Coaching

  • Stop destroying nutrients. Now.

    Bonjour,

    With winter upon us, it is very important to get stronger to navigate rainy days, the flu and nasty colds. One of the best strategies is to get as many nutrients as possible from your diet.  read more

  • 8 Food Traps To Avoid.

    Bonjour,

    When my clients come to see me for the first time they often think their diet is not “too bad”. Which happens to be true sometimes. In the vast majority, their diet is not that good…

    And I don’t blame them! I totally get where they’re coming from:

    • I worked for many years in the advertising industry helping big food companies to promote their products. I know all the tricks they use and how good they are in marketing products as healthy when they are not…
    • With so many fads, nutrition books, blogs and so-called experts out there with conflicting opinions, it is impossible not to be confused. 
    • For those who go further and do their own research, even science seems not to be rock-solid when it comes to nutrition. One of my nutrition mentors told me one day: “nutrition science today can be compared to what surgery was in the 17th century”… Scary!

    So today I wanted to share with you 8 food traps to avoid or at least to be aware of… I hope you’ll find them useful.

     

    saynoTRAP #1: CANOLA OIL / RICE BRAN OIL /VEGETABLE OIL /COTTON SEED OIL

    They are pure products of the food industry. Highly processed, these oils (often simply called ‘vegetable oil’) promote inflammation, one of the causes of most diet-related diseases. Restaurants -even the good ones- often use these oils as they are cheap and can be re-used many times… The other day I was walking by my favourite Japanese restaurant and their supplier was delivering their cooking oils. I could not help but look at the label: ‘edible vegetable oil’. Needless to say that I will NEVER go back to this restaurant.

    Solution: Even small daily doses of bad oils can severely damage your health and be the cause of these stubborn kilos! It is crucial to invest in the oils you eat. Go for organic extra virgin cold pressed olive oil, organic macadamia oil, organic coconut oil. Organic butter, ghee and duck fat are the healthiest animal fats. More on butter – central to the French traditional diet and cuisine- in one of my previous articles HERE. When you’re out, in particular if you are going to eat fried food, kindly ask what oil the chef uses… If they can’t tell you… RUN!

    TRAP #2: LOW FAT / LIGHT / NO FAT

    When a label says ‘Low Fat’ or ‘Light’ or ‘No Fat’, it’s not a good sign at all! It clearly means that this product is highly processed and most of the time very nutrient-poor. For instance low fat dairy is pure non-sense. To make sure the product still tastes good, sugar is often added – sugar is in addition to refined oils (see trap #1) and exposure to chemicals (from food, air and water) the other main cause of inflammation.

    Solution: ALWAYS go for full-cream, full-fat options. Remember: (good!) fat is critical to good health and… you need (good!) fat to lose fat. 

    The only crackers I eat!

    The only crackers I eat!

    TRAP #3: GLUTEN-FREE

    Well, you know my take on gluten. If not, go back to the last 2 weeks’ articles. Gluten-free ready-made products is a big no-no as they are loaded with nasties. 

    Solution: don’t buy any processed gluten-free products. Choose products naturally with no gluten if you decide to avoid gluten: gluten-free Mary’s Gone Crackers is a good example; they are only made with real foods: wholemeal gluten-free grains and seeds. Choose the ones with herbs or pepper for extra flavour.

    TRAP #4: KALE

    Don’t get me wrong! I’m not saying kale is not healthy. I’m just saying that you don’t have to feel pressured to binge on kale if, like me, you loathe kale! First of all, there are many other green vegetables much more nutrient-rich. Check this previous blog, if you don’t believe me! Also, kale is one of the vegetables the most exposed to pesticides, greatly increasing your toxic load if you eat a lot of kale!

    Solution: always buy organic! If you don’t like kale, choose other super greens here, they are better than kale.

    TRAP #5: LESS SUGAR / LOW SUGAR

    Well, what does low sugar really mean? Not much as what the food industry calls ‘low sugar’ or ‘reduced in sugar’ is unfortunately always much higher than the recommended amount of sugar. In addition corn syrup, molasses, fruit juice concentrate, agave are also pure sugar even if they aren’t labelled as sugar… which makes most of these products still super high in sugar.

    Solution: if you want your diet to be healthy, choose products that contain no more than 15g per 100g (you can find this information on all labels, it’s compulsory). If you want to lose weight, you need to look at products that have less than 5g, even better less than 3g. 

