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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

READ THIS: French Women For All Seasons - A Year of Secrets, Recipes and Pleasure by Mireille Guiliano

French Women For All Seasons is a must-read for everyone everywhere!  Author of French Women Don't Get Fat (to be reviewed by Whom You Know) and Women, Work and the Art of Savoir Faire, Highly Recommended by Whom You Know, and Whom You Know Mover and Shaker, Mireille Guiliano writes a cookbook like Mario Lemieux scored a goal, like Chanel designed a suit and like Mayors Giuliani and Bloomberg led/lead our great city of New York.  

The point is of course, like these others did something in an extraordinary way, Giuliano authors a work that is a guide to pleasure and not merely a cookbook. Once we began, we could not put this down.  How many times can you remember ever reading a cookbook cover to cover, reading each page at least once, and sometimes twice!  You will in this case.  Many times cookbooks are dog-eared on the pages of our favorite recipes, and the best part is the photography.  Rarely are they fully read.  In this case however, there is no photography and it is not needed because the words themselves are a work of art.

In particular, we were excited to get to the winter season for obvious reasons!  We laughed when we got to the part where she says you cannot spend the winter months under the duvet with a book because that is exactly what we did when we read this!  Of course, we did go out for our daily walk too even in this bitter cold.  In this holiday season more than ever, it is important to enjoy your food and drink in a classy, smart, manageable way and even if you think you know it all about fine food and dining, you will be surprised when you see how much you can learn by reading French Women For All Seasons.  

We don't want to give away any of Mireille's secrets, and in all sincerity you must read the book to benefit from all of the wisdom contained it it, but we do want to highlight some key points.
*Deprivation is not the key to weight loss
*Indulgence is not to blame for weight gain

The key is of course, moderation and exercise, and the overall mental state of eating to live, not living to eat.   "Change the way you think and the way you eat will follow," says Mireille.  We quote "The pleasure of quality more than offsets the temptation of unlimited quantity."  The portion sizes today in American are ostentatiously embarrassing to us as a country, and in the days when Peachy Deegan worked late and ordered dinner religiously she only ate half and ate the next half for lunch the next day.  In addition to portion size, it is a great idea to eat seasonal fruits and vegetables, drink lots of water, walk more (see our column See Manhattan on Your Feet), and savor your alcohol and treats.    She says and we agree that "Champagne is a State of Mind."

In terms of quality of food, better quality generally is more expensive but what could be more important than what you are putting in your mouth?  Not only is this book about food, it is about your whole well-being.   Mireille talks about your own personal brand, getting a good dose of sun and vitamin D, and even how to make your own facial.  Although some of you overindulgent ones that could feel that you are getting reprimanded for your poor American diet and figure, you should realize you have something to learn from Giuliano and in fact, she really is on your side.  In the autumn she DOES say that there should be a presciption drug benefit covering chocolate (we are in agreement) and in winter she advocates a national strategic chocolate reserve!  All of this chocolate is in moderation, of course.

If you learned the art of Savoir Faire in her most recent book, you will learn the art of Joie de vivre (the joy of living) in this one.  Mireille Guiliano has common sense in an uncommon way, and not only that, now that we have met her we can say with enthusiasm that she is just as smart, nice and interesting as we thought!  Whom You Know Highly Recommends French Women for All Seasons by Mireille Guiliano.  If you still don't have your Christmas shopping done, this makes a perfect gift!


For the legions of fans who asked for seconds after devouring French Women Don't Get Fat, a charming and practical guide to adding some joie to your vie and to your table, every day of the year.
After being inundated with requests for more advice from her readers, Mireille’s answer is this buoyant book, brimming with tips and tricks for living with the utmost pleasure and style, without gaining weight.
More than a theory or ideal, the French woman's way is an all-encompassing program that can be practiced anytime, anywhere.  Here are four full seasons of strategies for shopping, cooking and moving throughout the year. Whether your aim is finding two scoopfuls of pleasure in one of crème brûlée, or entertaining beautifully when time is short and expectations are high, the answers are here. And here too are 100 new simple and appetizing recipes that feature French staples such as leeks and chocolate and many more unexpected treats besides, guaranteeing that boredom will never be a guest at your table.
Woven through this year of living comme les françaises are more of Mireille's delectable stories about living in Paris and New York and traveling just about everywhere else – in the voice that has already beguiled a million honorary French women. Lest anyone still wonder: here is a new compendium of reasons – both traditional and modern – why French women don't get fat.

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