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French Women Don't Get Fat: The Secret of…
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French Women Don't Get Fat: The Secret of Eating For Pleasure

by Mireille Guiliano

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French élégance and good taste lessons for cows. ( )
  mariusgm | Sep 12, 2014 |
Less irritating than I feared but pretty low on substance as well.
  amyem58 | Jul 3, 2014 |
I enjoyed the audiobook, and some of the advice in general is good, but ultimately the specifics may be challenging to apply to my own life. ( )
  eclecticlibrarian | Jan 7, 2014 |
Excellent book. The audio book is read by the author. Her accent adds much more feeling to the story. It is a story about the author and her education about why the French don't get fat. ( )
  bbeyeler | Nov 17, 2013 |
I thought this book had a lot of good advice, and it was a really interesting look at French culture from an insider's point of view. Actually, it was even better because the author is also an American - she was raised in France but then married an American, so she has good insight on both cultures. This was nice since she wasn't too hard on Americans, and she didn't come across as being all "The French are better, nyeh!"
I guess this book was not structured enough for me, but the whole point of the book was not to follow some structured régime (and I believe that word actually means "diet" in French). It was about changing your culturally ingrained American habits and making slight shifts and fixes to how you live.
This book however was a little annoying to me with its very nonvegan recipes (can we say butter, heavy cream, eggs, cheese, yogurt, duck, chicken, fish, oysters, horse! - which by the way she never liked eating for "sentimental" reasons but her parents made her every week when she was growing up), but that was to be expected since French cooking isn't exactly friendly to les végétaliens. I did appreciate her points about eating things in season and using the very best quality ingredients, so that your food needs very little added flavor in the form of fat and/or sugar.
So, read this book if you're a Francophile or just interested in another culture but don't read it if you're looking for some secret miracle cure - kind of ironic since she nicknamed her French doctor who helped her lose the weight she had gained in America Dr. Miracle.


( )
  __Lindsey__ | Apr 17, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 33 (next | show all)
Guiliano ends the book with a list of more observations about French women. They don't weigh themselves, they don't snack all the time, they eat more fruit but would never give up their bread or other carbs. They dress to take out the garbage, they understand the importance of a good haircut and expensive perfume, they know love is slimming. Part of me wanted to throw the book across the room, while the other part was memorizing the list....At the very least, we would all do ourselves a favor to make like Colette, for whom the table was ''a date with love and friendship '' instead of the root of all evil.
 
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Epigraph
What is more important than the meal? Doesn't the least observant [wo]man-about-town look upon the implementation and ritual progress of a meal as a liturgical prescription? Isn't all of civilization apparent in these careful preparations, which consecrate the spirit's triumph over a raging appetite? - Valery
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I love my adopted homeland.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0375710515, Paperback)

The message of this book could be a blessing or a curse, depending on your perspective. There is no hard science, no clearly-defined plan, and no lists of food to have or have not; instead, you'll find simple tricks that boil down to eating carefully prepared seasonal food, exercising more and refusing to think of food as something that inspires guilt. It's both a practical message and far easier said than done in today's "no pain, no gain" culture.

Author Mireille Guiliano is CEO of Veuve Clicquot, and French Women Don't Get Fat offers a concept of sensible pleasures: If you have a chocolate croissant for breakfast, have a vegetable-based lunch--or take an extra walk and pass on the bread basket at dinner. Guiliano's insistence on simple measures slowly creating substantial improvements are reassuring, and her suggestion to ignore the scale and learn to live by the "zipper test" could work wonders for those who get wrapped up in tiny details of diet. She sympathizes that deprivation can lead straight to overindulgence when it comes to favorite foods, but then, in a most French manner, treats them as a pleasure that needs to be sated, rather than a battle to be fought.

A number of recipes are included, from a weight-loss enhancing leek soup to a lush chocolate mousse; they read more like what you'd find in a French cookbook rather than an American diet book. Most appealingly, these are guidelines and tricks that could be easily sustainable over a lifetime. If you agree that food is meant to be appreciated--but no more so than having a trim waist--these charmingly French recommendations could set you on the path to a future filled with both croissants and high fashion. --Jill Lightner

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Stuffed Cornish Hens
Serves 4

When I grew up, the holidays always meant lots of visitors and a series of requisite celebratory meals, mostly at lunchtime. This easy dish was always on one of the menus. Mamie was usually busy (what else during late December?) and would make the stuffing in advance so lunch could be ready in less than an hour. The recipe serves a family of four for lunch in style, but double the ingredient portions and obviously you are ready for a full table with guests.

Ingredients:
2 Cornish hens (or poussins)
2 tablespoons butter, melted
3 tablespoons chicken stock
Stuffing:
2 cups water
2/3 cup brown rice
1/2 cup mixed nuts (pine nuts, walnut pieces, whole hazelnuts)
2 tablespoons golden raisins
1/3 cup chicken stock
1 tablespoon parsley, freshly minced
1 teaspoon dry herbs (chervil and savory or rosemary and thyme)
Salt and freshly ground pepper

1. For stuffing: Bring water to a boil. Add rice and cook for 15 minutes. Drain and mix well with remaining ingredients. Season to taste and refrigerate overnight.
2. Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Rinse Cornish hens, dry the inside with paper towels, and season. Add stuffing loosely and truss hens. Reserve remaining stuffing in aluminum foil.
3. Put hens in baking dish and brush them with melted butter and other seasonings. Put in oven and baste 10 minutes later with chicken stock. Continue basting every 10 minutes. After the hens have cooked for 20 minutes reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees and put the remaining stuffing in a small ovenproof dish. Roast the hens for another 20 minutes. Serve (half a hen per person) immediately with a tablespoon of stuffing on each side of the hen as garnish.
N.B. For a wonderful tête-à-tête romantic dinner, serve one hen each with a vegetable then dessert. I have prepared it successfully to my husband on Valentine’s Day. While the hens are in the oven, you have time to concoct a little dessert, et voilà, you can pop a cork of bubbly, sit for candlelight dinner and have your husband serve dessert.

