Euros stay low please

Why is it that the French are thinner than Americans, but enjoy wine, cheese, butter, bread? (In case you did not know, I was was a Vice President at a major French bank for 2 years and on many occasions ate with my colleagues. Yes they also dieted, but they eat differently from us).

If you plan to join us to Paris for The Holidays, here is why you will return home thinner and not hungry:

French food is richer making a smaller portion satisfying. Try a boule (ball) of famous Berthillion ice cream and you will get it.  A fun blog post about going to Berthillion is on 

Meals are more leisurely; food eaten slower. Generally slower consumption means you eat less, enjoy more. A stress free way to eat solo in Paris is to sit in an outdoor cafe (they are covered in winter) or enjoy a department store restaurant. Walking a few blocks into a residential area will provide more suitable places for women solo.

Fats like butter are not served automatically; bread is, but not butter. Bread is delicious and really doesn’t need butter. A famous bread to try is from Poilane- a brown country style about bread and bakeries is worth reading if you are joining us.

Food is less heavy with fewer calories; for instance, a salad will be dressed with excellent oils, special vinegars, shallots but not with a mayo based creamy sauce. If you want to buy oils, you need to check your luggage. Good walnut, pumpkin and other oils are sold here also.

Pastries are smaller yet filling due to the excellence of their ingredients. Eat one and you will remember it. Alas, these are growing as French start to eat like us. Candy, like chocolate is dark, rarely milk chocolate. Again more intense in flavor.

French diets are best analyzed by supermarket shelf space. Lots of space is given to yogurt and herbs, wine and cheeses. Little to snack foods, less to candy. Our favorite stores for food shopping are: Monoprix, Bon Marche, Franprix, Carrefours (not usually center city) and the food halls of the major department stores. If you like food, and cannot locate a store, they are often below ground. A good way to find a store, is to ask women carrying obvious supermarket stuff  in their bags. You can use a credit card in most even for small items.

Last note: do not bring home any un-canned meats, sausages or herbs that look like they can be planted: oregano in stalks for instance. Customs will remove them, and maybe eat your grub for their Holidays????

Join The Women’s Travel Group for our Paris for The Holidays trip. It is on line at Small groups mean early booking.