine.
Speaking of food, I feel like Italian restaurants abroad, when they propose those pseudo-Italian dishes like “Fettuccine Alfredo” and “Chicken Parmesan” (I am sad to tell you guys that these are not Italian), only give people a partial idea of our food philosophy.
The main principle of Italian cuisine is not about loading every plate with heavy carbs and cheese; it’s quite the opposite. It’s about loving ourselves through the food we eat; it’s about respecting what the earth has to offer without forcing the cycle of the seasons; it’s about appreciating what nature gives us without altering its genetic code; it’s about valuing the locality and the freshness of the food.
In one line: it’s about treating each simple ingredient with the reverence it deserves. With this approach in mind, even a simple sun ripened tomato, some aromatic basil leaves and a drizzle of fruity olive oil become a masterpiece!
As per the woman role, I think that one big difference I notice here in Italy is that women are not afraid of showing their femininity, and they embrace their nourishing, motherly nature without letting this be an anchor that ties them to the obsolete role of “angel of the hearth."
The fact that we can do the same things men can doesn't mean we have to be and act the same way. And I feel like women who are aware of that, have an extra oomph.
Nathalie Sader: Italians are known for eating pizza and pasta abundantly. Have you always had a gluten sensitivity, if not when and why do you think this happened?
Ambra Torelli: I have been allergic to dairy ever since I was a newborn. I had a lot of health issues back then, but for some reason, after the weaning phase, the doctors decided to put me back on cow’s milk. I have suffered from very bad skin allergies ever since.
During my adolescence, I started developing thyroid issues and leaky gut syndrome. It took me a few years (plus a lot of research and trial and error) to understand that diet had a lot to do with it!
Thanks to functional medicine (a style of medicine that looks for the causes of the issues as opposed to treating symptoms through medications), I discovered that I am gluten and dairy intolerant and that, by adjusting my diet and lifestyle, I could dramatically improve my situation.
After testing literally every style of diet imaginable, I landed on the Auto Immune Protocol (AIP), a restriction of the paleo diet that focuses on healing the gut. When I saw the results, I was inspired to be a resource and help others along their journey.
My goal with my site www.littlebitesofbeauty.com - like my slogan says - is to “help women on special diets live an awesome life”. And what that means is that not only do I want to provide custom allergy free recipes, but also practical tips that can make their life easier as well as support to embrace the ideal mindset to succeed on a restricted diet.
Nathalie Sader: I love your nomadic lifestyle and how you manage to eat healthy and take care of yourself as a woman, a wife and a successful food blogger! Could you please tell us more about that?
Ours is for sure a very fast paced life, and fortunately, working online, we can afford to take full advantage of that.
Even though we travel often, we always commit to eating healthy and, in most cases, to cook our own food (we always opt for hotels that have kitchenettes or Air BnB apartments where I can have access to all the cooking appliances I need to create allergy-free, tasty dishes that don't make me feel deprived when I am out).
Having a nomadic lifestyle taught us to optimize all that dead times: airport lounges, planes, trains and rental cars become the perfect places to get work done on the computer. When we are on the move, even when we are exploring a new place, we take one full day every 3 or 4 days of traveling to catch up with work and create content. We park our computers (and multiple hard drives) in a coffee shop for 12 hours, and we knock out all we need to do.
Nathalie Sader: How long have you been married and what is your secret recipe for a successful marriage?
Ambra Torelli: Alec and I have been married for three and a half years and together for almost six… but we have experienced so much together during this time that it feels like it was a lifetime! We travel and do everything together and always support and are involved in each other’s projects and passions.
Even though we come from very different worlds (I am from Italy, he’s from California) and very different backgrounds (I come from the academia and used to work as a literature professor, he’s a professional poker player), we are very similar people. We are both very adventurous and ambitious, we love to live outside the box and create a lifestyle for ourselves that privileges freedom over anything else.
Having a very similar mindset and sharing the same values is definitely one of the keys to a good relationship. We also love eating and writing, and those are passions that keep us very close!
Nathalie Sader: Would you like to share with us one of your favorite italian recipes?
Ambra Torelli: Yes! here is one of my favorites,
This dish is suitable for anybody who’s on a vegan diet as its ragout sauce is completely meatless and it’s perfect for those who are lactose intolerant as well. In fact, while tradition contains the entire “dairy trio” (butter, milk and cheese), this healthy béchamel recipe is purely plant based while still being creamy and delicious.
For the Pasta:
400 gr (2 packs) Shirataki Noodles
For the Meatless Ragout:
425 gr (1 can) Cooked Lentils
1/2 tbsp Olive Oil
1/2 Yellow Onion
2 cloves of Garlic
10 Sun Dried Tomatos (finely chopped)
5 Cherry Tomatoes (sliced)
1/2 cup Tomato Sauce
1 sprig Rosemary, finely chopped
1 tbsp dried Italian Herbs
For the Dairy Free Béchamel Sauce:
2 tbsp Grape Seed Oil
2 tbsp Corn Starch (or Rice Starch)
250 ml Plant Based Milk (Soy & Coconut work best)
1 pinch Himalayan Salt
5 Cherry Tomatoes, thinly sliced
1 tsp dried Oregano
Variation: If you want to keep this recipe grain free and you can’t find shirataki noodles, you can replace them with sweet potato noodles (you can find them in Asian supermarkets) or with lentil pasta. If grains are not an issue, simply use any kind of gluten free pasta of your choice.OIL (for the béchamel): I like to use grape seed oil because it has a very mild flavor and it’s not overpowering. You can replace it with extra virgin oil or avocado oil.
I hope you enjoyed the recipe and the interview. Ambra & I would love to hear back from you, please feel free to introduce yourself and leave a feedback in the comments below!
Ambra is also on instagram: @littlebitesofbeauty
and facebook: Little bites of Beauty