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A civil engineering metaphor and Mireille Guiliano

 
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emmay



Joined: 18 Oct 2012
Posts: 111
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 12:01 am    Post subject: A civil engineering metaphor and Mireille Guiliano Reply with quote

Concrete is solid and strong but it is inflexible, so concrete structures always develop cracks. That is why we put in control joints. Control joints are cut into the concrete at regular intervals so that, when the cracks form, they follow the joints in neat, regular lines instead of a random pattern.
I'm blabbing on about concrete because I thought is was a good metaphor for No S. N days are the solid and strong concrete and S days are the Control Joints, allowing for inevitable cracks in a controlled way.

The other thing I've noticed about No S this time around is that it allows me to apply other nutritional advice more effectively. For example, there is a lot of information out there about how to manage portion sizes. But, portion size advice is largely irrelevant if you meals are adrift on a sea of permasnacking and emotional eating. What does it matter if you reduce your plate size if you are eating a dozen snacks in addition to your meals?
In particular, I have been reading the advice of Mireille Guiliano, the author of 'French Women Don't Get Fat'. I don't believe the title but 'Some French Women Stay Slim While Eating Delicious Food in Moderate Amounts' may not have sold as many copies. Much of her advice is highly compatible with No S. She is an advocate of breakfast, lunch and dinner with no snacking in between.
Some of her ideas that have helped me are:
- An evening tisane or herbal tea. I like to settle down with a peppermint tea after the kitchen is all cleaned up and the kids are in bed.
- The 50 Percent Solution. This is especially helpful when confronted with a large portion. To apply the 50 Percent Solution, you eat half of your food then pause and ask yourself if you are content or if you wish to eat more. If you do want more, eat half of what is left and pause again. This way you don't polish off the whole plate without thinking.
- Quality over quantity. Fresh, seasonal produce cooked simply, flavoured with fresh herbs and citrus juice.
- Eating (S day) desert with a meal. Sugary food, by itself, between meals sets you on a blood sugar roller coaster and induces cravings. Mireille suggests eating your desert ( of course it is high quality, decadent yet small) as part of a meal so that the sugar is balanced by the protein and fat in the meal.
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eschano



Joined: 18 Jul 2012
Posts: 2458

PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 9:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Emmay,
I really enjoyed your metaphor about concrete, although I don't know anything about it (it's one of those everyday miracles to me). Also thanks for summarizing some of the ideas about slim french women's eating habits.
Very interesting.
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pasofan



Joined: 12 Nov 2012
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 2:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very helpful -Thanks for posting!
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DaveMc



Joined: 28 Jul 2009
Posts: 381

PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 3:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I always enjoy a good civil engineering metaphor! Thanks for sharing.
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emmay



Joined: 18 Oct 2012
Posts: 111
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 9:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm glad the concrete metaphor was appreciated. After I posted it I had an awkward moment when I thought I might be the only person who could see an interesting relationship between concrete and dieting.
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Nicest of the Damned



Joined: 11 Aug 2010
Posts: 719

PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 10:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

emmay wrote:
I'm glad the concrete metaphor was appreciated. After I posted it I had an awkward moment when I thought I might be the only person who could see an interesting relationship between concrete and dieting.


I love the concrete metaphor!
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DaveMc



Joined: 28 Jul 2009
Posts: 381

PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 8:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like concrete metaphors *and* abstract metaphors. Smile
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Kimbo



Joined: 30 Nov 2007
Posts: 9
Location: Olympic Peninsula, WA

PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2012 8:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi emmay,

Great post! Very Happy I've read those books too, AND I lived in France for 6 months during college... so I can say I think the title should be, "French Women [Who Eat Traditionally] Don't Get Fat."

The reality (in 1991 when I was there -- I'm totally dating myself) was that one rarely saw an overweight French person. You also never see French women in sweats and sneakers. Sneakers are a dead giveaway that you're a tourist. In fact, white shoes of any kind. There is a formality about French society, as well as a number of other societal patterns, that underscore and support health - and pleasure. Both of which Americans pretty much fail at.

In France:

- Stores, offices, and everything except restaurants shut down from like 12-3 every day. They enjoy their food and their break in the work of the day.

- Everything closes, at the latest, 7pm. There is no late-night shopping or (until we brought McDonald's over there) late night eating. Evening is the time for family and friends.

- They take off pretty much the entire month of August (sometimes most of July, too) and go on holiday.

- Everything is fresh. Bread, meat, veggies, fruits. A supermarket will have, say, salted nuts and maybe packaged madeleines for aperitifs (light snacks with drinks) but there isn't snack food. Snacking doesn't exist.

- You *never* see people eating while walking, while driving. It isn't done. You sit and eat and you take your time about it.

I ate better than I've ever eaten in France. Very Happy I also ate too many pastries. Because I was in college and I walked everywhere, it didn't catch up to me. Laughing
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SW 11/16 224
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wosnes



Joined: 18 Sep 2006
Posts: 4166
Location: Indianapolis, IN, USA

PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2012 9:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't remember how I found this cookbook, but there are lots of relatively quick recipes for weeknight cooking and lots of interesting information about eating in France (and the US).

You might also enjoy her blog Chez Bonne Femme.

In the beginning she talks about having been an exchange student in France and thought the first dinner she shared with her host family was a celebratory dinner in her honor. But then the next meals came and she realized that they ate this way most evenings. It wasn't only the food, but also the time spent at the table.

As Kimbo mentions, I think the French have some habits we could benefit from incorporating into our lives.
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"That which we persist in doing becomes easier for us to do. Not that the nature of the thing itself has changed but our power to do it is increased." -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

"You are what you eat -- so don't be Fast, Easy, Cheap or Fake."
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emmay



Joined: 18 Oct 2012
Posts: 111
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2012 11:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the information Kimbo and wosnes.
I love how No S has me eating in a more traditional way. So many cultures seem to have three meals and no snacking as the traditional eating pattern. I can think of France, Italy and Japan off the top of my head.
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eschano



Joined: 18 Jul 2012
Posts: 2458

PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2012 10:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just ordered the book Mr. Green
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jw



Joined: 05 Jul 2013
Posts: 844
Location: PA

PostPosted: Thu Jul 25, 2013 12:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

so glad this bumped up to the top -- I love this metaphor!
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wosnes



Joined: 18 Sep 2006
Posts: 4166
Location: Indianapolis, IN, USA

PostPosted: Thu Jul 25, 2013 1:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

More and more I look at the way the French and Italians have traditionally dealt with food, the choosing, the cooking and the consuming and find much to emulate. I know this is true of other cultures, too, but it's the French and Italians that appeal to me most.

More and more the French, Italians and others are copying our ways of eating it it is unfortunate.
_________________
"That which we persist in doing becomes easier for us to do. Not that the nature of the thing itself has changed but our power to do it is increased." -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

"You are what you eat -- so don't be Fast, Easy, Cheap or Fake."
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