The French Paradox

  • Food myths

    Bonjour,

    So good to be back after three weeks in France and to see so many new articles and studies debunking food myths on supposedly bad foods that are typically loved by the French… It helps me feel like I’m still on holiday, enjoying bread, cheese, wine read more

  • The ONE food you need.

    Bonjour,

    You have the best diet, you know what to eat, where to buy the best food, you follow the best nutrition experts… but still you don’t feel and look your best: your energy level is low, you’re sluggish, you sometimes feel bloated and you just can’t get rid of these few stubborn kilos… 

    What’s the solution? Should you follow a hard-core diet, go on a green juices cleanse or spend top $ on the latest supplements? Look no further: the one food group you absolutely need is certainly missing in your diet. Without it even if your diet is the best, you can’t absorb nutrients properly and your digestive system can’t work at its best.

    Fizzy, refreshing, living, healing and DELICIOUS!

    Fizzy, refreshing, living, healing and DELICIOUS drink!

    I’m talking about fermented foods, which have completely disappeared from our modern diet even though they were central to traditional diets all over the world: “So many traditional societies valued fermented foods for their health promoting properties and insisted on giving them to the sick, the aged and nursing mothers”, says Sally Fallon, the founder of the Weston A. Price Foundation, one of the most progressive nutrition education organisations.

    Our bacteria-phobic society made us forget that good bacteria are critical to our health. Fortunately while recent research confirms that our health starts in our gut, fermented foods are finally back and strong on the nutrition map and start appearing again on most gourmets, gourmands and foodies tables.

    I extensively cover the critical topic of fermented foods and gut health in week 3 of my new online program BONJOUR 2015 (to know more and watch the intro video CLICK HERE). I show how you can easily get your daily dose of good bacteria with some delicious foods, while avoiding marketing and fad traps related to this billion dollar industry. You’ll be surprised: there are many delicious options to choose from.

    Today I would like to focus on one of these foods: perfect for the warm weather, refreshing, fizzy, super easy and absolutely d.e.l.i.c.i.o.u.s. And no, it’s not French. It’s an ancient, healthy, healing living drink with antioxidants and B vitamins… It’s called kombucha and it has recently exploded on the market.

    • I'm hooked!

      I’m hooked!

      If you haven’t tried it yet, kombucha tastes like light cider. Delicious, crisp cider – without the sugar! The amount of sugar is less than 3 or 2g per 100ml making it very low in sugar (for weight loss and your general health, you always should eat food with less than 3g/100ml). Very small amounts of caffeine remain (10 times less than in coffee) while the alcohol amount is no more than 1%.

    • It is a naturally energising, detoxifying and alkalising drink produced by fermentation of green and black tea and raw cane sugar (more about why alkalising your diet is so important in week 2 of BONJOUR 2015). A culture of bacteria and yeast converts the sugar into a range of organic acids resulting in a superb brew that has been drunk for centuries in Eastern Europe, Russia, China and Japan.
    • It’s super powerful. It’s a true probiotic and for some of my clients it has changed their lives. If you don’t have any fermented foods in your current diet, please don’t overdo kombucha: your digestive system needs to adjust. One small shot at each meal or one small glass daily will be enough. Then you can slowly increase the quantity (just like I did this summer, and I feel fantastic!). With moderation like most of good things: remember, it’s super powerful!
    • One word of precaution: kombucha needs to be raw and unpasteurised otherwise the good bacteria will be killed and you’ll end up with a fizzy drink with NO health benefits.
    • You can brew your own by buying a culture starter. Some healthy food stores also sell take away kombucha and you can then have your bottles refilled there. Or as I do, you can find bottled kombucha in most health store. Many local brands in New Zealand and Australia have appeared on the shelves recently. Try different brands as the taste may vary a lot. Opt for reputable brands: organic and unpasteurised (However to be safe, children, pregnant women and those with compromised immune systems should drink only the pasteurised kind). I’m hooked to the bottled Remedy kombucha. I drink a liter over a week. A small glass every day and a huge glass when I’m super thirsty after the beach. Bliss.
    Want to live by my motto? Easy as!

    Want to live by my motto? Easy as!

