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

Apr 28, 2012 | Recipes | 28 comments

Don’t work out today. You have my permission, because we’re breaking down this phrase today:
Eat like a Parisienne.
We’ve already covered a handful of things that make the Parisienne’s diet unique but
 let’s unpack this a little more. We can work out after.
If you’ve missed it,
You will want to start at the beginning of this series with 
We know they are little…
We know (a lot) of them smoke…
Commenters pointed out their petite, square bone structure…
But what do they eat and how do they eat it?
First (and again, this is all about stereotypes) let’s talk about whey they don’t eat…
And why we shouldn’t either…
Girls, pop is nasty business.
You’ve got to nix high fructose corn syrup from your diet. There is nothing good about it. It’s made from GMO corn, sprayed with ROUND UP and high fructose corn syrup will make you FAT! If you don’t believe me – check out this study. You CAN live a life without pop and don’t fool yourself into thinking diet pop is better. Ick. But, I LOVE Diet Coke from the tap with a lemon so I treat myself to one, twice year.
Say it with me now – Pelligrino is your friend.
Don’t eat and drink on the go.
Aside from the crêpe stand, eating and drinking while walking or driving just doens’t seem to be done in Paris. I did visit a Starbucks once next to a Holiday Inn though… Think about what you are eating when you are in your car… have you ever driven thru and ordered a wedge of cheese and a small salad? No – it would end up in your lap (and don’t tell me about the cheese plate at Starbucks. Who could afford that every other day!)
Fast food is CRAP FOOD. 
 Have you ever dug a french fry out from under a car seat a year later? It looked as fresh as the day it was fried didn’t it? Normal food decomposes – fast food decomposes YOU…after it makes you fat. 
Boxed food.
Ok, I don’t know if this is 100% accurate but from what I have seen, the French diet is about WHOLE FOODS (a philosophy I have tried to follow in this house for the last 12 years). Think about all the boxed foods at the store today – Hamburger Helper, Velvetta Mac and Cheese, casseroles in a box, even cereal with dried, funky, strawberries in it… not to mention those new cereal bars with “milk” – it looks like frosting – how can it be milk? And yes, Lean Cuisine counts as boxed food. Stand there and watch the people buying food out of that cooler… most of them are… you guessed it… f-a-t.
This coming from someone who could eat her weight in Home Run Inn Pizza.
Step away from the fake food.
I could go on and on about what lines the shelves of the 
American supermarket but let’s go back to that whole foods concept –
I have found that aside from growing my garden and hitting the farmers markets in the summer, if I focus the majority of my shopping on the exterior aisles of the supermarket I do OK… that is where the produce, meat and dairy are – your main ingredients in creating a yummy French-inspired meal.
Now let’s take a few foods that mystify us Americans…
(How can Parisienne’s eat that kind of food and stay so thin?)
The Sandwich

Look at an American sub sandwich for example…
How many frickin’ meatballs can we cram in between two pieces of bread? And then try to work out after?
Or how many types of meat can we stack before the sandwich will topple over?
How many toothpicks does it take to hold them together?
Now consider a french sandwich –
Perhaps from the Café Bonaparte…
… across the street from the Église de Saint Germain (and steps from Dior and Louis Vuitton too!). Order a sandwich there and you will be brought a proper sized faire… spread with delicious butter, a slice or two of ham and a slice or two of cheese. Manageable to hold and enough to fill any stomach.
FYI – I believe your stomach is about the size of your fist…that’s why it HURTS when you eat too much!

Yes, they eat pasta. But no unlimited pasta like our Olive Garden.
Here we look at pasta like some sort of Olympian event – how much can we eat?
How many platefuls until we have to unbutton our pants?
Or better yet – let’s wear our sweatpants out for dinner!
Yes, there are benefits to a gluten free lifestyle but that’s not what this post is about so the next time you have pasta, try it like a Parisienne. DON’T COOK THE ENITRE FRICKIN’ BOX! Serve yourself a cup of it, next to your favorite veggie and a glass of wine and you’ll have nothing to beat yourself up about.

Oh Lordy, French cheese. 
 How I love it.
The nastier is smells, the better is tastes.
So go ahead, buy a couple wedges this weekend when you shop. If you are new to cheese just start with a nice, double creme brie and have a small piece or two after your meal with some apple slices.
You’ll feel super chic. I swear.
I bought a Cambozola for the weekend and I can hardly contain myself!
Yeah, yeah, – it’s German, I know!

