How did your second week go being French? My third week is starting well with a nice breakfast of a small bowl of shredded wheat with milk, a hard boiled egg, coffee and a clementine (and of course I started my day with a big glass of water). My natural inclination is to fall back into the habit of having only a huge bowl of cereal with milk and some coffee, but when I remember that French women eat small amounts of many things to please their palates, I am happier, I eat a more varied diet, and I truly do feel satisfied with less.
Our reading assignment for this past week was Chapters 7-8 of French Women Don't Get Fat. Here, we are really getting to the crux of Mireille Guiliano's argument or why French women don't get fat, and really learn some concrete tips to help us in our own French journeys.
These chapters are just packed with little gems to help you enjoy your food more and feel satisfied with less. I cannot do justice to these chapters in this discussion because they are so jam packed, but here is my feeble attempt to summarize.
Chapter 7: More Recipes That Will Fool You
Mireille starts by talking about eating seasonally. When you eat seasonally, naturally the produce is more flavorful and satisfying. Compare a juicy, ripe peach at the height of summer, to one flown in from halfway around the world out of season. It's just not the same.
Mireille also talks about the French habit of eating courses. Yes, the French may have 5 courses, but they are small portions of each thing. Contrast this to the American version of a "main course" being what we eat the most of. However, eating a large amount of one thing leads to boredom for your taste buds hence making you less satisfied mentally and thus making you eat more of that thing to achieve satisfaction. Eat small amounts of many things, rather than large amounts of one big thing is what it boils down to for me.
Mireille gives us quite a few recipes in this chapter to get us started in our French journey. From appetizers to main courses to desserts. I can't wait to try the floating island. I've never tried anything like that before and it sounds interesting.
The secret power of plain yogurt in giving your stomach satisfaction is also discussed in this chapter. Especially when you are starting to pare down portions, yogurt helps fill your tummy and gives you extra calcium. If you are thinking of making your own, here are some directions.
Chapter 8: Liquid Assets
How much water are you drinking? Mireille speaks in this chapter about the miracles increasing your intake of water can have on decreasing your appetite, cleaning out your body, and clearing your complexion. Aside from drinking more water, soup is also a way to increase your water consumption. She gives some lovely recipes for soup that I am excited to try out. (I may try her carrot soup for lunch!)
Mireille also discusses in this chapter the French love of wine and Champagne and how they can heighten one's pleasure of a meal.
My personal homework for this week is going to remember to eat small amounts of many things rather than having a huge amount of one main dish and then trying to stuff in some vegetables after that. I am going to pay attention to my menu and try to plan more varied meals. I am also going to be keeping a food journal this week. I think it will help me plan better and to think more consciously about portion sizes and variety.
On Monday, I will be joining three other bloggers in a continuing weekly series titled "Weight Loss Weekly". Don't worry, my focus for this blog is and will continue to be recipes, food and my appreciation of food, that will not change. However, "Weight Loss Weekly" will be an added post series that I hope will keep me accountable to not only keeping off the weight I've already lost, but to inspire me to continue on my path to a healthy weight.