06 June 2008

Joie de vivre in America



As a teenager, I had the privilege of traveling to Grenoble, France for a summer.  I fell in love with the French way of eating seasonal, local produce, simply prepared and eaten al fresca.  For dessert we would have plain yogurt and a little bit of cheese.  Lunch was often succulent tomatoes drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with salt, or perhaps warm salad of red potatoes, green beans, anchovies or tuna with a mustard vinegarette.  Simply lovely.

I came back to the States, and life went on.  I went to college, started working, got married, had kids, and somehow forgot about the simple joy of eating.  I loved to cook, but tended toward the more "American family" type of cooking like lasagnas, casseroles, spaghetti, anything that could be put down quickly.  However, this type of cooking was also horrible for me.  Finally, I was 75lbs overweight and I hit a wall.  I wasn't happy, I was tired all of the time, and I knew I needed to change.  I was desperate and even contemplated one of those diet programs where you eat the pre-packaged food because I didn't trust my own body and sense of how much food I needed.  It was in this desperate hour that I found the book French Women don't get Fat by Mireille Guiliano.  Suddenly, I remembered what I had long ago forgotten.  That simple joy of eating.  I've lost 31lbs since finding her book and have found not a diet, but a joie de vivre, a joy of living.  

This blog is dedicated to my quest to live a French life in America.  Viva la France!

4 comments:

Melissa McGlinn said...

Amanda,
I love it!!! This is a fantastic idea and you are so inspiring. I can't wait to get into my kitchen and cook! Anxiously awaiting more of your wonderful ideas and recipes.
Melissa

Nicole said...

I am a total Francophile myself! I recently read Guiliano's book too. Just about a month ago. I really liked it. I lost a couple pounds and could probably do more but there is so little time for exercise. That is my biggest problem. I used to walk all the time before I had kids. Now they don't like to just sit in the stroller for an hour!

Sylvie, Rappahannock Cook & Kitchen Gardener said...

Bonne chance, chere amie. C'est merveilleux de retrouver sa joie de vivre et de vouloir la communiquer aux autres.

Simple food, using the freshest possible ingredients, the best you can afford and care in preparing it - and serving it - will go a long way toward adding the pleasure of eating well back into our lives.

Je suis curiuses de lire d'avantage de vos aventures!

Sylvie
http://www.LaughingDuckGardens.com/ldblog.php

Pierce said...

It's Tina from Squirrel Head Manor in Florida. I started following your blog recently and realized you started a sort of online book review of the French Women book in your more recent posts.
Therefore, I decided to start at the beginning of your blog and read it through.

What helped my family lose weight was not only Mireille's book but one by Will Clower entited "Why the French don't Diet Plan". Have you heard of it?

I look forward to this!
Tina

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