Seven: J’adore la cuisine
This week we will be exploring the transatlantic phenomenon of how some cultures seem to transcend all the “rules” of the American diet yet are able to avoid the weight and health problems that plague our nation. This paradox was the focus of the national best seller “French Women Don’t Get Fat,” which was written by Mireille Guiliano who is president and CEO of Clicquot, Inc (as in the good bubbly) and jet-sets all across the world eating and drinking as only most of us dream. Oh, and she claims to be effortlessly thin and healthy as well!
How is this so, you ask? Well, the reason I liked this book is that it espouses the basic tenets that I firmly believe in when it comes to wellness – diets and deprivation don’t work, all things can be enjoyed in moderation, and physical activity should be a part of daily life and not just another chore on your I-phone task list.
This book is well worth the read for the recipes alone (Chicken au Champagne, Zucchini Flower Omelet, and Chocolate Espresso Soufflés to name a few), but the real gems are found in Guilano’s perspective of the French philosophy around food and meals. A few highlights include:
- French women typically think about good things to eat, American women typically worry about bad things to eat
- French women eat smaller portions of more things, American women eat larger portions of fewer things
- French women love bread and would never consider a life without carbs (my personal favorite)
- French women don’t eat “fat-free,” “sugar-free”, or anything artificially stripped of natural flavor. They go for the real thing in moderation.
- French women balance their food, drink, and movement on a week-by-week basis.
- French women never let themselves be overly hungry and never let themselves feel stuffed.
- French women choose their own indulgences and compensations. They understand that little things count, both additions and subtractions, and that as an adult everyone is the keeper of her own equilibrium.
- French women eat for pleasure
- French women don’t diet
- French women don’t get fat
For those of us whose knowledge of the French cuisine may not extend past the pommes frites, I would encourage you to check out this book and be reminded that there are many ways to a healthy and balanced life, and in fact there is pretty solid evidence that the “American” way is not working too well for most of us!
I hope you all are considering joining us on our 30 Days to Wellness beginning June 1, and until then wish you well on this and every day!
From wellness coach Julie Marks, Phd.