|"Everything in Moderation, including moderation" ~ Julia Child|
Chapter five... Cinq, of The French Twist by author Carol Cottrill, is all about finding balance. It being a book about the "twelve secrets of decadent dining and natural weight management", to be expected the pages within the chapter are filled with stories where people have not found balance withing their eating habits, as well as portions from a couple of French bloggers who discuss finding balance within their own diets and lifestyles. In reading through the chapter, I was seeing myself. How many diets have I tried. How many failures. Giving up carbs or cutting back on fat, sugar, high protein, nearly none at all. Never a long lasting result, if any, and a very unhappy body, mind and soul. During the time I was battling what my doctors still deem a mysterious bladder ailment, I gave up nearly all sugar, cut back on dairy, stopped all caffeine, and wine as well as dark chocolate. I will admit it helped, but I was very unhappy when my husband would pour the nightly glass of wine, and grab his bite or two of chocolate to enjoy while watching television. I felt deprived. It was not a good feeling. After a long while, over a year, I slowly started to reintroduce the foods and beverages I had stopped having and so far so good... though my body does tell me if I have had too much and is out of balance. Like the quote above it is about moderation, but even then you need days of indulgence, you must find the balance in your eating habits, in life really. Too much of a good thing, and not enough of a good thing is no way to live, it certainly is no way to have those perfect pair of pants still fit!
As has been my way while going through the first four chapters, I have applied what I am reading or have read to how it fits into my life, in all areas, not just how I eat and I reflect about I have adjusted both to that information. Last week it was pleasure. I truly had plenty of that. I shared how I had a cancer scare and had gone through some tests, and then after had gone out to eat and have some shop therapy, both pleasurable. I did not stop with that day. Last Saturday, we as a family went out for the day to celebrate our two youngest daughters birthdays which are three days apart. We started the day at a lovely restaurant, where I devoured, yes devoured, my clam chowder and enjoyed fresh baked bread, so much following what the author had suggested, slowing down and savoring. Then it was wine tasting, and I never did pour out, and it added up, followed at the end of the day with a fine French meal, complete with a sparkling Cuvee and desert. That might have been alright, but then Sunday we went ahead and had our weekly bagel, and I had half and half in my coffee. I had already had a doughnut earlier in the week, as well as a very indulgent breakfast at my favorite French themed restaurant. It was a bad week, though tasty week of pleasure. In between I was trying to behave, and not "diet" at the same time. I did not record my food, and I went on my normal walks, then came this past Wednesday and yet another day of pleasure, breakfast out, then more wine tasting, a drive through the country, our annual treat of fresh, made to order apple cider doughnuts. I knew when I woke up yesterday morning I was out of balance, my whole body felt out of whack and stepping on the scale for the first time in a few days was not a fun experience. I had taken the pleasures a bit too far. I had not found as much moderation in my diet as I had intended.
|Pumpkin Gnocci, apples, cranberries, walnuts and brown butter... quite the pleasure to eat, rich,|
indulgent flavors of the season, fine if you stop with just this one dish, but if it leads to more and more, soon you will find yourself out of balance.
|A yearly treat of hot apple cider doughnuts...|
perhaps one instead of three might have been
a good way to eat them in moderation.
Imagine my surprise once again, when I opened to chapter five today and saw the subject matter was that of balance. Like a strong reminder of what I had done wrong the past week, I had given up on moderation, had lost my balance, and my weight and what my daughters call a "food baby" were there to show that to me. I know that I do not wish to be on a diet, I wish to enjoy life and food, but still fit in my pants. I read on. Sipping on my tea and snacking on my carefully measured out almonds, I reached the before mentioned bloggers that the author quotes and what they had to say about maintaining balance in their eating habits. They both speak of eating what they want, but in moderation... there is that word again. Something I need to learn to implement into my life. They speak of restrain, goodness, this is going to be harder than I thought, I have always been an all or nothing girl, like my wardrobe that is black and white ( for the most part), I live life that way...it is all black or white, either I am over indulging, or I give it all up. I pour over the passages and read and re-read them two or three times each. " Most of us will allow ourselves a splurge from time to time, but not every day, and we'll try to compensate by eating less the next day and exercising regularly" states Clotilde Dusoulier, a Parisian who writes a blog by the name of Chocolate & Zucchini: Daily Adventures in a Parisian Kitchen . I had my answer, and it was what I had been doing right up until this past week, I had even managed during my vacation to do this, so what was the game changer this past week, almost two? STRESS!
The author, Carol Cottrill, goes in depth about the subject, within the pages of chapter five. I have been so very stressed what with not feeling well, the cancer scare, the tests, waiting for confirmation from the doctor, but still not having the answers to what is wrong with me. I have been battling a cold, more aches and pains, the sudden onset of inflammatory arthritis in my shoulder and neck then add in two of my daughters having birthdays ( I deal far better with my own aging than theirs) , and the prospect of jury duty in December ( that is a whole other set of stress issues I will not go into here) and there you have it. I have been eating out of stress "....the rubber meets the road at the intersection of stress and emotional eating. When you're stressed, you may find dieting difficult...." The French Twist. Gee.... I knew this, but I think in the fog that stress can create I put it out of my mind and had a free for all with food. I do believe the universe is sending me a cosmic message, a reason why I only read the chapters in the book the day I am to post, so it is high time I pay attention to it. So the goal for the coming week is not to not have the foods I desire, it is not to become more stressed over each and every bite, but it is like the author states, eat what I want in moderation, draw upon the previous chapters, and slow down and take pleasure in my food, as well as my day to day life, and find L' Equilibre .... BALANCE.
Putting a little French into my life...
Style wise that is.