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August G…uest #14: The F Word

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SuzMeet Suzanne and read all about her over @ GLOBAL HOUSESITTER X2 One Couple, One Globe and No Regrets
Firstly, I would like to thank Esmé for allowing me to be a guest blogger.  With being very new to blogging this is a fun experience for me to participate in.  I do love cooking hence my enjoyment reading Esmé’s blog.  What I don’t do is record my experimentations which I may have to start doing!
We spent 3 months housesitting in France this year, over winter.  As you can imagine cheese, pâtisseries and many other delicacies were high on the agenda to taste and enjoy.
Cheese and bread
With that is mind here is my post.  I do hope you enjoy reading it.

Why you won’t get fat in France

You laugh, well seriously it can be done if you do it like the French.  So below are a few pointers we have learnt along the way, and don’t always do!.
 ♥♥ French portions are smaller. NOW this is harder than the other tips to execute.  We have to admit it is more enjoyable having a little piece, as in we get to try varieties! Meal portions tend to be manageable when you’re out. After a French meal, you’ll feel satiated but not think “Gawd, I’ve eaten way too much!”.
♥♥ The French don’t snack. Or rarely. If you look hard enough, you will, of course, find, chips and other high-fat snacks.  Interestingly there seem to be fewer MacDonalds over here, [as an offshoot to the comment about takeaway places, there seems to be less rubbish around the streets].   Though in general, it is not part of the culture to eat ‘junk food’ directly after a meal.  The French tend to not nibble on snacks all day.  Apparently, not everyone abides by the same rule, especially us two, For every rule, there is an exception, and this is in the form of a sweet around 4 pm which the French call the gouter.  Who can resist just a little something sweet with their café?
♥♥ The majority of French are active and like to walk/bike everywhere. Living in a town situated in France where you can run errands on foot, do it. If possible and when it’s not snowing, leave the car at home and head into the village with your wicker basket for the market.   All those steps add up, as in 10,000 of them, which we are trying to extend or do every day.  Though in the area we are the car is used more due to the countryside location.  Luckily, we have a few fun areas to go for a walk.  Housesitting and caring for dogs is certainly a great motivation to get out there and do more exercise.
 ♥♥ The French leisurely enjoy their meal and eat at the table. A Sunday lunch in France is a relaxed affair, it’s enjoyed.   Good conversation with wine while each course is served and enjoy good conversation and laughs while savouring each bite. Well, it does depends on your family and lifestyle, but again, generally speaking, the French enjoy mealtime and don’t rush through it. With most businesses closed at midday makes having a leisurely Sunday lunch much easier.
Processed with VSCO with e5 preset♥♥ Their coffee is black. In a cafe,  when visiting a cafe after asking for a café, you’ll get a little espresso cup of black café with a sugar cube.  Or if you want a larger black coffee, ask for a nero Grande café.  Unfortunately, many cafes have differing terminology.  If you so choose to have milk, you have to ask for it, or in experience, they usually ask us, we rarely have done so as the coffee cuts the sweetness from the pâtisserie. There’s no takeout coffee in cups.
♥♥ They eat dessert!  Why not?  Life is too short not to do so, and the French do it often! Going out for just a dessert is not unheard of. A dessert is always included in the prix fixe menu [a fixed menu].  Dessert is a must as is the cheese course. It’s a small piece just enough to know that you had a delectable dessert!
Suz 2♥♥ There doesn’t seem as many preservatives in French foods vs other countries.  French food appears to be more natural than what you’d find in the average supermarket in other nations.  Even though junk food and processed food is available in France, many French tend to do the slow cooking, starting from scratch.  Generally, there are fewer preservatives in foods brought in French supermarkets. High fructose corn syrup isn’t widely used in packaged foods, meat and chicken taste divine and fresh pastries, and cakes are considered by us an indulgence, at least it’s all natural sugar, butter and cream without all the extra additives/preservatives/hormones.
A bit of light reading and check out our very own NZ foodie and writer Peta Mathias and, another engaging writer, Mireille Guiliano while munching on a croissant and sipping an espresso.

Bon Appetit, remember just in a small way!
Love to hear from you, Suz xx

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Guest Bloggger

  • Make tomorrow more amazing than today!
  • Just believe in yourself and dream big.
  • Do not give up on your hopes. Take care always.


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20 thoughts on “August G…uest #14: The F Word”

  1. Pingback: August G…uest Post Roundup | The Recipe Hunter
  2. What a lovely post and insight into living in France.To hear that they use fewer preservatives with the emphasis being on good food being enjoyed is lovely…..It sounds like a beautiful experience 🙂

      • I know it is horrendous …I was quite impressed that the French are more health conscious and eat less processed foods..don’t know what happened with rest of the world. I always cook from scratch and so do my kids …I just wish more people would do so or the schools did more 🙂

        • Couldn’t agree more. What is even more satisfying is the lack of MacDonalds and other such companies in rural areas and small towns. My sister in law who is Vietnamese is an amazing cook who learnt from her mother from an early age. It is also much cheaper to cook from scratch.

          • That goes without saying and why people don’t is beyond me …because I have always worked and long hours but with the help of a slow cooker and an oven timer you can cook nutrious meals….and if you involve all the family then that is better …I have 6 kids and they all have cooked, cleaned from an early age and I won’t even begin to say what an assortment of animals we have had… but your pet look after it was my motto and they did 🙂

  3. Excellent post!
    I love French food and I think you are right about there being less process foods available. Apart from smash! 😉

  4. Hello Suz … a brilliant piece and something I hope many will take to heart – the French Paradox is one that confounds most but when you live it to the letter you find that it really does work – as you found out!

  5. I moved to France in September 2013 and I lost weight. I moved to Massachusetts for a year in December 2015 and I put on weight (in fairness I did break my leg during this time which meant I was about as active as the Venus de Milo for several months), i moved back to France in January 2016 and I have lost weight. Do as the French do and you won’t go far wrong. The French Food Paradox is so simply explained in this lovely post … I hope many will take the advice. I’m living proof that it works if you follow it to the letter. Which is not always easy when faced with all those cheeses and all that wine and all that charcuterie and all that unctuous deliciousness 😉


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