So Good For You!

  • 3 beautiful things for your summer diet.

    Bonjour,

    SUMMER, SUMMER, SUMMER… At last! Days are longer, our skin gets browner, the ocean is warmer and people seem happier…

    There are also so many super yummy / super healthy things I love in summer… Beautiful things I would like to share with you, to definitely include in your summer diet .

    Here are the first 3… More to come soon!

     

    IMG_2010

    Coconut water, my summer drink of choice!

    1- COCONUT WATER

    I just had my first organic coconut water of the season and it felt so good! I know, coconut water isn’t exactly a part of the French Paradox nutrition concept but it is claimed to:

    • Aid weight loss
    • Aid circulation
    • Fight viruses and bacteria
    • Improve immune system
    • Manage blood pressure
    • Improve skin tone and elasticity
    • Prevent dandruff
    • Break down kidney stones
    • Settle nausea and vomiting
    • Kill intestinal worms
    • Prevent and cure urinary tract infections

    Coconut water is 99% fat-free and is rich in calcium, potassium and magnesium. It’s naturally low in sugar and also has zinc, selenium, iodine, sulfur, manganese, boron, molybdenum, ascorbic acid and B-group vitamins. It is said to be almost identical to human blood plasma.

    However all nutrition experts don’t agree and some even say coconut water doesn’t live up to all its health benefit claims.

    Well I am still a big fan and still await proper research and hard data proving I shouldn’t. Organic coconut water is one of the most refreshing, natural drinks that won’t do you any harm – and may even rejuvenate you…

    At least it is much better than energy drinks, so popular in particular in summer. If you still drink these nasty beverages, PLEASE read this article (click here).

     

    Zucchini flowers: hurry up, it's almost the end of the season!

    Zucchini flowers: hurry up, it’s almost the end of the season!

    2- ZUCCHINI FLOWERS

    Zucchini flowers can be found in abundance at local food markets. They are very delicate, can’t be kept more than 24h and are usually served stuffed with goat cheese and fried. This very traditional French recipe from the south of France is a lighter option and provides a very good balance of healthy fats, proteins and greens. Ideal for your summer diet and to impress your guests!

    Ingredients for 6

    18 zucchini flowers – 2 organic zucchini – 300g mince pasture-fed beef – 2 organic eggs – 1 garlic clove – half a bunch of parsley – 10 leaves of basil – 120g parmesan – 1/2 wholemeal baguette – 10cl extra virgin olive oil – 1 glass of full cream milk – 75cl home-made tomato coulis – organic salad rocket – sea salt

    Directions

    • Pre-heat the oven, 180°
    • In a bowl soak the bread in the milk 
    • Put half of the olive oil with the chopped garlic in a pan for 2 minutes
    • Add the meat and cook for 10 minutes max
    • In the meantime, steam the zucchinis
    • Drain the meat and keep the cooking juice
    • Drain the bread (discard the milk)
    • Chop the meat, parsley, basil and steamed zucchinis. Place in a bowl and add the bread, eggs, salt and parmesan. Mix well to combine. Don’t press the mixture too much
    • Add the cooking juice and mix again
    • Spoon the zucchini flowers and place them on a plate
    • Gently twist the ends to secure and if needed, push wood toothpicks through the petals to hold in place
    • Pour the remaining olive oil on the flowers and put in the oven for 15 minutes
    • Serve with a home-made tomato coulis and -you know me now!- (a huge) rocket salad.

     

    3- CLEOPATRA’S (and my) FAVOURITE

    Both Cleopatra and I can't resist!

    Both Cleopatra and I can’t resist!

    Cleopatra’s favourite fruits, figs are also believed to be the true forbidden fruit of the Garden of Eden by some historians.

    What we definitely know is that figs have a very strong healing power. One of the best sources of fiber and high in potassium, figs can help lower cholesterol, relieve constipation, reduce high blood pressure and drop the risk of heart attacks. The amount of fibre makes you feel less hungry, satisfies sugar craving hence promotes weight loss. However don’t over indulge as they are also quite high in sugar.

