Tag Archives: food

french women

after a very indulgent christmas and new year period i am now gently thinking a little more purposefully about what i’m putting on my plate (see my previous post here for more ideas on this topic).   i know it’s very cliché but here in Paris – and especially here in the affluent ‘new money’ 16eme arrondissement – for the most part, french women don’t get fat.

walking around the neighbourhood one is not only exposed to the array of extremely well dressed men and women but those who are also tremendously slim.  a couple of times (even with my glasses on) from across a narrow street i was shocked to have mistaken a possibly 60-year-old woman for a woman in her 20s.  due to her dress sense and sheer size this woman performed a photoshop style optical illusion right before my eyes.

since this incident i have had my eyes peeled for such phenomena and have witnessed several more examples also from the male sector of the community. it cannot be denied that parisians are particularly good at this trick.

a lot of people say it’s about starving yourself, some say the french are just built lightly from the beginning and for others perhaps it’s the symptom of a hectic stressful working week.

however, mireille guiliano has different ideas, as demonstrated in a series of books i have been hooked on for some time now – french women don’t get fat.  a lot of the content speaks of portion control and nutritional awareness however she believes the most important aspect to getting rid of and keeping away unwanted extra weight is through the thorough enjoyment of the pleasure of eating. i like this concept a lot!  guilt and food always seems to be an unhealthy combination to me – for the body, mind and spirit.

she includes a handful of easy practical tips for the post holiday wind down too.  So, needless to say I am currently eagerly devouring mireille guiliano’s words and recipes from her french women don’t get fat cookbook.

you must read any one of her books for yourself to truly understand what this woman is about but i really believe that it’s her love and passion for delicious food that inspires me to eat more consciously.

i love this line of her biography,

mireille’s three favourite pastimes – breakfast, lunch and dinner

moi aussi, mirelle!



Filed under food, personal, recipes, recommendations, reviews

oh sugar sugar

hands up, who else has a sugar addiction?

you may not be the blatant kind of addict who likes to put too much in your tea or snack on lollies/candy/bonbon all day or pour half the sugar jar in with your weet-bix in the morning.  or you might be.

or you may be the more discreet style of addict (like me) who snacks on pastries after lunch and pours streams of honey into her mint tea.  or maybe you enjoy a few lines of your favourite chocolate during the week as a little reward to one’s self for coping with… well, one’s week at large.  in fact, good quality chocolate is an intimate friend of mine.  although i try to stick to the dark, less sugary, less fatty kind and often opt for organic – green&blacks 85% is my absolute favourite – i still tend to binge on the less healthy kind far too often.

oh and if anyone has heard of angelina on rue de rivoli here in paris you will understand what i mean when i rant about the impossibility of passing by that place without stopping for one of their luscious ‘africain’ hot chocolates. but that deserves a whole other post entirely to itself.

my point is this: whatever your sweet drug of choice, if it’s derived from or includes any sugar you can be sure it is oh so bad for you.  i recently came across a post by sarah wilson, an australian journalist, and television producer/personality, who has an excellent blog about the betterment of self.  she will post an article on the topic of how bad sugar is for you on her blog in a five part series over the next couple of weeks.

she outlines that back in the day (around 200 years ago and earlier) humans barely ate sugar and only that which can be found in fruit or honey, which was scarce or difficult to come by until fairly recently on the scale of human existence.  so the body’s survival mechanisms are set to store as much of this kind of energy source as possible due to it’s belief in this scarcity.  so basically, we are biologically programmed to gorge on this kind of food if and whenever it is in reach… no wonder it’s so difficult to resist the little lemon tart in the window on the way home from work.

there’s so much more info on sarah wilsons’ post on the topic (found by clicking this link) than i can fit into one post but briefly:

the energy highs and lows of sugar addiction are damaging to not only your own brain but especially the developing brain of children and adolescents

there is more and more scientific evidence displaying that it is sugar and not fat that produces the excess unwanted fat in our bodies

there have been studies that show that sugar is more addictive than cocaine

sarah is bravely committing to quitting sugar entirely for a month.  i’m not sure i will be quite as saintly but i’m definitely going to lay off the sugary treats and when i next walk by the patisserie/boulangerie i will make sure i don’t go in. it should be especially beneficial after the holiday period!

maybe i can limit my sugar to the weekends and make sure it’s truly more of a nibble than a binge…


Filed under food, personal, recommendations