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Lunch in Paris (but no snacks) by Elizabeth Bard

 
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sharon227



Joined: 18 May 2018
Posts: 145

PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2018 12:33 am    Post subject: Lunch in Paris (but no snacks) by Elizabeth Bard Reply with quote

I vaguely remembered Elizabeth Bard writing about the French way of eating in "Lunch in Paris: A Love Story, With Recipes", a story about her marriage to a French man and adjusting to life in France. So I went to look it up, and there's a lot like No S in there! Here, she is observing her trim, elegant French mother-in-law Nicole while visiting in a small seaside town:

Quote:
I noted the contents of her bag: book, scarf, tube of sunscreen, bottle of water. I made another mental note. French women drink an extraordinary amount of H2O. ...

What was conspicuously absent from her bag were snacks. If an American family goes to the beach for the afternoon, chances are there's going to be a box of Fig Newtons in mom's tote, or at least money for a drippy ice cream cone. Nicole never eats between meals. She drinks wine at lunch; she usually has dessert or a square of dark chocolate with her coffee. Sometimes, when she sees patients till ten o'clock, she'll come down and grab a plain yogurt with a spoonful of jam. But she doesn't graze in the kitchen, ripping off a hunk of baguette before dinner. She doesn't pick while she cooks, popping one green bean into her mouth for every one she puts in the pot.

The non-snacking thing must take practice, because by the time we got back from the beach I was starving. . . . There was no question of my going into the kitchen to grab a glass of juice or a piece of fruit; it was clear that the area was off limits except for strictly observed mealtimes, like banker's hours.


And at dinner:

Quote:
In the States, I could easily eat triple the amount that was now on my plate without considering whether I was actually hungry. I looked at Nicole, spooning ratatouille, as bright as a summer garden, onto her plate. I made another mental note. If my calculations were correct, this was the main reason why, with no particular effort, I had not gained a single ounce since I moved to Paris. A French portion is half of an American portion, and a French meal takes twice as long to eat. You do the math. . . .

I began to feel the slow fullness that comes from a light meal, lingered over for several hours. It was dfferent from the stuffed turkey feeling I usually had at home.
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MaggieMae



Joined: 01 Nov 2015
Posts: 567
Location: Ohio, USA

PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2018 12:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I love this, Sharon! Thanks for posting! I am fascinated about how these naturally thin cultures eat , especially the French.
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Goldilocks



Joined: 06 Jun 2018
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2018 3:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I too am obsessed with french cooking/recipe and culture. Big fan of French Women Don't Get Fat principles as well. Although I need more than a super light breakfast of coffee and toast, eggs for me please!
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sharon227



Joined: 18 May 2018
Posts: 145

PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2018 11:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Glad you both liked it, MaggieMaie and Goldilocks! I just took another Elizabeth Bard book out of the library, "50 French Secrets to Joyful Eating and Entertaining." Because that's what I want -- to truly enjoy my food the way the French and Italians do, not constantly weigh and track and worry and feel guilt, not stuff myself with junk.

We'll recognize some of her secrets:

Quote:
Secret #37: The kitchen is closed . . . By and large, the French do not snack. Kids have their four o'clock goûters, but they are not rummaging through the cabinets at all hours of the day and night. Adults don't eat between meals (unless you count tea, espresso, and/or cigarettes) or much bags of pretzels or popcorn on the sofa after dinner. This is probably the hardest part of French eating for Americans to understand, but if you follow this rule, there are big payoffs -- and not just for your waistline.

Secret #38: Enjoy being hungry. Here's a little secret. If you manage to curb your snacking, there's a reward: your food tastes better. I found that in order to cut down on my snacking, I had to radically redefine my relationship with hunger. Maybe it's Americans' collective immigrant past, but we can't stand the idea of being hungry, not for a second. It's the reflex that makes us keep protein bars in our purses, Frappuccinos in our cars, and Cheerios in the stroller. One thing I notice whenever I visit the States: I am always eating and never, ever hungry. Meals have no set time or place. By the end of a three-week visit my palate often feels like a slab of lead -- all I can taste is sugar, salt, and fat. The French know that between-meal hunger isn't deprivation . . . Fifty percent of pleasure is anticipation.


It's interesting to me that after all her years of living in France, when she comes back to the U.S., she seems to fall right back into American eating habits. I'm cautiously optimistic that following the simple No S rules will help give me structure to improve my habits.
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oolala53



Joined: 06 Oct 2008
Posts: 9340
Location: San Diego, CA USA

PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2018 4:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I also want to make a bold claim, though the author might not make specific reference to it. but there is no such thing as "grabbing" any food. Mais non! I often reflexively furrow my brow when I read or hear that touted as a huge advantage. That might seem obvious from the emphasis on leisurely meals, but it's often associated with the between-meal hurried intake of what we just can't make it to the next meal without. Wink

I do think, though, that for a lot of these people you see, their work schedules coincide with this routine. I would like to see how the graveyard factory workers handle their meal timing. SOMEONE in the culture isn't going to have such a civil schedule.