    Have you tried ‘les enroulés de figues’, one of my favourite entrees (or light dinner meals)? It is to die for yet very simple and easy to make. Take 4 big ripe figs (1 or 2 per person). Open the top and fill each fig with some organic ricotta cheese. Wrap the figs with prosciutto. Put in the oven at 150/180 degrees until the prosciutto is slightly cooked and roasted. Season with pepper and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar or even better of pomegranate molasses and extra virgin olive oil. I told you: to die for!

    Try this recipe today and let me know what you think!

    Bon appetit!

    Yves

    BSlogoPS. I could not resist sharing with you my last contribution to BODY + SOUL magazine in last week issue.  

    Did you know salt could heal? Have a look at the picture of the column below if you want to relax thanks to one of my great grandmother Marguerite’s secrets!

    My last contribution to Body + Soul (last week issue)

    My last contribution to Body + Soul (last week issue)

     

  • Fruit: Yes or No?

    Bonjour,

    Summer is around the corner… Such a nice feeling… Summer is also the fruit season. From berries, cherries, mangoes to peaches and watermelon, the choice is endless.

    We’ve heard many times that “Fruits are super good for you” or “Have as many fruits as you can” or even “Eat fruit to lose weight”… 

    Well, think twice…My take on this is a bit more moderate.

    fruitsDid you know that fruits are rich in fructose, the type of sugar we want to avoid for good health? They weaken digestion if over-consumed, can cause digestive fermentation when eaten with other foods and tend to promote damp and cold in the body according to Asian medicine traditions. The problem is, many people end up eating way too much fruit – i.e. way too much sugar –  in particular kids. 

    But don’t get me wrong: fruits contain far too many beneficial nutrients to be avoided all together if you want good health. There are even critical for good health and will always be a great option compared to processed foods and most of animal foods. Fruits are packed with fibre so fructose is dramatically reduced when digested. Which is not the case with fruit juices! So please stay away from the fruit juices crazy diets: you actually have much more sugar than when you eat the whole fruit. Many juices are made with several pieces of fruit: they are real sugar bombs!

    With my private clients, I always look at their health condition and goals first to assess what quantity is good for each of them. So as always one size doesn’t fit all when it comes to nutrition.One or 2 pieces MAX a day is usually enough.  

    If you want to lose weight, it is usually better to limit your fruit intake while increasing the amount of vegetable, in particular your leafy greens.  I would also recommend to always choose low GI fruits over those with a high sugar content such as bananas. 

    HERE ARE MY TOP 3 (because I LOVE them and because of their health benefits):

    Blueberries... Everyday!

    Blueberries… Everyday!

    • Blueberries.

    Extremely rich in antioxidants, they are low in sugar, tonify the kidneys and the liver, and positively affect cardiovascular health: a recent study showed that having berries 3 times a week considerably reduces the risk of heart attacks for women. Enjoy while they are in season. But remember that once cooked or cut, the level of antioxidants drops so eat them raw. You can even find organic blueberries for the same price as the conventional ones at the moment! Frozen organic berries is also a good option when not in season.

    So beautiful...

    So beautiful…

    • Cherries

    What a wonderful fruit! One of the better food sources of Vit E, very high in fibre and Vit C, true antioxidants powerhouse, this is the perfect heart food, as suggested by its beautiful shape. Cherries can also play a role in helping the body ward off cancer and other serious conditions due to the accumulation of free radicals.

    Cherries are in full season now so enjoy, enjoy, enjoy. It can be an original addition to your Christmas (did I say Christmas already?) meals whether you use them in salads, with lamb or simply as dessert. However even if cherries are 80% water, they are quite high in sugar. So just like everything, apply this key French Paradox principle: quality (organic and local) over quantity!

    • Strawberries

    To Marguerite my great grandmother, strawberries meant the arrival of spring and warmer days but also a great digestion help for her clients: full of insoluble fibre, they help you get rid of constipation.

    The best are at your local farmers market.

    The best are at your local farmers market.

    Strawberries (when not sliced or cooked and still with their green caps) are also one of the best antioxidant powerhouses, which makes them a great ally to reduce risk of cancer, heart disease, and infection. By fighting free radicals, strawberries also promote brain health by preventing age-related cognitive declines.

    However please always buy organic: strawberries belongs to the ‘Dirty Dozens’, i.e. the 12 fruits most contaminated with cancer-causing pesticides. So hit your local food market and choose pesticide-free, local, bold red delicious strawberries  

     

    What about you? What is your favourite fruit?

