for my birthday last month my mom sent me a lovely little package full of delights including a book that i had heard of a while back but never read – ‘french women don’t get fat’ by mireille guiliano. now, some might take this as a hint… but i know ma maman and for sure that’s not what she was trying to imply. with two long x-country flights recently, i cruised quickly through the book and savored it all.
it reminded me of the house i was raised in and challenged me to think about how easily influenced we are by social norms that encourage inertia, lean cuisine frozen lunches eaten in front of the computer and other bad and sad habits. it made me long for fresh fruits and vegetables we picked from our own garden (or my grandparents, or a neighbors) in the summer and fall, home-made dinners around the family table, fresh seafood (right off my dad’s boat), and the joys of growing up with lots of woods and beaches to explore and the freedom to do so (translation – enjoying the outdoors and moving my butt without getting on a treadmill). my mom’s motivation was probably exactly that, plus a little something to remind me of my french roots. which it did.
so today i’m pulling up a few pics from my trip to paris a few years ago- two weeks of living at le relais saint-honore, situated near fabulous shopping, eating, museums, parks and the metro which i took to work daily. although traveling solo for work, i explored much of the city on foot and enjoyed every meal out. when i didn’t understand a menu, i took my chances ordering what the waiter recommended. not eating the local food is like going through a country blindfolded and while paris is a beautiful city, it’s the food that left the strongest impression on me – and guiliano’s book brought me back as if it were yesterday.