Thursday, May 19, 2011

French Women Don't Get Fat - Good Food Read

I read this fantastic book several years ago, I can't even remember how I came across it.  It's an excellent read just as a book and presents some really interesting ideas about eating that are VERY un-American.

I so prefer the European way of life.  Street markets, walking everywhere, amazing, rich food.  So why aren't the majority of French women fat?  Let's face it, Americans have a bad relationship with food.  The fast food menus get bigger every year and the number of insane fad diets grows right along with it.  Makes you wonder if the fast food peeps are in cahoots with the diet people...hmm....

We could learn a lot from the French.  Eating like the French is about enjoying GOOD food.  The French go to the market, picking out fresh, local produce to cook their meals from, very little processed food (probably except whatever junk we Americans export). Then they actually enjoy preparing it, SIT DOWN, eat their food, and enjoy good conversation.

I think I am definitely going to give this book another read because I've really been thinking about the reasons why I eat, am I really enjoying what I am eating, am I trying to correct the bad things about my relationship with food.  That is what it really comes down to with losing weight, correcting and changing bad ideas about food.
I've been really happy doing the Self Drop 10 Challenge because of the variety of recipes and it is helping me add more whole foods, fruits, and vegetables to my diet in a way that is satisfying and now I am finding myself craving these good foods.  I do have my sweet treat daily.  Something small (or not so small we went and got fro-yo yesterday) but something that I really enjoy.

I enjoyed a wonderful salad the other night after the gym.  Normally I would crave something heavy but I opted for the totally yummo chef salad on the Self plan.  It has tons of lean protein and left me feeling very satisfied and full.

Mireille Guiliano talks about something French women do called "recasting".  I definitely recommend checking out her site and doing some reading on this.  I love this quote from her "French Woman's Manifesto"
"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."
I am adding more healthy foods bit by bit and this method seems to be really effective.  My new favorite breakfast is a hard boiled egg sliced on whole wheat toast lightly buttered.  I add an extra slice of toast and a piece of fruit.  This keeps me happy till lunch and I have energy for my morning workout.

Here's a bit of yumminess for lunch that is easy to throw together and is full of all sorts of goodness.  It's just black beans, romaine lettuce, shredded cheese and a couple tablespoons of salsa.  Heat up on a whole wheat tortilla :)  Normally I would need a pile of sour cream to go with this, but it really doesn't need it.  And it's actually yummy!  

I like to have these for snacks but I have been trying some of the suggestions on the Self plan (there are TONS) and turns out that baby carrots, hummus and string cheese is totally delish and absolutely filling.  Sounds a bit like rabbit food, but really, its totally yummy.  All the fruits and veggies I have been eating are helping me "recast" my body like Mireille talks about.
I think we are lazy as Americans, we want all the results, but none of the work.  We forget that food is meant to be enjoyed, not pared down to as "fat free" as possible so we can eat the whole bag of chips and not feel bad.  Or diet schemes that promise weight loss while you sit on your butt.  How is that changing your view of food?  How is it leading you to better lifestyle choices?  It seems we have completely lost the love of food preparation, eating, is really quite sad. 

I want to spend less time in my car, more time at the Farmer's Market, more time experimenting with new food and flavors, more time outside.  Who knows if I can do all these things in the suburban sprawl that is Jacksonville, Florida, but I sure am going to try and so should you :)
So here is to ENJOYING life, ENJOYING food and adding a little French flair to the American housewife.


Kimberly said...

Good post. We've been in the kitchen a lot, preparing whole, living food and some juices. It's amazing how quickly your body responds to this way of eating and then begins to CRAVE it, like with exercise. My body shape has changed too, even though I've just lost a few pounds. I will not go back to low calorie, counting points, fad dieting...ever!

Erin said...

It does take more time to lose the weight, but the results are lifelong and you feel better too!