    TRAP #6: BOTTLED FRUIT JUICES

    Once again, RUN! They are real sugar bombs – including your morning orange juice. There are NO exceptions. 

    Solution: consider fruit juices as TREATS and serious THREATS to your health and waistline. 

    nosushiTRAP #7: SUSHI

    “Sushi are so healthy, I have sushi several times a week”, one of my new clients told me recently. First of all the fish in sushi is usually farmed – in particular salmon (full of antibiotics, hormones and colourants) or high in heavy metals – in particular tuna, which increases your toxic load. Secondly sushi are sugar bombs: white rice is to be avoided at all cost if you don’t want to experience any afternoon energy crash and maintain a healthy weight.

    Solution: instead of sushi, go for sashimi and instead of several times a week, go for once a month (every fortnight max).

    TRAP#8: CAESAR SALAD

    Not healthy! The ‘croutons’ are often deep-fried in highly refined oils and the sauce is highly processed, loaded with sugar and nasty oils, making this supposedly balanced salad one of the worst food traps!

    Solution: given up on the Caesar salad (unless you make it yourself) and always prefer a green salad with a healthy delicious dressing (a few delicious recipes here).

    One last advice: the best strategy to avoid food traps is to go back as often as you can to the time-tested best approach to food: eat REAL FOOD! And it’s easy as with my motto ‘Real Food + Pleasure = Health’! Email me here if you want to know more: yves@nutritionbyyves.com.au

    Your turn now! What trap do you fall into sometimes? Do you have any other food trap you would like to share with us? Please put your comment in the ‘reply’ box below.

    Have a great week.

    Yves

    PS: Did you like this article? Then sign up to my FREE weekly nutrition coaching newsletter and I’ll send it to you straight to your inbox! Simply enter your first name and email address at the bottom of this page. Yes, it’s free.

     

  • Sorry, my paleo friends!

    Bonjour,

    Given the current anti-gluten craze, I decided to took a gluten-free 30-day challenge a few months ago. Last week I shared with you the first 5 things I learnt from it (Click HERE to find out more)… Let’s look at the last few things I took out this month without gluten:

    • The only crackers I eat!

      The only no-gluten crackers I eat!

      A delicious new permanent staple in my kitchen. Mary’s Crackers. A pure gem without gluten. Made of brown rice, quinoa, flax and sesame seeds, they have the best rich, nutty flavour and always hold their toasty crunch. Perfect with some grass-fed butter, some real cheese or with your favourite dips. They are of course organic and non-GMO.

    • My crowding-out method works. If you know my approach to nutrition, you’ve already heard of my ‘crowing-out’ method: when you eat more of the good stuff first, you simply don’t have enough room to eat other foods. By eliminating my usually substantial intake of bread, and occasional pasta and cakes, I ended up eating more leafy greens, fresh herbs, nuts, root vegetables, legumes, organic eggs and healthy fats (butter, coconut oil, olive oil). Great benefit for me from avoiding gluten!
    • I damaged the planet. I surprisingly craved meat so I added some more (grass-fed) lamb and beef in my diet. The livestock industry is one of the main causes if not the root of climate change… So I was not very proud of myself, not to mention moral issues that I sometimes have of animals being killed for unnecessarily food.
    •  Did I lose weight…? Yes. I did lose a bit of weight. But again it might be much more because of my increase of foods promoting weight loss than not eating gluten. By not having any bread, and occasional pasta or cakes, I ate a lot more leafy greens, fresh herbs, nuts, root vegetables, legumes, organic eggs, healthy fats and low GI gluten-free grains (see last week missive). I definitely feel lighter.
    • Grumpy Baker -my favourite bakery in Sydney, here I come! At the end of my gluten-free month I honestly couldn’t see any major benefits. One obsession: I can’t wait to have my organic wholemeal bread and a croissant (or 2!) from the Grumpy Baker again. But since then I made sure to eat more greens!  

    Still feel like going off gluten? Please think twice!

    1- Don’t panic! Even if Australia has one of the world’s highest reported incidences of food allergies, it only affects 2% of the adult population and 1% ONLY are gluten intolerant. Yes, all this fuss about the paleo madness, anti-grain war, carb phobia-  when only 1% of the population is potentially allergic. So please think twice before following the anti-gluten trend. Once again this is nothing but a fad, which ignores the most recent science.

