March 21, 2005

Do French Women Get Fat?

In case you have been living in a cave in Afghanistan there is a new diet book out that is all the rage, French Women Don't Get Fat: The Secret of Eating for Pleasure. I know all of you have been chomping at the bit to go out and spend the $22.00 to get the book and start the diet but, I thought I would save you both the time and money by giving you the cliff notes.

The author Mireille Guiliano was born in France but went to Massachusetts as an exchange student in the 1960s, where she gained 20 pounds on brownies and chocolate chip cookies. When she returned home, her alarmed father said she looked like a sack of potatoes. With the help of a family physician, Guiliano shed her flab.

Later, she married an American and took a job with the U.S. branch of Veuve Clicquot Champagne company and now divides her time between Paris and New York.

Given her bicultural experience, she would seem the right person to tell yo-yo American dieters how to resolve the French paradox by eating slowly and for pleasure; seeking balance while making every meal a sacred rite; getting satisfaction from such esoteric fare as oysters; limiting oneself to small portions of favorite foods (because deprivation breeds discontent); and, of course, refusing seconds and between-meal snacks.

The best things about Guiliano's book are the personal dieting tips — soup for dinner five times a week; monitoring weight by the feel of your clothes, not the depressing readings of a scale — and the luscious-sounding, low-calorie, French family recipes she passes along. However Guiliano needs to get real. I am not sure she has and understanding of anything about American life outside the chichi restaurants and epicurean food markets of New York which she frequents. The ugly truth is that achieving weight equilibrium is largely a question of income, education and class. In America and France, people with resources can afford a variety of weight maintenance options, including health clubs, diet programs and books like Guiliano's. Meanwhile, obesity — engendered by low-cost, high-calorie, nutritionally empty beverages and foods and an increasingly sedentary lifestyle — is reaching epidemic proportions in the developing world, according to the World Health Organization.

Guiliano offers a compelling approach to lifelong slimness for upper-income women, but she has nothing to offer the vast majority of overweight people who don't have the time or money to follow her advice. Life is just too complicated these days. Telling people they can lose weight by shopping daily for fresh foods, cooking at home, setting a pretty table and lingering over meals is like urging Stone Age hunters to eat only roots and berries.

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Thank all of you for your patronage. Have an excellent day.

Thom King
Steviva Brands, Inc.

Sugar Free Low Carb Chocolate Truffles
Serves: 8
Carbs Per Serving: 1.8 g
Prep Time:<20 minutes

Skill Level: Easy

I tried this recipe this weekend and let me tell you... it was amazing. The success of the recipe has a lot to do with the quality of the chocolate you use. Use high-quality unsweetened chocolate and cocoa. The better quality chocolate has a smoother texture than the more commonly available Baker’s chocolate due to its high cocoa butter content. This will really make this recipe one of the best.

2 oz. unsweetened chocolate
4 Tbsp. Steviva Brand Stevia Blend
4 Tbsp. butter, at room temperature
4Tbsp. whipping cream, at room temperature
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 oz. crushed macadamia nuts (optional)

The success of this recipe depends upon the melted chocolate and butter being at the same temperature. If not, the chocolate and butter will separate.
Melt the chocolate either in the microwave or in a bowl over a pot of simmering water. Stir in the Steviva Brand Stevia Blend and cool to room temperature. Combine the chocolate and butter until smooth. Stir in cream and vanilla, then the nuts if using.

Spread evenly into a small, parchment lined loaf pan-I use one that was 4-by 7-inches. Chill until firm. Cut into pieces and store in the freezer.

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