Before I share Elaine’s Part 2 post on detoxing, I wanted to tell you about my Euro-travel observations just like I did last year when I came back from Venice. Even though I’m anti the word “skinny”, it is a very appropriate title for the French. You do not see obese people in Europe. And if you do, they are usually North American tourists unfortunately.
Now you also don’t see gym-obsessed buff trainer-esque like physiques either, but is that really healthy?
So here are my observations of the French and why the women are so damn sexy:
1. They walk EVERYWHERE. Walking burns calories, reduces stress and helps calm the monkey brain after a busy day at the office.
2. They are social butterflies! Every bar and cafe (no matter what time of day) is PACKED with people and the joyful vibe of lively conversation is infectious. You don’t see people with their cell phones out while conversing with their friends. You see people FULLY engaged in conversation.
Now whether they are discussing your outfit as you walk down the street or the events of the day is up for debate, but they are engaged.
Studies prove being social reduces stress. A less stressed body, is a healthier body. Nuff said.
3. They don’t get their food or their coffee “to-go”. In Toronto, you would be hard pressed to walk down a major (or minor) street in the city without seeing someone chugging back their Starbucks coffee while rushing to get somewhere. In my travels throughout Europe, I have noticed, that people at cafes hang out and drink their espressos and yet again… engage in conversation.
4. They don’t snack. You rarely see people walking down the street eating and you’d be hard pressed to find snack-ish type foods in grocery stores or markets (other than nutella-snack-packs in the gas stations — but those are for the North American tourists).
Now I’m all about the healthy snacking, however this can be overdone too. I often tell my clients to eat when you are actually hungry. Meaning, when you feel that sensation in your belly to eat. Why? You digest your food far better when your body is actually ASKING for food. Ignoring these signals and constantly eating those salty nuts not only puts on weight due to excess calories but weakens those digestive secretions.
So what’s the answer here? If you must snack, do so when you are actually hungry.
5. They aren’t afraid to eat fat. You already knew that right? Probably the most common stereotype of French food is that it’s very rich and fatty (translation: deeeeelicious!). While this can be true, for the most part they are not eating fried bad fats. A little good fat goes a long way. Fat is essential for satiety and brain health.
And not only do they eat fat, but they eat quality vs. quantity. There are fresh food markets everywhere you go. I remember when I was in Italy last year and it was impossible to find a grocery store. There was a fresh fruit and vegetable market, bakery, butcher and of course, wine shop.
And the grocery store I finally came across was the size of a small North American convenience store. And you can bet you wouldn’t find a bottle of Kraft LowFat thousand island dressing!
Now before I go, I would love to hear YOUR observations! I know many of you read my blog outside of North American, so your perspective is very important here. Please do share your thoughts below!!
Coming up this week:
1. Elaine’s Part 2 on Detoxing.
2. Joyous News I’m thrilled to share — stay tuned
Have a joyous week!
Fall Eat Well Feel Well 6-wk nutrition + yoga class
Joy McCarthy, Registered/Certified Holistic Nutritionist (CNP, ROHP, RNCP), and Health Coach of Joyous Health, loves to inspire others to eat well, live well and be happy.
Joy has clients from all over the world and consults via phone and Skype. Contact Joy today and take the first step.