    2- Sorry paleo friends but strong evidence shows that humans used to eat grains more than 4 millions years ago, way before the Paleolithic era, which began about 2.5 million years ago! Then 125,000 years ago, when humans started to use fire and eat cooked grains, they started to get straighter: they literally ‘grew like grains’. The bulk of the science also clearly shows that grains don’t increase inflammation and are consistently found to be healthy: they can help prevent diabetes 2 and cardiovascular diseases while promoting weight loss!

    3- Grains including those with gluten have served to fuel the development of civilisations throughout human history, have been central to Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurvedic Medicine and still provide superior nutrition, sustained energy, vitamins, antioxidants, minerals, soluble fibre, insoluble fiber, lignins…

    4- However all grains are not the same and industrial gluten consumption (which you can find in all processed biscuits, pasta, cereals, but also in ice creams and dairy) is actually directly related to our huge health crisis: the monoculture of mutated modern (GMO) wheat in high quantities and unfermented is at the root of the increasing number of people suffering from gluten intolerance and more importantly the epidemic of diet-related diseases including weight gain and obesity, diabetes, allergies, some cancers, heart disease.

    5- The solution: always go for whole, organic grains (to avoid GMOs). And as always, avoid as much as you can processed foods. So remember one thing before deciding to give up all the delicious foods containing gluten: ‘gluten-free diet is unhealthy for the general population, except for 1% of the population!’ as nutrition expert Dr McDougall put it. So… Croissant, anyone?

    6- Still feel like going off gluten? Just like I do with my clients when they think they are gluten intolerant but aren’t sure, I would encourage you to try the gluten-free month challenge. 

    7- Finally, you might be interested in this great article from Michael Specter published in the New Yorker. Click HERE.

    And you, what is you experience with gluten? Leave your comment or share this article if you liked it.

    All the best and talk to you next week! 

     

    Yves

    PS: another delicious recipe – which happens to be gluten-free!

    Parmesan polenta with prosciutto, tomatoes and goat cheese with asparagus

    Ingredients: soft polenta for 4 (see first recipe), 4 slices of prosciutto, 400 grs cherry tomatoes, 8 asparagus, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, sea salt, freshly ground black pepper

    Pour the soft polenta into a baking dish and refrigerate for 1 hour.

    Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat in a large frying pan. Cut the polenta into pieces half the size of your palm and cook until golden and crisp for 1 to 2 minutes on each side. Place on a plate. Use the same pan and briefly cook the prosciutto, the tomatoes and the asparagus (previously blanched). Top each piece of polenta with 1 slice of prosciutto, tomatoes, asparagus (cut in 4cm pieces) and some goat’s cheese. Add sea salt, pepper, dressing made of olive oil, balsamic vinegar and lemon juice. You can serve with a refreshing green rocket salad and a glass of light red wine (or rose in summer).

    And now close your eyes… Where are you? Yes you’re in Nice on the French Riviera…

    Nice, French Riviera

    Nice, French Riviera

  • Stay motivated to lose weight.

    Are you your main competition to stay motivated to lose weight?

    Bonjour,

    How badly do you want to look and feel amazing, have abundant energy, eliminate fatigue, lose weight, and live a long and youthful life?

    Yes, changing your diet to lose weight, gain energy or simply feel better is ALWAYS challenging. A wealth of research (confirmed by years of experience with my clients) show you will succeed if you know how badly you want this and the reasons why it seems so difficult for you.

    Could it be a fear of change, a lack of support, or perhaps low motivation? A combination of all three? More? Whatever the reason, there is no simple answer. Sometimes, you need to ask the right questions to find the answer.

    FIRST OF ALL, HERE IS A LIST OF THE 10 KEY QUESTIONS to help you uncover what’s needed to reclaim your health and stay motivated to lose weight.

    1. What are the reasons behind your desire to lose weight?
    2. What will be the consequences to your life and health if you don’t lose weight?
    3. What do you believe is a healthy rate of weight loss and is it realistic?
    4. Are you interested in quick results only or are you ready to be patient?
    5. Is this a good time in your life right now to make changes to your lifestyle?
    6. Are other people supportive of your efforts to lose weight?
    7. What events/circumstances or people are most likely to make you fall off your healthy lifestyle plan? Are they the same that made you fall off the last time you tried to have a healthier life?
    8. Are you ready to challenge what you know about nutrition?
    9. How reliant are you on processed, packaged and take-away foods?
    10. What are 3 things you think you need to begin doing to lose weight? Can you do it?

