French Women Don't Get Fat: The Secret of Eating for Pleasure

( 109 )

Overview

Stylish, convincing, wise, funny, and just in time: the ultimate non-diet book, which could radically change the way you think and live – now with more recipes.French women don’t get fat, even though they enjoy bread and pastry, wine, and regular three-course meals. Unlocking the simple secrets of this “French paradox” – how they enjoy food while staying slim and healthy – Mireille Guiliano gives us a charming, inspiring take on health and eating for our times.For anyone who has slipped out of her Zone, missed ...

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French Women Don't Get Fat: The Secret of Eating for Pleasure

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Overview

Stylish, convincing, wise, funny, and just in time: the ultimate non-diet book, which could radically change the way you think and live – now with more recipes.French women don’t get fat, even though they enjoy bread and pastry, wine, and regular three-course meals. Unlocking the simple secrets of this “French paradox” – how they enjoy food while staying slim and healthy – Mireille Guiliano gives us a charming, inspiring take on health and eating for our times.For anyone who has slipped out of her Zone, missed the flight to South Beach, or accidentally let a carb pass her lips, here is a positive way to stay trim, a culture’s most precious secrets recast for the twenty-first century. A life of wine, bread – even chocolate – without girth or guilt? Pourquoi pas?

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“The perfect book. . . . A blueprint for building a healthy attitude toward food and exercise.” —San Francisco Chronicle“A perfect, slim (and slimming) read for dieters and bon vivants alike.”—Marie Claire“It’s hard not to be enlivened by a [weight-control] book that celebrates both chocolate and bread, and espouses such wisdom as ‘Life without pasta? Perish the thought.’”—The Washington Post Book World
Julia Reed
At the very least, we would all do ourselves a favor to make like Colette, for whom the table was ''a date with love and friendship '' instead of the root of all evil.
Lilly Burana
Grilled peaches with lemon thyme, tartine au cacao, chicken au champagne and halibut en papillote -- have we heard the "indulge within reason" spiel before? Oui. But not lately with such élan and joie de vivre. It's hard not to be enlivened by a "diet" book that celebrates both chocolate and bread, and espouses such wisdom as "Life without pasta? Perish the thought."
— The Washinton Post
Publishers Weekly
Guiliano's approach to healthy living is hardly revolutionary: just last month, the New York Times Magazine ran a story on the well-known "French paradox," which finds French people, those wine- guzzling, Brie-noshing, carb-loving folk, to be much thinner and healthier than diet-obsessed Americans. Guiliano, however, isn't so interested in the sociocultural aspects of this oddity. Rather, befitting her status as CEO of Clicquot (as in Veuve Clicquot, the French Champagne house), she cares more about showing how judicious consumption of good food (and good Champagne) can result in a trim figure and a happy life. It's a welcome reprieve from the scores of diet books out there; there's nary a mention of calories, anaerobic energy, glycemic index or any of the other hallmarks of the genre. Instead, Guiliano shares anecdotes about how, as a teen, she returned to her native France from a year studying in Massachusetts looking "like a sack of potatoes," and slimmed down. She did this, of course, by adapting the tenets of French eating: eating three substantial meals a day, consuming smaller portions and lots of fruits and vegetables, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, drinking plenty of water and not depriving herself of treats every once in a while. In other words, Guiliano listened to common sense. Her book, with its amusing asides about her life and work, occasional lapses into French and inspiring recipes (Zucchini Flower Omelet; Salad of Duck a l'Orange) is a stirring reminder of the importance of joie de vivre.(Jan.) Forecast: Guiliano, a champion of women in business who has been profiled in numerous magazines, will promote the book-with a 100,000-copy first printing-on an 11-city author tour, which should result in plump sales. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Think of French cuisine: the buttery croissants, the decadent pastries. Yet French women manage to remain svelte. What is their secret? Guiliano, CEO of Clicquot, Inc., insists that it's cultural. French women don't snack, eat fast food, eat hurriedly, drink hard liquor, flavor their food with sugar and fat, or weigh themselves. French women do eat three meals a day, eat until they are satisfied but not stuffed, drink lots of water, savor wine, walk everywhere, take the stairs, consider the presentation of food as important as the taste, and regard dining as a sensuous experience. Guiliano, who gained 20 pounds as an exchange student in the United States (and took them off when she got home), celebrates her French heritage and gives the reader a glimpse into the French way of food shopping and preparation. Each chapter offers mouthwatering recipes that are easy to prepare. Recommended as a unique addition to health and nutrition collections; expect demand following an 11-city author tour. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 9/1/04.]-Florence Scarinci, Nassau Community Coll. Lib., Garden City, NY Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
09/01/2014
One of their own explains that French women stay slim and healthy despite enjoying bread, wine, and cheese on a regular basis. (LJ 11/1/14)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780375710513
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 12/26/2007
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 97,829
  • Product dimensions: 5.18 (w) x 7.99 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Mireille Guiliano

