Styled Nutrition | Kelowna Dietitian Nutritionist

Italy Travel Tips and Itinerary

Travel, LifeJessica LaneComment
Positano, Almafi Coast

Positano, Almafi Coast

Finally getting around to this! I've been meaning to post some Italy travel guides as both a bit of a travel diary for myself and to help out any of you who are planning an Italian vacation! 

My husband and I went to Italy for almost 3 weeks this past spring - the last week in April and the first two weeks of May. We picked this time because it is shoulder season, the weather wouldn't be too hot or too cold, and my 30th birthday was May 1st! It was still very touristy and quite warm (except Venice... more on that below), so I'm not sure I'd want to go in the dead of summer! 

San Gimignano, Tuscany

San Gimignano, Tuscany

Here was our itinerary:

1) 1 night in London (we picked an extended layover as we had never been to London before and wanted to see it, even if only briefly!)

2) 3 nights in Venice

3) 3 nights in Florence, including a day trip to Tuscany

4) 4 nights in Monterosso, Cinque Terre, including day trips to the other 4 towns in Cinque Terre

5) 5 nights in Positano (Almafi Coast), including day trips to Capri and Ravello

6) 3 nights in Rome

If I had to do it over again, I wouldn't change a thing! I think we had the perfect amount of time in each area. We moved around quite a bit, staying in 6 different places in a relatively short period of time, but it didn't feel too hectic. All the areas we visited were so vastly different that it felt like we had been on several vacations by the end of the trip!

Keep in mind that we love being near water and purposely chose to spend half of our time in seaside towns (Monterosso and Positano). We also did this when we visited France, with half of our time spent in Nice and St. Tropez. If you are more into history, art, etc. then you might want to spend more of your time elsewhere. I am just obsessed with the Mediterranean Sea and consider it to be my favourite area in the world! 

Ravello, Almafi Coast

Ravello, Almafi Coast

I will be posting separate travels guides to each of the 5 places we stayed in Italy and will link to them in this post when they are up. For now, here's some general Italy travel tips that we learned along the way:

1) Learn how to say grazie (thank you) correctly. It's not grat-zee, it's grat-syeh. The locals will love you if you pronounce it properly! I also found it really helpful to know that "ci" is a chee sound and "chi" is a kee sound. For example, ciao (informal greeting) is "chow" and chianti (type of wine) is "kee-anti"  I used this phrasebook... possibly bought because of the cute cover, not gonna lie.

2) Wear comfortable shoes, especially in Rome (the cobblestone is so uneven and has spaces between the stones). For spring, I brought a pair of lower-heeled ankle booties, a relatively cute pair of sneakers, supportive sandals (Birkenstocks), and a pair of strappy sandals. I thought that was perfect! I considered bringing heels, but scrapped them last minute. I'm glad I did as I probably wouldn't have worn them. However, it would have been nice to have a pair of comfortable wedges for nice dinners, so maybe pack that if you have them! Wear the ankle booties for traveling as they are the heaviest and it's always so cold on planes! 

3) For April/May, consider that the weather might not be super warm everywhere you go. It was actually much cooler in Venice than I was expecting and it rained a few times (glad I had those ankle booties!), but was warmer in Florence and then even warmer in the coastal towns and Rome. I definitely didn't have the right outerwear for Venice. My warmest jacket was a jean jacket, so I literally had to wear my husband's clothes (not cute!) and even had to seek out an H&M to pick up a coat. My recommendation would be to bring a trench coat for this time of year - you may or may not need it, but you'll be happy to have it if you do! For spring and our itinerary, we really needed everything from a bathing suit and beach wear to sweaters and coats! 

4) I'm a huge foodie, so one of my #1 tips for any trip is to research what the local cuisine and drinks are. I'll go over this in more detail for each separate travel guide. You must try an Aperol Spritz if you haven't already (they are getting pretty popular in Canada). It consists of Aperol - an orange Italian liquor so bright that you can't miss it! - and prosecco. We may or may not have had them every day... so refreshing! 

That's it for now! Cheers!

Aperol Spritz with a killer view in Manarola, Cinque Terre

Aperol Spritz with a killer view in Manarola, Cinque Terre

Kelowna Dietitian Nutritionist

Top 10 Creative Late Summer Snack Ideas

Snacks, Recipes, Vegetarian, BeveragesJessica LaneComment

Snack ideas are something that a lot of people struggle with. It gets boring eating the same old thing over and over, so variety is key. It's also important to be prepared with snacks so you don't find yourself at the vending machine at that 3pm slump. Most of these snacks can be taken on-the-go, other than the frozen yogurt blueberry bites and the banana "ice cream". Some need to be made in advance and others are easy to grab at a moment's notice. Hopefully you will find some ideas that work for you! I've called this post Late Summer Snack Ideas because I've included things like the blueberry bites, banana "ice cream", and a smoothie, as well as utilized later summer produce like blueberries, apples/pears, bell peppers, sweet potatoes, etc. However, most of these recipes would be perfect all year round! Without further ado:


Top 10 Creative Late Summer Snack Ideas

Um YUM! This is my new favourite snack idea! Simply wash and dry blueberries, then coat with Greek yogurt. Place on a pan lined with parchment paper and freeze for at least 1 hour. 


Top 10 Creative Late Summer Snack Ideas

Because who doesn't love avo toast? So many variations to try! My Sweet and Savory Avocado Toast recipes are fancy-schmancy. But really, all you need is avocado and bread, so this is easy to make on the fly or even to bring the ingredients to work. Avocados not your thing, but still want a toast idea? Try my Nut Butter and (no) Jam Toast!


