Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Day 141 from France:
Poser Un Lapin

Shaboom writes to us from Paris, France...

When I first arrived in Paris two years ago, I tried to whip out my culinary skills to impress my French friends. Stupid stupid stoooopid! How dare I assume that I could possibly impress the French. That's unheard of!

Regardless, they rejected my Shepherds' Pie, "Ça ne ce fait pas! You cannot poot all zose seengs enn zee same deesh togezehr!" Um, hello. It's Shepherds' Pie. Otherwise it'd be pieces of meat on a plate served with a mushroom sauce and mashed potatoes and vegetables on the side.

They secretly loved but verbally rejected my banana bread. "Zees ees not bread. Zees ees too sveet!"

They secretly loved but verbally rejected my Oreo cheesecake as well as my Heath Bar Cheesecake. "Vee dahnt understand. Eets cheese but eets a cayke? Eet ees just wrong. Cayke ees cayke. Cheese ees cheese."

I say they "secretly" loved because they whined and moaned but when I turned around, it was all gone. Fini!!

Anyways, it was quickly decided that I would no longer be doing anything in the kitchen other than eating. So they started preparing me all sorts of French delicacies. Frog legs, snails, horse, blood sausage, intestines, rabbit brains name it. How do you say, NOT A BIG FAN in French?

After two weeks of horror, these ex-vegetarians went back to their normal diet of healthy, organic, locally grown vegetables and what-not which they purchased at the local farmers' market. Lots of leeks, eggplant, spinach, carrots, potatoes, turnips, cauliflower, cabbage and beans. We ate tons of purées, soups and stews.

When I started the FSE with Karen, I had been here for a year already and was already a size two and could eat what I wanted. So she (and all of you) were seeing what I was eating one year in, not what I was eating when I first got here.

Because it was never my intention to lose weight and because I never really thought about what I was eating back then, I don't really have many photos of my food from the first 6 months. I just had to basically describe it all when Karen was first starting the FSE. And yes, it's true. The portions are waaaayyyyy smaller.

The biggest changes in my lifestyle from the US to France were:
  • I didn't drink the first 6 months I was here.
  • I no longer had a job to go to, so maybe I had less stress in life? I don't know. I definitely had more time to eat, and I started actually sitting down to have meals - 3 per day even. When I was back in California working crazy-long days, I would forget to eat I was so busy. When I did eat, it was usually a Lean Cuisine on the run, or at a restaurant meeting I'd eat some huge portion of GodKnowsWhat that I felt like I had to finish or I'd be too wasteful. Wash that down with a giant Coke, beer or a bottle of wine and there you go!
  • I stopped going to the gym but I walked about 10km per day and I walked up and down tons of stairs.
  • Everything I ate once I got to France was fresh, locally grown, in-season, organic, no additives, no preservatives, no artificial flavoring, no artificial coloring, no hormones... Everything was made from scratch ...nothing in boxes, nothing frozen, nothing microwaveable.

  • I'll be back on Friday with more basics. Here are some of the photos I took when I first arrived here.


    1. So glad you're blogging again! So basically I'm eating like you are - real food, sitting down, local, organic, fresh but over here it's called a cleanse or a detox because everyone eats so much processed crap. So I say I'm doing a cleanse and people turn their noses up - and I say but really, it's fresh fruit, and veggies, and fresh baked bread and whole grains and green juice and homemade soups not some crazy lemonade cayenne mix. I guess I should just call it eating....

      Oh, and the pic by the Moulin Rouge, I hope you weren't mugged after you took that ;)

    2. @Keri -
      The Moulin Rouge pic - nope, wasn't mugged that time. Actually, although the area is sketchy (as you remember,) I've never been mugged there. Although, that's the area where I had the accident in which I broke my watch and my shoulder. Boo hoo.
      For how long will you be eating/cleansing?

    3. 3 weeks! The only thing really different about how I normally eat is no animals and no alcohol

    4. Are you feeling like you're missing out on something? For me, when I moved to France it was never a conscious choice to stop my habits at the time, it just sort of happened. If someone had told me to be a non-drinking vegetarian for 6 months I probably would have convulsed and thought about nothing other than bacon and booze for the entire duration.

    5. "these ex-vegetarians went back to their normal diet of healthy, organic, locally grown vegetables and what-not which they purchased at the local farmers' market. Lots of leeks, eggplant, spinach, carrots, potatoes, turnips, cauliflower, cabbage and beans. We ate tons of purées, soups and stews."

      ohhh, now we're getting somewhere! tell more. *rubs hands together in a hopefully not-evil way*

    6. I know exactly what you're saying. To be honest I feel like with the holidays and Europe I could use a break from the alcohol :) I've been eating less and less meat for the last several months. The only thing I miss is a little bit of cheese. And I usually eat a lot of eggs. I pretty much gave up coffee back in November, I got sick and lost the taste for it and figured why start it up again? Last time I did this it taught me a new way to eat - that it was okay not to eat tons of protein all day long - that you really can be healthy eating nuts and seeds and veggies and fruits and the like.

    7. common sensualist - no evil taken! tune in on friday!!!

      keri - so why not do it for more than 3 weeks?

    8. That's kind of the plan, become a part time vegan. I don't want to cut out anything forever but I don't need animal products every day or even every week. Mainly just a jump start.

    9. Okay, I don't know how I missed the part where you went vegetarian for months eating tons of purees, stews etc.
      Can you please try to remember the recipes?
      How did I miss that?


    10. I never went vegetarian. I lived with EX vegetarians. The stews had meat in them - postly porc. The broths were made from scratch aka boiling a big knuckle of something on the stove. The vegetables were blended into a purée, sometimes cream and butter were added (along with salt, pepper and other spices.)

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    12. Oh! Okay. I misunderstood. Sounds delicious, though. I know you don't eat cheese with mold but did you eat the other kind? Was there always a fresh baguette or rice or something?


    13. I have a friend who is (and has always been) quite thin. I've watched him eat and he always eats really small portions but he has a lot of variation. He'll have like 5 different things at his meal. Little bits of each one but very different. A little vegetable, a little meat, a starch or a fruit. He just goes for what will taste good together. There is no formula. When I've done that (it takes a lot of work so I'm not good at all about it) I find I'm much more satisfied than a bigger portion of just one thing. I don't get any cravings or feel like I'm missing out on something. I can't help but feel like, nutritionally, it is healthier to have that variation when eating.

    14. laurie -
      i think you're on to something! it's hard to compare women with men but obviously some good habits are universal. i love the variation here and all the little servings. it's wild!