book crush thursday: French Women Don't Get Fat

At least half our bad eating and drinking habits are careless; they grow out of inattention to our true needs and delights. We don't notice what we are consuming, we are not alert to flavors--we are not really enjoying our indulgences. -- Mireille Guiliano

Deprivation is the mother of failure. -- Mireille Guiliano

Okay. French Women Don't Get Fat, by Mireille Guiliano. ... I know that this isn't some juicy fabulous fiction, or your new favoritest children's book. It's a book on food. Probably in the "weight loss" section of the bookstore.

But bear with me! This isn't a goofy diet book, I promise. Instead, it's about

1) being French, and

2) darn good eating.

And that's reason enough to stick around, I hope. They're two of my favorite subjects, at least!

If I could do college over, I would be an apostle of this book. Probably shouting its virtues from a street corner. Why? Because I'm sick and tired of all the weird, unnatural beliefs we Americans--and especially American women--have about food.

We're scared to eat fat, scared to eat carbs, scared to eat anything, until the day comes when my roommate comes back at six in the evening, and says she's hungry. "Have dinner," I said. She blinked at me a moment, then said, "Nooo, I'd better just have a cup of tea instead."

Tea instead of dinner. This is how we eat now? She wasn't the only one, either. So many of my good friends would skip meals all the time, as a way to control weight.

(Though, admittedly, sometimes the dining halls left a lot to be desired. I love my alma mater, but I didn't go there for the food. ... Making a habit of eating tasteless food is also something this book addresses. Yeah. So, buckle up.)

Mireille Guiliano throws all that meal-skipping out. Eat bread. Eat pasta. Eat chocolate. And don't just eat it, but enjoy it. Relish it. She talks about slowing down, savoring every single bite. Her book is about a much fuller food experience than we're used to having.

No more eating on autopilot. No more eating at random, on the fly.

Much more about loving your food, embracing your life, and living well. Eating is an art, and Mireille describes exactly how to get back to practicing that art every single day. She strips away all the funky, strange lies we tell each other about food, and replaces it with real enjoyment.

The great thing about living well the French way? You lose your excess. Excessive desserts, excess pounds, the lies that weighed you down. Her book refreshes my whole outlook on life. Truly.

Plus, there are recipes. Fabulous recipes. ... And one of these days, that croissant recipe and I will get together, and it will be magic.

Anyway, if you've struggled with food--either eating mindlessly, or calling tea your dinner--then read this book.

Read it with an open mind, enjoy Mireille's stories of France, her description of fantastic food and fantastic living, and make some changes.

I promise you won't regret it.

Recommendation: ummmm, she says not to read while you eat. Which pretty well convicts me for every time I offer a little something with a book, eh? But read a few chapters of Mireille's book and then muse over them while eating something extraordinary, like a buckwheat crepe with warm blackberries. And a strong coffee.

Imagine yourself in Paris, about to embark on a whole new way of eating, a new way of life. Because that's what you're about to do.

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