    The more honestly you answer these questions, the clearer your personal answer to weight loss will be. You’ll be then in a good position to start your life-changing journey to better health.

    Have this image as a screen saver to stay motivated to lose weight!

    TO KEEP THE MOMENTUM GOING, in addition to the critical support of your nutrition coach (wink, wink!), these 3 tools will be very useful to reach your goals:

    1. Begin a journal to track your progress as you move through this program. Note how you feel throughout your day. When do you get hungry? When do you eat, and what do you eat? What emotions do you experience before, during, and after you eat? Write down whatever you can to give yourself greater insight as you move forward in your journey.
    1. Before beginning the plan take a “before” photo and any appropriate measurements and/or indicators if you wish. This will give you another means of comparison as you move through your plan. It’s easy to forget just how far you’ve come, so this gentle reminder may give you powerful leverage to reach your goals.
    1. Write down 3 important goals that you need to achieve and why you need to achieve them. Have the goals visible and read them aloud at least once per day. I would recommend you write them down as if they’ve already been attained.

    Never forget what you will get from your nutrition program:

    •       Greater productivity at work or in your business

    •       Greater physical performance and quicker recovery

    •       Healthy, long-term and sustained weight loss

    •       Healthier skin, hair, and nails – you will have a glow!

    •       Dramatically improved energy

    •       More motivation

    •       Less fear and more willingness to take challenges head-on

    •       Improved ability to prevent sickness and disease

    •       Increased chance of prolonging your life while living in great health

    And much, much, much more…

    FINALLY FOR MANY PEOPLE, WHETHER THEY WANT TO MAKE A SMALL CHANGE OR RECLAIM THEIR HEALTH, THE ANSWER IS VERY SIMPLE: DON’T DO IT ALONE.  Research shows they will dramatically increase their success at making consistently better day-to-day choices if they have support. (by the way, BONJOUR 2015 is exactly about offering this critical support. It’s still time to join as we have just started week one, the preparation week!).

    As usual I would like you to take action NOW.

    •    Go back to the 10 questions and answer them to know how badly you want this.
    •    Leave a comment below.
    •    Share this blog post with your loved ones.

    Stay motivated and talk to you next week!

    Yves

  • 8 easy tips to eat less salt.

    Bonjour

    Let me get this right first!  Salt is not necessarily “bad” for you. Eating too much of the BAD salt IS the issue! Real salt is actually good, brings minerals and beneficial trace elements and is essential to reveal the best flavours in many dishes.

    My 2 favourite salts

    My 2 favourite salts… What is yours?

    It is however critical to watch our salt consumption… These days we basically eat up to eight times more salt than we physiologically need and in most cases it’s BAD salt. Excess of salt is linked to cardiovascular diseases, stomach cancer, ageing, asthma and weight gain. I’ve seen many of my clients feeling much better, much lighter and looking much younger as soon as they finally cut their salt consumption drastically.

    Cutting down salt proves to be quite challenging as salt is literally everywhere: food in restaurants and take-aways are very high in salt as it is used to enhance flavours (including in desserts) and… to make you hungry! Processed foods are also uber high in salt, as salt is used to preserve longer… while making you addictive to these foods!

    I’m a big fan of salt. Well, REAL salt. Salt (the real one) has always been key in the French traditional diet. The French business of gourmet salt is now booming. As Marguerite my great grandmother, my inspiration, used to say to her clients: “A bit of salt puts joy in your life, too much of it will take you to the cemetery.”   So here are 8 tips to finally eat less salt easily while still having a lot of pleasure:

    DITCH THE WHITE DEVIL

    Ditch the basic white table salt: it’s a highly processed product and the good things -minerals and trace elements- have all been taken away. You are left with sodium chloride only, the nasty you want to avoid at all cost. So refined table salt is a big NO-NO. Please go to the kitchen now … Yes now. And ditch it. Yes in the bin… NOW!