Mireille Guiliano, born and brought up in France, is an internationally best-selling author and a long-time spokesperson for Champagne Veuve Clicquot. For more than twenty years she was President and CEO of Clicquot, Inc. (LVMH). She is married to an American and lives most of the year in New York and France (Paris and Provence). Her favorite pastimes are breakfast, lunch and dinner. Her books have appeared in 37 languages.

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1

VIVE L’AMÉRIQUE:

THE BEGINNING . . . I AM OVERWEIGHT

I love my adopted homeland. But first, as an exchange student in Massachusetts, I learned to love chocolate-chip cookies and brownies. And I gained twenty pounds.

My love affair with America had begun with my love of the English language; we met at the lycée (junior high and high school) when I turned eleven. English was my favorite class after French literature, and I simply adored my English teacher. He had never been abroad but spoke English without a French accent or even a British one. He had learned it during World War II, when he found himself in a POW camp with a high school teacher from Weston, Massachusetts (I suspect they had long hours to practice). Without knowing whether they’d make it out alive, they decided that if they did, they would start an exchange program for high school seniors. Each year, one student from the United States would come to our town and one of us would go to Weston. The exchange continues to this day, and the competition is keen.

During my last year at the lycée, I had good enough grades to apply, but I wasn’t interested. With dreams of becoming an English teacher or professor, I was eager to start undergraduate studies at the local university. And at eighteen, naturally I had also convinced myself I was madly in love with a boy in my town. He was the handsomest though admittedly not the brightest boy around, the coqueluche (the darling) of all the girls. I couldn’t dream of parting from him, so I didn’t even think of applying for Weston. But in the schoolyard, between classes, there was hardly another topic of conversation. Among my friends, the odds-on favorite to go was Monique; she wanted it so badly, and besides, she was the best in our class, a fact not lost on the selection committee, which was chaired by my English teacher and included among its distinguished ranks PTA members, other teachers, the mayor, and the local Catholic priest, balanced by the Protestant minister. But on the Monday morning when the announcement was expected, the only thing announced was that no decision had been made.

At home that Thursday morning (those days, there was no school on Thursdays but half days on Saturday), my English teacher appeared at the door. He had come to see my mother, which seemed rather strange, considering my good grades. As soon as he left, with a big, satisfied smile but not a word to me except hello, my mother called me. Something was très important.

The selection committee had not found a suitable candidate. When I asked about Monique, my mother tried to explain something not easily fathomed at my age: My friend had everything going for her, but her parents were Communists, and that would not fly in America. The committee had debated at great length (it was a small town, where everybody was fully informed about everybody else), but they could not escape concluding that a daughter of Communists could never represent France!

My teacher had proposed me as an alternative, and the other members had agreed. But since I had not even applied, he had to come and persuade my parents to let me go. My overadoring father, who would never have condoned my running away for a year, was not home. Perhaps my teacher was counting on this fact; but in any event, he managed to sell the idea to my mother. The real work then fell to her, because she had to persuade not only my father, but me as well. Not that she was without her own misgivings about seeing me go, but Mamie was always wise and farsighted; and she usually got her way. I was terribly anxious about what Monique would say, but once word got out, she was first to declare what a fine ambassador I would make. Apparently, Communist families were quite open and practical about such matters, and she had already been given to understand that family ideology had made her a dark horse from the start.