Top 10 Creative Late Summer Snack Ideas

Crudités is just the French term for raw veggies, often served with dip. But calling your snack crudités just has a certain je ne sais quoi, non? This snack is great for on-the-go! All you have to do is place a dollop of hummus on the bottom of your glass container and stick sliced, raw veggies of your choosing on top. 


Top 10 Creative Late Summer Snacks Ideas

I'm a big fan of sweet potatoes, as evidenced by this and this. For these chips, preheat oven or toaster oven to 400 F. Wash sweet potato and use a vegetable slicer or sharp knife to make thin slices. Add the slices to a ziploc bag with just enough avocado or grapeseed oil to coat the chips. Shake the bag so that each slice is lightly coated. Place slices on a large pan lined with parchment paper and sprinkle on your favourite seasonings. Pop them in the oven until slightly browned and crispy, around 20-40 minutes. These are also good with hummus!


Top 10 Creative Late Summer Snack Ideas

Cut banana into pieces and place in a ziploc or tupperware container. Place in freezer for ~8 hours or overnight. Once frozen, take out banana and add to a food processor or blender. Optionally, add vanilla, nut butter, frozen fruit, raw cacao powder, etc. and blend until smooth and creamy. Add any toppings you would like and enjoy! For a higher protein option, try this Protein Ice Cream recipe from Abbey's Kitchen, which features cottage cheese, believe it or not!


Top 10 Creative Late Summer Snack Ideas

Classic dietitian-recommended snack. For something a little different, you have to try my Secret Ingredient Peanut Butter Greek Yogurt dip! 


Top 10 Creative Late Summer Snack Ideas

Is there anything better than peanut butter, banana, and chocolate together?
-1 scoop chocolate protein powder OR 2 tsp raw cacao powder
-1 tbsp chia seeds
-1 tbsp peanut butter (or other nut butter)
-1 cup spinach or kale
-1 banana
-½ cup ice
Directions: Add all ingredients to a blender and enjoy! 
Other smoothie recipes here and here.


Top 10 Creative Late Summer Snack Ideas

This would make an amazing after school snack, or any time! Try it now while bell peppers are in season!
-Bell peppers
-Veggies: tomato, broccoli, zucchini, spinach, kale, etc. (leftover veggies are perfect for this!)
-Cheese, shredded
-Italian seasoning
Directions: Preheat oven or toaster oven to 375 F. Cut bell peppers into 4 quarters. Top with salsa, chopped veggies, shredded cheese, and seasoning. Pop on a pan and bake until cheese is melted and peppers are roasted to your liking! 

9. Trail Mix Muffins

Top 10 Creative Late Summer Snack Ideas

This is still one of my all-time favourite snack ideas! Everyone who tries them, loves them! Grab the recipe here


Top 10 Creative Late Summer Snack Ideas

I always keep medjool dates and almond butter in the house so that I know I have a quick snack option available, even if we are low on groceries. Stuff 2 dates with almond butter and you're good to go! I love this for before a workout. Also, these do travel well in a glass container, as long as your almond butter isn't super runny!

Hope this gives you some ideas!

Kelowna Dietitian Nutritionist

Greek Salad Wraps

Recipes, Vegetarian, Salads & Dressings, Mains, Gluten-FreeJessica LaneComment
Greek Salad Wraps

I have to give credit to our friends Nicole and Colin for this delicious idea! We were at their house one day and they mentioned that they had added brown rice to a Greek salad and rolled it into wraps with tzatziki and chicken. Genius!

Greek Salad Wraps

I actually don't know why I didn't think of it myself. My favourite wrap at Wrap Zone is the Jimmy the Greek with tofu (and subbing brown rice/wrap for white). Not that I count calories, but sometimes they can give you a good idea of reasonable portion sizes at restaurants. And, at 483 calories for the regular size, it's not the worst pick if fast food is the only option.

I really love Greek salad, especially in the summer when I can get my hands on fresh cucumbers, tomatoes, and peppers! Turning a Greek salad into a meal is just perfection in my eyes. I also love this Zucchini Chickpea Balls with Chopped Greek Salad recipe for that very reason! 

This meal is super easy to throw together. I feel like I say that about every recipe I post, but I really do like to keep it simple! Of course, brown rice does take some time to cook, but you could make it ahead or use a quicker cooking grain like quinoa or millet if you are in a rush. Tofu cubes will save time compared to chicken, unless you already have some made. And you can make your own tzatziki or simply purchase the pre-made stuff to make your life easier! The filling is delicious on its own for leftovers, or just buy extra wraps or even lettuce wraps. 

Greek Salad Wraps

Note that the olives were forgotten in these photos (blasphemy!!). That being said, if olives aren't your thing, this recipe is still delish without 'em!


Makes lots! Enough for 6 wraps, plus leftover filling.

Greek Salad Wraps


-1 cup uncooked brown rice
-1 medium cucumber, diced
-2 large tomatoes, diced
-2 bell peppers, diced
-1 medium onion, diced
-~200 g Kalamata olives, chopped
-Feta, crumbled, to taste
-1 block extra-firm tofu, cubed (or equivalent of cooked chicken)
-Greek salad dressing (I used a half batch of this recipe)
-Tzatziki, to taste
-Whole grain wraps (gluten-free if needed)


Add uncooked brown rice and 2 cups water to a medium-sized saucepan. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for ~40 minutes. 

Meanwhile, cut up the cucumber, tomatoes, bell peppers, onions, olives, and tofu. Add to a large bowl. Crumble in the feta. 

When the rice has finished cooking, add it to the bowl of veggies/olives/feta/tofu. Add the Greek salad dressing and stir to coat.

Assemble the wraps with tzatziki and the Greek salad/brown rice filling. Don't know how to roll up your wrap? Try this

Greek Salad Wraps
Kelowna Dietitian Nutritionist