Tag Archives: healthy eating

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

mint junky

just a quick, happy little post about mint:
mint makes me a very happy girl.

i like to share a cup of mint tea with my best friend amanda (who i miss terribly) on her kitchen counter and scoff baklava.

i like to put fresh mint in the tea-cup whenever i can because it looks beautiful, it tastes so much more lush and the slightly woody sweet aroma is so nice to bury your nose in.

it’s great in cocktails and perfect to add to some lemonade as a ‘nana’s tonic’ for nausea  – or just because.

i also like to add it to salads, especially in the summertime for its cooling effects.  in fact, i like it all year round.

and the best thing is that it will grow like a weed in your garden – even if you’re not careful.  i have to credit one of my other more beautiful friends, kel for teaching me that little factoid.

something extremely simple and relatively quite impressive to do with mint is to use it in the following salad from smitten kitchen.  i tried it at a dinner party once and despite the effort i made perfecting two other salads, fresh tuna steaks AND desert for eight of us, tout seul! (all on my own!) i gained the most compliments and “mmm” noises from this here little carrot salad.

give it a whirl (but please don’t leave out the chilli – the minty cool and chilli hot all at once is really delightful):

carrot salad with harissa, feta and mint
(courtesy of smitten kitchen)

3/4 pound carrots, peeled, trimmed and coarsely grated
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 crushed clove of garlic
1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds or about half as much, ground (i substituted this with coriander seeds which i think worked on the ‘cool’ side, accompanying the mint)
3/4 teaspoon cumin seeds or about half as much, ground
1/2 teaspoon paprika
3/4 teaspoon harissa (for a solid kick of heat; adjust yours to taste, and to the heat level of your harissa)
1/2 teaspoon sugar
3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
2 tablespoons fresh mint, finely chopped (i like to put more as i am a mint junky)
100 grams feta, crumbled or chopped into bits

in a small sauté pan, cook the garlic, caraway, cumin, paprika, harissa and sugar in the oil until fragrant, about one to two minutes. remove from heat and add the lemon juice and a pinch of salt. pour over the carrots and mix. add the herbs and mix. leave to infuse for an hour and add the feta before eating.

harissa: is a north african chile paste.
nb: can be substituted with sambal olek (almost its indonesian equivalent) or any other savoury chilli paste you can get your hands on.





Filed under food, personal, recipes