Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Find Inspiration from the French

In France almost all women cook (and many men, too, of course).  Whether they are the CEO of a large multinational corporation or the mother of six children, they take the time to shop for the highest quality foods they can afford and they prepare these foods at home each night.  French families eat almost every dinner at home around the dinner table and Mom or Dad prepares it in the kitchen.

The French are 3 times less likely to have heart disease or obesity than Americans and their life expectancies are longer, too.  

Janine di Giovanni makes 'tarte au citron' with her French mother-in-law.
 Photograph: Paul Cooper.  Source The Guardian

The French emphasize the pleasure in food.  They know that quality determines the degree of pleasure and so the freshest, most in-season foods are preferred.  French women usually shop every other day and they not only expect, but they demand whole, fresh and nutritious foods from their vendors and markets.  

At home in their kitchens, dishes are simply prepared in ways that bring out the beautiful and delectable nature of quality foods.  Most meals include a fresh salad plus a vegetable.  Vegetable soups are eaten regularly.  Desserts are served every night, but they are almost always fresh sliced fruit or yogurt. 

The French government passes laws that protect the quality and integrity of their food source.  Manufactured and processed foods are rare in the French diet.  The bulk of the French diet consists of food that comes right from farms.  The French do eat a lot of bread from local boulangeries, but that bread is made from wheat that is freshly ground each day before cooking, unlike American wheat that is filled with preservatives and stored for months.  The French buy artisan cheeses, wines and chocolates, all made from the highest quality ingredients.  Even their sausages and prepared meats are prepared by the local butcher, not in some distant manufacturing facility. 

All of this is done in pursuit of the pleasure of food and good health.  If busy Parisian women can cook and live like this, there is no reason that we can’t also.  Learn to love your new way of eating.  Find passion and pleasure for the beautiful healing foods you eat.  Take the small amount of time it takes to seek out the best local foods you can find and then to prepare them so that their quality and delicious nature is enhanced.  

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