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French Women Don't Get Fat: The Secret of Eating for Pleasur

 
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Elizabeth50



Joined: 08 Feb 2016
Posts: 178

PostPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2017 2:42 am    Post subject: French Women Don't Get Fat: The Secret of Eating for Pleasur Reply with quote

I've seen this book title mentioned in a couple of threads. I tried doing a search tonight to find those posts, with no success.

For those of you who have read it, what did you think of it? I ordered a copy earlier and look forward to reading it, but would love to know if any of you found it helpful. Thanks!
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noni



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PostPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2017 10:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I still have this book, because I feel it was more entertaining than her second book, which I donated to the library.

Author did a "recasting," as she called it, which seemed diet-y and unFrench-like. Her French Dr. put her on it for a couple days to initiate weight loss, and I suppose, a kind of cleansing of America...lol. She encourages this for her readers.
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Elizabeth50



Joined: 08 Feb 2016
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2017 11:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the heads-up on the second book! I saw she has a cookbook out as well, and I almost ordered it. But I can find oodles of recipes online, thankfully, because I'm trying not to bring too much stuff back into the house, since our recent major declutter. On that note, I wanted to order the Kindle version, but I cannot tolerate electronic books. I much prefer a real book that I can touch and feel.

I've read many of the reviews on Amazon and they have me excited to read the book.
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oolala53



Joined: 06 Oct 2008
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2017 1:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I didn't like it as much as Anne Barone's books, though she has little fame, and William Clower's. But they can be awfully snooty about food (and bodies). But I sometimes get contrarian, never really understanding why a few people get so much attention for similar ideas.

Aee you looking for guidance about what to put on your plates or feeling like you need more "cultural" support for eating moderately? More backup for feeling you're doing the right thing?
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Elizabeth50



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PostPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2017 1:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I did read some reviews that said the author of "French Women Don't Get Fat" seemed quite condescending toward Americans. Others disagreed. I hope I'll be in the latter category, or that book will probably annoy me to the point of not finishing it. I will have to look up the two authors you mentioned. Thank you.

I'm interested in reading more on French culture and cuisine. But my main reason for buying this book is I simply enjoy reading different ideas on limiting portions. It's all the same idea, I guess. But I hope to find something useful in this book that I haven't read before.

In the reviews I also read she mentioned walking to get where you need to go. I, unfortunately, would have to walk several miles and through some not so safe neighborhoods to get to my grocery store or anywhere else I needed to go. I've always thought it would be wonderful to live in an area where you lived close enough to everything to not have to drive to get there. If that were doable, I'd be doing it!
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eam531



Joined: 08 Jun 2014
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2017 1:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have mixed feelings about this book. I do think her recommendations can be pretty sane. That is, 3 meals, no snacking, limit portions, and really enjoy what you eat. However, she does mention this "leek soup" 3 day crash diet that she got from "Dr. Miracle". She may not call it a crash diet but that's exactly what it is. I find any talk of "quick weight loss" to be pretty noxious. She also has a recipe for this yogurt breakfast (plain yogurt, a few nuts, and a bit of fruit) that she claims keeps you going till lunch.. Ridiculous. It's less than 1/2 cup of food--no kidding. There's a difference between limiting portions and cutting them to unsustainable levels. One wonders whether she is mainlining coffee between meals to kill her appetite.

She is older than I am-she's in her late 60s/early 70s--and at least in this first book makes some snotty cracks about Americans getting all sweaty exercising when "all you need" is walking and perhaps some yoga and Pilates. Lots of people in the US really enjoy exercising (I'm one of them) and the idea that hard exercise and sweat is somehow unladylike is BS.

One of the best reviews of her book that I read was by a younger French woman who said that the book reflects a France that has changed quite a lot since Mireille Giuliano was young. The reviewer said that France is full of overweight people (outside of wealthy districts of Paris) and to take the book with a grain of salt.

Mireille Giuliano is very wealthy and lives a rather rarified life that would be very difficult for the average Joe or Jane to emulate. Embrace the good points she makes (the best point IMO being really enjoying your food) and ditch the rest.
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Elizabeth50



Joined: 08 Feb 2016
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2017 2:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for your review eam. I agree that the leek soup sounds like a crash diet and I will definitely not be paying that any attention! And as for the yogurt, I'm not a huge fan, so I'm going to ignore that part, too.

I'll most likely take your advice. And I do enjoy what I eat! That's been a problem my whole life! Wink
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TexArk



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PostPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2017 6:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have taught and lived in Europe in Italy and Greece with visits to France. My daughter while in university as a French minor spent 2 summers living in France with French speaking (no English) families. Our experience is that they are changing rapidly to eat more like we do in all the bad ways. They have fast food now. Before there were vendors on the streets in stalls and such (selling crepes), but people did not walk down the street eating. That was considered rude. They did not snack and they had long, leisurely meals. Breakfast was not much at all, but the school children all came home for lunch and had well over an hour. We stayed with friends in Switzerland and it was the same. Shops closed down also for long lunches. Also the evening meal was very late and lasted a long time. Many people took an evening stroll afterwards. And yes, if you went to a restaurant you had the table for the entire evening. Of course, they expected you to eat slowly and enjoy the wine as well.