And so I went. It was a wonderful year—one of the best of my adolescence—and it certainly changed the course of my entire life. To a young French girl, Weston, a wealthy Boston suburb, seemed an American dream—green, manicured, spread out, with huge gorgeous homes and well-to-do, well-schooled families. There was tennis, horseback riding, swimming pools, golf, and two or three cars per family—a far, far cry from any town in eastern France, then or now. The time was so full of new, unimagined things, but finally too rich, and I don’t mean demographically. For all the priceless new friends and experiences I was embracing, something else altogether, something sinister, was slowly taking shape. Almost before I could notice, it had turned into fifteen pounds, more or less . . . and quite probably more. It was August, my last month before the return voyage to France. I was in Nantucket with one of my adoptive families when I suffered the first blow: I caught a reflection of myself in a bathing suit. My American mother, who had perhaps been through something like this before with another daughter, instinctively registered my distress. A good seamstress, she bought a bolt of the most lovely linen and made me a summer shift. It seemed to solve the problem but really only bought me a little time.

In my final American weeks, I had become very sad at the thought of leaving all my new pals and relations, but I was also quite apprehensive of what my French friends and family would say at the sight of the new me. I had never mentioned the weight gain in letters and somehow managed to send photos showing me only from the waist up.

The moment of truth was approaching.

2

LA FILLE PRODIGUE:

RETURN OF THE PRODIGAL DAUGHTER

My father brought my brother with him to Le Havre to collect me. I was traveling on the SS Rotterdam. The ocean liner was still the transatlantic standard preferred by many French people in the late 1960s. With me was the new American exchange student from Weston, who would be spending the year in our town.

Since he had not seen me for a whole year, I expected my father, who always wore his heart on his face, would embarrass me, bounding up the gangway for the first hug and kiss. But when I spied the diminutive French man in his familiar beret—yes, a beret—he looked stunned. As I approached, now a little hesitantly, he just stared at me, and as we came near, after a few seconds that seemed endless, there in front of my brother and my American shipmate, all he could manage to say to his cherished little girl come home was, “Tu ressembles à un sac de patates” (“You look like a sack of potatoes”). Some things don’t sound any prettier in French. I knew what he had in mind: not a market-size sack, but one of the big, 150-pound burlap affairs that are delivered to grocery stores and restaurants! Fortunately the girl from Weston spoke little French, else she would have had a troubling first impression of French family life.

At age nineteen, I could not have imagined anything more hurtful, and to this day the sting has not been topped. But my father was not being mean. True, tact was never his strength; and the teenage girl’s hypersensitivity about weight and looks wasn’t yet the proverbial pothole every parent today knows to steer around. The devastating welcome sprang more than anything from his having been caught off guard. Still, it was more than I could take. I was at once sad, furious, vexed, and helpless. At the time, I could not even measure the impact.

On our way home to eastern France, we stopped in Paris for a few days, just to show my friend from Weston the City of Light, but my inexorable grumpiness made everyone eager to hit the road again. I ruined Paris for all of us. I was a mess.

The coming months were bitter and awkward. I didn’t want anyone to see me, but everyone wanted to greet l’Américaine. My mother understood right away not only how and why I had gained the weight, but also how I felt. She treaded lightly, avoiding the unavoidable topic, perhaps particularly because I had soon given her something more dire to worry about.

Having seen a bit of the world, I had lost my taste for attending the local university. I now wanted to study languages in a Grande École (like an Ivy League school) in Paris and, on top of that, to take a literary track at the Sorbonne at the same time. It was unusual and really an insane workload. My parents were not at all keen on the idea of Paris: if I got in (hardly a given, as the competition is legendary), it was going to be a big emotional and financial sacrifice to have me three and a half hours from home. So I had to campaign hard, but thanks in part to the obvious persistence of my raw nerves, in the end they let me go back to Paris for the famously grueling entrance exam. I passed, and in late September I moved to Paris. My parents always wanted the best for me.

By All Saints’ Day (November 1), I had gained another five pounds, and by Christmas, five more still. At five feet three, I was now overweight by any standard, and nothing I owned fit, not even my American mother’s summer shift. I had two flannel ones—same design, but roomier—made to cover up my lumpiness. I told the dressmaker to hurry and hated myself every minute of the day. More and more, my father’s faux pas at Le Havre seemed justified. Those were blurry days of crying myself to sleep and zipping past all mirrors. It may not seem so strange an experience for a nineteen-year-old, but none of my French girlfriends was going through it.

