If you were asked what the French are known for, you would probably respond, “fashion and food”. Maybe I should say “couture and cuisine”. Recently I read French Women Don’t Get Fat by Mireille Guiliano. At the end of the book the author contrasts the eating habits of French and American women. Here’s a portion of her bullet list:
- French women eat more vegetables and a lot more fruit.
- French women eat three meals a day.
- French women never let themselves be hungry.
- French women never let themselves feel stuffed.
- French women honor mealtime rituals and never eat standing up or on the run. Or in front of the TV.
- French women think dining in is as sexy as dining out.
- French women love to entertain at home.
- French women care enormously about the presentation of food. It matters to them how you look at it.
On the subject of fashion she writes:
- French women adore fashion.
- French women will dress to take out the garbage. (You never know).
- French women know one can go far with a great haircut, a bottle of Champagne and a divine perfume.
I’ve heard that French men find older women attractive and desirable, ascribing to them an aura of worldliness and seductiveness. According to Mireille, a French women is bien dans sa peau. She is comfortable in her skin–a quality to be admired and emulated and one that other’s find appealing. Hmmmm, I haven’t thought much about perfume lately. I think the French are on to something.
The O food–love the colors!
Most of us have heard of (or heard) f-bombs, but I hadn’t heard of G-BOMBS. I happened to catch Dr. Joel Furhman on PBS this afternoon and heard him touting this way of eating and urging the adoption of his new food pyramid. He has appeared on the Dr. Oz show so you may have seen him. I tuned in when he was talking about the value of onions (the O in G-BOMBS). Onions were so valued during the Middle Ages that they were presented as gifts. Dr. Furhman believes that if Americans (or anyone else) based their diets on G-BOMBS, we would drastically reduce the incidence of cancer, obesity and related diseases.
G-BOMBS, what are they? Greens, beans, onions, mushrooms, berries and seeds. I’m aware of the positive effects of consuming greens, beans, berries and seeds, but I have used onions and mushrooms only as sources of flavor and/or texture. I like both. I just didn’t realize they deserved much focus. Dr. Furhman has created what he terms the nutritarian pyramid which places vegetables at the base (30-60% of daily calories) and beef, sweets and processed foods at the top which should be eaten rarely. That sounds doable to me. I plan to try this salad. It seems to meet the G-BOMB recommendation and undoubtedly has a more positive effect than hearing or using f-bombs.
Sauteed Mushroom Salad from Eating Well
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 small onion, halved and sliced
- 1 pound white or cremini mushrooms, quartered
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme, or 1/2 teaspoon dried
- 3 tablespoons dry sherry
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 8 cups bitter salad greens, such as frisee, arugula or dandelion greens
- 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
Heat one tablespoon oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook until soft, about 3 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook until they release their juices, 10-12 minutes.
Add garlic and thyme and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add sherry and cook until mostly evaporated. Stir in remaining 1 T. oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper and continue cooking for 1 minute more. Pour over greens in a large bowl and toss to coat. Sprinkle with Parmesan. Serves 6.
Hope guests like it!
It’s my turn to host the monthly book club on Wed. We meet at 10:00 a.m. I keeping with the anti-inflammatory diet I’ve planned the following menu:
Tray of nuts, olives, sliced apples and Swiss cheese
Hummus served with carrot sticks
Coffee & green tea
Australian Moscato (The author of the book is Australian, and the book is set in Sydney.)
Note that the only sweet item is the wine. I’m not sure the book club members will approve! Oh well, I can eat anything that’s left.
Lots to swallow!
Have you been to a health food store lately? There is such a myriad of supplements! In addition to the basic vitamins A, B, C and E we are offered chromium, selenium, grape seed extract, coenzyme Q10, l-glutamine, borage and evening primrose oil, just to name a few! The array is overwhelming, and swallowing all those capsules and tablets is sort of a pain. What is a generally healthy person to do? We are told that even a good diet doesn’t include sufficient amounts of vitamins and minerals to maintain optimum health of mind and body.