Now that has changed since so many women are working outside the home. Their families are much smaller too. Many have just one child later in life and they are doted on by grandmothers showing love with food! Yes, they get much more walking exercise than we do because it had not been an automobile culture. They were amazed when we would discuss drive up banks, drive up cleaners, as well as take out food.

When you bought a pastry at a shop, they would wrap it up like a special gift and you took it home with you to enjoy later. They also have very little space for all the food storage we have so their fridges are tiny and they get want they need fresh daily. We didn't see any obese people out and about. They certainly didn't have all the motorized carts in the supermarkets like we do. Of course, they, at that time, also had no handicap access to anything.

The French and the Italians have been very protective of their culture and have passed on to their children the pattern of not snacking, sitting at a set table usually with fresh flowers, and enjoying a meal. No gorging or stuffing. They have never seemed to need to get as much artificial exercise since they walk so much and climb stairs . Again, that is changing as they become more and more like us.
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Elizabeth50



Joined: 08 Feb 2016
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2017 7:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for sharing your experiences while there, TexArk. Very interesting! I thoroughly enjoyed your post. It would have been nice to have had that kind of life growing up.

I hate for the French that things are changing more to our way of living. We can see where that's gotten us, food wise, especially.
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kaalii



Joined: 24 Apr 2016
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2017 8:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

texarc, very accurate description... Smile

i can just add that the biggest change towards american way i see is actually in children (i work in school)... while children obesity is still not alarming problem, we are noticing that more and more children are chubby and, more importantly, less active and unable to do stuff all of previous generations had no problem doing - climbing on trees, running for hours, doing flips... they are in general more clumsy and hurt more easily...
adolescents look alarmingly more chubbier than we did... they love to meet up in fast food places like mcdonalds etc...
those are the tendencies that really scare us...
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MaggieMae



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PostPosted: Wed Mar 15, 2017 2:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I loved this book! I've read it at least twice. Here's the thread where I commented about it before:

https://everydaysystems.com/bb/viewtopic.php?t=344&highlight=french+women+fat
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Elizabeth50



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PostPosted: Wed Mar 15, 2017 5:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kaalii, I think you described me there. Wink But you're right, there are a lot more overweight compared to when I was growing up. And looking back at my Mom's and Dad's old high school yearbooks, there were even fewer overweight people pictured. It doesn't take a genius to figure out that processed foods are the problem with our fat culture.

When I was a kid, we almost ate exclusively whole foods during the week. We had snacks now and then, but those came mostly on weekends. I remember Mama popping Jiffy Pop popcorn on Saturday nights and we'd enjoy it while watching an old thriller on TV. Or my favorite movie treat, Oreo's dipped in black coffee. But like I said, those times were reserved mostly for weekends only. Just like No S!

MaggieMae, Thank you for the link. I tried doing a search to see if there was a thread about the book here, but couldn't find it. So, I really appreciate it and enjoyed your comment. I have the link bookmarked so I can go back and read all the comments.

I doubt if her plan will be enough food for me either, after reading what you said. I have a pretty hefty appetite. I do hope to gradually taper off to find a good balance to keep me going from meal to meal without overdoing it, or falling off the wagon and really overdoing it. Regardless, I'm sure I'll find something good to take from the book. Smile
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eam531



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PostPosted: Wed Mar 15, 2017 1:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I lived in Munich in 1984 and can affirm TexArk's experiences and have been back to visit there many times. It was very similar to what she describes France was like--stores closing down at mid-day, no one walking down the street eating (except kids eating a candy bar or something), the custom of taking a mid-afternoon walk during a weekend (spazierengehen), taking more time for meals. There was a lot more walking and bike riding in daily life, and it wasn't just kids on bikes; lots of older people used (and still use) bikes as a primary form of transportation. There were lots of little shops (bread, cheese, meat) to go to, and some absolutely *spectacular* high-end food emporiums. This still exists, but fast food has taken hold there too. However, while I see hefty Germans, I have seen very few if any morbidly obese ones. If I had, I would certainly remember it.
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TexArk



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PostPosted: Wed Mar 15, 2017 1:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One more observation: I never saw in Europe any "all you can eat" buffet places. In the South we have so many of those. I have noticed, however, that some are going out of business. It was always disgusting to look at all the stuff people would pile on their plates and then go back for another plate. The atmosphere was not pleasant. Maybe people are catching on and want to eat better. I think the original appeal was the variety...something for everyone. But really, multiple plates of food seemed to be the real draw. A teenage athletic boy, perhaps? Of course, the portion sizes are huge in most popular restaurants.
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kyl77



