Thursday, January 20, 2005

The Way to Eat

To the apparent great envy of all other women on the planet, French women seem eternally better dressed, more stylish, and better looking. Guiliano believes that the secret to slimness for French women springs from fundamentally two sources: the French attitude toward eating, which focuses on only the best and freshest foods consumed in careful moderation, and frequent, purposeful walking. Thus, daily trips to local markets for fresh vegetables, fruits, herbs, and cheeses work to keep these women slimmer than their supermarket-shopping American sisters. Throughout the text, she records recipes for French cookery varying in complexity from two-ingredient leek broth to croissants. Guiliano, U.S. head of a major French Champagne house, doesn't neglect to recommend a glass of wine as part of smart dining. A commonsense diet based on both restraint and simple exercise, Guiliano's diet stresses that food consumption ought to be deliberate and pleasurable and done always sitting at table with appropriate napery. This diet may not transform every American woman into Stephane Audran, but it's an approach. Mark Knoblauch
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved. From Booklist

French Women Don't Get Fat: The Secret of Eating for Pleasure sounds as if it sends the same message that I learned when just out of college. I had read a book about behavior modification as applied to dieting. It was the only "diet" that ever worked for me. Eating habits were changed so that food was savored and I lost dramatic amounts of weight in a year with very little pain and no change in the sorts of food I ate. Sadly, I have fallen out of those habits and am just now beginning to try to pick them up again. I don't have that book any more but still remember the "tricks" ... make each meal last 20 minutes, take small bites, drink a sip of water in between bites. Just as important as the weight that I lost was the lesson I learned ... that through savoring a meal, food lost its power over me at other times. It was very freeing.

I have requested this book from the library and look forward to seeing if it dovetails into those habits I am working to regain.

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