|Ready to learn a few new lessons....|
Before I began today's post I took a moment of silence for those in Paris and for those who died in Paris and a neighboring village at the hands of terrorists. I considered not posting a blog post, but it seemed that would almost be like letting them win. When I write these blog posts it is in honor of a culture , a country and a city that I admire and have a fondness for even though I have never been there and may never go there. My heart and prayers go out to everyone touched by this, and in many ways that is ALL of us. xx Ruby
A new year and a new book for French Girl Friday. Lessons from Madame Chic , 20 Stylish Secrets I Learned While Living in Paris , by Jennifer L. Scott, that is the book I chose to draw upon for this go around. I have had this book on my radar since it came out, and it sat on my wish list just as long, and I just finally decided to treat myself and clicked the order button. I shared the fact that this was to be the next book with my readers on my Facebook fan page for the blog and instantly many readers let me know that I would not be disappointed, and upon reaching the author for approval, here we are. I made myself a nice and mostly healthy snack plate ( pink flesh oranges and mini"Lady Apples" adding a girly touch) , and with a good smelling ( champagne pear) candle lit, and my favorite Edith Piaf CD playing, I opened to the first page.
From the first paragraph of the introduction I was hooked and already was making a connection with the author, it was confirmed not just by my readers on FB , but now by my own inner French girl *wink* , so now hooked. The Author shares her being a foreign exchange student in Paris during 2001, and she recounted her experiences while there that had such a huge impact on her and her life and it leading to the writing of this book where she will share with us life lessons from "Madame Chic". I carried on to Part One. It just so happens that Part One, Chapter One through Chapter Three is all about diet and exercise. Now I know that my last series was centered around that very subject, so it was more of a refresher course, such as not snacking, but also not depriving oneself, and that exercise is a part of life, not to be a chore that many of us have considered it or made it for fr too long.
|I find balance between healthy foods and indulgences,|
Champagne is always a welcomed one.
If you have been following FGF posts for awhile, then you know that the French do not snack, it simply is not part of their culture. The do not sit in front of the tv or their desk or in their car munching down on that bag of chips. Jennifer, the author does not just thrown statistics about this fact at the reader, she draws you in and tells you a story and her experiencing of this new way ( to her and many Americans) way of eating, how feeling actually hungry between meals is not a bad thing. Line by line I felt as if I was experiencing what she had gone through and I could picture meal times in the Famille Chic's table and kitchen , I imagine what Madame Chic must have thought about her house guest wondering around late at night seeking a snack. I am not immune to snacking, even with reading all the FGF books that I have on the French way of eating, but I will say that when I snack it is not on junk food and I only pick high quality and healthy, well most times, snacks. The author in her "Le Recap" that is included at the end of each chapter , suggests the same thing, because as she admitted that once back home, she is not immune to snacking either.
As I read on into Chapter Two, all about not depriving yourself. Sounds good to me! Again this is not new, I shared all this type of information with the last go round, there is the eating in moderation, so eat what you want, but less of it, make presentation count, savor your food and meal time, make it an event, even lunch. Even if I am having a yogurt, or my latest obsession a Stonyfield Pitite Creme
(sweet fresh cheese inspired by the French) , I dish it out into a bowl, and sit at the table and enjoy it, perhaps with added fruit or some grapenuts sprinkled on it, point is, I savor it, make it count. By watching how much you eat, you do not have to deprive yourself , you can have the Champagne or perhaps that French Macaron or Madeline ( two of my favorites) and even that dark piece of chocolate, and still maintain a healthy weight, and perhaps even loose weight if you really need to loose any. Jennifer, the author, wraps up this chapter in a pretty little box with "bullet points" , guidelines from the chapter to help you get started. I love what she states, " Above all... enjoy your meals! We spend so much of our lives eating. Revel in it- have fun and take pleasure in the dining experience." , sounds like wonderful advice to me!
|I love to take long walks, spending time in nature as my form of exercise. Never|
a chore, always pleasurable. Plus, you still burn a lot of calories!
Exercise, some are addicted, and truly enjoy it, others it is a chore, something they would love to avoid and always the first thing to be put off when life gets busy right? In Paris, " Exercise Is A Part Of Life, Not A Chore" , the French , specifically Parisians walk everywhere, to market(s) , to work, to museums, to pay a visit to friends and family, and basically what ever and where ever they could reach on foot, they did just that. They take the stairs, and consider housework part of their daily "workout", even their leisure time is based around being active. This mind set suits me and has for years. I have always loved walking, and though I have spent my fair share of time going to gyms, or working out to DVDS , tripping over my feet and running into furniture, if given the choice, I walk. I rarely drive and that has been my way for years now. If I can get there and back on foot, even if I have to rest , that is what I do. Walking as I do has made a huge difference in my pain levels and when I have to miss a walk due to weather or just life in general my mood suffers. Just yesterday I walked to the park a mile or so away, had breakfast in the park with the wildlife, sitting, enjoying each bite and my environment, then I went window shopping at the local mall, and on my way back home once again stopped at the park and just soaked in the mid day sun. Now I know much of the country is under snow right now, and a walk is the last thing on your mind, so that is when the housework trick or simply putting on some great music and dancing around like no one is watching, and if they are, get them up and dancing too! I do not often miss my walk, rain or shine, I am out there, and even when I am not so eager, I am always thankful I did so afterwards. I promise you it will become addicting and you will feel better on so many levels. Exercise can be enjoyable, and it can go a long way towards a healthier and happier life and lifestyle, and again of you are looking to loose weight, it can lead towards that as well.
|While out on your walk, buy yourself some flowers,|
always helps to have a little reward over and
above what the walk can do for you physically and mentally.
Part Two will be all about Style and Beauty.... a Ten Piece Wardrobe... would you be able to do it?? Till then I hope to her from you both here and on the FB page how you bring out your French Girl and not just on Fridays! If you would like to learn more about Jennifer L. Scott, you can visit her author page HERE. You can purchase her book HERE and find her on Facebook HERE.