    Bon appétit!

    Yves

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  • It’s all in the dressing!

    Bonjour,

    Salad dressing, mayonnaise, tomato sauce, soy sauce, ketchup, BBQ sauce, oil sprays… We use dressing and sauces at each meal everyday. Small quantities each time but at EVERY meal, EVERY single day. So if you have the wrong dressing/sauce, even if your diet is the best on earth, it will harm your health. It also can be the reason why you can’t lose these last stubborn kilos – in particular if you choose the so-called ‘light’ sauces/dressings!

    Here’s an easy guide to help you navigate the confusing world of dressings and other sauces.

    SAY NO TO:

    • All ready-to-use dressings/sauces: full of colourants, pro-inflammatory vegetable oils, MSG, preservatives and sugar.
    • All ‘light’ sauces/dressings: they removed the fat and put more sugar and other nasties instead. Not good at all. I’ve even seen ‘light’ olive oil. What on earth is that?
    • All oil sprays: very often full of additives and nasties.
    • All soy sauces: all GMO and full of MSG. 

     

    THE BEST OPTIONS, inspired by the French traditional diet:

    Processed, ready-to-use dressings and sauces (I’ll say it again, full of colourants, pro-inflammatory vegetable oils, MSG, GMO, preservatives and sugar) have never been very popular in France. The simple idea of putting sugar in dressings or sauces is totally foreign to the French cuisine. It simply sounds DISGUSTING for many French. Making better choices helps them stay slim and healthy: they eat less sugar and pro-inflammatory refined oils – both at the root of most modern lifestyle diseases: weight issues, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, Alzheimer’s, allergies, cancer…

    At home, make your own. So simple, so good. You know what you put in them, you are in control. Only great produce (and if you can organic):

    • Onion and parsley, 2 great ingredients for a perfect dressing

      Onion and parsley, 2 great ingredients for a perfect dressing

      Olive oil. Choose the best as it will reveal all its flavours when used in dressings: extra virgin, cold pressed and organic.

    • Apple cider vinegar ideally, otherwise, balsamic vinegar (higher in sugar though)
    • Lemon juice: instead or in addition to vinegar
    • Dijon mustard: only the real French one – “Maille”, as shown on the picture. Most of the other brands are full of sugar.
    • Onions and garlic (more on garlic here)
    • Fresh herbs: mint, basil, parsley, coriander, dill…
    • Natural sea salt and pepper (more on salt here)

    Here are 3 inspiring recipes, very popular in France:

    There is only one REAL mustard: MAILLE!

    There is only one REAL mustard: MAILLE!

    1- Salad dressing

    • Ingredients: 3 cups olive oil, 2 shallots minced, 3 tsp Dijon mustard (French brand Maille is the best – there is NO sugar – simply real mustard!), 1 cup (more or less depending of your taste) of apple cider vinegar, 1 garlic clove minced, sea salt and pepper. All quantities can vary according to taste, in particular vinegar. I tend to put more Dijon Mustard…
    • Directions: put all ingredients (except for the vinegar) in a bowl and whisk. Pour the vinegar slowly and taste occasionally to see if there’s enough vinegar.
    • Tip: make a batch in advance and store in a glass jar/bottle in the fridge for 3 weeks at least. Shake before serving.

    2- Mayonnaise

    • Ingredients: 2 organic egg yolks, 1 1/2 cup olive oil, 1 tbs Dijon mustard, 1/2 tsp sea salt, 1/2 pepper, 2 tbs lemon juice
    • Directions: combine the egg yolks, salt, pepper, mustard and lemon juice in a ceramic or steel bowl (plastic or glass would ruin your mayonnaise!). Whisk until smooth. You can also use a blender but always with a a ceramic or steel container. Very slowly while whisking, add the oil, but just a little bit. When the mixture starts to cling to the slides of the bowl, then and only add the remaining oil in a very slow stream. Do not stop whisking until you get the right mixture. You can store your mayonnaise up to 3 days in the fridge.

    3- Pesto

    Once you’ve tried this recipe from Bondi Harvest, you will NEVER EVER buy pesto again!

     

    FOR YOUR BBQ:

    Ditch all processed sauces, NOW.

