And why, yes, my mother gaves this to me which is why I read the german version, here Thanks so much, mom.
Still, I have to give it to Mrs Guiliano who is not my mother, but the author of the book , she knows about food And eating And when and what not to eat.
Her secret is that you can eat whatever you want, as long as you never eat too much of anything She suggests you monitor your eating habits for three months before you start changing your ways, and then it will be very very easy to become thin and to stay thin And, she could be right I am pretty sure you can lose weight with this book, and not just by carrying it up and down the stairs half an hour each day you can also skip her wonder soup, but it wouldn t be a weightloss book if it didn t have at least one wonder recipe.
However, I only gave it two stars, because there is nothing new in here for anyone who knows about food and weightloss, and hah, do I ever know about food and weightloss So she is really just selling common knowledge or what should be common knowledge as the french miracle to losing weight.
Also, as much as I love the french, they did not invent good food Yes, they may haveof it than us poor little things, but they did not invent it So please, Mrs Guiliano, let s be a bit less arrogant, cause I love France and would like to keep it that way.
Thank you Because I know you are wondering no, I did not lose weight after I read this book To lose weight, you have to actually do what she says, and I don t follow directions well Especially not if they are indirectly from my mother.
The idea of staying healthy while enjoying food as well as life made me enjoy reading this bookthan once The Million Copy, UltimateBestseller That Is Changing The Way Americans Eat And LiveDon T DietEat ChocolateDrink WineTake Long WalksEnjoy LifeStay Slim The French Way Experience The Joie De Vivre Of French Women Don T Get Fat By Mireille Guiliano ok a chocolate croissant for breakfast That is a certainty that I would put a kilo or two on before 9 30am But I ve read so much hype for against this book so can t wait to read it Mar 8 started this last night and am already halfway through Que horror Ze woman gained 10 kilos in zee visit in zee States raise eyebrows It s not the end of the world honey Have another glass of bubbly Mar 10 as I continued reading the book, theannoyed I become It soundedandlike we French are better than all of YOU Especially YOU FAT AMERICANS We French drinkWATER We French know our WINES We French enjoy our glass of bubbly at every meal We FRENCH have better desserts Blah blah And there s a whole spiel on wines and champagnes, etc Guess what She s the CEO of Vueve And common sense, drinking wine and champers at every meal lady, is NOT good FOR YOU And buy me a ticket to Paris and I ll point out some fat French women for you.
It s easy to feel defensive about the author s assault on the American lifestyle, and I think it s hard for some people to get over that aspect of the book But, like it or not, the author is right about a lot of things France and the rest of the Mediterranean does not have a weight problem America does Americans do not move enough, do not personally prepare their own food enough, and do not cook seasonally Americans areconcerned with getting cheap and convenient food than they are about truly enjoying and experiencing their food the way that Europeans do.
This is sort of the chick lit version of In Defense of Food, and I loved both authors overall messages I ve also lost 30 lb by making a lifestyle change similar to what the author outlines in French Women Don t Get Fat, so I know that what she s saying is true But to get the author s message, you have to get less defensive about the American way of life and get to really know and love your meat, bread, fruits, and vegetables.
While I don t believe that French women don t ever get fat, I have to say I was enticed by the tiny woman toting her tiny dog and her wine and baguettes on the cover Yeah, I admit it I m all about the marketing.
I reread this diet book that s a self proclaimed not diet book after the New Year, just to check back in with some concepts that had been blurred by post wedding gluttony and holiday stretchy pants.
Based on her own experiences, Mireille Guiliano offers a very French answer to a very American problem If you get lost in that translation, this will not appeal to you However, I, having been totally misplanted in this country, totally get it If leeks, endive, prunes, soy nuts and plain yogurt sound lovely to you, then you will get it also It s about treasuring that pain au chocolat, not ordering the Costco sized serving.
At at rate, it s worth a read even if you just use it to add a fewhealthful recipes to your culinary repertoire or a fewhealthful tips to your everyday It will not make you svelte or speak with a sexy accent like Brigitte Bardot.
Unless I did it wrong.
While I m not entirely na ve to believe a well written book can change your life insert some quote about how change starts with you this book was so deliciously and exquisitely worded, and as far as a non diet book can influence an individual like me, consider it done Mireille expertly weaves personal experience, lifestyle advice and recipes and makes you fall in love with food If you are, like me, already in love with food and haven t read this, then be prepared to be absolutely horny for food afterwards Inappropriate choice of words but hey While I don t think I will ever sprinkle sugar on cabbage leaves and pretend it s the most delicious thing in the world, some of the recipes are just drool worthy Mireille speaks of the French culture with such fondness that at times I wished I lived a small town provincial life in France full of berry gardens, perfectly glazed pastries and tarts and beautiful cutlery Theoretically, I could make that happen now, but wouldn t it be so much better in the provinces of France What I like the most though is that this book actually wants you to give in to your pleasures What kind of sorcery is this This is the kind of book that anyone who eats a predominantly Western diet needs to read And this is not me bagging on the Western diet because I eat a Western diet, and I like to think I eat well enough to not succumb to a sugar or fat induced heart attack However, Mireille has made me realize that those jam danishes I chowoften than not, those sweet syrupy lattes and those late night trips to McDonalds isn t as tasty as I think they are I have been duped by the supposed deliciousness that is salty french fries dipped in a McFlurry Noooooooooooo.
