Sleeping and waking, contraction and relaxation, systole and diastole, empty and full, inspiration and expiration… There is a rhythm in our life, a rhythm that mirrors the cycles of nature.
There is no doubt that in the search for inner beauty and well-being, food plays a very special role.
While the body is the one we instantly think about when it comes to nutrition, we can often observe how our emotions influence our way of eating or not eating and what food we desire at a specific moment. We can eat more than usual when bored or angry, or we cannot eat at all when very stressed and under pressure. We may look for sweets when our emotions are imbalanced. This is all expressed in various forms in all of us.
Honoring the Rhythms of Nature
At Palazzo BelVedere, we like to move in the rhythm of nature, following the periodic change of the seasons throughout the year.
This is why we created the Hippocratic Menus. The brain behind this concept is Milena Simeoni, Naturopath, expert in European and Mediterranean Traditional Medicine (MTEM) and creator of the well-being concept of the HOME Spa at Palazzo BelVedere.
The Hippocratic Menus consist of plant-based dishes designed in accordance to the principles of Traditional European and Mediterranean Medicine and the 4 elements: Air, Fire, Earth, and Water. A careful selection of raw, local ingredients form the basis of the cuisine at Palazzo BelVedere: organic and biodynamic products of high quality respecting the seasonality to preserve all natural nutrients and locally purchased to respect the environment.
Nutrition According to the 4 Elements
Following the guidelines of the School of Naturopathy, every season we create new Elemental Menus, nurturing each one of the 4 Elements and the correspondent four temperaments.
The sanguine type is dominated by air, the choleric type by fire and the melancholic one by the earth element, while the water element dominates in the phlegmatic type: each temperament is characterized by very different behaviors, thoughts and physical features.
Hippocrates taught that each of the 4 elements and each corresponding temperament results from the combination of two qualities: air and the aanguine type are hot and wet, fire and the choleric type are hot and dry, earth and the melancholic type are cold and dry, water and the phlegmatic type are cold and humid.
Specific foods and their characteristics can support or balance a certain quality and the correlated element. The color of a vegetable, the cooking technique, the hydration or dryness of a dish, how it is plated, the shape of the cuts … several aspects – smells, flavors, textures, colors and more – influence the relationship among the qualities that define each element.
A Balancing Act
While promoting mindful eating is becoming more and more popular, we take this one step further and allocate time and resources to find the perfect combination of ingredients, cuts, and cooking techniques to respect the principles of MTEM as well our Tuscan heritage.
Balancing the colder nature of vegetables with the hotter one of animal products, can reduce excess heat or anxiety. Boiling, soups or oily creams are perfect for those who need to increase humidity, while dry and poor in water ingredients are ideal to balance a body constitution that is already too humid.
The spicy flavor of chili pepper mitigates the abundance of the water element, reduces the apathy of the phlegmatic type and increases focus and determination of the choleric type, dominated by fire.
The acidic flavor of lemon balances the abundance of the air element, reduces the dispersion of sanguine type and increases stability and precision of the earth element, which dominates the melancholic type.
Dark, dull colors are cooler, and bright colors are warmer: for instance, yellow is the color nurturing the air element, while green is the one for the earth element.
Several variables influence the perfect dish for a specific guest and the rebalancing journey they are embracing and we do not stop at the ingredients on the plate. Also eating habits and accompanying services might play a role in creating a tailor-made wellness experience.
Eating regularly, always at the same time, helps to balance a constitution dominated by air, taking great care of the plating, with decorations and original choices for the table setting balances a constitution with unbalanced earth element. Reduced quantities or skipping meals may be beneficial for those who are dominated by water.
Palazzo BelVedere is located in one of the most famous thermal towns in the world, with a long tradition in terms of health and well-being. Promoting a sustainable and natural lifestyle is one of the pillars of our wellbeing concept, permeating all the departments of the property.
The Hippocratic menus are always included in our Vitaliter Programs: the Naturopaths at Palazzo BelVedere are working closely with us in the kitchen and support the entire healing journey of our guests. We love to promote a healthy lifestyle and show our guests that healthy cuisine is also tasteful and able to nurture all the dimensions of a human being.