The Flaming Vegan

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French Women Don't Get Fat
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French Women Don't Get Fat

French Women Don't Get Fat is, as you may have guessed it, a book about dieting. Well, not dieting per se; I should call it a book about one's personal eating habits. And the cultural background of French people vis-a-vis food is quite interestingly described.

This is actually a biography as well. Mireille Guiliano relates to us her little adventures as a French woman studying in the United States, and with that, the discovery of incredibly fattening food. Although not vegan, I chose to tell you about her because she seems to subtly point to vegan food as being one of the secrets of French people use to help maintain their weight.

Growing up in France, she indulged in three-course meals, cheese, wine, foie gras, creamy soups and desserts, and everything else that is typically French and fattening. But why does this population stay so slim when eat such high-calorie and fat food?

Well, even though they are known as eaters of the fattiest proteins available, they only eat them once in a while. Wine is regularly consumed, but in small quantities at a time. They do not binge on dessets as we do. And, whenever they eat a very large meal, they end up cooking a cabbage soup for dinner the next day.

You see, they adore fatty foods, but they also enjoy fresh fruits and vegetables. One of their passions is growing their own garden and owning a fruit tree. To them, anything processed is practically a sin. Good food takes time, is their motto, and cooking from scratch is their passion. As we all know, stepping into a French restaurant or bakery is stepping into a location where we need to empty our wallets. There is a good reason for that: they know how to create quality that keeps people from becoming as large as they are tall.

Furthermore, Mireille explains that after spending too many days overeating or not eating well, French women have a tendency of cooking weight-loss and detox soups that cleanse the system and regulate their weight. This is where veganism steps in: these meals are strictly plant-based. From simple cabbage soup to her Magical Leek Soup recipe, she tells of her quick but safe ways to trim back down.

So, how does one assess this sort of book from a vegan's point of view? This sounds as though someone has realised that veganism is a great benefit. Although Mireille is not vegan, I still prefer seeing her explain that fresh fruits and vegetables are an important part of maintaining a healthy balance in life than going on to say that yo-yo dieting is the way to go. And the proof that it worked is that her book is translated in 37 languages.


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  1. Veganara
    Vote no 2. I loved this article Annie, very well-written and thought-provoking! I have heard of this book, in fact I have seen it in my local library, so maybe I will read it some time. It's true, although in France they have such rich, fattening cuisine, they don't have the obesity problem that we have in the UK and America, for example. I assume that is because they have a very different relationship with food, as you point out; they only eat small portions of the very fattening stuff, and really appreciate it, don't go overboard on it. Then, as you say, they have a kind of detox afterwards. In countries where obesity is a problem, like UK and USA, people just seem to stuff their faces all the time (some of them anyway!) without any self-restraint or any real appreciation of the food, which is why they become obese. Food is being used as a comfort and a drug, in those instances. Ironically, although France is a very difficult country to be vegan in, they recognise the significance of vegan food in maintaining a healthy weight.
  2. kristo
    Voted! I'm going to tell my brother and his wife about this book, they are French teachers and are also not fat. haha.
  3. Roopam
    You know I have always wondered how do french women stay so slim even though french food is so fattening (and yummy too:). I suppose we can learn a few good things here. This sounds like an an interesting book. Thanks for sharing such wonderful information. Voted.
  4. Anita Vegana
    Their secret is out. French women love vegan food too! I voted. Please come read my new post, Raving for Raw Vegan Cheesecake and vote if you enjoy that recipe. Thank you.
  5. VeganDozen
    Vote # 7! From what I've seen of French food prep it's very well thought out. The dishes are prepared with care and attention to detail. After all, as a French chef once said, "Food is a visual thing..." It's not just about the stomach but a 'feast for the eyes!'
  6. JustVegan
    Voted. Come take a look at my new post on cumin rice.
  7. pftsusan
    no 12. Plus they also eat their biggest meal in the middle of the day.
  8. Shabs Online
    Shabs Online
    Wow! so that's the mantra.........these beautiful ladies know how to keep a balance between the taste n tummy.......great post! Voted!
  9. Veggie
    Now I understand how French women stay slim! Great post, I voted. come check out my posts and vote if you like them!
  10. alan
    Vote 19: liked your article Annie
    1. SnakeWitch
      Just want to point out that the vote didn't register... maybe it didn't work. Could you try again please? Thank you!
  11. deepam
    You have pointed out the good effects of their lifestyle, thanks. This makes me want to write about ours. Voted and motivated. I will look at your fb page.


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