Then something of a Yuletide miracle occurred. Or perhaps I should say, Dr. Miracle, who showed up thanks to my mamie. Over the long holiday break, she asked the family physician, Dr. Meyer, to pay a call. She did this most discreetly, careful not to bruise me further. Dr. Meyer had watched me grow up, and he was the kindest gentleman on earth. He assured me that getting back in shape would be really easy and just a matter of a few “old French tricks.” By Easter, he promised, I’d be almost back to my old self, and certainly by the end of the school year in June I’d be ready to wear my old bathing suit, the one I’d packed for America. As in a fairy tale, it was going to be our secret. (No use boring anyone else with the particulars of our plan, he said.) And the weight would go away much faster than it came. Sounded great to me. Of course, I wanted to put my faith in Dr. Meyer, and fortunately, there didn’t seem to be many options at the time.

DR. MIRACLE’S WEEKEND PRESCRIPTION

For the next three weeks, I was to keep a diary of everything I ate. This is a strategy that will sound familiar from some American diet programs, such as Weight Watchers. I was to record not only what and how much, but also when and where. There was no calorie counting, not that I could have done that. The stated purpose was simply for him to gauge the nutritional value of what I was eating (it was the first time I ever heard the word). Since nothing more was asked of me, I was only too happy to comply. This is the first thing you should do, too.

Dr. Meyer demanded no great precision in measurement. Just estimate, he said, stipulating “a portion” as the only unit of quantity and roughly equal to a medium-size apple. In America, where the greatest enemy of balanced eating is ever bigger portions, I suggest a little more precision. Here’s where the small kitchen scale comes in. (Bread, which sometimes comes in huge slices here, might be more easily weighed than compared with an apple, which seems bigger here, too!)

Three weeks later, I was home again for the weekend. Just before noon, Dr. Miracle, distingué, gray templed, made his second house call. He also stayed for lunch. Afterward, reviewing my diary, he immediately identified a pattern utterly obvious to him but hiding somehow from me, as I blithely recorded every crumb I put in my mouth. On the walk between school and the room I was renting in the Seventh Arrondissement, there were no fewer than sixteen pastry shops. Without my having much noticed, my meals were more and more revolving around pastry. As I was living in Paris, my family could not know this, so when I came home, my mother naturally prepared my favorites, unaware I was eating extra desserts on the sly, even under her roof.

My Parisian pastry gluttony was wonderfully diverse. In the morning there was croissant or pain au chocolat or chouquette or tarte au sucre. Lunch was preceded by a stop at Poîlane, the famous breadmaker’s shop, where I could not resist the pain aux raisins or tarte aux pommes (apple tart) or petits sablés. Next stop was at a café for the ubiquitous jambon-beurre (ham on a buttered baguette) and what remained of the Poîlane pastry with coffee. Dinner always included and sometimes simply was an éclair, Paris Brest, religieuse, or mille-feuille (curiously called a napoleon outside France), always some form of creamy, buttery sweetness. Sometimes I would even stop off for a palmier (a big puff pastry sugar-covered cookie) for my goûter (afternoon snack). As a student, I was living off things I could eat on the go. Hardly any greens were passing my lips, and my daily serving of fruit was coming from fruit tarts. I was eating this strangely lopsided fare without the slightest thought and with utter contentment—except, of course, for how I looked.

Now this was obviously not a diet I had picked up in America, where one could hardly say the streets are lined with irresistible patisseries (though then, as now, there was no shortage of tempting hot chocolate-chip cookie stands and sellers of rich ice cream, to say nothing of a mind-boggling variety of supermarket sweets made with things infinitely worse for you than cream and butter). But as I was to learn, it was my adoptive American way of eating that had gone to my head and opened me up to the dangers of this delicious Parisian minefield. For in America, I had gotten into some habits: eating standing up, not making my own food, living off whatever (n’importe quoi, as the French say), as other kids were doing. Brownies and bagels were particular hazards; we had nothing quite like them at home, so who could tell how rich they were?