    Simply put in 4 different bowls: 

    • Dijon Mustard
    • Your home-made mayonnaise
    • Tahini 
    • Tomatoes paste mixed with some filtered water + salt, pepper and olive oil

     

    WHEN DINING OUT:

    It’s a bit challenging as we never know what they use… until we ask!

    • If you don’t want to take any risk, ask them not to put any dressing in the salad and ask them to bring you some olive oil and vinegar or lemon juice on the side. If they can’t do it, it’s clearly a sign of a- terrible bad service b- appalling food quality.
    • When it comes to the sauces, well, this can be tricky. You can ask not to have any sauce but it’s a bit sad. If it’s a good restaurant, have the sauce and enjoy but try not to go overboard.
    • Thai restaurants use a lot of sugar, Chinese restaurants a lot of MSG, and most of restaurants use very bad refined oils such as canola, cotton seed or undefined vegetable oils – as I saw yesterday in my favourite Japanese restaurants!
    • Do not have any ‘mayonnaise’ in a take-away sandwich, EVER. 

     

    If you say no to all processed sauces/dressings (including the ‘light’ ones) and swap for healthier (and so much tastier!) choices just like the French, it will go a long way towards a slimmer and healthier you! And much quicker than you think.

    So now it’s your turn! Try one or all of the 3 recipes I just gave you and tell me what you think!

    Bon appetit!

    Yves

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  • The benefits of coffee

    Bonjour,

    Yes I confess, I AM ADDICTED.

    I’m addicted to coffee. And I’m not alone: 400,000,000,000 cups of coffee are drunk globally every year. I’m definitely not alone!

    You know me: I want to enjoy what I like without guilt… Is it possible when it comes to coffee? Should we think ahead before we sip our delicious latte (with full cream milk, of course!)?  Is coffee good or bad for you? What are the dangers and the benefits of coffee?

     

    Yes, I love coffee!

    Yes, I love coffee!

    Well, let’s start with the not so good news… First known in Europe as the Arabian wine, coffee is the most prevalent used stimulant in the world. It dehydrates and acidifies the body, raises cholesterol and blood pressure, worsens irritable bowel syndrome, can contribute to miscarriages… Enough!

    Don’t panic! There’ s some excellent news for all coffee lovers! A lot of research suggest that coffee -in moderation- brings substantial health benefits. Drinking one or 2 cups a day may lower the risk of cancer colon by 25%, gallstones by 45%, cirrhosis of the liver by 80% and Parkinson’s disease by 50%. Coffee also contains four times the amount of cancer-fighting antioxidants as green tea and has been shown to increase protection against liver, rectal, and lung cancers. It can also reduce headaches.

    So yes, we can enjoy our coffee every day – in moderation.

    The way the French love their coffee might also contribute to the facts that they are one of the slimmest and healthiest countries: 2 cups of black high quality coffee, one for breakfast and one after lunch. No sugar. No milk. That’s it.

    If you love lattes (as much as I do), choose full cream milk only. Low-fat milk is a highly processed product, soy milk is full of GMO and definitely not a good idea when it comes to women’s health, and almond milk is often loaded with sugar. If you can, choose organic milk: it is up to 70% higher in anti-inflammatory omega-3, 500% higher in anti-cancer CLA and has a concentration of antioxidants 2 to 3 times higher than conventional milk. Once again, the rule of choosing real food (in this case real full cream organic milk) prevails if you want both health and pleasure. It is actually one of the key topics of Week 1 of my new online program, Bonjour Summer, which starts in 2 weeks. You can check it out here. 

    Choose your coffee carefully: commercially grown coffee beans are highly treated with chemicals and pesticides. So go organic, fair trade and even local: organic coffee from Byron Bay for instance is excellent. Please avoid decaffeinated coffee at all cost: the decaffeinating process is predominately carried out with strong chemicals and benefits to drinking coffee seem to come from caffeine.

    Who knew I would love my coffee with coconut milk... So good!

    Who knew I would love my coffee with coconut milk… So good!