    EAT REAL SALT

    Instead of table salt, only use real salt, which is super rich in minerals and contains up to 80 different trace elements: natural sea (or lake) salt,  often harvested by hand with no process of the original product. You’ll find many choices of very good local natural salts in health food stores. It might be a bit pricey but a bag will last you for weeks/months and won’t be detrimental to your health -if used in moderation. I get mine from the Ile de Re, a tiny island on the French Atlantic coast where I have been spending all my summers since I’m a kid. Fleur de sel (the top layer of salt harvested by hand) is the Ile de Re salt of choice. This wonderful island also offers a fantastic salt called Sel Fou (it means “Crazy Salt”): it is a mix of natural sea salt and pepper, thyme, and many other spices. One Sel Fou is for seasoning meat, one is for seafood and another one for salads – all very delicious. They are very low in sodium, super rich in flavours and good things and help you make the best dishes!

    Fleur de Sel and 2 types of Sel Fou from the Ile de Re,

    Fleur de Sel and 2 types of Sel Fou from the Ile de Re.

    COOK, COOK, COOK

    Your kitchen is where you can heal and reclaim your health for good. In your kitchen you are 100% in control: you know exactly how much salt you put in your dishes… which is not the case when you are at a restaurant or when you eat processed foods. So cooking is how you start your journey to less salt and better health!

    It doesn’t have to be complicated. No need to be a chef! In BONJOUR 2015 my online program which starts next Wednesday, I share super easy, super quick, super delicious recipes (desserts included!) and menu plans every week. Feeling great has never been so easy – and delicious! More HERE.

    READ THE LABEL

    As most processed or packaged foods have a lot of salt -even if you can’t taste it!- it is important to read labels. Look at how much sodium the products contain. It is recommended to eat 1,600 mg/day maximum to prevent cardiovascular diseases and promote weight loss and to avoid going over 2,300 mg/day if you don’t want to damage your health. The amount per serve and per 100g of each product will help you figure out how much sodium you eat per day.

    NO SALT ON THE TABLE

    Margurite's food rules

    My great grandmother Marguerite and her son Noel, my grand father in the 1920s.

    It’s one of Marguerite my great grandmother’s tips. It’s simple and it works. Once your meal is served, don’t put salt on the table, it will help you avoid adding extra salt. Same thing when dinning out. Don’t add salt as your food is likely to be super salted already. In BONJOUR 2015, I share many other Marguerite’s secrets. It’s still time to book your spot HERE. We all start next Wednesday. By the way, have you watched the video yet?

    HERBS, HERBS, HERBS

    Use fresh or dried herbs as often as possible. Basil, coriander, parsley, dill, mint, thyme will bring so much flavour that you won’t need that much salt. They will also help you alkalise your diet, bring antioxidants, fibre and vitamins.

    SPICE IT UP!

    Spices just like fresh herbs are the smartest way to reduce your salt consumption. Pepper, cumin, ginger… the choice is endless. They will also help strengthen your immune system, boost your metabolism and make the most humble dish taste amazing. For instance start by adding much more pepper and you’ll see your salt craving decrease very quickly.

    CUT IT DOWN

    Be aware of the foods very rich in salt and see if you consume too much of them: chips, biscuits, processed soups, cereals, bread, cheeses…

     

    Remember – it’s not about eliminating salt from your diet but simply eating REAL SALT ONLY and NOT TOO MUCH… so you can “put joy in your life”, just like Marguerite.

    Have a great week – full of joy!

    Au revoir.

    Yves

  • Navigating the silly season.

    Bonjour,

    I can’t believe I just had my first Christmas function and we are not even in December yet. The silly season is officially on and with it comes the risk of having our diet totally off track for a few weeks at least if not until the end of January…

    The silly season is officially open! Enjoy!

    The silly season is officially open! Enjoy!

    Navigating the festive season without putting on too many kilos is always a challenge but it is critical: many studies show that the kilos that we put on during the holiday season are the hardest to lose. 95% of the time, they stay there on our belly or hips and add up every year. So it’s wise to think ahead and have a strategy ready. Many of my private clients ask me for a customised plan to help them stay healthy while having fun over the summer holiday. Their plan will of course vary according to how hard they play and how discipled they are with their diet and lifestyle.

    However here are 6 tips that we can all follow…

    SILLY SEASON 1: it’s all about hydration.

    Make your own super vitamin water: delicious -with no nasties!

    Make your own super vitamin water: delicious -with no nasties!

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

       I am a big fan of  ‘harm minimisation’ approaches as they work while most radical deprivation options will inevitably fail or leave you frustrated and make you eat-binge eventually. The first harm minimisation tip is an obvious yet essential one: stay hydrated! Heat and alcohol consumption mean that you need to be even more mindful of getting enough water. And I’m not talking about a few glasses a day. I’m talking about 2 litres at least depending on how much alcohol you drink and how much exposed to the heat and sun you are.