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 109 )
Rating Distribution

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(36)

4 Star

(34)

3 Star

(18)

2 Star

(11)

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(10)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 109 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 19, 2008

    It's working for me

    I read this book in late December just before the New Year and decide it was going to be my New Year's resolution. I just graduated college 'at 138 pounds' and I want to get back to my high school weight '128 when I left high school, now I'm shooting for lower so I can wear a bikini on my vacation' and so far I've lost a total of 7 pounds since January 1st. I realize this isn't very fast but I'm calling it my lifestyle change. I drink tons of water, make my own yogurt and even tried making her baguettes. I still eat meals every night with my family and that includes steak and potatoes, that includes shepard pie. I'm eating much of the same food I was before but I'm also eating smarter which is the quintessential thing you get from this book. I highly recommend her book to you. I never have done other diets, but this isn't a diet. I had a Lindt chocolate truffle the other day, just one, but it hit the spot. I'm finding that I can't eat some of the things I used to enjoy, they're simply too sweet and once you realize how savory some things can be you'll realize that her book will help you. She doesn't 'bash' Americans, what she points out is something that anyone with eyes can see. She points out that how we're eating is leading to the problem 'duh, I know' but more importantly that we've forgotten how to enjoy food without gorging ourselves. Thinking of food as a sinful pleasure is part of the problem she says, and I fully agree. The other day I was craving a cinnamon bun, so I made one, my mom told me I'd blown my diet now. I quoted the book, 'Oscar Wilde says the only way to beat temptation is to give into it.' Well, I gave into my craving and I'm still losing weight. This book is about an attitude adjustment towards food. I've done it and it's working, I'm thrilled that my skinny pants are loose and I'm hoping that when I go back to school and visit for my friend's birthday in April that I'll have reached my goal weight.

    14 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 15, 2008

    Nationality or....Wealth?

    Married to a French man, I lived in France for many years and could relate to some of what she says...the French, on average, do walk more, drink more water, and eat more fruits and vegetables. No secret that such things will keep you leaner! But to me, much of what she described had more to do with being part of a priveleged upper class... 'nannies and cooks and 'good wine' with every meal, etc.' than being French. There are plenty of 'metro-boulot-dodo' 'average working class' French that eat fast food and frozen food, shop at mega-marts twice a month for packaged food, and spend too many of their non-working hours between traffic jams and daycare to have time for sitting down to eat a half a banana with a knife and fork and napkin. S'il vous plait, let's be serious! Besides, some of her recipes were just plain wierd. Very NOT French, I think.

    7 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 5, 2008

    Simple eye-opening advice

    This is the one 'diet' book that actually worked for me and truly changed my life. She really made me re-think how I looked at food and I came to find out that I was not overweight because I love food, but truly because I hate it! Focusing on eating good quality food that I actually like and not putting food in my mouth because it's convenient or just because I want it has helped me loose 25 pounds so far. She does offer some advice that is not practical for everyone to follow, but the key to changing any bad habit is not to follow a list of what someone tells you to do, but to discover what works for you through trial and error. Instead of being a prisoner to some diet, for the first time in my adult life I feel free to enjoy desert if I want it, because I know that I will balance it out with what I eat for the rest of the day. Most importantly it has made me look at the eating habits of my children 5,3, and 1. Even though they are at a healthy weight now, when I see them walking around eating mindlessly, it helps me to see what I am teaching them. I don't think this was an American-bashing book at all. People in this country are too sensitive about what others (especially French) say about us. What she said is true and many, many people in America need to listen.

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 21, 2007

    What Mom Always Said

    My mother wasn't French, but she could've been. She and my aunts stayed thin all their lives while enjoying real food including dessert. So did I until I became brainwashed by the gospel of no-fat, long workouts, artificial sweeteners, and the myth that as we get older we just get fatter, especially if we're desk-bound as so many of us are. What this book did for me was remind me what my mother taught and give me hope that even though I've gained weight by a pound a year or so each year over the past 30 years, all is not lost. I've lost 3 pounds in the past week just by cutting back a little here and there, reacquainting myself with fruit, vegetables, and yogurt and walking my dog a few minutes more every day. Our food bill is less, not more, because I'm not buying junk. My dog and I hit the farmer's market most Saturday mornings and when I cook during the week I'm reminded of the fun we had there. I work long hours and never spend more than 20-30 minutes cooking on work days, yet we eat well now. I feel better, have more energy, and best of all, can see my thin self becoming reality again.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 21, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    French Women Don't get Fat

    This is an interesting book about healthy eating. It gives you different types of recipes, and it also gives you some everyday tips. This a fun book to read and it gives you a lot of good advice with healthy living.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 2, 2007

    Smart and True

    Some of her comments can be taken as 'American Bashing,' but if the shoe fits... The reading is light and easy and the recipes are delicious.

