Wednesday, July 28, 2010

French Women Don’t Get Fat: I’m not French

At the recommendation of my husband, who will listen to virtually anything he can get his hands on in the library for his commute to work, I am listening to the audio book written and read by Mireille Guiliano.  [If you listened to WCRB, the classical music Boston radio station, before it became “listener supported,” you would probably recognize her voice from the popular Veuve Clicquot commercials.] Ms. Guilliano was the spokeswoman and CEO of the French Champagne House, Veuve Clicquot.

Her book, French Women Don’t Get Fat, is simply a series of ways she enjoys her food, drink, and life and she imparts the lee-tul tricks she has learned so she can eat anything she wants and not get fat.  While her common sense approach to mindful eating is rather run-of-the-mill, her enthusiasm for celebrating life everyday is infectious; I’m actually really enjoying her guilt-free gastronomique ravings as well as listening to her silly accent (Monty Python reference – not that French accents are necessarily silly).
She’s obviously a big proponent of drinking wine--champagne being the best--and emphasizes that wine was meant to be enjoyed with food. “Always, always, always, with food.” She waxes on about chocolate, real chocolate, dark chocolate, chocolate that is made in the finest chocolate houses in France, and, okay, maybe Switzerland.  But not American mass-produced chocolate!  She even throws a zinger at Mr. Hershey and how mass-production was the worst thing to ever happen to chocolate!  (This got my twelve year-old all riled up.  Because she requested that I move the sound to the front of the car, I didn’t even know she could hear the book, let alone was listening.)
Despite her slam of our American chocolate industrialist, Ms. Guiliano makes a compelling case for me to eat every good thing that feeds my soul, in moderation. This is the eating plan my husband subscribes to, so I can see why he recommended the book.  After he listened to it, we bought and drank a bottle of Veuve Clicquot because, you know, it was Tuesday and we’re in love.  (However, we ignored Ms. Guiliano’s advice on drinking more water at our own peril.) After I listened to it for an hour or two, I had to have some good chocolate. And wine, and butter, and crispy, crunchy, deeply soul-satisfying bread.  
Alas, despite the series of last names I've had, and except in only the most round-about Canadian way, I am not French. Moderation is not exactly in my wheelhouse, so to speak.
So while the cashier at Trader Joe’s lauded my grocery selection which was limited to dark chocolate covered pomegranate seeds, dark chocolate dipped butter cookies, dark chocolate peanut butter cups, and a quart of 2% milk (they didn’t have full fat), I suspect that my downing the quart of milk and half of the box of cookies in the ten minute ride home is not what Ms. Guiliano had in mind.
Frankly, after all that celebrate life with good food and good wine talk, I was just happy that Trader Joe’s didn’t sell champagne.

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