    For each standard alcohol drink, you are likely to urinate 100ml more than you drink, leading to dehydration. So take any opportunity to have more water every day. Drink water first thing in the morning and last thing before going to bed. If you find plain water too boring, make your own multi-vitamin water by simply adding fruit like berries, lemons, oranges. Avoid sweetened pre-made drinks (like ice teas, energy drinks, sport drinks loaded with sugar). Reduce your coffee intake and instead drink heaps of green tea or herbal infusions (mint is very cooling for the body) throughout the day. Choosing fruits with high water and low sugar content like strawberries, melon or watermelon can also be a good way of increasing your water intake.

    SILLY SEASON 2: Alkalise! 

    Our diet during the Christmas season is highly acidic due to huge intake of meat, sugar and alcohol: it promotes inflammation, depletes your immune system, makes you feel tired, damages your skin and makes you inevitably put on weight! And we don’t want that! So it’s important to alkalise our body. Here is one quick fix: mix 3 tbs organic apple cider vinegar (acidic taste but alkalising food!) with 1 tbs honey in warm water and drink at least 3 times a day (you can do the same with lemon juice).  

    You know I personally don’t like green juices but I also have some when I need a quick alkalising fix. Cucumber + spinach + lemon + ginger + coconut milk is my favourite.

    SILLY SEASON 3: Red wine

    If you’re not ready to cut your alcohol intake down during the holiday season, it is then a good idea to look at the ‘healthiest’ options. Red wine is definitely one of them. Full of nutrients, great to thin the blood, packed with phyto-nutrients, powerful antioxidants that protect the artery walls from free radicals, it is a heart healthy food. Experts analysed the death rates associated with moderate intakes of red wine, beer and spirits and found that wine increased longevity while beer had no effects and spirits decreased longevity. Please enjoy red wine always, always, always with food (the full taste of wine reveals itself only when paired with the right food) and always, always, always in moderation! Find out more about why red wine is good for you on my blog post HERE.

    The best seafood with a view

    The best seafood with a view. I took this photo on the Ile de Re on the Atlantic coast last June.

    SILLY SEASON 4: Everything from the sea

    Fish and seafood instead of meat are definitely the best choices for your Xmas feast. White fish is a very easy to digest source of protein and minerals, fatty fish like sardine and ocean trout bring the best omega-3 and shell fish boosts libido and reproduction health – no bad for summer!

    If you haven’t tried it yet, please look at my shellfish bisque recipe on my blog post HERE: this very traditional French recipe is a winner and will impress your guests.

    Caviar is also a fantastic healthy food: it will give you a great dose of Vit B12 and omega-3, with anti-inflammatory properties you need to fight modern lifestyle diseases including overweight.

     

    SILLY SEASON 5: Lemon and ginger

    Grab plenty of (organic) lemons and a lot of fresh ginger, your 2 new best friends to cleanse your liver and recover from any hangover in no time. Wash and cut 3 lemons in 6 to 8 pieces and put all pieces (including skin, zest, flesh) in a pot. Add 1.5 litres of filtered water and bring to the boil. Store it in the fridge (with the lemon pieces still in the water). Drink warm first thing in the morning and throughout the day. If you don’t like lemons, blend some ginger. Then extract the juice and put it in a cup of hot water with some raw honey.

    SILLY SEASON 6: Champagne, sacre bleu!
    I had to finish with Champagne, French of course, THE celebratory and festive wine of choice. Quite low in calories (relatively ‘safe’ for your waistline), quality Champagne doesn’t trigger headaches – and we like that! If you want to enjoy its full flavour, don’t drink it with foods that neutralise it such asparagus, artichokes and chocolate. Remember: drink in moderation and always choose quality over quantity. More on why I LOVE Champagne on my blog post HERE.

     

    Subscribe to The Good Life France magazine, it's free!

    Subscribe to The Good Life France magazine, it’s free!

    Finally this might not help you survive the silly season but if you love Christmas, France and French food, you will love this new e-magazine, The Good Life France. I’m very proud to be one of the main contributors to this new magazine published by The  Good Life France, super popular blog, followed by hundreds of thousands France-lovers in Australia, New Zealand, UK… You can read it and subscribe for FREE here: http://joom.ag/lskb

    YOUR TURN NOW. Any tips about the silly season you would like to share with us?

