Breakfast: Some women skip breakfast altogether but we know that skipping breakfast is not a good idea especially if you are trying to diet.
First Parisian women do not obsess or count calories, second they do not deprive themselves of foods they love. I think we all know that portions in France and most other countries is much smaller than our super sized society. That is the key to staying thin or losing weight after all it is all about calories in and calories out, not a pill or some crazy diet. They were brought up with smaller portions and healthier eating unlike us, the McDonald's happy meal society. We imagine the Parisian woman eating a croissant with a cup of coffee every morning which is just not the reality.
?Monday thru Friday a typical breakfast may be coffee, yogurt and some fruit or bread with jam. She saves her calories for the weekend or a special night.
Lunch: This may be her biggest meal of the day which makes sense since she will have the rest of the day to burn those calories and since breakfast may be skipped she is probably pretty hungry by lunch time.
?Weekend's she may have a croissant (with jam not butter!) or an omelet.
?If time allows she may go to a restaurant for a 2 hour lunch with several courses but if she does that for dinner she may only eat a salad
?Savory Crepe, simple recipe:
?Piece of ham
?Over easy egg
Dinner: Eating dinner is more about the experience, the people they are eating with and less about the food. No phones or Ipads are brought to the table and the only thing on will be the stereo playing classical music quietly in the background.
?If she is going out to have a nice meal whether it is a dinner party or date night she will save calories from her lunch by eating just a salad
?Several course meal which does not need to be complicated or sophisticated. I really like the idea of separate courses I believe that doing it that way you would be less likely to over eat
?First Course Ideas (they should be small so don't make too much)
?Prosciutto wrapped melon
?Fruit or Vegetable plate
?Glass of Rose or maybe a martini
?Second Course Ideas
?Soup/Salad if you didn't use it in your first course. Salad is typically served with every meal
?Main course Ideas:
?Protein (fish, chicken or red meat)
?Pasta Dish instead of Protein
?Third Course Ideas:
She will typically plate instead of serving family style which does help when it comes to portion control. Presentation is important so she will take time on the details from how she cuts up herbs to adding a decorative touch.
?Strawberries and Cream
?Chocolate Covered Strawberries
?Coffee or Desert Wine
?Fourth and Final Course: This isn't done every night
She may also plate the dessert with the same flare used for the main course. Whether it is cutting strawberries in a decorative manner or decorating the plate with chocolate and caramel sauce.
?This is typically a cheese platter with maybe some nuts served with a cocktail. Again it is not a big plate nor does it need to be elaborate it is about the social aspect not eating
As you can see I have not shown any snack and there is a good reason why, they don't do snacks. They eat 3 meals a day and since she doesn't snack or graze all day she can afford to eat several courses. She eats at the table even if she is alone in fact she will even plate her food with the same care she does for a dinner party or family dinner. The phone, tablet, computer and tv are not on because even if she is eating alone it is about the experience. This is about learning to celebrate even the smallest moments in your life and finding your 'jois des vive'. If you can not leave your desk for lunch or have no where else to eat then turn off your computer, clear your desk or any clutter or paperwork and shut off your phone. This is your time to recharge yourself so you can solve whatever disaster that you are working on. It's good to step away from a problem and come back to it with fresh eyes. If you want you could put your head phones on and listen to some classical, jazz or opera while you eat.
The Do's and Don'ts
?Don't eat in front of the TV
?Don't eat on the run
?Do eat at the table
?Do indulge but make up the calories in your next meal.
?Don't inhale your food
?Do take time to chew your food and put your knife and fork down as you chew
?Don't bring your 'technology' to the table
?Do turn off your phone or tablet
?Do keep your cooking within your skill and comfort zone
?Don't stress over cooking and don't feel you have to make a gourmet dinner
?Do involve the whole family in cooking dinner. Open a bottle of wine, throw on the soundtrack from The Big Night and turn cooking dinner into a bonding experience
?Don't eat with plastic utensils or off paper plates
?Do set the table, use a table cloth and pull out the good china and silverware because today, this moment is special.
Change your relationship with food.