    I now have a new reason to love my coffee – just like if I needed a new one! I recently tried to have my coffee with coconut milk. As weird as it may sound, I also tried with coconut oil. I absolutely LOVED it. It is actually a new(ish) thing, mainly driven by the paleo trend. It is not only delicious but it fills you up for hours. I don’t need my morning snack when I have my coffee this way. Coconut milk (or oil) is one of the healthiest fats on the planet, very easily burn as fuel by the body. It speeds up your metabolism and actually helps you lose fat. Coconut fruit, milk and oil are very popular for all paleo fans (and highly recommended in Bonjour Summer, my new online program too, even if it’s not super French!).

    My love for coffee is also in my blood. My great grandmother was a coffee addict too. And she used to make the most of this precious food: she used to keep the coffee grounds to fertilise her vegetable garden and soothe insects bites. I might start doing the same very soon!

    And you? how do you like your coffee? Filtered? Black? Expresso? 

    Talk to you next week!

    Yves

    PS.If you haven’t done it already, check out my new online program Bonjour Summer: if you want to feel and look your summer best, this program is for you!

     

  • Red wine loves your gut flora.

    Bonjour,

    You already know that I LOVE Champagne -If not, click here to know why.

    You know I LOVE red wine too if you have read my 5 Cheat Foods Guide: 

    • One of the most delicious drinks on the planet, red wine is packed with flavonoids and resveratrol. Its powerful antioxidants and anti-inflammatory qualities protect the artery walls from free radicals.
    • Red wine could reduce the risk of coronary heart disease by 40% and increase longevity. No surprise the French enjoy longer and healthier lives.
    • No surprise either red wine is currently getting a lot of traction with -finally!- the huge come-back of the Mediterranean diet (which includes the French diet and abides by the French Paradox principles).

    Recent research identified ANOTHER REASON to worship red wine – well… ALWAYS in moderation: red wine is actually highly beneficial for our gut flora by helping good bacteria to flourish while minimising the development of bad ones! Our gut flora affects every cell in our body and can help prevent many diet-related conditions: weight gain, ageing, depression and chronic diseases. Yes, our health starts in our gut:

    Wine for your glut flora.

    One (or two) glass a day.

    • There are about 6,000 strains of bacteria in a healthy gut. Balance and diversity of these bacteria are required to maintain health. Our heavily pasteurised diet and modern lifestyle jeopardise our gut flora: sugar, processed foods, medication, exposure to chemicals and stress dramatically reduce the number of good bacteria.
    • When the gut flora is unbalanced, the digestion is impacted: you aren’t able to make the most of the food you eat, which consequently makes you feel less full and hungrier, increases insulin resistance directly making you fat.
    • The gut flora of an overweight person (i.e. more than 65% of the population in Australia or New Zealand!) will not only have less diversity than in a slimmer person’s flora but will also be more populated with bad bacteria, encouraging inflammation and weight gain. Terrible vicious circle. If you want to know more about how to protect your gut flora, click to go to my recent post here.
    Red wine for gut flora.

    Our gut flora says: MERCI!

    However this is not a permit to binge drinking! You can reap the benefits of red wine if you drink up to 2-3 glasses of red wine per day for men and up to 1-2 for women. More glasses and all health benefits are gone, leaving you with serious health risk associated to the amount of alcohol. So, most of the time, stick to 1 to 2 glasses per day.

    Here are a few other principles to master the art of red wine the French way:

    • Use proper wines glasses and only half or 2/3 full. And, no, I’m not talking about those fish bowls.
    • Then ‘let it breathe': wine needs to be exposed to air to express its full aroma.
    • Enjoy it with your eyes and your nose first. Look at it, its colour, the light going through. Smell it. Close your eyes. 
    • Then drink it slowly, enjoying each sip.
    • Enjoy it WITH food. Never by itself.
    • Try organic with little or no chemicals, in particular sulphites, cause of many allergies. 

    À la vôtre! … And enjoy (in moderation as always!).

    Yves

    PS. If you don’t want to miss any of my posts, simply enter your first name and email address at the bottom of the page to get my newsletter straight to your inbox. It’s FREE! And don’t forget to look at the confirmation email.

     

  • I LOVE Champagne!

    Bonjour,

    3 reasons to raise a glass (or 2!) of Champagne:  1- It’s spring. So exciting! 2- One of my articles was published as the Editor’s Pick of the Week by the influential mega blog Good Life France. Oui!  3- I’m about to launch a new online nutrition program – don’t worry, you’ll be the FIRST to know about it!

