Wednesday, October 8, 2008

But Do They Leave The House?

Apparently "French Women Don't Get Fat" for a number of reasons. They eat freshly prepared, non-processed food. They insist on high quality. They exercise portion control. They walk a lot.

And according to the comments in this British newspaper - the British possibly not an unbiased source of information about the French - they also smoke a lot to stay slim.

I've read several bloggish reports of American women who gave the FWDGF approach a serious and enthusiastic go. Croissants, wine, dark chocolate, and creamy soups drum up lots of enthusiasm. And they loved it.

One of the things routinely commented upon was lingering over meals. For hours and hours, as a part of the daily routine. And it did sound languid and luxurious and all that... rather vacation-y.

My most recent Saturday morning - before 10am - included taking the dogs out for their unleashed frolic at the local tennis courts, loading up the car with all the recyclables, doing a few loads of laundry, vacuuming the downstairs and probably scrambling an egg with chopped vegetables. That was before getting the dry cleaning, grocery shopping, etc.

I can not imagine the weekend when I would whip up a batch of beaten biscuits, only eat one of them - if they were up to snuff - and gaze thoughtfully at two perfect strawberries. For an HOUR.

I wasn't there and she didn't provide a schedule, but I imagine my sister spent last Saturday getting her 6- and 4-year-olds to various soccer games and birthday parties and keeping the toddler from destroying the house, and certainly at some point they ate some cereal and bananas or something.

Just a guess, but I'm pretty sure it's a treat for her to remain seated for five consecutive minutes at mealtime, let alone ponder a glass of milk and wonder if the cow that provided it led a charmed existence.

There's a lot to be said for cooking your own food, watching portions, and savoring judicious treats. Sweetie and I have always believed that eating together - with the TV off - is an important part of our day.

Even with as much as I love to cook, I'm not willing to ascribe food that much of my day. I'm just not. A square of dark chocolate is great. A shopping trip with an longtime friend or watching Cutie sing with her church choir or digging up the flower beds is better.

Perhaps it's semantics or lower standards or rationalization. When we can sit down together to a homemade meal, fantastic. It's truly a delight to carve (well, watch him carve) an herb-roasted chicken and spoon up some homemade mashed potatoes and talk about our day and our plans and so on. But if Sweetie is volunteering one night and I'm working out and I throw together a smoothie for dinner, well, so be it.

Vive la difference.

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