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Wednesday, January 6, 2010

READ THIS: French Women Don't Get Fat by Mireille Guiliano

We first read this way back when Whom You Know was not in existence, and we liked it then, and would have written about it then if Whom You Know did exist.  Mireille Guiliano is one of our MOST FAVORITE Movers and Shakers, not only because she is brilliant, makes a lot of sense, and is a class act, but also because her books are a gift of her wisdom to the world and boast her true sincerity, timeless advice and enlightened entertainment.  You will love them ALL.  You will even love the book on the way-we cannot wait for that one too!

First we reviewed Women, Work and the Art of Savoir Faire, her third book, and we liked it so much it made our Best of 2009 list on Day 2.  Then we reviewed Mireille Guiliano's second book: French Women for All Seasons around the holidays to give you some outstanding recipe ideas.

French Women Don't Get Fat is so appropriate to kick off the New Year with that we chose to feature it now.  All of you with any lifestyle-related New Year's Resolutions: THIS IS REQUIRED READING FROM PEACHY DEEGAN.  People that read Whom You Know don't get fat either, if you read this and follow though and live it!  The copy we have in front of us right now is from the 27th printing in May 2006.  Needless to say, this was a #1 New York Times bestseller, and we would argue it is a bestseller for ALL TIME.  A nationwide best seller, this has sold over 3 million copies.  If you already have one yourself, make sure everyone you know has one too: it makes a great gift.

Here is why!

It is the secret of eating for pleasure.  It is a whole book where Mireille eloquently spills these secrets!  She has let us Americans in...  After spending a year in Weston, Massachusetts, Mireille as a young girl returned back to her native France where the first words out of her father's mouth were, "You look like a sack of potatoes."  Of course, the American lifestyle was to blame as much as all of the great food here like brownies, but never again after that did Mireille look like congregating spuds.  (and it could not have been that bad-we think she mentioned it was about 20 pounds too much...we shudder to think what her father would say at some we see taking up multiple subway seats today.)  In French Women Don't Get Fat, Dr. Miracle helped Mireille, and now Mireille Guiliano helps the world.

This is a book by someone who loves to eat, and you will learn HOW you eat is so important.  See page 100 for more about how she loves can hardly blame her! The running joke in Peachy's family is that she is on a seafood diet: she sees food and she eats it.  We are huge fans of seafood.  You need to make eating a ritual, says Mireille.  Enjoy it, savor it, appreciate it!  Gastronomic rituals are nothing here compared with France.  You need to read the book to see what she means; we will not be giving away all her secrets...

Seasonings are important!  Particularly in this winter weather, they will spice up your life.  Also pay attention to your breathing.  Get enough sleep too!

If you walk a regular path, vary up your route!  Manhattan offers more options for this than perhaps anywhere else.  See our column "See Manhattan on Your Feet."  Remember what Mirelle says about posture and breathing!  Do not forget to take the stairs...

Although we think Mireille does not wear jeans, she does suggest what we would call the "skinny jeans" test as a measure of how you are doing with the pound melting.  Try on your skinny jeans: if they fit, bravo!  You need to assess yourself as an individual and closely examine your own life, including where the biggest downfalls are and how you plan on picking yourself up from them.

Among her words of wisdom are making friends of your two selves: the first being well-being, self-esteem, the latest fashions, and the second being pleasures aplenty.  Moderation and balance are the keys to success, bien sur!  (of course, for you non-francophiles....)  Not that Peachy Deegan is any skinny minnie, but she never has been on a diet either and thinks everything Mireille says in the 256 pages make a ton of sense, and her advice is definitely worth following.  Enjoy the little things in life: they matter the most!

What to take away with you:
*You could fall in love with leek soup
*Have you ever made grilled peaches?  They are just PEACHY
*Lentil Soup hits the spot about now

There are many great ideas, and they will only enhance your menu.

Not only does French Women Don't Get Fat tell you how to eat and exercise, it tells you how to LIVE WELL.  We are all about living well at Whom You Know and everyone has something to learn from Mireille.  Of course, as the former CEO of Veuve Clicquot, Mireille ate at restaurants 300 times a year, never without a glass of wine or champagne by her side.    We love on page 170 how she describes her first champagne experience.  At age six she knew how to hold the glass, and of course it contained Veuve Clicquot!

We quote Mireille on page 173:
"You see, I still get a kick from Champagne-a big one.  To me Champagne is magic...I love everything about it: the seductive honey color, the tiny bubbles (they should dance for you), the scents and tastes (citrus, pear, apple, dried fruit, brioche), and the lovely, long, yeasty aftertaste.  I love the mood Champagne creates, the feeling no other wine can come close to: celebration, life-affirming joy."

If reading a book was like drinking Champagne, this book would be it.  Read French Women Don't Get Fat, Live French Women Don't Get Fat, and pass it on!  It will affirm your joy in life.  She even tells us how to cook with Champagne.  Whom You Know HIGHLY RECOMMENDS French Women Don't Get Fat by Mireille Guiliano.

It is one thing when you read a book, meet the author, and are pleased knowing that the author is what you thought they would be: a pleasant experience!  It is another thing when you read a book, think that you think like the author thinks, meet the author, and the author exceeds your expectations on what you thought of him/her as a person.  Mireille Guiliano is all of this and more and we just cannot WAIT for her next book.    We cannot imagine it would not be as great as the first three!

Be sure to check out her website:


Stylish, convincing, wise, funny, and just in time: the ultimate non-diet book, which could radically change the way you think and live. 
French women don't get fat, but they do eat bread and pastry, drink wine, and regularly enjoy three-course meals. In her delightful tale, Mireille Guiliano unlocks the simple secrets of this "French paradox" -– how to enjoy food and stay slim and healthy. Hers is a charming, sensible, and powerfully life-affirming view of health and eating for our times.
As a typically slender French girl, Mireille went to America as an exchange student and came back fat. That shock sent her into an adolescent tailspin, until her kindly family physician, "Dr. Miracle," came to the rescue. Reintroducing her to classic principles of French gastronomy plus time-honored secrets of the local women, he helped her restore her shape and gave her a whole new understanding of food, drink, and life. The key? Not guilt or deprivation but learning to get the most from the things you most enjoy. Following her own version of this traditional wisdom, she has ever since relished a life of indulgence without bulge, satisfying yen without yo-yo on three meals a day.
Now in simple but potent strategies and dozens of recipes you'd swear were fattening, Mireille reveals the ingredients for a lifetime of weight control–from the emergency weekend remedy of Magical Leek Soup to everyday tricks like fooling yourself into contentment and painless new physical exertions to save you from the StairMaster. Emphasizing the virtues of freshness, variety, balance, and always pleasure, Mireille shows how virtually anyone can learn to eat, drink, and move like a French woman.
First published in 2004, French Women Don’t Get Fat has been a runaway success.  The book has been translated into 40 languages, reached number one on the New York Times best-seller list and went on to sell over 3 million copies worldwide (and counting).

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