Final Chapter of the Book & More From My Trip To France

I want to talk a little about Rituals today.

We have so many cultural and holiday rituals that we experience every year. Christmas, Hanukkah, New Year’s Eve, Thanksgiving, Fourth of July and so on.

Rituals give us meaning to different aspects of our lives; other important rituals include birth, marriage and death. Mireille Guiliano states in Chapter 5 of French Women Don’t Get Fat, “through it all, until the end, there is the ritual of eating.”

In our fast paced world, daily rituals can be a source of comfort.  I know that while I was in Paris with my daughter, I was fortunate enough to stay with her host family and experience the ritual of eating every evening… Nicole and I even cooked for them one evening. I will share photos and recipes of the meal in the next post. but I have to say it turned out amazing and we bought all of the ingredients at the local markets.

It is the French tradition to have 3 course meals every evening, with a possible 4th course of cheese before dessert. And that, was my experience.

Our Cheese Course Before Dessert. So Fresh, So Good

It was lovely and relaxed and of course, there was wine. So why do the French stay slim and still manage 4 courses and why was I able to not gain weight during my 3 week vacation…  It’s because of several factors.

Each course was a small to moderate portion. We ate slowly and enjoyed the company and conversation, most of which revolved around food. It’s weird, the French absolutely love their food, but they don’t obsess about it.

The majority, if not all of the ingredients were fresh, no preservatives and no chemicals. Even the simplest dish was so tasty because of its freshness.

Each dish has a new plate that is served separately, one at a time. As Mireille states, it is unheard of to have the whole meal on one plate. Eating one dish on a separate plate, one at a time allows you to slow the eating process down and also allows for improved digestion. The French do not leave the table feeling full; they leave the table feeling satisfied.

Another very key component to eating as the French do is to eat seasonally. In chapter 6, Mireille explains this idea and its importance. Most of us in the U.S. have moved away from this idea because of the convenience of global distribution.

We should be eating with the rhythm of the seasons to keep our bodies in a state of balance and equilibrium. For instance, right now during the warm/hot summer months, we should be eating more cooling type foods. Salads & berries are ideal. However, in the colder winter months, this style of eating is not conducive to good digestion, we need more warming and hearty foods.

Eating the fresh Strawberries on the beach in the South of France... It was a rough time ;-)

Fresh Strawberries from the open air market! So Sweet!

This is an area that I will be sharing quite a bit about with you soon. For now, feel free to get the book French Women Don’t Get Fat and enjoy all the recipes and wisdom Mireille Guiliano has to offer.

Stay tuned to the next blog post with the recipes that my daughter & I made one night in Paris.

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