Sunday, January 16, 2011

Locavore Women Don't Get Fat

I'm putting it out there: I could easily stand to lose 10 pounds, ideally 15. While I'm a few pounds shy of my  pre-pregnancy weight, there's still a good bit I could stand losing. Years of living with my "I-Can-Eat-All-I-Want-With-No-Repercussions" husband means my weight has very slowly climbed up over the last 10 years (while his stayed the same!). As a formerly overweight teen (40 lbs + heavier), I try to eat carefully, count calories, track workouts and hit the gym to avoid gaining that all back.

Years ago, I read "French Women Don't Get Fat" by Mireille Guiliano and was amazed to discover that women enjoy all the richness of French cuisine without the guilt and shame that is so common in North American culture. On a blog search yesterday, I came across The French Skinny Experiment and the blog author's epiphany and was reminded of this French mindset towards food, exercise and life.

In a nutshell, it's about cherishing food, highlighting its flavours and respecting the ingredients. On the 100 Mile Challenge, we are making almost everything by hand. The basic ingredients cost almost double what we find in the grocery store. Everything takes time to make, from the yogurt that takes 13 hours, to a 3 hour loaf of bread to 1 hour fresh pasta. Our time and money are precious, as are the ingredients we cook with. Mindlessly scarfing down our food not only ignores all the effort that went into it, but also eats into our available time. Eat less food = more leftovers and less preparation.

So I'll put it out there: If you are growing your own food, preserving it, buying local, making your own food from quality (often pricier) ingredients and are making an effort to reduce your environmental impact and doing more manual labour like shovelling and walking/biking instead of taking the car, it's safe to assume you'll have a healthy respect for food. You'll enjoy each bite, being mindful of the effort it took to produce that meal. You'll eat slowly, as you enjoy conversations around the dinner table and you'll stop when you're satiated. Food will become a pleasure and joy to cook, eat and share with others.

At least that is my assumption and I'm going out on a limb that in the 86 days remaining, I'll learn to have a healthier attitude and mindfulness about food and if it translates to the scale, fantastic.


  1. I think you're so right. SO right. There's this disconnect between food/source and table/stomach - we just don't appreciate or respect what we're putting in our bellies half the time.

    We use food to try and fill an emotional hole, when what we should be doing is using the rituals surrounding food to fill that hole.

  2. I definitely think that you are right. Too many times I find myself heading to the pantry when I am just a twinge hungry or probably just bored. When we appreciate our food more it stops the mindless eating.

  3. Boredom, food and I go WAY back.

    I'm realizing that even the best food is no longer the best when you eat too much of it. I'll let you know how it goes, this whole mindful eating and eating for pleasure thing goes. So far, so good. :)


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