Joined: 14 Mar 2017
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 15, 2017 8:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm new to the No S Diet. I'm on my third N day. So far it's not that bad. I can see myself doing this for life. I'm also reading French Women Don't get Fat, and I ordered Anne Barcone's books and William Clower's book. I find the French ethos of enjoying your food to fit well with the No S Diet, and I hope it will allow me to enjoy my S days in a more sane way. I started the No S Diet on a weekend and went a little crazy. The thing is I didn't really even enjoy what I ate all that much. French people seem to enjoy their food so much more than we do here. It's too bad that the French are starting to lose their traditional ways of eating and are gaining weight.
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Elizabeth50



Joined: 08 Feb 2016
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 15, 2017 9:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome to No S, Kyl77! I am really looking forward to reading this one, too.

I've recently returned to No S with all intentions of never leaving again. I'm glad you're enjoying this way of eating!
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kyl77



Joined: 14 Mar 2017
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 16, 2017 12:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for the warm welcome Elizabeth50. I finished another successful N day, and read some more of French Women Don't Get Fat. I"m also reading her book, French Women Don't Get Facelifts Very Happy The books are fun reads, but some of the advice has to be taken with a grain of salt.
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Elizabeth50



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PostPosted: Thu Mar 16, 2017 8:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Congrats on another successful day! Smile Doesn't it make you wonder why we didn't do this years ago? In my case, stick with it years ago. Rolling Eyes Smile
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kyl77



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PostPosted: Thu Mar 16, 2017 3:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My Anne Barcone book Chic & Slim: How Those Chic French Women Eat All That Rich Food And Still Stay Slim is suppose to arrive today. And it's just in time for my 40th birthday. I get a S day today for my birthday. So far I haven't gone overboard. Will see how I do at the Olive Garden tonight.
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MaggieMae



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PostPosted: Thu Mar 16, 2017 4:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome, kyl77! I just turned40, also!
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noni



Joined: 27 Feb 2009
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 17, 2017 3:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I enjoyed Anne Barone's Chick and Slim books, but eventually I gave them to the library. I kept thinking that if I died, my kids would see the boatload of diet books I kept. So I only keep the few I like to read more than once. Of course that would be the No S book, and another one I kept is Will Clower's first book, The Fat Fallacy and the second one, French Don't Diet. The first book is his own experience in France, which I really enjoyed. He goes into the chemicals put into foods, but he does it in a fun way. His humor and writing style remind me of Reinhard's and I often confuse the two.
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Elizabeth50



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PostPosted: Sat Mar 18, 2017 7:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

After seeing those two names mentioned a couple times, I'll definitely have to check their books out. Mine finally arrived today. I'm looking forward to having some time to delve into it!
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oolala53



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PostPosted: Sun Mar 19, 2017 3:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I, too, came across Cower's first book, The Fat Fallacy, before the others. I might be repeating myself but his was part of a little perfect storm of data that all together set the stage for No S for me. His emphasis on fat was actually much less impressive to me - I still prefer nonfat yogurt and cottage cheese that I add walnuts or flaxseed meal to-than the information on how little sugar the French ate overall in comparison with the U. S. I saw I really had to work on having sweet play a much smaller role in my life. I believe I needed to have the pendulum swing the other way on N days, though I did and do use non-sugar sweeteners, but in fewer foods all the time. Maybe that's my next phase, but I'm clinging to my stevia.

No S was the glue that held everything else together.
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kyl77



Joined: 14 Mar 2017
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 20, 2017 11:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm reading Clower's book The French Don't Diet Plan. He covers slowing down when you eat and taking smaller bites, and I was reminded of looking at a man in a restaurant taking huge bites as he ate. I remember hoping I didn't look like that when I ate. Now I realize I probably do! Now I'm trying to slow down and really enjoy what I'm eating. Hopefully, I look a little more graceful while I'm eating too.
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MaggieMae



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PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2017 6:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

After reading these comments, I just ordered the Fat fallacy from Amazon! Sounds interesting. Used and free shipping it was only$4.99 ( before tax).
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noni



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PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2017 11:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kyl77 wrote:
I was reminded of looking at a man in a restaurant taking huge bites as he ate.

I need only to look across my table to see this.
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kyl77



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PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2017 10:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MaggieMae wrote:
After reading these comments, I just ordered the Fat fallacy from Amazon! Sounds interesting. Used and free shipping it was only$4.99 ( before tax).