    Kombucha is the perfect example of my motto: Real Food + Pleasure = Health. A motto that makes 60 million of French one of the slimmest and healthiest countries on the planet. Remember, this very enjoyable lifestyle could easily be yours with my online 40-day program BONJOUR 2015. If you’re interested, be quick, we all start on 25 February (CLICK HERE TO KNOW MORE). You can also contact me directly here: yves@nutritionbyyves.com.au. I’ll be happy to answer ALL your burning questions and call you if you prefer.

     

    So now, take a seat back, relax and sip your kombucha… And tell me what you think. Are you addicted?

    Talk to you next week.

    Au revoir.

    Yves

     

  • Better than kale?

    Bonjour,

    K.A.L.E…

    4 letters that have taken the world of nutrition by storm over the last 2 years. It’s true, kale is a superfood, loaded with vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants, bioactive compounds and is literally worshipped by almost everyone from NYC hipsters, paleo chefs to movie stars… 

    ryan_gosling_kaleBut what if you don’t like kale… like me? For a while I felt a bit alone: each time I said I was not a big fan of this super star (I’m talking about kale not Ryan!), people were looking at me, thinking: “really, you, a nutrition coach not loving kale… how weird!”

    So I tried my best. Kale juice, kale salad, kale chips… I’ve tried everything, but, no, sorry, I still didn’t like kale… and slowly I realised I was not the only one. Some of my clients who did like kale got a little bit sick and tired of eating kale everywhere, all the time while others had so much of it that they reached the OD point. Sad.

    Finally this new research from the Centre for Disease Control came out and… revealed that, YES, there is a healthy and happy life beside kale!

    In my 2 previous posts ‘You Can’t Detox Your Body, It’s A Myth’ and ’10 Delicious Fat-Burning Foods’, we already found out that we did not have to live off green juices to lose weight. In this week’s article, this recent research shows that you (and I) don’t need to eat kale (or only kale) to get healthy! Sorry, Ryan…

    The Centre for Disease Control ranked ’47 powerhouse fruits and vegetables’ according to how much fibre, vitamins, minerals, protein and potassium they contain. Kale came at the 15th position ONLY with a ‘low’ nutrient density score of 49.07 out of 100! This means that we have 14 other options more nutritious (and with a better taste –  at least for me!) than kale!

    Out of the 14 more nutritious leafy greens, I’ve selected my top 7. Very interestingly you’ll find them on French tables at each meal every day – no wonder why France is one of the slimmest and healthiest countries on the planet! If you simply focus on my list, you will reap all the benefits of the leafy greens, a must-have in your diet if you want to feel and look great, without having to eat a gram of kale. How does that sound? Pretty fantastique, isn’t it?

    IMG_6006

    Nothing can beat a steak tartare with parsley, chicory and lettuce.

    1- ROMAINE LETTUCE / nutrient density score: 63.48

    A green salad each day, if possible twice a day, is one of the best kept healthy and weight loss secrets of the French! I’ll reveal all the other secrets in my upcoming online program (launched in the next few days!), so easy to follow even here!

    Who knew that with this simple salad you would benefit from higher level nutrients than kale, in particular when it comes to Vitamin B folic acid, which plays a key role in fighting depression and, for you gentlemen, in increasing sperm counts.

     

    2- PARSLEY / nutrient density score: 65.59

    Delicious flavour, appetite suppressant, Vitamin K champion, fresh parsley should be on your table every day. As a leafy garnish to add colour and flavour to your dishes but also as the main ingredient like in the Lebanese tabbouleh made of lemon juice, onions, fresh parsley and tomatoes. One of the best refreshing summer dishes!

    3- LEAF LETTUCE / nutrient density score: 70.73

    Once again, the humble lettuce has much more to offer than you think – and definitely way more than kale. The greener the leaves, the more nutrients you’ll get. Do not forget to accompany your green salads with the best dressing made with the best fats and NO nasties. Check out a few of my recipes in one of my previous articles here.

    4- CHICORY / nutrient density score: 73.36

    Yes, another leafy green very popular in France. Its high level of polyphenols helps fight disease and research suggests it could make you live longer. It might definitely play a role in the fact that the French live longer and healthier lives. It makes the best green salad for an unforgettable steak tartare!

    IMG_3510

    Spinach for a perfect breakfast!