     

    One of my favourite Champagne.

    One of my favourite Champagne.

    Champagne… These 9 letters immediately give me goosebumps! Beautiful, long, pleasurable goosebumps!

    Just like Napoleon, I can’t imagine my life without Champagne.  As he used to say: “I drink Champagne when I win, to celebrate. I drink Champagne when I lose, to console myself.”

    If you don’t go overboard -one of the key principles of the French Paradox– Champagne (discovered  by French monk Dom Perignon in the XVIIth century) is both comparatively healthy and not fattening. Very dry, it is quite low in calories, lower than red or white wines. Bubbles are proved to make you drink slower and make you feel full quicker. Research also found that Champagne seems to help short term memory. Made of red and white grapes, Champagne contains resveratrol, the antioxidant found in red wine very beneficial to heart health. Quality Champagne is also low in histamines and usually doesn’t trigger headaches.

     

    Glamour and Champagne... in a coupe.

    Glamour and Champagne… in a coupe.

    Mireille Guiliano, one of the French Paradox pioneers with her best-seller French Women Don’t Get Fat also talks beautifully about Champagne, one of the cornerstones of the French way of living and culture: “I love the mood Champagne creates, the feeling no other wine can come close to: celebration, life-affirming joy. I find Champagne a forgiving wine, too. The drama in the glass makes it hard to drink it too quickly.” As a former Veuve Clicquot VP, Mireille knows one thing or 2 about this unique festive wine: “Seafood and fish are what I love best with my glass of bubbly. Fish preparations, as long as they are not heavy on cream, are wonderful with Champagne. White meats are a great match too and as for veggies, mushrooms are the ideal marriage.” Her super easy and super quick Chicken au Champagne recipe is simply the best. Click HERE to get the recipe and impress your guests!

    The UNESCO World Heritage listing of Champagne should be announced next June! After obtaining the exclusive worldwide use of the Champagne name (even Yves Saint Laurent had to change the name of its popular perfume called Champagne, costing millions of dollars to the French luxury brand), this new listing will be very helpful to strengthen its unique status. A big win to fight the cheap artificially carbonated fizzy wines, which are currently invading the market. This new major acknowledgement will go nicely with the gastronomic diet of the French status as a ‘World Heritage Treasure’ granted by the UNESCO in 2010.

    To master the art of Champagne drinking, here are 3 French etiquette rules to follow by the letter:

    – Always drink Champagne with food.

    – Never drink with food that kills Champagne’s flavours such as asparagus and -unfortunately- chocolate.

    – Enjoy it out of coupes and not flutes.

    Love and Champagne... in a coupe.

    Love and Champagne… in a coupe.

    Coupes are back in all super chic trendy bars from NYC to Paris. They are the true symbol of chic, glamour and ‘classe’. Legend has it that the coupe glass was moulded from Marie-Antoinette’s left breast. Others will say it was from the Marquise de Pompadour, Madame du Barry or even the Imperatrice Josephine, Napoleon’s wife… Its small size and its rounded shape make it perfect to hold and definitely brings much more ‘allure’. In summer nothing can beat the chic of a Piscine (literally Swimming Pool): simply pour quality Champagne over crushed ice in a coupe… You are back in the glamourous 50s or 60s in Saint-Germain in Paris..

    I actually collect vintage Campagne coupes… I know…

    What about you? Do you also go mad for Champagne? Which one do you prefer? Don’t be shy: tell me in the ‘Reply’ box below.

    À la vôtre! … And enjoy (in moderation as always!).

    Yves

    PS: If you don’t want to miss any of my posts, simply enter your first name and email address at the bottom of the page to get my newsletter straight to your inbox. It’s FREE! And don’t forget to look at the confirmation email.

     

    P1030705

  • I LOVE garlic.

    Bonjour,

    garlic sweet art1‘To be strong and kill all the bad bugs in your gut, eat garlic every day!’ used to say Marguerite, my great grandmother, popular healer and cook in the South West of France in the 1920s.

    Worshipped by most of ancient cultures around the world, many modern studies have since demonstrated the health benefits of garlic. I’m sure you know it already but before we move to why we should love the humble garlic even more, let’s remember first why we love it in the first place.