BTW, even the books by Americans or Brits on French parenting are good reading on this topic.
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Healthy and Happy



Joined: 14 Jul 2018
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2018 10:16 pm    Post subject: French School Lunches - yum!! Reply with quote

I thought the posters on this thread would appreciate how French school kids (kindergarten to high school) get to eat.

This is a good overview -
https://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-14845/what-french-kids-eat-for-school-lunch-it-puts-americans-to-shame.html

This woman posts weekly menus translated into English:
https://karenlebillon.com/french-school-lunch-menus/
along with some thoughtful praise and criticism. Spoiler - the French aren't perfect!

And if you read French, just google "menus scolaires" for the weekly menus from around France. Mouth watering and healthy!
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lpearlmom



Joined: 02 Aug 2013
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Location: Arizona

PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2018 10:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good timing as I’m at a resort with probably 75% French people and man are they skinny! I do not see a lot of overweight people and their kids make my size 0 children hefty. They do dress super chic too for the most part so all those stereotypes seem to be holding up.

Not the friendliest lot of people though (sorry if there’s any French people reading this). I definitely think it’s due to their culture of moderate eating plus a tendency towards real food. There’s also the smoking thing though and I’ve read French women are the least satisfied with their bodies of all the European countries while Brits are the most comfortable. I’m definitely more of a Anglophile than a Francophile though so maybe I’m biased. 😊
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oolala53



Joined: 06 Oct 2008
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Location: San Diego, CA USA

PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2018 4:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My understanding is in French culture, they are more likely to be warm mostly to family and friends. I don't think it's because they snotty about it. It's just not considered polite to get very personal fast. But I could be wrong. They could think you have cooties!

I've read, too, that French women worry about thinness. I didn't want to face it. But I'm pretty sure I've tried to encourage compassion about body size. Then again, maybe those British women need to be a little more discriminating about their habits. No telling if that would make them thin, but I bet it would make them a bit smaller, and possibly healthier later, which is a better payoff, IMHO. But they don't have to get thin to get and stay healthy. Good thing!
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Count plates, not calories. Three a day. 8 years & counting
Age 64
SBMI Jan/10-30.8
Jan/12-26.8
Mar/13-24.9 Stayed at +/- 8-lb. for three years Sept/17 22.8 (but more fluctuation)
Mar/18 22.2

There is no S better than Vanilla No S.
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lpearlmom



Joined: 02 Aug 2013
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2018 12:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah that’s true oolala. There’s nothing wrong with it but I guess I prefer a friendlier approach. We did meet a nice family one day on a day cruise we went on & another woman who was really kind to me when I hurt myself.

Maybe I’m just still a little bitter about the two months I spent in Paris. We encountered a lot of snottiness over our attempts to speak French. The food was good though and I lost 10 lbs while I was there. Oh yeah the museums aren’t too shabby either. Wink
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"Above all, be the heroine of your life and not the victim.” Nora Ephron

3/14-210 lbs;
3/15- 202 lbs;
1/16- 172 lbs;
9/17-177 lbs;
1/18-162 lbs;
9/18-154 lbs;









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sharon227



Joined: 18 May 2018
Posts: 145

PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2018 3:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the post, Healthy & Happy. I've read some about French school lunches, and enjoyed the additional info. I'd love to have some of those for my dinners.

I visited a friend in Geneva awhile ago, and stopped by her office one day around lunchtime. Her office cafeteria had white tablecloths, real dishes and silverware, and served wine with lunch. I work in an office where a fair number of people dash down to the cafeteria and bring back some food to eat while working at their computers. The cafeteria itself has no windows and a TV blaring. The French (and French-speaking Swiss) have it right.
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oolala53



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PostPosted: Sat Aug 04, 2018 12:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You've definitely got a point, Linda. Outright uncooperativeness would get old. Like babies, it's a good thing the French environment is metaphorically so cute.

One of the first books that influenced me to keep looking for non-calorie counting ways to adjust my eating was a book called The Fat Fallacy, by a neuroscientist that went to France for work, taking his family. French habits took hold, and all but his daughter lost weight. (I think his mother had been a size 12 and returned a size 6 without really aiming at it.) I suspect his daughter was slim already, probably being too young to have been ruined by our culture.