Is not the devil.
Now, CANDY? That is another story – full of junk. Full of it.
But goodness, a couple pieces of chocolate when the mood suits you is not going to make you fat!!!
Don’t be such a martyr!
Chances are there is already a saint with your name!
A Culvers chocolate milkshake twice a week might do the trick and by the end of summer you’ll be ready for big-butt-sweatpant-weather. But for goodness sake, do as your Parisienne sisters and go get yourself some good chocolate.
This post could get really long – 
Here’s the thing.
We eat too damn much.
And we eat WAY to many chemicals calling them “food”.

Let’s continue this in a day or two…
I’m getting a bit long winded and way too bossy…
(I am a first born, you know)

Bonne Weekend



  1. Anne

    My husband and I have given up meat since January.We both have lost weight.I was 136 and am down to 123.We eat pasta every day.Some cheese sprinkled with lots of veggies.And we also eat almonds,sunflower seeds.We still have our chocolate everyday not giving that up.So yes there is something to the french and the way they eat.

  2. DREAMS ON 34th STREET ~ French Bread & Family

    I recently drug out my old copy of French Woman Don’t Get Fat. Angela, it’s like you have written this series for me. You are keeping me “IN CHECK” my darling! You are one of my favorite blog world hugs, for my mind, my spirit and now this old girl body! I adore your Mom as well!
    The best of blessings to all!

  3. Stephanie

    ….steps away from the diet coke which I may or may not have just been drinking. I got off of soda for years, almost a decade, and just started having one or two, which led to more. I don’t even like the taste of it, yet here it is. Yuk.

    This is so true and such a great series of blog posts you are doing!

  4. Kathy

    After all the various fad diet hype, it’s always good to hear the “shop the walls!” philosophy again.

    It’s funny, but I find that when I eat whole foods and lots of veggies, I’m so much more satisfied with less food. And I’m totally with you on the cheese; we shop at a bit more expensive grocery store so that we can cruise the cheese counter looking for sale stickers.

    One good thing to get rid of the boxed junk is to learn how to make it yourself (crackers, cake mixes, and especially boxed dinners!).

    Thank you!

  5. vicki archer

    Angela… you are spot on!..
    Still loving my magazine… Have a great Sunday… xv

  6. savvycityfarmer

    starting TODAY …portion size is my weakness …

    thanks for the kick in my big butt sweat pants …

    have you been in your gym?
    just checkin’


    Don’t forget…When they sit down to a meal it takes 3-4 hours. Lunch may be a tad shorter and sometimes lunch is their main meal of the day. They aren’t big on breakfast either. But really the biggest difference…they walk everywhere. To be a Parisienne means you’re in pretty damn good shape physically. It’s nothing to find ones self ascending and descending countless stairs each day either getting to the metro or off. Don’t forget, if you go shopping you’re going to tote alll your treasures home that same way. A mistake I learned the hard way…Galleries Lafayette to Luxembourg gardens. My arms felt like noodles by the time I was home. Groceries are no different, though the rolling bags do come in handy. Point is…they get a workout every time they step out of their apartment.

  8. Kathleen Botsford

    Love this post! You are so very right! One of my favorite snacks is a few slices of apple, a thin slice of a very good white cheddar for each(usually from England or Ireland) and a walnut half on top. Arranged nicely on a pretty plate with a beautiful glass of water (I love La Croix but I am concerned about the bubbles and bloat) and lemon it makes me feel decadent and satisfies my hunger.

    I read and listen to “French women don’t get fat” whenever I need some inspiration.
    Love the Magazine!

  9. Splenderosa

    Now, dammit, if I could just do it!!
    No sodas ever for me. Also no simple white carb food, even bread. I tend to eat mini-meals so my metabolism is kept running, but I’ve been in a battle all my life with weight. And, I’ve never been fat. ooh wellllll…

  10. Corrine

    How timely this series is. By this time of the year our New Years resolutions are strained to say the least. With the mild weather approaching I think it is easier to be more active and be more aware of fresh food. Whole foods are the way to go. Fresh as well. I would like to change my habits to shop every day or so to capture all that freshness. I tend to buy too much, then eat too much and/or toss too much. A work in progress.

  11. Theanne

    as my Don used to say “eat (good food) in moderation! (his ancestor was a French Huguenot who escaped to Ireland)!