    5- SPINACH / nutrient density score: 86.43

    Spinach is much more than being the champion source of muscle-building iron (as Popeye used to sing!). It will also help you lose weight, reduce cravings, and suppress appetite!

    Raw spinach contains oxalic acid, an organic substance that can interfere with the absorption of essential nutrients like calcium and iron. However it is also rich in many essential nutrients, some of which are more available to our bodies when we consume them raw. These nutrients include folate, vitamin C, niacin, riboflavin, and potassium. So eating a mix of raw spinach and cooked spinach will help you make the most of this fantastic leafy green.

    It’s my leafy green of choice when I’m brave enough to have leafy greens for breakfast (with organic eggs or wild salmon).

    6- BEET GREENS / nutrient density score: 87.08

    Marguerite my great grandmother (more on why she’s still my inspiration here) used to sautéed them in olive oil and used to add a few drops of balsamic vinegar just before serving. Super loaded with fibre, they are perfect for your heart health. 

    Beet greens are finally back after decades of rejection! Now that you know they offer more health benefits than kale, you’ll never throw them in the garbage bin ever! 

    Watercress and confit duck...

    Watercress and roasted pork…

    7- WATERCRESS / nutrient density score: 100

    This beauty food, which helps keep your skin youthful and smooth longer, is also one of the best weapons to fight cancer. Watercress salad (it’s always better to eat it raw as heat reduces its health benefits) with roasted pork is one of my favourite traditional French recipes.

    Sorry again Ryan, but I’ll stop trying to love kale from now on and I’ll keep focusing on my list of 7 time-tested super leafy greens: they have helped 60 million French people stay slim and live longer and healthier lives! 

     

    What about you? Which one do you prefer over kale? Tell me in the comment box below.

    Have a great week, full of vibrant delicious leafy greens – with or without kale!

    Yves 

     

    Better than Kale

  • My list of fat-burning foods…

    Bonjour,

    After my last week’s post ‘You Can’t Detox, It’s A Myth‘, I received a lot of questions like this one: “I always felt there was something wrong with detoxing… But is there anything I can do to lose the few kilos I put on over the silly season…?”

    Great news! You definitely can get rid of these few kilos without having to starve yourself or live off green juices! 

    With my private clients or in my online programs (next program to be launched very soon – stay tuned!), I extensively cover all you need to do to be in a constant fat-burning mode -while still eating for pleasure, critical for sustainable changes. Here is a list of some of my favourite fat-burning foods, which also can help you get healthier. Most of them are part of the traditional French diet that makes the French one of the slimmest and healthiest peoples in the world. Super charge your diet with them and you’ll see result quite quickly – if, of course, you stop indulging too much.

    • Espelette pepper, metabolism booster

    piments-d-espeletteEspelette pepper from the Basque region in the south west of France is one of the best types of pepper, literally worshipped by the best chefs. However the simple cayenne pepper offers the same benefits: it boosts our metabolism helping burning fat.

    • Lemon, your liver’s BFF

    I have posted many times on this but lemons are your best friend when it comes to weight loss. It help you digest and process fat and proteins. The best tip: have some lemon warm water (1/2 lemon juice in hot filtered water) every morning 20 minutes before breakfast to boost and support your liver. Also click here to find out the 20 reasons why this so simple tip has been in my families for generations.

    • IMG_7726Apple, fat trap

    The type of fibres in apples traps part of the fat you eat and eliminates it straight away. Fabulous consumed as a snack (with a piece of cheese) or after eating for maximising its benefits or before to stop hunger.

    By the way, the way the French snack is one of their best secrets to stay slim: find out more in my previous blog ‘Healthy Snacks, the French Way’ here).

     

    • Vinegar, fat-burning champion

    It slows down digestion, balances out blood sugar level and stops fat storage. The best is unpasteurised apple cider vinegar. Use it as much as you can! Salad dressing is one of the best options to have your daily amount of vinegar. Check this traditional French dressing recipe in one of my previous blogs here.

    • Full fat dairy, grass-fed meat, wild-caught fish, organic eggs, beans, lentils… High thermogenic effect!

    All these foods are very high in proteins: not only proteins require a lot of energy to be digested -which help burn fat!- but also make you feel satisfied – which help you eat less. Have some clean proteins (full fat NOT low fat dairy, grass-fed NOT conventional meat, wild-caugh NOT farmed fish, organic eggs NOT free range/caged eggs) at each meal. If you don’t eat  animal products, have plenty of beans, lentils but also quinoa, chia seeds… The choice is endless!