He went on to write a book of 10 specific steps to get French about things. You can imagine they did not take off like their frivolous, gussied-
up bestseller cousins that lead to such miserable failures. Let's face it, it's hard to truly adopt any eating routine that goes against the local culture, and non-manufactured food, smaller portions, savoring food only a few times a day is, as they say, is an eating life style. I'm just struck over and over again how many times a day there are opportunities to have food. Fast food joint after fast food joint and snack foods nearly everywhere. I bought something at a nice store whose name I can't remember and whose merchandise had nothing to do with food and, Lordy, if they did not have candy- admittedly nice candy- up by the registers. The management knows packaged food makes money. Why not provide such an easy way to get some surefire profit? There are so many who have an increased sensitivity to such cues that is so unsupportive of slim habits. I often feel America won't win its health game because of the market forces and city designs that make it all so hard.
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Count plates, not calories. Three a day. 8 years & counting
Age 64
SBMI Jan/10-30.8
Jan/12-26.8
Mar/13-24.9 Stayed at +/- 8-lb. for three years Sept/17 22.8 (but more fluctuation)
Mar/18 22.2

There is no S better than Vanilla No S.
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eschano



Joined: 18 Jul 2012
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 04, 2018 5:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oolala, as always you put things extremely well. I’ll order the book now
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Soprano



Joined: 08 Mar 2018
Posts: 356
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 05, 2018 9:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

oolala53 wrote:
You've definitely got a point, Linda. Outright uncooperativeness would get old. Like babies, it's a good thing the French environment is metaphorically so cute.

One of the first books that influenced me to keep looking for non-calorie counting ways to adjust my eating was a book called The Fat Fallacy, by a neuroscientist that went to France for work, taking his family. French habits took hold, and all but his daughter lost weight. (I think his mother had been a size 12 and returned a size 6 without really aiming at it.) I suspect his daughter was slim already, probably being too young to have been ruined by our culture.

He went on to write a book of 10 specific steps to get French about things. You can imagine they did not take off like their frivolous, gussied-
up bestseller cousins that lead to such miserable failures. Let's face it, it's hard to truly adopt any eating routine that goes against the local culture, and non-manufactured food, smaller portions, savoring food only a few times a day is, as they say, is an eating life style. I'm just struck over and over again how many times a day there are opportunities to have food. Fast food joint after fast food joint and snack foods nearly everywhere. I bought something at a nice store whose name I can't remember and whose merchandise had nothing to do with food and, Lordy, if they did not have candy- admittedly nice candy- up by the registers. The management knows packaged food makes money. Why not provide such an easy way to get some surefire profit? There are so many who have an increased sensitivity to such cues that is so unsupportive of slim habits. I often feel America won't win its health game because of the market forces and city designs that make it all so hard.


Great book, I read it a few years ago and it helped on the road to make good food choices.

Written by Dr Will Clower

Jx
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sharon227



Joined: 18 May 2018
Posts: 145

PostPosted: Sun Aug 05, 2018 3:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, the food - junk food- everywhere at all times!!! That gets back to the No S diet, and the simple rule of “I don’t eat between meals on weekdays”. This is very French and so helpful to me. I no longer have to debate whether it's OK or not OK to have a piece of candy from the dish at a store or a cookie in the break room at work. I don’t need to exercise my will power. The answer is always no at work on a weekday unless it’s my birthday or that of a close friend. Very French approach.

Although they are not faced with so many open temptations at stores and at work, they do have patisseries everywhere in Paris, yet city residents aren’t going in in the middle of the day every day buying something. Or even having large pastries for dessert with meals every day as far as I can tell. French Women Don’t Get Fat starts with a young French girl spending a year in America gaining weight because even though she was brought up with the French rules of eating, when she came here she adopted America's and needed to go back to the ways of her own culture. That's still possible here, but it usually takes much more thought and awareness. The No S idea of simple rules that don’t take much thought is very helpful.

I’m still working on my S days. Trigger foods are still trigger foods for me. I had too many peanut M&Ms and barbecue chips yesterday. I don’t want all sweets and refined carbs to be always forbidden, that won’t work. But I may need to figure out which ones I can enjoy in moderation, and which I’m better off parting ways with. The French wouldn’t consider processed junk food to be a treat. Perhaps neither should I.
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ladybird30



Joined: 07 May 2017
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2018 3:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

sharon227 wrote:
I no longer have to debate whether it's OK or not OK to have a piece of candy from the dish at a store or a cookie in the break room at work. I don’t need to exercise my will power.


Yes, it is amazing how once the rules are internalised, willpower is not needed.
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