I read this book and try as I might to implement it in my life, it's just was not really feasible. And that's where the book fails for me as an American reader.
Let's face it, most of us don't live in communities where we can walk everywhere we need to go. Most of us do not have a farmer's market within walking distance that is open every day. Most of us do not have the kind of life-style that is conducive to home-cooking a hot meal for lunch, and most of us are not in a position to take an hour to eat any meal. American and French cultures are different, so our eating habits are different.
That being said, there are many great take-aways from this book that even the most American reader can try to implement. Most importantly this book exhorts us to love ourselves enough to respect our bodies by giving them just enough of what they need, but never too much. By allowing ourselves to eat REAL food and really enjoy it. By loving our bodies enough to give them fresh air and exercise. And by giving us permission to enjoy food, and everything else in life, just the way gramma told us to "in moderation".
Proof positive that "American" food makes you fat! Ms. Guiliano came to America during her college days and gained 50 pounds. Her father was shocked when she returned to France because she had gotten so chubby. The reason why you don't see fat Europeans? Because they MAKE their food and use FRESH ingredients! Plus, their refrigerators are the size of a box. Interesting read with common sense tips.
Absolutely love this book! I let it sit on my shelf for six months. I guess the title made me a little defensive, yet it intrigued me enough to order the book. Finally, bored with nothing to read, I picked up the book, and couldn't put it back down.
It just makes sense. Eat healthy, whole foods. Eat chocolate. Drink wine. But do everything in moderation.
A French woman for all seasons I like better as it is in my kitchen and I cook from it. Her dark chocolate cake is so rich! (careful!) This one is not bad. Her taste tend to be on the expensive side but we are eating better cuts of beef, fish, chicken and pork. My grocery bill is a bit higher but looking at all the junk people throw into their carts, we eat better than most...Walking for an hour or a 30 min workout is good as well.
I found this French perspective very common sense and refreshing in contrast to our many American bad habits in eating and living. The idea that one should feel "bien dans sa peu" (good in one's skin) and that it's worth discovering the health-promoting and enjoyable eating habits that promote that seem such a contrast to the diet mentality of America where you are either suffering with "being good", or letting yourself eat whatever you like and getting sick, tired, and FAT!!! Mireille has got me off my treadmill and walking in my "day clothes" to the post office a mile away as a much better-for-the-soul way of getting in necessary exercise, as well. This, combined with Atkins/low-carb knowledge as supported in most excellent research based Why We Get Fat, has me happily approaching my goal weight and fitness levels for the first time since my teen years! Enjoy chocolate, wine, carbs ...judiciously. And you don't have to be French to think like a French woman!
I'm sure the author has a good point in this book somewhere, but I never got to it. The writing itself was tedious to read and the insertion of little french quips on practically every page was annoying to me. I'd have like to see her suggestions for leader a trimmer life, but I couldn't get past her writing.
I found this book easy to read. It has some great tips that I can use like recording what I am eating, how to get started eating well and not leaving out certain food groups like many diets. Other ideas are great but will not pertain to me at all...like walking to places. I have a 53 mile commute to work one way! I wouldn't even get there before having to turn around and start for home. However, making a point not to park right in front of the door is a good idea, and will save my car from door dings! :)
Mireille Guiliano reveals the ingredients for a lifetime of weight control, emphasizing freshness, variety, balance, and always pleasure. She tells us how virtually anyone can learn to eat, drink, and move like a French woman. The book includes lots of tips and also recipes!
I didn't really find any "secrets" of dieting in here, but she did talk about everything in moderation and adding exercise at any possible time. I wouldn't recommend reading it cover to cover, but some chapters were interesting. It also includes some recipes.
This book is great, try the recipes listed, especially the chicken marinated in Champagne, delicious. I can't afford to pour Mirelle's $50 bottle on my chicken, but you can use a good $15 bottle of sparkling wine! She has some wonderful tips for living a healthly lifestyle, and eating good food. This is not really a diet book, just an enjoyable and enlightening read. I do like the French mindset!
Reaching 40, I found I identified with this book very much. It is very helpful to reset your mind and your weight will reset to its healthiest even though you're not a size 4. Enjoy life enjoy food eat to live. No guilt or deprivation but learning to get the most from the things YOU most enjoy!
It's true that most Parisians are not fat. Everything they eat is delicious because they demand quality. And probably their meals are filled with nutrients because their meals are fresh. They have energy because they move their bodies more than we do.
And in other parts of France outside Paris, food is equally delicious (or more so) and people look pretty much like we do. Some are thin, some are fat, some are in between. They're more relaxed than Parisians.
Perhaps part of the message of this book is that if we in the US demanded higher quality, less processed food grown locally and sold in season, and if we are everything fresh, we, too, might have more energy, enjoy delicious and nutritious food, and be thinner.
However, the people in France (forget Paris) who are not so slim and trim or stylish as those in Paris enjoy their lives, live a long time, and don't seem to worry if they look like 'real' people rather than like Vogue fasion models.
I don't know if we should eat to live or eat for pleasure, but I think rather than simply accept the foregone conclusion of the title, the question should be open for debate.
This is an excellent book. It has some wonderful, easy, healthy recipes inside. It's not a diet book, it's a lifestyle book. It will make you take a look at you own eating habits. The chapter about water consumption was eyeopening. It's a must have.
If you are tired of traditional dieting and looking to to start a new way of eating, pick up this book. This book offers suggestions that are attainable and that will help you on your path to successful, long term weight loss. I really enjoyed this book!
Tammy H. (bluesooner) reviewed French Women Don't Get Fat: The Secret of Eating for Pleasure on
Helpful Score: 1
The first 35 pages held my interest with the author's homey little storey of her journey to America in her youth, how she gained 30 pounds, returned to France, followed the advice of her French physician (ala weight watcher's style) and lost the weight. But after that, the book was just a rehash of a hundred other books on "how I lost weight", in my opinion. French women don't have the inside edge on keeping weight off any more than any other nationality......maybe they just have better clothes designers!
I liked this book and was able to come away with some smart habits to help maximize my delight in the quality not quanity of my meals. However, after two weeks of reading about cheese, wine, bread, and chocolate it really didn't matter anyway--I still have that stubborn 15 pounds to lose and know I can blame it on Valrhona.
An excellent book that teaches Americans how to eat (and live) more like Europeans. We are obese and stressed out; they haven't even heard of the eating disorders we have. Why? Because they live (and love) to eat, not eat to live. Slow down and savor your food, and you will want less of it.
I lived in France for two years, and I can attest to the authenticity of her observations. A great reminder of some simple ways to make effective lifestyle changes that will last, unlike fad diets. My only beef with the author is the chapter where she plugs champagne as the ideal alcoholic drink -- when she works for a famous Champagne company. Otherwise, a delightful book with useful recipes.