    • Oats, to feel satisfied

    Just like in apples, fibres in oats trap and eliminate part of the fat you eat. Also as they help stabilise blood sugar level, they reduce cravings and am/pm crashes, well known to encourage binge eating. Ideal breakfast (home made porridge or muesli) and snacks… 

    • Coffee, surprisingly a fantastic fat-burning food

    coffee yvesIf you’ve been following me for a while and read one of my previous posts ‘The Benefits of Coffee’ , you know that I LOVE coffee, for its taste but also for its health benefits. And guess what? Coffee has been proven to help burn fat too! However moderation and quality are key just like everything in the French approach to food: organic, fair trade and 2 (3 max) cups a day, otherwise it would trigger stress leading you to store fat (stress is one of the key contributors to weight gain). 

    • Green tea, not so French but…

    Not so French but so helpful. The theine in green tea fastens metabolism and tannin promotes process fat elimination – not to mention the high antioxidant level helping to prevent and fight cancer.

     So…I would love to hear from you now. What is YOUR favourite fat-burning food? Any other ones missing in this list? Tell me!

    Bon appetit!

    Yves

    PS.1. Next week, I’ll show you that kale is NOT the best leafy green vegetable… You’ll be surprised by all the other options!

    PS.2. Want to receive my FREE weekly nutrition tips straight to your inbox? Simply enter your first name and your email address at the bottom of this page. Easy as! 

     

     

     

  • You can’t detox, it’s a myth…

    Bonjour,

    Do you feel like you over-indulged a little… A LOT? You’re not alone! Who wouldn’t, after so many work functions, Christmas parties, New Year’s celebrations…?

    scamNo wonder everyone is now talking about starting a detox or living off green juices or raw kale for a while! Well, think twice… As you know, I’m not a big fan of detoxing and other tough cleansing programs. While the detox industry generates billions of dollars, it is however clearly proven that detoxing is literally a scam.

    In ‘You Can’t Detox Your Body, It’s A Myth’, a brilliant article for the Guardian, the excellent health writer Dara Mohammadi demonstrates that there’s no such thing as ‘detoxing’. In medical terms, it’s a nonsense. Detox products, colonic irrigation, colon-cleansing tablets and hard core diets are simply a waste of money, time and energy. As Edzard Ernst, emeritus professor of complementary medicine at Exeter University explains: “There are two types of detox: one is respectable – the medical treatment of people with life-threatening drug addictions- and the other isn’t: what is hijacked by entrepreneurs, quacks and charlatans to sell a bogus treatment that allegedly detoxifies your body of toxins you’re supposed to have accumulated.”

    “The healthy body has kidneys, a liver, skin, even lungs that are detoxifying as we speak,” Ernst says. “There is no known way – certainly not through detox treatments – to make something that works perfectly well in a healthy body work better. It’s criminal exploitation of the gullible man on the street and it sort of keys into something that we all would love to have – a simple remedy that frees us of our sins, so to speak. It’s nice to think that it could exist but unfortunately it doesn’t.”

    IMG_6024The take-home message of the Guardian article? “The ultimate lifestyle ‘detox’ is not smoking, exercising and enjoying A HEALTHY BALANCED DIET LIKE THE MEDITERRANEAN DIET.” I couldn’t agree more. As you know I’m a big fan of the Mediterranean diet (see my recent blog here: ‘The Mediterranean Diet Makes You Sexy’), which is very close to the French Paradox principles, paramount to my time-tested positive approach to food and life.

     

    cosmo logoI however believe that if you are in a state of ‘excess’ after too many weeks of indulgence, it can be a good idea to look at a few gentle cleansing options. But no need to deprive yourself. You can support your digestive system and your liver while nourishing yourself and get amazing results. Last spring, I posted about the 10 questions my clients ask me the most frequently about detoxing. Click here to read my answers. One of them was published in Cosmopolitan Magazine (jump to the full article here). For my private clients (and also in week 1 of my upcoming online 6-week program – to be launched in the coming weeks – how exciting!), I also recommend a gentle ‘detox’ for people feeling tired, sluggish, heavy and foggy. It is actually not a detox as such but more a way of giving your liver some rest so it can make the most of the benefits of the nutrition program. And most people like it!

