Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The New Year has arrived, the gym is full, “hangry” women are running around all over America. This time of year is a time to reflect and work on one’s self. To American’s that means working off the gluttony of the Holidays with the latest fad diets and exercise regimens, but maybe there is another way. This is what I have discovered about French health…

The French woman never diets. She enjoys all foods in moderation. She avoids indulgences. The French woman relishes in water as her preferred drink. She cuts back on portions Peu `a peu (little by little). The French portion to eating is much smaller than American portions. The French do not skip meals, but do not snack either. French children are not given snacks and thus have not become “picky eaters”. The average French woman walks 8 miles a day and eats only 1200 calories! The French do not understand the American mantra of “no pain, no gain”. Infact to the French doing anything that requires pain, sweating thus taking away from their fashion and is simply unenjoyably seems absurd to them. 
I have been thinking about the French way of eating and health and can’t help but think they just might have something. I was at the gym yesterday and wishing the hour would just hurry up and be over or that I was French and not feel the pressure to be fit in such a forceful way. At the same time, I don’t see myself walking up the hill to get to class either. 

Eating only 1200 calories, well that takes some significant will power. Portion control is everything to the French guide of staying thin and healthy. To Americans this is a troublesome concept to wrap our brains around in our “super size” culture. Here is a break down to help aid in proper portion sizing:

These portions are meant to take off weight gently and slowly. The French are champions of yogurt consumption consuming on average 48 pounds per year. I have discovered Some of Frances most popular yogurts sold here in Rexburg, Idaho. I am delighted that Broluims carries these brands. Once you try them, you will never go back to disgusting American “Yoplait”. I love to consume these products in the French way by relishing the consumption using all of my senses. Eating is sensory, so eat with all five senses, and appreciate little experiences (of small portions and three bites) which produce through association and memory a gamut of emotions. Focus on the pleasurable ones and exclude the destructive ones. 

The French eat yogurt plain. This is not a Popular concept in America. Here are a few ways I have found eating plain yogurt to be pleasurable: 

Honey (or lavender honey)
Cocoa powder (for an extra special treat, perhaps dessert)
Raw nuts 
1 tablespoon of all natural preserves or jam 
Any type of fresh fruit: strawberries, blueberries, bananas, apples or peaches 

Or, try a combo: 
Drizzle of honey, chopped walnuts and sliced bananas 
Chopped apples with a dash of cinnamon 
Sliced peaches and chopped almonds with a dash of nutmeg 

At a glance for all of you scanners out there:

    French women eat three meals a day.

    French women adore fashion.

    French women are stubborn individuals and don't follow mass movements.

    French women avoid anything that demands too much effort for too little pleasure.

    French women balance their food, drink, and movement on a week-by-week basis.

    French women care enormously about the presentation of food. It matters to them how you look at it.

   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    

   French women do stray, but they always come back, believing there are only detours and no dead 
   French women don't care for hard liquor.

   French women don't diet.

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