Life à la mode!
Things We Can Learn About Diet and Lifestyle From Our French Neighbours
Hands up if you’re bored of all of the diet talk? Yes it’s a new year, but the endless chatter about the latest fad diets (caveman, sugar-free, detoxing and other ‘quick fixes’) is really starting to get on our nerves. If you’ve seen Plenish founder Kara Rosen’s ‘My Day on a Plate’, then you’ll be all too aware of just how boring eating next to nothing can be, plus, all of this jumping on the bandwagon is bound to end in failure. This got us thinking – how do our fashionable friends across the Channel manage to stay healthy and chic? Here are some things we have learned about the French way…
Broaden your répertoire
Do you ever feel bored of cooking the same five meals in rotation? Try adding some new culinary dishes to your repertoire. The French are very good for eating what’s in season – and you’d be surprised at the new things you can try by eating seasonally. EatSeasonably is just one of the many organisations who advocate eating seasonally which is not only more nutritionally beneficial, but it tends to taste better.
La bonne cuisine est honnête, sincère et simple – good food is honest, sincere and simple. Give it a go and see what scrumptious new meats, fish, fruits and vegetables you can enjoy this season. Why not try one of Hélène Darroze’s amazingly seasonal recipes? Focusing on fresh ingredients, her recipes allow you to widen your healthy food horizons.
Control your plate sizes
The British Heart Foundation has published some alarming findings on portion control in the UK and its contribution to obesity. Ever wondered why those high-end French restaurants have huge plates, mainly consisting of the rim, and virtually no serving space? The French believe in small portions, and find larger portions unpleasing to the eye, and therefore unpalatable.
Have a look at the size of your plates at home, try filling two-thirds of it…or maybe it’s time to buy some French plates! In France, bourgeois restaurants tend to offer a number of sharing plates which is also a great idea to try – it allows you to sample different dishes without over indulging. C’est la qualité, pas la quantité!
Ditch the scales and buy some haute-couture!
If you are too focused on how much you weigh or what size you are, it’s time to stop looking at the numbers. French women are far more likely to judge their weight, so to speak, by what they see and feel rather than a number. It’s all about the right curves in the right places, and being able to look fabulous in a beautiful and sexy Haute Couture Hervé Léger piece, rather than focusing on how many calories they are ingesting. To quote Mae West, “I never worry about diets. The only carrots that interest me are the number of carats in diamonds.”
Try getting rid of the scales and just focus on what you see as a good judge of what’s working best for you. As the great Moliere said, “Il faut manger pour vivre et non pas vivre pour manger” (one must eat to live, not live to eat).
Become more active, take a promenade!
In a city as beautiful as Paris, it’s no wonder that Parisians are more prone to walking around the city than using their cars, and the same is true for the rest of the country. Take a leaf out of the French book and get outside a bit more.
We have a variety of beautifully scenic walks to try in London – instead of jumping on the Tube or into a taxi why not walk along the Embankment, perhaps stop for a glass of Château de Bligny Champagne at the La Brasserie in Brompton Road, Chelsea. For a bit of extra pumping action ladies wear your heels when you walk to tone your calves and behind!
Shhhhhhh! Le diet est un secret.
As we’ve already discussed, diet talk is boring. Nobody wants to hear it anymore! Follow the advice of renowned style guru Geneviève Antoine Dariaux who says: “A woman who nibbles on an apple in a smart restaurant vexes the man who invited her as well as the maître d’hôtel – and who knows if the former won’t prefer to share his table the next time with a lady who is perhaps less sylphlike, but also less ascetic.” The moral of this story? Dieting should be practised in solitude.
There’s a lot that we can learn from French women, who seem to have the right idea when it comes to dieting and lifestyle. Try ditching the diets and follow the advice above for a new, healthier, more conventional approach to your lifestyle and watch as your figure and confidence become more attractive.