    However, if  you  are in a state of ‘deficiency’ (you feel weak, depleted, run-down, fragile, anxious), a detox is not a good idea at all. Or at least not this common type of detox on the market that looks like punishment and goes with cravings, raging hunger, frustration and health damage.

     

    detox your bodyMy advice? Listen to your body. Nourish and cherish. Always.

    Never punish or you will see rebound effects weeks, months or years later.

    Simply charge your diet with highly cleansing vegetables, fruits and fresh herbs and you’ll feel much better very quickly.

     

    In my next week blog, we’ll look at the best foods to not only help you feel better but also BURN FAT while eating for pleasure… I know you’ll love it, in particular if, like me, you put on a few kilos over the silly season.

    In the meantime, I would like to hear from you… Did you try detoxing? What did you think?

    Talk to you next week!

    Yves

    PS. You liked this content and you want to receive more FREE nutrition tips straight in your inbox? Simple! Enter your first name and email address in the blue box at the bottom of this page. 

     

  • HNY as in…

    Bonjour,

    2014… Wow! What a year! Filled with great food, new projects, and more importantly so many new fantastic clients, happy to live by my motto: Real Food + Pleasure = Health ®.

    Without you this would not have been possible! Thank you so much for your incredible support: more than 4,100 followers -passionate about health and delicious food- have now joined my Facebook page, while the number of subscribers to my weekly newsletter is growing by the minute. The success of my online program Bonjour Summer was also totally beyond expectations…  Yes, I absolutely loved 2014… 

    I wanted to do a 2014 wrap-up with some of my most popular articles that you might have missed out on. Read on for some interesting health tips and delicious recipes if you want to look and feel your healthiest you in 2015… 

    My Tour de France 2014

    From the south (Provence) to the west (Ile de Re and Brittany) via the Diner en Blanc in Paris, my annual trip to France proved to be one of the best, with many delicious recipes along the way.

    Part 1, click here / Part 2, click here

    My gluten-free month

    Even if I very rarely recommend a gluten-free diet to my clients (gluten-free doesn’t get along well with the French Paradox theory!) unless they are gluten sensitive or intolerant, I wanted to know if it would have any positive impact on my health and well-being.  A huge challenge for me as it meant I had to give up on bread… I honestly was in panic mode: no bread, really? Wait a minute, no bread? No bread at all?

    Part 1, click here / Part 2, click here / Part 3, click here

     

    The benefits of coffeecoffee yves

    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 and I wanted to share with you the pros and cons of this delicious beverage. More here.

    I Love garlic

    ‘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.Yes the humble garlic is a true super food but you have to follow a few rules to make the most of it. This article will not only show you how but also will give you a few French cuisine tips to beautifully transform each of your dishes. So easy, so healthy, so yummy.

    Food rules for a beautiful life

    “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. This article gives a selection of Michael’s beautiful rules – with my personal touch! – for a beautiful life.

    The Mediterranean diet makes you sexy

    The time-tested Mediterranean diet is finally making a huge come-back, offering a sensible alternative to many years of hard-core fads. If Penelope Cruz and so many other celebrities are big fans, so am I! It totally abides by the principle of the French Paradox and is very close to the traditional French diet (no surprise there, given The French Mediterranean coast extends up to 1,000km!). Read the article here.

     

    I hope you enjoyed this 2014 wrap up… The new year is already looking to be even bigger:

    • Next month I’ll be launching BONJOUR 2015, my new online program, directly inspired by last year BONJOUR SUMMER. More to come in the upcoming weeks.
    • I’ve increased the number of spots for one-to-one sessions during the week, before and after work to better suit your needs.
    • I’ll seriously work on my book project. Finally! 

    Happy New Year to you and your loved ones. Be 2015 your year, where you finally look and feel your healthiest you, while having a lot of pleasure along the way! Bonne Année!

    So HNY as in Happy New Year and… Healing Nutrition by Yves! 

    I can’t wait to see you next year!

    Yves

  • A French Paradox touch for Christmas

    Bonjour,

    Before talking about the joy and pleasure Christmas meals bring, I just wanted to share with you my latest contribution to Body+Soul published last Sunday – one of my calming tips that could help you relax and chill out during this crazy Christmas fever: 

    calming tip_12.14

    CHRISTMAS is one of the most important days in the French culinary tradition. 

