Sunday, September 2, 2012

Sunday Book Review: French Women Don't Get Fat

I've heard in the news that French women don't get fat or we should eat more like the the French or eat a Mediterranean diet. I'm never sure what that actually means.


After reading French Women Don't Get Fat by Mireille Guiliano I know! I'm being a bit facetious here ya'll.  Mireille shares her experience of gaining a 20 lbs in the US when she was an exchange student. How their family doctor who she fondly calls Dr. Miracle helped her get back on track.

What I took away from the book is to really enjoy your food.  We should do more than eat to live. This insight is the best part of the book.  So she encourages you to eat flavorful healthy meals.
Her diet plan as such is divided into four phases.

Phase One:  For 3 weeks pay attention to what and how eat.  Like do you snack, skip meals, indulges in lots of sweets?

Looking back I snacked a lot.  I was skipping breakfast.  Eating more sweets than I needed and possibly enjoyed.   My food was pretty joyless most days of the week.

One thing I've found because I did choose to take out dairy with my diet is I don't miss it with my mexi-bowl lunches at all. I find some avocado much more decadent.  I love cheese best melted in an omelet or a small bites of a rich cheddar sans crackers or bread.  

I don't miss the corn chips either.  I do miss the crunchiness so I am trying to find other tastier healthy crunchy things to enjoy. Like kale chips.

The weekend before she recommends eating leeks and broth for 48 hours and a jump start to the changes.  I don't see that as particularly unique. I remember women in my family doing all salads for  a weekend.

Phase Two Re-casting:  This can last one to three months.  Start eating three meals a day. Look at your habits. What could you give up completely? I managed to cut back on my coffee so I have removed over 1/2 cup a milk I used to drink every day.  I don't eat grains 6 days a week for now mostly to see how I feel.  I'd say one of my biggest offenders are breads. pasta and corn chips.

I don't really miss basic medium grain brown rice all that much.  I'd love a little basmati rice with some curries again on occasion.  I've found I much more enjoy Silva's corn chips then the organic ones.  So maybe on occasion I will indulge in a bit with some fresh salsa.

During this phase she recommends a day for indulgence(s).  Over time, she suggests, you need this less as and less as you figure out how to compensate during the week. Her suggestions seem very familiar to the things I learned in Mindless Eating. She's never really clear to me on what compensating means.

The thing I found a bit lacking in the book is a clearer idea of how much to eat. I know this is different for everyone. Her book French Women for all Seasons as some better examples as well as the French I Women Don't get Fat website.  When I look at the amounts I get the impression she is a rather pewit woman.

Phase Three Stabilization:  Here you might look to see if there are things you could cut back even more or not.  Now you can start changing things up and add some indulgences now and then.

Phase Four The Rest of Your Life:  Now you have found just the right amount of food you need and know the foods that you truly enjoy.

Lastly, get moving like a french woman.

So give it read.  Even if you don't want to lose weight she has some great recipes in it for croissants :)  That said I think I'd rather walk down to our local bakery and buy my croissants and walk home to enjoy it.  How very French of me ;)

Bonjour and Bon Apetit!

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