How good are you at taking a break? If you’re anything like me you often have so many things to do that you forget break time. Sometimes we push until we become tired, grouchy and prickly, generally no fun to be around. I don’t even like myself when I get that way. [bctt tweet=”I’m learning to make time for breaks even when there seems to be no time.” username=”GaylWright”]I’m always glad afterwards, because it helps relieve the tension that builds in my #gottageteverythingdone mode.
One of my favorite things for break time, besides being outside in nature, is to read a book. While I enjoy good fiction, I often turn to non-fiction. It is inspiring to read about the lives of other people or find information of more healthful ways to live.
One such book I read several years ago was French Women Don’t Get Fat by Mireille Guiliano. There is now a cookbook that goes with it. It was a fresh new approach for me concerning losing weight.
[bctt tweet=”It isn’t so much a how to book, but one that will teach you to change your lifestyle.” username=”GaylWright”] She says, “All we need is to learn a sense of proportion and cultivate our appreciation of taste. Do that and we should never feel deprived.” I now own the sequel French Women for All Seasons.
Whereas in the first book she talked about living a full life, in this book she talks about “l’art de vivre, the finer points of living to the fullest.” The beginning pages include the following quote by Thoreau:
Live in each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influences of each. Let them be your only diet drink and botanical medicines.
There is much wisdom in that quote. We often rush from one thing to the next eating on the run, choosing convenience over health. [bctt tweet=”Wouldn’t it be better to slow down and take what each season has to offer? ” username=”GaylWright”]Sure it might take more time, but maybe it would help us learn to appreciate the rhythms our bodies were created to enjoy. Slowing down might also help relieve some stress.
Menus, Recipes and More
The book includes anecdotes from Mireille’s life, along with common sense wisdom that many of us seem to have forgotten in our busy lives. She talks about the importance of eating things in season, thoroughly enjoying each taste and fragrance. She says,
“It is about embracing the seasons and seasonality and making eating and savoring life a more intense experience. It’s learning the way to find pleasure in all things.”
I like that!
There are seven chapters, most with a French title along with the English. The first is an introduction where she shares some of her secrets. Next are four chapters regarding the seasons. In each she gives a week of suggested menus and lots of recipes, some of which are family traditions.
Recipes include appetizers, salads, soups, main dishes and desserts. Some are very simple, and some may be a bit more involved. For those of you who like seafood, you will find plenty of choices. Also included is a chapter on the many uses of wine. Another gives tips on entertaining and includes a lesson on French words and sayings.
Throughout the book you will find tips like how to tie a scarf in different ways, how to bring beauty into the house with flowers, and generally how to make the most of each season of the year.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading it, especially the parts about Mireille’s childhood and other experiences. She has helped me see that having a healthier lifestyle doesn’t have to be hard.
Tips Gleaned From Book
Learn to eat proportionately
Get daily exercise, outdoors, if possible
Learn to enjoy life, including the food you eat
Cook from scratch using local food when possible.
[bctt tweet=”They don’t seem that hard at first glance, but it takes determination to make changes.” username=”GaylWright”] It’s easy to think of lots of excuses when it comes time to exercise or plan a meal. I need to remind myself of the benefits of turning these tips into habits.
I highly recommend this book if you are tired of the yo-yo type diets. Starve yourself, lose weight and then promptly put it back on when you go back to your regular diet. This is definitely not a book about dieting.
Mireille includes foods that diet gurus might say are no-nos. That is the beauty of her method. You don’t always have to leave off the foods you love. The key is in the proportion and the slowing down to enjoy each morsel. That sounds good to me!
[bctt tweet=”Reading is a good way to take a break, especially when the book inspires me to action.” username=”GaylWright”]
What about you? What are some favorite things you do when you need a break?