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 25, 2007

    Change your eating habits

    I have always believed that changing your eating habits vs a fad diet is the only way to lose weight permanently, and this book will show you how. I did not find her book snobby, the author loves living in America. Granted we all don't have access to farmer's markets, but her ideas are pure common sense, something that is missing from most diet books with all these ridiculous 'phases' you must endure. I lived in Europe for a year, I ate a fresh croissant every morning with real butter and Nutella. I lost 15 pounds in one month and kept it off until I returned to the States. I remember eating alot of fresh salads, vegetables, soups, meat, fruit and I had dessert every day! I walked everywhere because I did not have a car, and took the bus or my bicycle. What I did not do is a)snack b)eat after 8:00 pm c)consume junk food d)eat a heavy dinner. Lunch was the biggest meal. Good concepts to adhere to, which I am trying once again to do with 30 pounds to lose!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 17, 2006

    Read for the sake of your body and mind.

    I've always been fascinated by the French culture, and reading this book has been an experience I truly treasure. I suffered from both anorexia and bulimia, so my relationship with food was far from acceptable or normal. I was either starving or gorging, and this book has taught me to find a happy balance and appreciate food without overdoing it. If you're looking for a concrete plan to follow, or if you're just looking to lose a few pounds fast, this isn't the book for you. But if you're looking for a lifestyle change and are tired of depriving yourself of your favorite foods and obsessing over food, give it a try.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 26, 2005

    The title of this book should be a little clue

    In this book, no one is more than 20 or 25 pounds overweight. No wonder then that it can make the claim that after six weeks or so you should be halfway to your weight loss goal. There, there, doesn't life seem simpler already? Feeling better? Read on, to find that you should avoid the hideous American supermarket and purchase your food at the open-air farmer's market. The author states she lives in a New York penthouse with ready access to high-quality (and we can safely assume high-price) farmer's market veggies; if your choices are between the Acme and the Piggly-Wiggly, or you happen to live in Minneapolis where it is too cold seven months of the year for a farmer's market, well, that is not of any consequence, is it? Also, don't exercise. These American women with their sweaty exercise and the obsession with the health club -- we get the distinct impressions it is considered so distasteful and unladylike, no? Why not follow author's lead and walk everywhere? And if you live in the suburbs with no sidewalks on the streets and a 30-mile workday commute on the freeway, and the nearest grocery is five miles away, well, that is not of any consequence either. Finally, don't avoid chocolate, rich foods, breads, etc. If Americans would just learn a little control, instead of filling their plates with food, why then, they could eat all these foods just as the French do. In this running observation about the differences between French and American cultures, the scale is rather rediculously one-sided. Doesn't this just make you want to run out and buy a ticket to Paris right away?

    3 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 13, 2011

    Really!

    I am French and I do not even know how Mirielle who is French herself can imagine French women like that. First, Mirielle lives a very privileged life. I cannot imagine French people in general having "Champagne" in their refrigerator. Can they really afford it! Can a woman working in an office all day long can medidate and run to a cocktail party. She has to get her children either in a "garderie" or a "l'etude" at school, get supper ready, bathe her children, cook without Champagne and finally go to bed. She walk, YES, distances are shorter in France. I was not impressed whatsoever by this book. Being very stereotyped!!!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 9, 2006

    40 pounds down, that's all I've got to say

    I started college, somehow didn't gain my freshmen fifteen in the fall, and yet, by the next summer was up to 155lb from my high school 130-135. I was always half- trying to loose some weight during high school, but then I realized I was fairly happy and secure with my 130-135 (`m 5¿5). But after I hit 155lbs I was miserable. I know your weight level is separate from your happiness or confidence levels, but I was way beyond the weight where I felt I was me. I picked this book up on a whim, tried the leek soup stuff and it didn't work. But I kept reading (might as well read it since I paid for it), and I slowly started to loose weight. A year later, and I am 115 lbs, a weight I never thought I could ever reach and I feel great. In fact, I am even considering putting some weight (like 5lbs.) back ON. I don't follow the book exactly, I weigh myself 1-3 times a week just to get of sense of what I'm working with, but I love this book. It's not a diet at all, it's about realizing to appreciate your food. It¿s a guide to developing a respect for what you eat. I realized I couldn¿t eat a fast food meal and really savor it. I realized that drinking sugar-filled fruit juices may not be working for me, and due to this book, I now shop at farmer¿s markets and probably eat healthier than I ever have in my life. It¿s not that I don¿t splurge, the author does a great job of explaining the balance between eating right and having your treats, I do, but I just enjoy them more so I don¿t do it as often. I walk way more too, and I found that once I lost my excess weight that I just felt like being more active and have begun to take up jogging. I love this book, I love the concept of the ¿diet¿ (honestly though, it¿s been a lifestyle change for me) and would give this book ten stars if I could. I take the book with me when I travel or go off to college so I can always read it a bit in case I ever get off track a little. I recommend this book to anyone and everyone, even people who are just trying to loose 'vanity pounds' or are trying to be healthier.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2011

