We are always asking ourselves, what is it about the French native that makes their culture so enduring. Wanting to indulge in there cultivation of luxurious food and wine. Aspiring to reach that je ne sais quoi, the French women laminate while they maintain there impeccably balanced lifestyles and looks.
Choosing quality over quantity and being mindful comes first, appearing thin feels better than a whole pizza pie tastes, some may say. With inspiration from the know how book “The French Diet: Why the French Women Don’t Get Fat” by Michel Montignac, I share with you a summarized version of some healthy tips we can pull from the fantasized French, women in particular.
1) Listen to Your Cravings
Creating balance and respecting the pace your body works at is key. Maintaining your goals and creating an appreciation for the way of eating that is the French. This does not include sodas or processed sugars what so ever. There are other ways to satisfy your cravings such a dainty bite of a macaron, possibly shared with a familiar loved one. Satisfied and not guilty for there is no macaron vanishing occurring that you will not be able to have one for the rest of eternity.
2) Do Not Deprive Yourself
Handling “social meals” is highly relevant in some lives. Picture this, you are out to dinner and you can not resist thinking about the soufflé you want to have for dessert, you can still have this indulgence but there are some thing you can do to help first. Start with balancing your dinner with vegetables, healthy fats and the right carbs. After consuming these abundance of nutrients, it may satisfy your cravings all together because it is what your body actually longs for. If still persevering for the soufflé, after giving your body the right bases of foods, it will be easier to digest the sugars and processed ingredients now.
3) Eating Local and Fresh
Avoiding processed foods such as chips and candy should come as second nature. Eating foods that are closest to their natural state is an easy tip to stand by. Although the French love to cook, a lot of that time is spent preparing and the cooking of the actual food is quite brief. Visiting the local farmers markets frequently is ideal, this makes it effortless to hold on to those quality products you need in order to cook your meals for the week. Grabbing a freshly baked baguette on the way home and enjoying your purchases by the slow motion that is ripping the bread, dipping it into oil and following with a sip of wine. All in time with the Amelie soundtrack playing in the background, while you slice your tomatoes and melt your freshly churned butter.
4) Taking Time for Meals
One must never skip breakfast, lunch being set aside for the largest meal and dinner staying lighter than your lunch. Planning what you are going to indulge in daily is ideal for sustaining a routine. Say you are running late and only have time to grab a Sandwich from the deli. This, containing white bread and not the most healthy ingredients, try grabbing something simple that will help with the levels of white flower and sugar, like an apple. Eat the apple first!
5) Sip Your Wine
Most French women have a single glass of wine each day. It is recommended to have some sort of food in your stomach before indulging in such a monstrosity. Unlike most Americans, the French have accumulated a know how of self control, this comes with sticking to one glass daily. Although there can be events where this is not the case, a glass of wine a day can also be somewhat healthy.
6) Choosing the Right Carbs “Quality not Quantity”
If possible, avoid white flour at all cost; it is acceptable to have whole wheat bread at breakfast if balanced with some mixed fruit. As we all may know carbs are not only in bread and pasta but as well in vegetables, legumes and fruit. Incorporating all different combinations of carbs will help with maintenance and aiding your body to get the various nutrients it needs. For example eating pasta Al dente is the best way for your body to digest it.
7) Chocolate is Not the Enemy
Following the valued “Quality not Quantity rule” a French women will most likely choose a rich square of Dark Chocolate over any large bowl of ice cream or slice of cake. Dark Chocolate is actually influentially beneficial for women, being full of antioxidants this rich sweet can actually lower ones blood pressure.
“Once you begin eating normal portions of the right foods, not only will the sensation of eating be more pleasurable, but the health benefits will be life-changing” Michel Montignac. Calories are neither the deciding factor or ruling of how much exercise we need to cancel these out or what is triggering our metabolic systems. Eating in smaller quantities and regulating maintenance of different nutritional factors can almost eliminate the need to exercise all together.
9) Pacing your Meals
One can recall on a trip to Paris, sitting down at a café along side two women, leaned back in there seats in full conversation, possibly a freshly rolled cigarette in hand and looks that they have been there for hours. You order, eat; pay and the women are still there, the same expressions as when you had arrived. This is because the French pace themselves while eating. A helpful reminder to put down your fork in between bites as well as setting aside time to enjoy the art of eating alone or with company. Give your body time to digest before moving on to the next big thing is an essential tip.
10) Avoiding Snacks
Why choose to have a snack in between meals when you can just regulate only having meals that will keep you more full for longer. Balancing your plate with 30% Fat, 30% Protein and 40% carbs for longevity and to keep you going until the next meal. Allowing your metabolism to work through those nutrients filled meals rather than constantly working throughout the day.
I hope it has come to value to you learning more about the French way of eating. Incorporating some of these constructive tips in to your daily life may encourage you to stray delicately into an over all healthier life style and well being.