Eat Like a Parisienne, Work Out Like an American: Part Four

May 2, 2012 | Recipes | 19 comments

Part IV.
Where did we leave off…
I just got the Fab Four tucked in and I wish I had some right now!
Oh, that’s right.  
We left off on “chemicals”.  
We’ve talked about what the Parisienne’s don’t eat, now let’s talk about what they do and how they do (and don’t) do it.
Here’s a few more hints…


  • Les Parisienne’s also, as mentioned in a comment – take the TIME to eat.  When you stand up to eat, YOU EAT MORE.
  • They employ the fork and knife.  Finger food, aside from asparagus spears is hardly acceptable.  Use silverware this week.  You’ll slow down.   You’ll notice when you are full.
  • They eat good food and eat it often, just less of it.  As noted in the last post – they enjoy wonderful food, thus eliminating the need for binging.
  • Lots of veggies and lot’s of exterior aisle food (also talked about the other day).  Shopping along the edge of the store means you are buying products, meat and dairy.  Things you need to make recipes.


Many of you have mentioned Mireille Guiliano’s books and you are right, they are so wonderful!  The first time I read French Women Don’t Get Fat you probably heard me screaming, “Oui! Oui! Oui!” – it’s just so good.  It’s what American women NEEDED to hear.
If you haven’t read them – you HAVE to read her books.  Plus, if you have always wanted to try cooking French inspired food, they are a WONDERFUL way to get your feet wet.  Many of the recipes will become instant favorites for you and your family.  (We are trying to book an interview with Mireille for the magazine… insert giddy giggle!)
If you read her second book, A French Woman for all Seasons you probably noticed her suggested seasonal menus.  Take note to the portion size.
I don’t know what it is, or how they do it but our Parisienne sisters control their portions in a way we can hardly wrap our heads around.  I bet in many cases they eat HALF the amount we do – or less.  I am not talking about stupid Hollyweird calorie counting… who wants to walk around looking like a death camp survivor.  Hollyweird’s obsession with looking skeletal and pre-pubescent is just gross.   I am not talking about wasting away… I am just talking about SLASHING our portion size.  
And oh, my gosh, it’s so hard.
It’s like it’s hardwired into our brains how MUCH to eat, and hardwired into their brains how little to eat.  And every time I think I am going to “out portion control” a French person (when we are dining together with friends) – they STILL eat less than I do.  Grrrrrr…..
Again, some of it has got to be that pressure their culture keeps on them.  Around here, now come on, you know you’ve thought this…  you pack on a few pounds and you think, “Well, at least I am not as big as so and so.”  Most of us have a heavier co-worker or someone we could go stand next to to feel momentarily good about ourselves (sick I know, but keep it real, we’ve all done it).   But what dread to pack on a few and have a whole Metro car of skinny minnie’s to stand next to all the way from Châtelet to Luxembourg. 
Here’s a tiny glimpse of what we have eaten around here this week…
Plain yogurt (full fat!) with organic strawberries and honey.
Pea Soup with a drizzle of heavy cream.  Y-U-M.
Cantaloupe wrapped with Prosciutto.  Double Yum.
Goat cheese, one egg omelette’s with side salad – and of course, my addiction.
So, let’s get out our pom pons and ra-ra for each other!
(And this is the only time you will read me using this horrid expression but…)
We can eat less.  
We can eat ONE slice of bread and not shove the entire baguette down our throats.
We CAN slow down and eat our pizza with a knife and fork.
We can actually take the time to chew our food.
We can stop after those first few bites and
 see if we REALLY want more.  
We can.  We can.  We can.
But we’ll all hit a bump in the road.
Some sudden, freakish urge to hit a Diary Queen this summer when it’s 99 degrees out.
The demon of PMS that convince us we need a pizza at 10:30 some Friday night.
A party with bowls of M n M’s on every coffee table…
No matter how motivated and “changed” we are, we are a product of our environment… we ARE NOT Parisiennes…
Which is why you have to work out LIKE AN AMERICAN!
So, put down that glass of wine and lace up your shoes girls!
Stay tuned…
Google Images:  French Women don’t get Fat
MnM’s & Turbo Jam


  1. Mandy

    i kinda hate you for reminding me of all this. and i kinda love you for reminding me of all this. keep it comin’ darling!

  2. Valerie

    You crack me up!

    I love the truth with which you speak…my favorite part (paraphrased) “we all have that co-worker or relative that we can stand next to and feel relatively normal”…

    YES! Why do we do that?!!!

    Your simple, healthy, and delicious meals look divine!

    Can’t wait to read more.

