Eating Healthy in
France, Part 2
Wouldn’t it be great if you could enjoy that French je ne sais quoi and still make it home without gaining five pounds? Here are a few more tricks I’ve discovered that will let you keep your diet afloat in a sea of butter and wine.
Before your meal, decide what you really want from that meal. Choose where in your meal you would most like to indulge and reduce the options that don’t matter to you. Would you rather have dessert than a creamy, heavy main dish? Try a lighter main of fish and veggies so you have some room and calories left for a delicious dessert. Not a dessert person? Go ahead and enjoy an extra glass of wine (or two). And if savoury is your style, indulge in steak frites, but pass on the dessert and have a bite of someone else’s instead so you don’t leave the meal feeling over stuffed.
Sharing is Caring
If you are set on having a three-course meal everyday while in France, do it—you are on vacation, after all. But, consider having a salad to start and sharing a dessert. Or if you want the cheese platter and a dessert, share them with someone else. It’s no fun leaving the table feeling like you need to be wheeled out of the restaurant.
Keep it Simple
The quality of ingredients in French cooking is usually so high that you don’t need heavy sauces to enjoy a delightful meal; keep your food choices simple and free of calorie-laden sauces. Enjoy grilled fish and meat or slower-roasted chicken and duck with a side of vegetables for a satisfying meal.
With your water bottle, that is. It’s really important to make sure you drink plenty of water as you see the sights. It’s easy to forget when you are on the go. Drinking water helps with hunger and cravings, too. (Staying hydrated during the day will also help with any headaches that might result from enjoying your wine a little bit too much—not that that ever happens on a B&R trip…)
Curb Your Consumption
Enjoy a bottle of wine at lunch or dinner, but if you’re watching your waistline (not to mention your liver!), then not at both. If you decide you to enjoy some wine with each meal, keep it limited to one glass at lunch and a glass or two at dinner, but not a full bottle at each meal.
We recommend biking, but if strolling is more your speed then strap on your walking shoes and hit the cobblestones. Going for a nice long walk is a great way to see the area you’re visiting, burn off some calories and work up an appetite for your next meal. You also never know what sorts of treasures you’ll come across when you explore.
Combine these tips with those from my earlier post, and you’ll enjoy the best of France without having to add a new notch to your belt buckle.