It s no secret that there is a really unhealthy mentality with diet and exercise in a lot of Western countries Gyms, juice diets, miracle pills, appetite suppressors what even the list is not only endless, but entirely unnecessary Mireille s purpose is to show us Westerners what we re missing out on I mean, three course dinners every night WITH cheese and NO grueling gym workouts Sign me up In short, I m totally bagging on the Western diet.
I have just finished the chapter on seasonal fruit in which she shares a delicious plum clafoutis recipe with us insert foodgasm and she mentions early on that there is an entire chapter dedicated to bread and another to chocolate Any author who promotes such delicious foods gets ALL the thumbs up Old posts are in spoiler tags below, so you don t have to see them every time I write something new But, don t worry, I m not spoilering the outcome of the book YOU LL NEVER GUESS WHAT HAPPENS Okay, if you want to know view spoiler she gets skinny again hide spoiler
Making choices that are meaningful to you is the essence of the French woman s secret.
Rating and reviewing this is going to be very difficult.
Let s first establish that diet books are anathema to me Dieting is the anti Carmen And make no mistake about it, this IS a diet book.
Let s break this down.
THE BAD Advising people to track their eating for three weeks and then have 48 hours where they eat nothing but leek soup ingredients leeks, water and water is a great way to jumpstart an eating disorder I know this isn t what Guiliano intends, but it is the truth nonetheless Guiliano basically became fat 20 pounds overweight by going to America There, she ate brownies, bagels, and chocolate chip cookies For in America, I had gotten into some habits eating standing up, not making my own food, living off whateverShe begins fearing and dreading going back home because she knows her family and friends will react badly And indeed they do, her asshole father insulting her literally as soon as he sees her As I approached, now a little hesitantly, he just stared at me, and as we came near, after a few seconds that seemed endless, there in front of my brother and my American shipmate, all he could manage to say to his cherished little girl come home, was, Tu ressembles un sac de patates You look like a sack of potatoes.
It s so hard when you realize that some if not all of your worth as a human being is based on being thin And not just in society s eyes, but in your family s eyes As a child you honestly believe that your parents love you unconditionally no matter what but becoming chubby or fat quickly disabuses you of this notion I don t know about France Guiliano claims none of her French female friends had any weight gain but in America this often happens when someone comes home from college At age 19, I could not have imagined anythinghurtful, and to this day the sting has not been topped But my father was not being mean The devastating welcome sprangthan anything from his having been caught off guard Still, it wasthan I could take I was at once sad, furious, vexed, and helpless At the time, I could not even measure the impact.
She claims here that her father is not being a jerk I disagree The idea that she has to lose weight in order to fit in and be accepted by her family again is true and absolutely realistic, but it also makes me want to weep She knows if she stays chubby or overweight or fat she will be a disappointment and an embarrassment to her family who will at best look on her with pity and at worst despise her and be disgusted by her.
Her mom s solution is to call the family doctor in to make a housecall, and he puts her on the diet that she explains in this book.
She not only does follow the diet and lose weight, but she doesn t get an eating disorder as a result of this, and many, many females and males do She s lucky Many people fall into anorexia nervosa by beginning this way No matter how much good is in this book and there is a lot of good here I cannot recommend this or any diet book due to the fact that I know too many people who have died from anorexia nervosa and many who are still practicing it and suffering from it.
I d rather a person be fat, overweight or chubby any day than see someone who has a restrictive eating disorder Those aren t the only two choices, Carmen.
No, those aren t the only two choices, but once you ve seen someone starve themselves to death you can t condone dieting At least I can t Especially since the majority of people I personally know and have known with restrictive EDs started with a diet.