    This true super food and antioxidant powerhouse boots immunity by:
    – alkalizing your diet for better energy,
    – helping prevent colds,
    – helping lower blood pressure,
    – fighting growth of stomach and colon cancer cells
    – killing bad bacteria,
    – helping probiotics (good bacteria) to flourish, fastening your metabolism and promoting weight loss (more on probiotics and prebiotics in my blog here),
    – fighting aging.

    Impressive, isn’t it? No wonder garlic is one of the key components of the Mediterranean and the traditional French diets linked to better health, lower cardiovascular diseases rates and lower obesity rates (35% of the French are obese or overweight compared to 65% of Australians). The French –in particular in the South of France- adoooore garlic. The pink garlic which appeared in the Middle Ages in Lautrec (not far from where I come close to Toulouse) even obtained a Protected Geographical Indication and the ‘Label Rouge’, one of the French highest quality certifications. Garlic, among many other simple yet super foods is naturally central to the programs I design for my clients (for those who like garlic of course!).

    But there is more. Here are 3 unexpected reasons to worship garlic you might not be aware of:

    1. Sprouted Garlic

      Sprouting Garlic

      Yes you can eat sprouting garlic! Actually you should! The conventional recommendation from your mother, chefs and even my great grandmother was to simply toss it. Well, researchers very recently found that “garlic sprouted for five days demonstrates higher antioxidant activity than younger, fresher bulbs” as reported by the Australian Traditional Medicine Society. So if you have bulbs with the green sprouts emerging from the centre, please eat them. They are even more health-promoting than when they were pulled from the ground several months ago!

    2. No, garlic doesn’t give bad breath! Simply crunch a few coffee beans or chew some parsley or fresh mint. Or simply eat an apple… And you can kiss your lover again!
    3. No, garlic doesn’t give a bad smell to everything. To get rid of its smell:
      • On a knife: rinse it with cold water
      • On your cooking board: brush it with coarse salt
      • On your hands: rub them with fresh parsley

     

    Yes the humble garlic is a true super food but you have to follow a few rules to make the most of it:

    The more it is crushed or pressed, the better.

    The more it is crushed or pressed, the better.

    To get the maximum of its healing properties, have garlic raw or slightly cooked. Very important, crush, chop, mince or press it for antioxidants to produce an instant reaction to free radicals and to enjoy all its benefits. Pressing garlic or mincing it into a smooth paste will give you the strongest flavour and may also result in an increased amount of health benefits. So, the more pungent the smell, the better it probably is for your health.

    –      Let garlic sit for 5 to 10 minutes after cutting and before eating or cooking to allow the health-promoting antioxidant alliicin to form. It won’t happen otherwise.

    –      Try and eat your garlic raw. However if you allow your garlic to sit, you can cook it and still keep some of its properties. If you cook it up to 15 minutes, you won’t lose too many nutrients. If you cook it up to 30 minutes, there will be a moderate loss of nutrients. If you cook it for more than 45 minutes, you’ll lose almost everything. Not good! So prefer it raw or cooked less than 15 minutes.

     Finally I could not end this post without mentioning how garlic beautifully transforms each of your dishes. Here are a few French cuisine tips. So easy, so yummy:

    –      Poultry: stuff with a few pieces of wholemeal bread rubbed with garlic and a few small peeled cloves. Place a few large unpeeled cloves and a small cup of water in the dish and place in the oven.

    –      Roasts: put some pieces of garlic on each side. Place a few large unpeeled cloves and a small cup of water in the dish while cooking.

    –      Cold meat and charcuterie: enjoy with ‘Confit Garlic’. Have some ‘Confit Garlic’ on your table and you will definitely impress your guests! However if you make some, make sure you are aware of safety food rules to reduce the possible risk of botulism!

     

    Confit Garlic

    Confit Garlic

    So now, it’s your turn. Tell me: why do you love garlic?

    Have a fantastic week.

    Bon appétit.

    Yves

     

     

  • My very popular Chocolate Mousse.