I’ve been faithful about taking a multi-vitamin, calcium and vitamin C. I’ve been less conscientious about taking vitamin E and fish oil. Not sure why. Anyway, I’ve decided to turn over a new leaf by resuming the vitamin E, which I read prevents cataracts, and fish oil and adding B complex and alpha lipoic acid. Alpha lipoic acid is antiaging, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. Sounds wonderful! I believe it can also be applied topically. Might try that too.
The other substance that I struggle with consuming is water. I like water, but I don’t really want to make numerous trips to the bathroom all day long. Maybe my body will become accustomed to the added liquid. Who wants a dehydrated body? . . ..I’m thinking raisins, prunes, dried cranberries. Don’t want to look like that–inside or out!
Since we’ve started writing this blog, I’ve become interested in other blogs. One of the first ones I visited is theforestfeast.com. The writer, Erin Gleeson, is a food photographer–beautiful blog. Her blog mentions several other blogs including smittenkitchen.com where I found a recipe for a deliciously refreshing drink. I served it Sat. evening to three friends. I enjoy sitting on my patio in the evening and just assume that everyone else does too. I have to keep a can of Off handy, and it’s pretty warm, but that makes this drink all the more delightful!
Frozen Coconut Limeade
2 1/2 c. crushed ice
1 c. coconut milk
1/3 c. fresh lime juice
3 T. sugar
Combine ingredients and whip in blender until about the consistency of a frozen margarita. Garnish with a slice of lime. Best served with a straw. For those who’d like a little zing, add a jigger of rum to each glass. Serves 6-8.
I’m cooling off just thinking about it!
Tuna Salad with Olive Oil
1 12 oz. can albacore tuna, drained & flaked
1/4 c. red onion, chopped
1 rib celery, chopped
1/4 c. kalamata olives, sliced
1 T. capers
juice of 1/2 lemon
2 T. olive oil
2 T. fresh basil, chopped
Sea salt & pepper
After flaking tuna, add remaining ingredients & toss. Chill.
Eliminating Inflammatory foods and incorporating anti-inflammatory foods into my diet has been fairly easy. No big changes other than drinking green tea every morning rather than coffee.
To reinforce that decision I re-read portions of Dr. Perricone’s book, The Perricone Prescription, in which he discourages coffee consumption because it’s a source of cortisol which is a hormone that increases as we age. According to him, excess cortisol leads to all sorts of calamities: adverse effects on the immune system, brain cells, sugar metabolism and weight gain, particularly in the mid-section which is just where I’d like to lose it since the protrusion of my belly will soon surpass that of my boobs!—Not a desirable silhouette.
This information poses a dilemma because coffee has been linked to the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease. (Please pour me a cup!) Maybe Dr Perricone has revised his stance since his book was published in 2002. The choice between looking good with dementia or looking not so good with your mind in tact would be an easy one for me!
The other discipline that I’m trying to adopt is the faithful use of sun screen. I’ve used sun screen but not consistently. I’ve heard that if you repeat a behavior for three weeks, it becomes a habit. I’m testing that adage.
Think I’ll go for a walk—in my sun glasses.
Cuban Black Bean Salad from The Perricone Prescription
15 oz. can black beans, drained & rinsed
½ c. yellow bell pepper, chopped
½ c. red bell pepper, chopped
½ c. chopped celery
2 T. red onion, chopped
1 T. chopped parsley
2 T. fresh lemon juice
1 clove garlic, crushed
¼ t. ground cumin
2 T. olive oil
Combine all ingredients & toss lightly.
About 5 cups kale (I buy chopped kale; you must remove center rib.)
3 T. fresh lemon juice
¼ c. olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
½ t. salt
¼ c unsalted, slivered almonds
¼ c pecorino cheese
Place chopped kale in medium sized bowl; add lemon juice, garlic, olive oil & salt. With you hands, massage the seasonings into the kale. Allow greens to sit and marinate for at least 20 minutes. Toss in almonds & cheese & serve.