  12. Laura Ingalls Gunn

    Amen my friend! I try to always just “shop the walls” of the supermarket.
    Last spring while I was in France I ate the most wonderful food and actually lost weight. Because it was ALL whole food. Except for Laduree. 🙂
    Today for lunch we had chicken salad sandwiches~ chicken, grapes, celery (all diced) with a bit of thyme and sage, thinly sliced cucumber on whole wheat bread. Yum. Our chips? Thin radishes with french sea salt. I will admit it was washed down with a coke. It is my one vice.

  13. melyssa

    “There’s no food in your food…” Joan Cusack in Say Anything.

    That phrase comes to my mind so very, very often as an American!

  14. africanaussie

    Oh this is all so true and so worth repeating again and again. I think the one thing the French have realized is that you really only taste the first few mouthfuls, and that is where you should stop! so hard, but I do so much better when I eat much, much smaller quantities.

  15. Carissa

    Fabulous Angela!!!!!

    You can be as bossy as you want to be!!! 😉

  16. Amy @ Homestead Revival

    Ah… yes! This is how I lost weight the FIRST time! I still don’t drink cokes. Unless I’m throwing up… which isn’t often (sorry about that.)

    I use to buy Pelligrino by the case for special dinners at home or to treat myself because I got to where all I drank was water. But I felt great!

    You know what I’d LOVE? A cute small wicker picnic basket for the car that was insulated on the inside so I could take my own food when I make a run to town. If it’s in a pretty basket, then it makes it feel even more special. Who would take fast food over something like that?? Something like this….

  17. Amusing Provincial

    You’ve hit a passion of mine as well friend!!! Soda was the hardest thing for me to give up but it feels so good! I could go on & on but I’m right with ya sista!

  18. Heather's Blog-o-rama

    Okay, this is too cool 🙂 🙂 I can’t stop laughing, but there is a lot of truth in what you’re writing here, too 🙂 🙂 My dad and I make real food at home…and losing weight has just been a side benefit…but we love fat, and the more fat the better, as long as it’s from good sources 😉 🙂 Cheese? yes, please 🙂 🙂 and choclolate…mais OUI…make it dark chocolate.

    Oh, I’m also reading the book “French Women Don’t Get Fat”. My naturopath loaned it to me. She’s from Paris, France…and we’ve talked about all the stuff the French eat and still stay skinny 🙂

    Love and hugs from the ocean shores of California, Heather 🙂

  19. Art and Sand

    We try to eat like you and have seen a big difference. I agree that Americans eat too much. We once received a gift card to Red Lobster. We had never been there. We tried to find something that wasn’t fried and succeeded with a salad and some shrimp. When the waiter came to the table to clear it he asked, “Are you stuffed?” I was shocked at his question and replied, “Was that the goal?” We avoid ALL chain restaurants and never eat fast food. We eat at locally owned “boutique” restaurants with small plates of delicious food.

    Thanks for the comment about soda. I don’t keep it in the house, but I order it when we go out and I need to order sparkling water.

  20. Lisa and Joey @ Paintbrush and Screwdriver

    You inspired me this weekend 🙂

    Made my own banana bread, strawberry jam, salad dressing and spaghetti sauce. And I finally broke down and ordered a bottle of balsamic vinegar from Oilerie. Can’t wait for it to get here!

    Off to nibble some blackberries for breakfast…

  21. Cheryl M.

    I am loving these “eating” posts, Angela. 🙂 I just finished reading French Kids Eat Everything by Karen LeBillon…Awesome Book! So much inforamation in that book to help parents teach themselves and their children to eat real food properly.

  22. Anonymous

    Fabulous series! I love it. Keep this up, your perspective and view on food is right on!

  23. Erika Roberts

    Loving this series already! Can’t wait to read more. My biggest struggle will be with the soda. I think I will post this to Facebook! Until the next one…

  24. Anonymous

    You simply crack me up yet hit the matter home, thank you! 🙂

    Melissa of Churubusco, IN


    So very well said I wish you were near me each day

  26. Anonymous

    Love this much needed timely reminder. Please be bossy. We’re vegetarian and try to eat whole foods, but my work schedule doesn’t always allow it. I gave up sodas years ago while going through treatment for a serious kidney condition. One of the best decisions I ever made.

  27. Passionedeco...perchè le case hanno un'anima

    You’re so right….
    we are all eating too much fake food and yes, here in Italy too.
    I’m for organic and real food, I think this is the only way for an healthier future.

    That Cambozola…..well, sorry to say Angela but it is a bad copy of the original italian GORGONZOLA.
    There are so many, too many imitations of Italian food around. That’ s so sad for my country. :-((



Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Search Posts

Blog Categories

Archives by Date