Hot Chocolate Soufflé
Serves 6

During the season of overindulgences—Christmas, New Year and all the festivities in between—there is in our home a succession of store-brought, traditional goodies: Bûche de Noël (yule log), marrons glacés (glazed chestnuts), the 13 desserts of Christmas in Provence. This is not to say that the holidays don’t bring out the baker in all of us, but whether it is to give as gifts or to maintain tradition, people do load up with holiday sweets from pastry shops (as I can attest from seeing from the window of our Paris apartment the annual long lines of people outside the pastry shop across the street). When I grew up, however, come New Year’s Day, and there was a home-cooked chocolate ritual. Our big festive meal was on New Year’s Eve, which left New Year’s Day as a quiet, family "recovery" day. (I appreciate some reverse the big meal day… or have one both days.) Anyway, for us, breakfast was well… late (especially for those of us who went partying after dinner), and limited to a piece of toast and a cup or two of coffee. Lunch was mid afternoon and usually made up of leftovers or an omelet, but the first dinner of the year was marked with a special dessert. The simple meal at the end of a week of overindulgences consisted of a light consommé, some greens, cheese, and the chocolate treat. There were no guests, plenty of time, and Mamie was ready for the flourless soufflé. She is a chocoholic and it would be unthinkable to start the year off without chocolate. So, what better way to end the first day of the New Year than with one of her favorite chocolate desserts as both a reward and I’m sure good-luck charm?

Ingredients:
1 cup milk
1 cup unsweetened Dutch cocoa powder
1/3 cup sugar
4 eggs at room temperature
2 tablespoons butter at room temperature
Pinch of salt

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and prepare a 1-quart soufflé mold by lightly buttering it, dusting the insides with sugar and tapping out the excess. Place mold in refrigerator.
2. Pour the milk, cocoa powder and sugar into a heavy saucepan and stir to combine. Bring to a boil over moderate heat while stirring constantly. Reduce the heat and cook while stirring until the mixture thickens (about 10 minutes). Transfer to a bowl and cool slightly.
3. Separate the eggs and stir the egg yolks into the warm chocolate mixture. Stir in the butter.
4. Beat the egg whites until they reach soft peaks. Add the salt and beat until stiff. Whisk half of the egg whites mixture into the chocolate mixture. Fold in the remaining whites gently with a spatula. Pour the mixture in the soufflé mold and smooth the top.
5. Bake in the lower-middle shelf of the oven until puff and brown for about 18 minutes which will give you a soft center. Serve at once with softly whipped cream.

Red Mullet with Spinach en Papillote
Serves 4

Ingredients:
2 teaspoons olive oil
8 fillets of red mullet, about 2 ounces each
1 lb. spinach, washed and dried in a salad spinner
4 teaspoons shallots, peeled and sliced
8 slices of lime
4 tablespoons of crème fraîche
Salt and freshly ground pepper

1. Cut 4 pieces of parchment paper (or aluminum foil) into squares large enough to cover each fillet and leave a 2-inch border all around. Lightly brush the squares with olive oil. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
2. Put the spinach in the center of each square and top it with a tablespoon of crème fraîche. Top with two fillets and add one teaspoon of shallots, two slices of lime. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Fold up the edges to form packets. Put the papillotes on a baking sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes. Serve at once by setting each papillote on a plate.
N.B. You can use sole or snapper instead of red mullet

Pappardelle with Spring Veggies
Serves 4

Ingredients:
12 ounces pappardelle
1 lb. green asparagus
2 cups fresh peas, shelled
2 tablespoons of shallots, peeled and minced
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 cup of pine nuts, toasted
1 cup freshly grated parmesan
1 cup roughly chopped parsley
Coarse sea salt and freshly ground pepper

1. Cut off end of asparagus and blanch in salted water until just tender (about 5 minutes). Blanch peas separately for about 1 minute.
2. In a heavy saucepan, gently sauté the shallots in olive oil until they begin to turn gold. Add peas and asparagus and cook for a few minutes.
3. Cook the pappardelle in boiling water, drain and pour into saucepan. Add pine nuts, parmesan and parsley and season to taste. Serve immediately.

Croque aux Poires
Serves 4

Ingredients:
4 slices of brioche
2 ripe pears
2 tablespoons of sliced almonds
2 tablespoons of honey
1 tablespoon butter
1. Peel the pears and cut into small cubes. Melt butter in a saucepan and sauté the pear cubes for 2-3 minutes.
2. Arrange pear cubes on brioche slices. Cover with honey and almonds. Put under broiler for two minutes watching carefully. Serve warm with a dollop of sour cream or crème fraîche.
A yummy dessert also wonderful for a weekend breakfast or brunch.



(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:35:04 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

A gourmand's guide to the slim life shares the principles of French gastronomy, the art of enjoying all edibles in proportion, arguing that the secret of being thin and happy lies in the ability to appreciate and balance pleasures.

» see all 4 descriptions

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