She also makes me incredibly sad when she talks about a woman she worked with whom Guiliano helps to lose weight in this book who was a great, skilled employee but was devalued and could even lose her job because of what she weighed And she wasn tthan 30 pounds overweight, imagine what would happen to a fat person Would never be hired by this company, probably, regardless of their credentials This is also realistic and true but it baffles me that people just calmly accept this instead of flying into a rage at this bias of society s Judging fat people simply for being fat and hating, despising, pitying them and denying them stuff like jobs etc is not so much seen as discrimination but simply Oh, it s natural for people to hate fat people and feel disgust at them And she should be healthy anyway Being fat is not healthy So it s okay to treat fat people like shit Really, it s doing them a favor because it might motivate them to lose weight This baffles me It should be obvious that people are judged on their character and abilities, not how much they weigh, but society accepts and embraces this attitude even today Guiliano has a real sweet tooth She stays fat in France not losing the weight right away by eating a lot of pastries On the walk between school and the room I was renting in the Seventh Arrondissement, there were no fewer than sixteen pastry shops Without my having much noticed, my meals wereandrevolving around pastry.
My Parisian pastry gluttony was wonderfully diverse In the morning there was croissant or pain au chocolat or chouquette or tarte au sucre Lunch was preceded by a stop at Poil ne, the famous breadmaker s shop, where I could not resist the pain aux raisins or tarte aux pommes or petits sabl s Next stop was at a caf for the ubiquitous jambon beurre and what remained of the Poil ne pastry with coffee Dinner always included and sometimes simply was an clair, Paris Brest, religieuse, or mille feuille, always some form of creamy, buttery, sweetness Sometimes I would even stop off for a palmier for my go ter.
While I understand that Guiliano has a sweet tooth and worships chocolate she even interrupts the book to explain the entire history of chocolate and how it is made , it seems she can t understand people who are heavy due to savory food choices For instance, she describes a woman s interest in cheese and heavy sauces as weird And strange And then she blames it on the woman s smoking She also can t understand why someone would want to eat something in a heavy sauce in summer blink blink Well, it s because it tastes good Not sure why these concepts are such a mystery to her.
To me, an interest in cheese and heavy sauces seems perfectly understandable.
She also acts like every woman has a deep interest, love, and passion for chocolate Despite what commercials and marketing would have you believe, this is simply not true Also, some of her ideas don t translate well to her intended audience Which is American women By then you ll discover what is obvious to French women There can be an almost ecstatic enjoyment in a single piece of fine dark chocolate that a dozen Snickers can never give you.
This nothing tastes as good as thin feels thing is weird and also not exactly true People who do this stuff much like the deconstruction of a Dorito as you find in Geneen Roth s books and use it as an example of why people shouldn t overeat truly do not understand overeating Very few of us will go out just to buy a bag of salty nuts or potato chips.
Another sentence where I wonder where she is getting these ideas People absolutely will do this She throws in one sentence about class America gastronomic class system unknown in France The right and the opportunity to enjoy the earth s seasonal best seems to be monopolized by an elite.
But she never really addresses this or discusses it She simply says that one must be okay with spendingmoney on food in order to be healthy.
She also spends a lot of time talking about shopping at outdoor markets, buying only two days worth of groceries at a time, drinking wine and especially Champagne real at every meal, cooking homecooked meals, and walking everywhere.
While I think a life like this sounds DELIGHTFUL and definitely all of these are good ideas I don t think she realizes what a privilege it would be to be able to do all these things A lot of people simply cannot afford to live like this and have no way to do so, and after working two or three job and raising four kids simply do not want to homecook or take a walk at the end of the day Also, walking everywhere is great if you live in a city, but in the country and suburbs it s difficult if not impossible to get around without a car Walking to work, as she suggests, just isn t a real option for most people.
And she hates the gym Again, I think this is a cultural thing I know the WHOLE POINT of the book is that culturally, the French have a lifestyle that is superior to ours and makes people thinner, but in America the gym if you are blessed enough to be able to afford a gym membership, and that s a big if is a necessity for a lot of people who are worried about weight gain She thinks it is despicable and pretty much a waste of time.
As someone who had a nanny and a gardener and an orchard full of nut and fruit trees growing up, it seems to me that Guiliano isn t able to fully grasp what I consider the challenges of an average American woman s life If you are upper middle class or rich, sure Lower middle class or poor and you are going to have trouble fulfilling Guiliano s suggestions Champagne never fails to set a mood Its festivity is irrepressible Having learned this, I decided right there that henceforth, I would either save up to have a party with Champagne or have no party at all.
This is the stuff I m talking about Real Champagne or no party I would never have a party, then I can t only host a party when I can afford Champagne for people No concept of reality or of American life Put some beer in a cooler and put a grill in the back yard Duh This lady is out of touch with reality I don t know many people who can afford to buy Champagne for everyone She suggests sharing your dessert or only having a few bites and letting the rest get thrown away by the waiter Or eating fruit or cheese for dessert I would get angry spending money on dessert only to let the majority of it get thrown away or watching other people eat it And I don t really care about sweets, but for many people suggesting fruit or cheese instead of dessert would earn you weird looks.
