Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Something I'd like to follow!

Here is an article that I found on yahoo food:


How the French Stay So Slim Posted Wed, Jul 02, 2008, 12:24 pm PDT

The little village that is Girl Meets Grape is just back from a jaunt to France, where I learned a couple of things about our Continental friends. Someone sent me a book awhile back about why French women don't get fat; as I was pregnant at the time, I wasn't quite sure how to interpret this gift. Regardless, it is true that French women (and men!) don't tend to be as heavy.
How do these Frenchies do it? Here are a few tips:

1) Set the table, set the mood. The French don't typically do fast food (though even that is changing thanks to la vie McDonald's). They dine, and eating and dining are not the same thing. Taking the time to drink coffee from real cups, using cloth napkins and tablecloths no matter how humble the meal, is part of the charm.

2) Eat slowly. This is a tough one for me, especially as a new mom, as I find myself shoveling anything I can get down my throat. Not healthy. Portion your food and savor it in small bites. Better for your digestion and easier to control portions.

3) Sip, nibble, repeat. One of my best girlfriends in Los Angeles is an incredibly elegant woman from Burgundy who, despite twenty years in the States, has yet to develop our gulping patterns. Francoise dines. She sips, she nibbles, she repeats. And I love her enough to wait it out with her at times when I have long since polished off my own dinner. And yes, she is lovely and slim.

4) Liquor is quicker, but wine is fine. A lot of the cocktails and aperitifs in France tend to be wine-based, like a kir or Lillet, rather than being made from the hard-stuff. They don't swill the Grey Goose and Red Bull as a way of "preparing their palates." A lovely glass of something bubbly wakes up your tastebuds, while a glass of red or white with food promotes better digestion. And the French drink in a very different way than most Americans. Wine is served at both lunch and dinner, every day, but the French take a long time over every meal, so that two-hour lunch makes a single glass stretch quite awhile. Much has been made recently of studies that show the health benefits of daily, very moderate wine consumption versus the weekend "binge" model of drinking that dominates our college campuses and Friday happy hours nationwide.

5) Coffee is not dessert itself. I have a friend who works at Starbucks who once told me the zillions of calories to be found in one of those mocha-latte-caramel-whipped-cream-venti-crazyccino things. The French drink espresso or cafe au lait in small portions, that's it. (I adored the lovely little automated coffee machines and café tables at the rest stops along the A4 motorway from Burgundy to Paris.) Ditch the calorie-filled, whipped cream dessert coffees, but take the time to savor the smaller portion you do order. And drink it from a real cup.

16 comments:

Mari said...

Those are good tips. I need to remind myself to eat slowly and not gulp.

Tootsie said...

wellll....this is interesting! I remember having new babies around...you almost have to swallow your food whole or you don't get to eat at all!! I will have to try some of these tips...after 3 babies....my bum is not the little apple I would like it to be!

The Muse said...

i want to try more of number 1... :) sssh dont tell the Tuesday tablescapers! :)

Chris said...

That was a very interesting post. I wish that's how I would dine.:)

Hugs,
Chris

Miss Janice said...

I definitely need to eat a bit slower! Didn't you love taking tea at the Ritz in Sarasota. I took my mama and her sister there a few years ago and we had so much fun!

southerninspiration said...

Looks like you won another of my giveaways, girlfriend! I will be gathering some little goodies to get ready for the giveaway. Have a great day, ok?
Suzanne

Happy To Be said...

Girl I haven't had a hot meal since the day I had kids...even now I eat in a hurry because I want out of the kitchen..thanks for the tips...hugs and smiles Gloria

laurie @ bargain hunting said...

I think I'll just move to France, so I can pick up these good habits. I guess that's not possible, but I am going to try to eat more slowly and to savor each bite. Thanks for the pointers. laurie

Bo said...

Hi Michele...I've started my umpteenth annual diet a few days ago and I'm going to try these tips! Thanks, ;-) Bo

The Muse said...

reporting: Fri. Breakfast..one set table, a la "Moody" LOL

Lara Gisela said...

Good post. I had already heard about that. I have a problem with food, I eat too much and too quickly, and, of course, I have some extra weight.

prof en retraite said...

Ohhhh! I so need to read this, even though I knew it at one point in time. No between-meal snacks and walk whenever possible...I need to re-do my thinking. BTW Michele, I have tagged you for Picture Tag. No pressure. I hope it will be fun if you decide to try it...Debbie

Charli and me said...

I really enjoyed reading your post. You have a nice blog here. I think we are just to rushed here in the states.

JMW said...

When I was on maternity leave a few years ago, I saw Mireille Guilliano, the author of "Why French Women Don't Get Fat," on Oprah. I bought the book that day. So much of it is based on portion control, taking time to eat and the fact that they walk everywhere. All great ideas to take into consideration.

Millie said...

I keep hearing that same thing about the way the French eat, there must be something to it. I'd love to adapt that way of eating. Thanks for the post.

Lady Katherine said...

Loved this! Happy Birthday to yur daughter the desert looked great. Congrats, your going to be a grandmother!