I just ordered a used copy of The Fat Fallacy from Amazon too. I enjoyed The French Don't Diet Plan so much, I wanted to read his first book. I think it's mostly about fake foods.
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MamieTamar



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PostPosted: Wed Mar 22, 2017 6:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

oolala53 wrote:
I did and do use non-sugar sweeteners.


Oolala, have you ever found those to be a problem, to interfere with weight loss and/or health ? We are so repeatedly warned about them, but I don't seem to be able to do without them. Any comments on sweeteners anyone (apart from the fact that it's not ideal, which I already know) ?
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oolala53



Joined: 06 Oct 2008
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 23, 2017 6:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've never gone any time without them, so I have nothing to compare to.

I doubt many people could feel the harmful effects of artificial sweeteners until it was too late. That's the nature of degenerative disease.

Unless you count still feeling caught by sweets. I still feel attracted to them, still sometimes eat more of them than I intend, still have some fond memories of the pleasure of eating A LOT of ice cream or A LOT of Costco chocolate cake with frosting--and still feel that is worth it to put up with it. I know on Spark, a small number of low carbers or people who have completely given up sweeteners of any kind say they don't crave or miss sweets at all.

It's a funny thing. Sometimes, I'll be in a supermarket and will pass by a kryptonite food. I can't say I feel no desire for it, but even as I look at it and feel a little thrill of desire, effortlessly remembering pleasure, it is as if there is an invisible force field, and a vague sense that if I reach for it, I'll get a shock, even though that has never happened. But in the past, I've been in that situation, and also remembered how it was going to lead to the struggle again later; that I would have to go through withdrawal again, so to speak. I think that pairing cancelled out the pleasure memory enough and not choosing the food has become the default.

But I try not to test it much by reaching for the food in that situation. It's a useful delusion!

Maybe I like craving them.

Maybe it's like an unbitter divorce. You know there were good times, and you might even cherish them, but you also know there were other things that just would never work out. You're civil and maybe even friendly at specific events, but beyond that, you keep your distance. (I'm going to double post this on my thread.)

This has gotten pretty far from French eating.
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Age 63 SBMI Jan/10-30.8 Jan/12-26.8 Mar/13-24.9 Dec/15 24.8 held steady +/- 8-lb. for two years Mar/17 22.8

There is no S better than Vanilla No S.
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kyl77



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PostPosted: Thu Mar 23, 2017 6:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oolala53, I've been reading Clower's work, and I'm struck by how moderate the French are about eating. That's what I'm aiming for with sugar. Personally I don't use sugar substitutes, but I am trying to reduce my sugar intake by having only a small size dessert on S Days. I've tried cutting out sugar completely in the past and it just made me want it more. I know some people say that if you continue to eat it you never get rid of the craving though. I just want to reach something like normal eating.
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oolala53



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PostPosted: Thu Mar 23, 2017 7:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've read that the French actually normally only eat anything like we would consider to be dessert like a big cake or anything on Sundays and they often buy it at the patisserie. They're not baking all the time and their cookies and sweets are apparently less sweet than ours so sweet doesn't play a big role for them, not like here. Savory is where it's at!
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Count plates, not calories. Three a day. 7 years & counting
Age 63 SBMI Jan/10-30.8 Jan/12-26.8 Mar/13-24.9 Dec/15 24.8 held steady +/- 8-lb. for two years Mar/17 22.8

There is no S better than Vanilla No S.


Last edited by oolala53 on Wed Apr 26, 2017 9:07 pm; edited 1 time in total
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MamieTamar



Joined: 18 Nov 2013
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 26, 2017 6:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quite. My mother never ever baked, and we bought cakes only for very special occasions like birthdays etc.
My aunt used to bake one delicious fruit cake for us when she came to visit for a long period once a year, and it lasted us something like months...
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minimizer



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PostPosted: Mon May 08, 2017 11:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I own 'French Women Don't Get Fat' and 'French Women For All Seasons' by Mireille Guiliano. I like her writing and what she says makes sense to me.

I also have a several books by Anne Barone. She makes this statement in 'Armoire Boudoir Cuisine & Savvy': "Like many people, I find it easier to stay slim when I keep my wheat consumption minimal." I thought that was
interesting--I have found the same to be true for me as well.
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Seluxes



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PostPosted: Tue May 09, 2017 2:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

minimizer wrote:
I also have a several books by Anne Barone. She makes this statement in 'Armoire Boudoir Cuisine & Savvy': "Like many people, I find it easier to stay slim when I keep my wheat consumption minimal." I thought that was
interesting--I have found the same to be true for me as well.


That is interesting because it's very true for me as well. I have an autoimmune disease and my husband is Celiac so we don't do wheat at home, and I've never cared for bread without sugar, i.e. I only want cake and never a sandwich, so even when I am out I rarely choose wheat (or gluten) except for a treat on an S day. Wheat/gluten is definitely a "sometimes" food for me just like sugar.
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