The pact I made with myself just exploded. My resolve to put better food into my body veered off course — again — with that Lemon Poppyseed Scone behind the counter. After all, I was meeting a new friend for coffee, so I’ll just “start tomorrow.” For sure this time.
As I savored the first bite, a book I’d read years before, French Women Don’t Get Fat, popped into my head. Seeing an interview with the author had caused me to drop everything and read it immediately. She talked mostly about mental attitude. “We enjoy our food, and this means taking the time to savor each bite.” What I didn’t know then was that it takes 20 minutes for your stomach to tell your brain that it’s full, so slower eating means your brain has a chance to catch up. I thought of it again today as I devoured my morning favorite, a sweet sweet orange. Those dainty eaters would gasp at the speed and the actual slurping that went on. I was even embarrassed in front of myself.
The current statistics shocked me; their overweight/obesity rate is 30%, versus 68% in the U.S. One of the biggest differences is portions; the French eat half of what we do… and with wine and rich foods, no less. They do have different eating traditions surrounding sweets and snacking, but researching the difference between our two countries is moving me closer to a major eating attitude adjustment. A good place to start is with a website that’s easy to digest. Ha.
The bonus to portion control is a Kitchen-Win-Win. Whether you make less for the meal to begin with or save half the meal for tomorrow, cutting down portions cuts food costs and means less cooking. This part is important if you’re as tired of cooking as I am. Another hint to help serve less is to use smaller plates, because there’s not enough room for large portions. Serving dinner on a salad plate makes the new habit easier to swallow.
Getting French Women... and making it visible from the kitchen will officially be my start to better eating. I get stuck in old habits because it seems easier to do what I’ve done before than to make a change. The book’s whimsical cover art and title are good enough to set up on a little shelf so I can see it everyday until the new habit sticks. New resolve is boiling up.