THE GOOD The good is that Guiliano offers a lot of sensible and good advice that if you can follow it is wonderful Not for weight loss, who gives a fuck about weight loss , but for better living For instance, her drink champagne or wine every day idea Great Expensive, can t afford to do it, but sounds fun Buy your food at farmer s markets Great Expensive, but great Here are some of her basic ideas Teach your kids that veggies are yummy and to drink lots of water Laughing is good for you Sex and love are good for you Practice good posture Get enough sleep Don t eat bread in restaurants before a meal Drink lots of water Eat homemade yogurt Eat soup at least five times a week Eat one big meal and two small meals a day Don t eat farmed salmon Eat mushrooms, Guiliano remembers picking them herself in the fields and forest I always think of this as a Ukrainian habit, but I guess it is French as well Eat prunes, drink lemon water, and eat fresh fruit Grow your own herbs at home Use spices, herbs and mustard Eat food that is in season.
Guiliano is pretty approachable, has a pretty good attitude for someone who promotes dieting, and has a sense of humor If you HAVE to read a diet book and you are going to read one, this is probably your best bet as far as normalcy goes She doesn t advocate weighing yourself, skipping meals, cutting out a food group, counting calories, etc etc etc It slike eat less, moveI STILL DON T ENDORSE THIS BOOK, but I hate diet books and I am against them If you have to diet, this is probably the most mild.
THE UGLY I covered this with the ED talk in THE BAD section, and the discussion of not only society s hatred of fat people, but your family and loved ones basing your worth on your weight, AND when I discussed fat discrimination and how socially acceptable it still is.
Tl dr If you are going to pick a diet book, this is probably the best and most mild one Notice I didn t say the most effective, quickest and most weight losing book ever Tons of diet books are going to get you faster results and get you skinnythan this But Guiliano isn t going for rapid weight loss She only is focusing on women who are AT MOST 30 pounds overweight Not anythan that And she is less focused on the numbers of weight loss andon making your life full of healthy habits that she thinks are important and should be part of your basic everyday lifestyle.
However, are these changes realistic for the average American woman Not all of them, and Guiliano doesn t seem to realize that Also, I think this diet is perfect to kickstart an eating disorder, no different than any other diet in that regard Guiliano made me want to weep with her matter of fact statements on how human beings worth is based on their weight, regardless of their character and personality Accurate, but a display of society s ugliness Even though she seemed to just accept that all people need lose weight and be thin in order to have a happy and loving life, I do not I do not accept this and I do not endorse this I understand why she does the story about her return from America is heartbreaking but ideally I think this pressure shouldn t exist.
So the book is a mixed bag On it s merits as a diet book it probably deserves a four if not a five It s pretty reasonable and Guiliano is pretty sensible However, I hate diet books So you see the bind I m in Should I give it a one because it is a diet book Should I give it a five for it s being head and shoulders above most diet books A three because I can t sort out my feelings o.
OI am going to give her a four because as a diet book this is as close to normal as you are going to get See my review of The Kind Diet A Simple Guide to Feeling Great, Losing Weight, and Saving the Planet if you want to see me freak out This is nothing compared to something like Silverstone s book My urge to give Guiliano a 1 star stems from my hatred of dieting So please keep this in mind the 4 star is NOT an endorsement P.
S She does include a lot of recipes in here, they are pretty normal no fake ingredients, no obvious fat or sugar bans I didn t try to make any, I hope you forgive me If I do, I will update this post.
S She only translates about half the French she uses in this book Expect to do a lot of Googling if you don t speak it read in a moment of desperation at my parents over Xmas vacation Picked up from the book exchange in the basement of their NYC building The basic message is that French women don t get fat because they movethan American women, eat good food but in moderation, and enjoy life I disliked the generalization that American women don t to cook at home, cook what s in season, use good quality ingredients, and to eat in moderation and to try to moveI disliked her assumption that anyone who exercises in the gym must be in pain and suffering and hating every moment of it Guiliano is a French transplant who lives in NYC, where it is subjectively easier to movein a day if one chooses If one lives in the suburbs or most American cities, I m sorry walking to work is simply not an option Plus some of us simply enjoy exercising Other things I hated yes, we should drinkwater Her suggestion to drink a paper cup full everytime you pass the water cooler and to carry around bottled water is simply disgusting in terms of any sort of environmental concerns Additionally, her disregard for vegetarianism as a common fad among teenage girls was disappointing as well as her lack of knowledge regarding how much protein we need AND her belief that one needs dairy to be healthy Yes, eating should be pleasureable Yes, we should not deny ourselves things we enjoy or label food as good or bad Yes, incorporating movement into daily life, outside the gym, is a good goal Yes, we should consume foods that are in season and as close to their natural states as possible ie few processed foods Yes, we should cook our own foodsBut all those lessons are common sense and available in most books on nutrition and weight management that are written by individuals better informed by their training as nutritionists or dieticians Don t read this book read Skinny Bitch instead.