French Women Don’t Get Fat! Chapters 3 & 4~Recasting

Chapter 3 finds Mireille in a three-month “re-casting” mode… She is resetting her individual equilibrium, with the help and guidance of Dr. Miracle. Yes, the beginning is three months of resetting new/old (French style) habits. Dr. Miracle fully understands that quick fixes will not yield long-term results.

Before beginning this process, it’s important to consider a couple of really important questions…

  1. Ask yourself, “Why am I doing this?” So often, our reasons are fear and self-loathing based, or what others or media says we should look like… What is your why?

Mireille states in chapter three, “To embrace recasting, you have to be ready to embrace pleasure and individual happiness as your goals… It may be easy for a wife, mother and full-time worker to neglect pleasure; perhaps a part of you even thinks it’s selfish. But you must understand there is nothing noble in failing to discover and cultivate your pleasures. (It will make you not only fat, but grouchy.)”

  1. Qu est-ce qui se passé? (What’s going on here?) This question reminds us “You can’t start eating and living well in a physical or emotional vacuum.” Consider for a moment why you gained weight to begin with… like in Chinese Medicine, you can’t just treat the symptoms, you have to treat the root cause.

It could be because of age, family or work pressure, loneliness. It could be because you just had a baby or just you just quit smoking. It could be due to a more traumatic emotional experience that’s being buried.

Hopefully you’ve tracked your diet for a few weeks, now it’s time to evaluate and identify your worst offenders. Now remember, this is the French way, so this does NOT mean immediately deprive yourself of all of them, but start to decrease them gradually. You also want to consider which of these “offenders” give you the most pleasure, and which don’t really give you that much pleasure.

You may be able to eliminate the ones that are not REALLY giving you pleasure, so that you can decrease but more enjoy the fully pleasurable’s…

Here are some great guidelines to incorporate during recasting and always:

Slow and Steady – There is no lasting glory in rapid weight loss.

Variety – crash diets run the risk of nutritional deficiencies, not to mention boredom. Remember, quality over quantity!

Ritual Preparation – French women love to shop and prepare food. Dr. Miracle advises, buy only what you need for the next day or two. Cook simply and cook at home, really see and know what you’re putting into your body. In my recent tele-class, this was a big point that I made, when you cook at home, your put your love and energy into your prep and you’re in control of the ingredients.

Water – we almost all need more. Increase incrementally; don’t try to do it all at once.

Ritual Eating – this is so important, Mireille dedicates an entire section on this later in the book. But for now, remember, sit at the table, do not eat in front of the T.V., use cloth napkins (I always do), eat on plates, not out of cartons, set the mood, light a candle, you get the idea…

Portion Control – As this is often a losing battle with most Americans, the best advice mentioned, that I fully support is, cut back gently.

Don’t stock the offenders – self-explanatory.

Substitutes – As Mireille’s biggest offender was sweets; Dr. Miracle provided a great recipe to help her satisfy that need.

Apple Tart Without Dough

Ingredients:

4 medium-size Golden Delicious apples

2 tablespoons lemon juice

4 Cabbage leaves

1-tablespoon sugar

¼ teaspoon cinnamon

Dots of butter

  1. Peel and core the apples, cut into quarters, slice each quarter into thirds, and sprinkle with the lemon juice. Place the apples on the cabbage leaves.
  2. Preheat the oven to 275 degrees. Mix the sugar with the cinnamon and sprinkle almost all of it on the apple slices (leaving enough ot cover the dots of butter). Add small dots of butter and cover with the remaining sugar-cinnamon mixture.
  3. Bake the tart in the preheated oven for 15 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

A couple of other mentions:

Move – more on this later, but there are so many ways to incorporate movement into your day.

Never Be Hungry – According to Mireille, one of Dr. Miracle’s wisest prescriptions.

En-Cas – Carry “just in case” healthy snacks.

To wrap this chapter up, I think some of the most important things to remember are adjusting anything in small amounts will be the key to moving toward your equilibrium. And! Learn to cultivate QUALITY over quantity!

Chapter 4 shares some great success stories…

Please let me know your thoughts about this three-month re-casting period and the recipe :-)!

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