  3. Amber

    European eating is definitely NOT like we eat in the US! We honeymooned in Italy and absorbed their way of cooking/eating… in season, fresh, flavorful, REAL food-no processed. I loved going to the markets! No huge “frozen food” aisle and no long aisles of machine made food! I am going out to buy the books you mentioned, today… sounds like my kind of reading!
    xo, Amber

  4. Theanne

    well woohoo I’m in…never was a cheerleader but I can offer anyone support for it least trying to eat healthier or French as the case might be!

  5. Lisa DeNunzio

    Liked the tip about shopping from the outer aisles of the supermarket. I can see that is true. The less processed food we eat, the better we will feel.

  6. Jennifer

    I love all the points you’re making. I really appreciate the refresher course! The processed foods that have invaded our grocery stores just sicken me…all in the name of convenience. But honestly how convenient is it to feel like crap and constantly battle your weight (speaking from experience!)Committing to eating healthier whole foods has made all the difference in the world for my family and myself.

  7. Karena

    Angela, This is so great! I put on nearly 20, yes, 20 pounds before my two surgeries this year. I have always been small and this is making me crazy. I do exercise and i eat pretty well ( you know) and It is not coming off!

    Plus I cannot fit into a single pair of my jeans!!

    Art by Karena

  8. Kathleen

    Basically this is how I’ve always made meals since I left home at 19. We actually didn’t have fast food way back then. I now have 3 grown children. I never lectured them about fast food they just knew I didn’t like it. They went through the normal teen years eating all the fast food they could get a hold of. While in HS and college my son worked at a very NICE gourmet market that has been in business for 75 yrs. these concepts are not new to them. That experience has really shaped how he prepares food now. Also my daughters are planning meals the same as they had growing up again. I never had anything taboo I just made enough for one serving. I don’t care what anyone says even eating junk is expensive so I don’t get how they get so large. Not to be a party pooper but I know several French people that are pretty darn chubby.

  9. Kathleen

    I forgot what I really wanted to say! I’ve made several of your recipes and they’re keepers! Very tasty. I think part of the trick is eat delicious food then you don’t crave empty calories. Also dont feel guilty about it….enjoy.

  10. Corrina

    Must be something in the air but I am moving into a huge weight loss plan and your tips are so encouraging. I just bought a fab little book by Michelle Bridges (Australia’s biggest loser show coach/trainer)its called 5 Minutes a day and it is very cheap and easy to read- open it an any page and you feel like you have her in your ear with a tip for excercise, diet and weight loss and motivation. She doesn’t hold back but I like that about this book. We all know we need to eat less and more healthily and we need to move more but we (well I ) always make excuses why we don’t. This little book aims to get you out of those habits. xxCorrina.

  11. cestMoi Sandy

    Oh, Angela how I love this one!

    Ohhhh by the way! I hate that Dairy Queen that stares at me every time I pass it (I have to pass it) to go home or to town!
    But we are strong! We will/shall not overeat! We shall overcome!

  12. Anonymous

    hey i’ve been really enjoying this little series… i think the way american women in general approach their food is somewhat disgusting at times. thanks for bringing some of these important things to light!

  13. Heather F.

    I am so with you on this!! My new philosophy on eating is eat the real deal…aka full fat stuff, but watch it and don’t eat the garbage. So I am going on this journey with you. Good luck to us.

  14. busana muslim murah

    Thank you for posting this. It’s exactly what I was looking for!

  15. Victoria

    I struggle with this idea – eating well from whole foods. Two things trip me up: one, where is the time to do this? Cooking from scratch, starting at 6pm when we get home, with a toddler at my ankles? Ack. It’s really hard. (not tryin to martyr but I know you’ve been there – how do u do it?)

    and two, I feel like with gluten free living I’m deprived of so much that I owe it to myself to binge on what I CAN eat. Like candy, or tortilla chips. Ugh. Help.

  16. Victoria

    OH yeah.. greek yogurt with honey is one of our new obsessions (by “our” I mean sofia and I.. your brother had been telling me to try it for YEARS!)

  17. Justine of SewCountryChick

    Hi Angela! When I lived in France I ate lots of fattening food but never gained weight, i think a big difference is the portion sizes are much smaller and drinking wine at lunch tempers the appetite. I loved that book!

  18. Deborah Baska

    I just found your site and love it! Studied in France for a semester in college and I can still remember my French mom telling me, when I complained of gaining weight, that I was eating too much bread! LOL! She pointed out that to eat un petit morceau du pain with dinner was fine, but the whole baguette was gonna pack it on.


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