    Have a fabulous start of the silly season!

    Yves 

     

  • Food rules for a beautiful life.

    Bonjour,

    What should I eat? is definitely the most frequently asked question I get from my private clients.

    One of the first advice I give them is to read Michael Pollan’s best-seller ‘Food Rules’. I usually hate rules as they are often bad for happiness. Not Michael’s tough. If there was only one nutrition book to read, it would be this one with no doubt.

    I often use this book as a starting point to help my clients connecting the dots between the ‘WHAT’ (what to eat) and the ‘HOW’ (how to do it and sustain those changes for good). While the ‘WHAT’ is quite easy (even though it means challenging nutrition outdated beliefs for some), the ‘HOW’ proves quite intense yet the most empowering with many ‘ah-ah’ moments followed by amazing successes and huge health benefits – weight loss being one of the most enjoyable rewards. Better yet, they finally make peace with food and can enjoy the same positive attitude to food and life as the French.

    Pollan's Food rules

    Michael Pollan’s Food Rules inspired by traditional food wisdom totally consistent with the French Paradox principles.

    Michael is not a nutritionist neither a doctor but his insights on nutrition are spot on: ‘A definitive compendium of food wisdom’. His research led him to focus on 2 key facts: most of the western world literally dies from modern lifestyle and diet-related diseases (obesity, higher rates of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, Alzeimer’s, depression…) while cultures that rely on traditional diets, including the seemingly unhealthy diet of the French, do not suffer from these diseases.

    Even if you have already read the book, it is always good to remember a few of Michael’s rules every day. 100% consistent with the French Paradox principles which make the French one of the slimmest and healthiest countries on the planet (35% only of overweight or obese in France vs. 65% in Australia and New Zealand!). 

    Here’s a selection of Michael’s beautiful rules – with my personal touch! – for a beautiful life (you can also have a look at Michael’s slide-show by clicking here):

     

    Margurite's food rules

    My great grandmother Marguerite (here with her son Noel, my grandfather in the 1920s) would have loved Michael’s Food Rules.

     

    Don’t eat anything your great grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food. Marguerite my great grandmother, popular cook and health practitioner in the south west of France in the 1920s,  would have loved that one! She did not want to have running water in her house as she suspected that the pipes could spoil the purity of the water. She kept getting her water from the spring in her garden. So eating any food she would not recognise would have been a huge NO-NO!

    Don’t eat anything with more than 5 ingredients, or ingredients you can’t pronounce. 5 Ingredients or more in a product bought at the supermarket often means it’s highly processed and full of nasties. Not good. I would also add any products where sugar is one of the first 3 ingredients listed on the label: way too much sugar for this product to be healthy.

    – Stay out of the middle of the supermarket. Why? This is where all the highly processed nasty products are. All the products high in bad salt, trans fats and other toxic vegetable oils, sugar, preservatives, colourant agents. All the products highly addictive. Anything but food. Everything which makes our society sick and fat.

    – Don’t eat anything that won’t eventually rot i.e. avoid all foods with preservatives and super long shelf lives. One exception to Michael’s rule though: organic raw honey. Some edible honey was found in 4000 years-old Egyptian tombs! 

    – Always leave the table a little hungry. This was also one of Marguerite’s main advice. I already can hear you scream: NO WAY! I totally understand as our modern society has been pushing us to eat more and more and more for decades now. Did you know that the size of our plates increased by 35% since the 50s? We now eat in huge plates and drink literally from fish bowls. No wonder why we now eat portions way too big for our needs with direct impact on our health (not to mention our waistline!). If you learn how to master and enjoy the art of portion control without feeling deprived (one of the secrets of the French), your health, your sex drive, your longevity, your energy level, your skin and your weight will love you for ever!

    Michael’s book is made of many more, easy, simple, actionable rules based on facts, strong evidence and time-tested food wisdom. A great starting point to reclaim your health.  I’m sure you will love it – or love it even more! If you don’t have enough time, go to Michael’s slide-shows by clicking here. Very clever!

    Now I would like to hear from you. What is your favourite rule to stay healthy -whether it’s one of Michael’s or your own?

    Have a beautiful week thanks to these few beautiful little food rules.

    Yves

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