    Meh

    The author didn't really say anything groundbreaking. This pretty much sums it up: eat less, drink more water, and walk more. There were a few decent recipes. The author's attempts at humor often came out as snide. Overall, prorbably wouldn't recommend it to a friend.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 16, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Great fun, ma petite chou.

    Wonderful insight into the French in general, men and women.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 1, 2012

    Great Book!

    We should all follow the advice of this woman, it all comes down to common sense and dedication. Two things which seem simple but are hard to maintain in our crazy lives!

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  • Posted July 9, 2011

    chocolate and love

    These are the key ingredients of this book. Very fun to read with many helpful hints. This is a book I've passed on to my friends who have equally enjoyed Mireille's writing style and knowledge of everything French. It served as a quick fix diet book, a way to get off the diet roller coaster.

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  • Posted April 25, 2011

    Hyped

    Didn't really make a huge splash for me - maybe because I had heard so much about it and really built up the anticipation. I think it really gives a great insight, but ultimately found myself kinda struggling to make it through.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 25, 2007

    Another opportunity to bash Americans

    I read this book and thought it was great for a few pages. Then the condescending, American-bashing started. This author does not waste any opportunity to bash anything we Americans do that could be related to a weight problem. I work full time and go to school 3-4 nights every week. I don't have time to walk everywhere I go, besides it would not be practical to walk 10-15 miles to work and school and home again everyday. I also don't have time to shop several times every week. I do my best to buy organic whenever it is possible. Plus, I live in Illinois, so, how am I going to get to a farmer's market like she suggests? Last time I checked there aren't any open in the dead of winter. She makes a few good suggestions that are worth trying, like eating lots of fresh fruits and veggies and drinking more water-not exactly novel ideas- and making your own yogurt, which is doable. She mentions a lot that her upcoming suggestion will cost more, but it is worth it. She can afford to spend bug bucks on her food, she's selling this book for more than it is worth. Save your money and purchase another book that doesn't make you feel worthless because you are a stupid, fat American and not a slim French woman.

    0 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 28, 2006

    Ted (in Paris )says it so well...

    The philosophy in this book caused me to sigh and relax, a first step needed to reconnect with an internal wisdom. Will this wisdom let me know what must be eliminated and what added to my life in order to feel better in my own skin? I think so. The body gives feedback if we pay attention. To me the book is about the joy of being a physical being, and somehow it never occured to me that too many calories dulls the experience of being alive. Tomorrow, leeks.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 10, 2006

    It's not rocket science.

    Fad diets don't work, permanent weight loss doesn't come in a pill, control your portions, and move. Basically, change your relationship with food and you'll lose weight for life. It's the same basic information that we've heard before, and even the author admits it. But there is a tid-bit of worthy information here and there, some good recipes, and plenty of motivation (you don't have to slave away at the gym to obtain a normal weight). There is a lot of French dialect that isn't always translated (a bit annoying if you've never had French). But overall I would say it's a good read and worth the price (I got it on sale). Oh yeah, the author recommends this book for people trying to lose 30 pounds or less.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 25, 2005

    It's working for me!

    I recently moved to the United States. A year later, I was overweight for more than 10 pounds. I had to do something and somehow I found this inspiring book. I read the book, followed the procedure she recomends, and now it's working for me! I'm on my way to lose weight! I've been checked the recycle garbage and realized that the boxes and bags of procesed food are gone! Now I cook fresh food with new seasonings and my husband, guests and myself ENJOY it a lot. I liked this book, it's easy to read, easy to follow (forget counting calories, low carbs, or any special combination of foods). You identify and control your offender foods. The most outstanding of it is that it ENCOURAGES you to start a healthier life style.

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