     

    chocoI’m Not Fussy, the very popular online portal of choice for Australians living with allergies, food intolerances or chronic illness asked me if I had a dessert recipe with no sugar to share. They selected my family recipe of the traditional French Chocolate Mousse, which contains 2 ingredients only. Using sugar or butter in a chocolate mousse is pure blasphemy! A REAL chocolate mousse is made of dark chocolate (organic and fair trade) and organic eggs ONLY. It makes it an ideal healthy dessert, very low in sugar.

    This mousse is so delicious that the recipe is one of the most popular of the site and is still featured on the home page.
    You should try it! To get the recipe, click here.

  • Yes, red wine is good for you!

    wine blog

    Many studies have confirmed that French cuisine contradicts what we have been told about diet for years. This is what we call the French Paradox theory which is finally gaining a lot of momentum in Australia. In this section of my blog I will look at 5 popular food myths showing why we need to revisit what we think about 5 supposedly ‘bad’ foods: butter, cheese, bread, chocolate and red wine. Five foods loved and heavily consumed by the French! Remember though, these foods can be friends or foes depending on how we treat, choose and consume them. It’s all about time-tested food wisdom, sensory awareness, portion control and quality over quantity.

    Today let’s talk about… Wine!

    Myth

    Red wine is an alcoholic drink, toxic and dangerous for your health.

    Why red wine is good

    Red wine contains fewer calories per volume than most alcoholic drinks, is full of nutrients and recognised to thin the blood. More importantly it is considered a heart healthy food as it packed with phytonutrients – particularly flavonoids.  Phytonutrients have powerful antioxidants qualities which are anti-inflammatory agents that can protect the artery walls from free radicals.

    The cardiologist, who coined the French Paradox term, reported that up to 2-3 glasses of red wine per day for men and up to 1-2 for women could reduce the risk of coronary heart disease by 40%.

    Other experts analysed the death rates associated with moderate intakes of wine, beer or spirits and found that wine increased longevity, while beer had no effect and spirits decreased longevity.

    How to get red wine

    Rule 1: Red wine only. Even if some studies report that white wines are as beneficial, the best experts agree that it is absolute nonsense.

    Rule 2: Preferably organic with little or no chemicals, in particular sulphites, cause of many allergies.

    Rule 3: Always, always, always with food and always, always, always in MODERATION. Remember, the full taste of wine reveals itself only when paired with the right food, for maximum pleasure. One or two glasses.

  • Yes, bread is good for you!

    Many studies have confirmed that French cuisine contradicts what we have been told about diet for years. This is what we call the French Paradox theory which is finally gaining a lot of momentum in Australia. In this section of my blog I will look at 5 popular food myths showing why we need to revisit what we think about 5 supposedly ‘bad’ foods: butter, cheese, bread, chocolate and red wine. Five foods loved and heavily consumed by the French! Remember though, these foods can be friends or foes depending on how we treat, choose and consume them. It’s all about time-tested food wisdom, sensory awareness, portion control and quality over quantity.

    Today let’s talk about… Bread!

    Mythbread van french

    Bread = Carb = Bad!

    Why bread is good

    Unless you are allergic to gluten, bread is a very healthy food.

    You can enjoy bread while still managing a healthy weight.

    Good whole meal bread is rich in fiber and therefore promotes digestion, provides a good level of B group vitamins (including B12) and magnesium which helps sleep better, ease anxiety and keep up at the gym.

    It releases sugar slowly and keeps you full longer. For instance, with some organic grass-fed butter, a couple of sardines with some lemon juice, it makes a very satisfying, delicious and healthy little meal.

    The French ADORE their bread: to help fight the globalisation of tastes and diets and sustain the French culinary heritage, reform legislation was passed (so French!) in 1993 to reclaim the traditional standards for French bread jeopardised in the 70’s, and the 80’s: the law regulates flour quality, yeast content, fermentation techniques and taste. The classic French sandwich still makes a very popular lunch.

    How to get bread

    Rule 1: always choose freshly baked, unrefined whole meal flour, with unrefined  sea salt (and never with sugar).

    Rule 2: avoid commercial bread –in particular white bread- at all cost: they are loaded with sugar, additives, commercial yeast and fats – good bread doesn’t content any fat.

    Rule 3: eaten in moderation, a slice or two of excellent bread with a meal is a great pleasure. For extra enjoyment, try walnut, hazelnut or even olive bread in particular with your cheese.