It's been a while since I've written here about cookbooks or food books I think are worth reading. Mireille Guiliano's book French Women Don't Get Fat is one of my favorites, I'm re-reading it for about the tenth time, I never tire of Mireille's story or the way she writes. When it was released back in 2005, I didn't bother picking it up thinking it was 'another diet book'. I'm not into the idea of 'going on a diet' because in fact all of us are already on a diet it is just that some people would benefit from changing theirs!
About a year after its' release a friend gave me a copy insisting I read it, and I had to admit I was wrong. This is not a diet book, it is not about counting calories or cutting out fat, sugar and salt. No. In fact it is quite the opposite, butter, champagne and dessert are all on the menu. The key is: go for quality and mind the quantity.
Mireille speaks my language, my wholefood language that is (I don't speak French) and I want to recommend her book here because if you are just starting out on your wholefood path reading this book is a fun and easy way to switch your thinking about food, health and pleasure and realise that changing your path is not about deprivation in fact it is about nourishing yourself on many levels. At the heart of it, Mireille is advocating a wholefoods way of living.
For those not familiar with the book, Mireille tells a good story based on her own life experience of moving to America as an exchange student, adopting the American diet of over-sized portions of processed foods and returning to France with extra kilos and feeling unhealthy and miserable. It is then that her mother teaches her the art of eating like a French woman. The story is laced with many useful tips for living (a ritual for a better nights sleep, sneaky ways to include exercise in your day even when you think you don't have time) and delicious seasonal wholefood recipes such as tagliatelle with lemon, snapper with almonds or cold beetroot and yoghurt summer soup. Mireille advocates only eating fruit and vegetables that are in season, shopping at farmer's markets, always having fresh herbs in your kitchen and a well-stocked spice cupboard. In the chapter titled 'Life Stages' Mireille writes about children and eating, from birth to seven she writes:
"Most kids' cereals have more sugar than a French pastry; avoid them like the plague. (I wonder how many children on behaviour-modifying pharmaceuticals are merely sugar junkies.)"
There is no mention of the words paleo, raw food, gluten free or grain free so if that is your preferred way of eating it may not be the read for you but if you are interested in the French way of life or you were quick to judge this book as a diet book like I was seek a copy out, I think you'll be surprised to find am inspiring wholefood story.
Have you read it? What did you think?