    It’s the perfect opportunity for the French to express their love for fresh real food and worship pleasure as the cornerstone of their approach to life and food.

    The Christmas meal is pretty much the same on every single French table. As always in the French Paradox principles,  it is about quality before quantity: 

    • Appetizers served with Champagne
    • Entrees: oysters and/or foie gras
    • Main: dinde aux marrons (Turkey stuffed with chestnuts)
    • Sides: chestnuts, leafy greens
    • A plate of cheeses served with a HUGE green salad
    • Desserts: Buche de Noel (Christmas chocolate cake) 
    • Coffee (black)
    • Different great wines to match with each different dish

    Today I will focus on the entrees, certainly my favourite part of the meal! 

    oysters

    Oysters, crispy white wine, lemon, vinegar and shallots, butter and wholemeal bread… Heaven!

    Let’s talk about OYSTERS first!

    Mireille Guiliano -the author of French Women Don’t Get Fat, which led the way to promote the French positive attitude to food and lifeMerci Mireille!–  says it very well in her very last book Meet Paris Oyster: “Being France, pleasure is probably the main reason for the love of the French for this unlikely mollusk that, at first glance, looks rather intimidating . The sensuous delight of eating a raw oyster with its cool flesh and briny juice—the very essence of the sea—is an experience second to none, especially when shared with another person.

    And, as an added bonus, French women and men know that oysters are a nutritional powerhouse, with a huge dietary payoff for a minimum of calories. It’s one of the few foods you can eat more of, not less, as you age.
    Oysters are one of the most well-balanced foods out there, containing mostly lean protein, a small amount of carbohydrate in the form of glycogen, and a small amount of fat. They are rich sources of antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids. Full of vitamins and minerals, they are an especially excellent source of vitamins A, B1, B2, B12, C and D. Four to five oysters also provide your daily recommended levels of iron, copper, zinc, iodine, magnesium, calcium, manganese, selenium and phosphorus—all for a handful of calories. These nutrients in oysters help protect against anemia, strengthen the immune system, maintain healthy teeth and bones, and more. Not to mention the beauty benefits. Those dark under-eye circles (if we’re getting enough sleep) can come from iron or vitamin B12 deficiencies. Hair loss, which many women suffer, is most often due to insufficiencies in iron, zinc or protein. The delicious solution: oysters.

    Throughout history, oysters have been rumored to be aphrodisiacs. While science hasn’t delivered compelling proof of this yet, I do know that an idea is a powerful stimulant. The hedonic experience of sharing oysters with your beloved, combined with a belief in their aphrodisiac power, may well stimulate the libido.”

    Meet Paris Oyster is an engaging exploration of the Parisian love affair with the world’s most sensuous shellfish – and the good life in general. Part cultural journey, part cookbook, and part slice-of-life play, Guiliano introduces readers to the appetites (gastronomic and otherwise) of Paris and its people. Mireille Guiliano shares information on where to find the best oysters around the world, their substantial nutritional value, the best wine pairings with oysters, and a dozen mouthwatering recipes that will have readers craving, buying, and preparing oysters, with confidence, for themselves and their loved ones.

    I’m sure you’ll love this new book by my favourite French Paradox pioneer.

    AND NOW… FOIE GRAS! If, like me, you love foie gras, here are a few rules to follow by the letter to enjoy it the right way!

    Foie gras served with salt, pepper and delicious bread...

    Foie gras served with salt, pepper and delicious bread…

    • The foie gras has to have been exposed to cold air at least 30 minutes before eating.
    • Take it out of its can or jar, put all the duck fat in a bowl and place the foie gras on a plate.
    • If it was not in the fridge before, put the foie gras in the fridge for 15 minutes.
    • Then take it out and leave it until its temperature gets close to 10 degrees (it takes between 10 to 20 minutes depending on the temperature on the day).
    • During all this process, don’t EVER slice the foie gras as oxygen would make it lose its beautiful pink colour and alter the taste and the texture.
    • Add some natural sea salt flakes, pepper. Nothing else.
    • To slice it perfectly (always just before serving), put the blade of the knife in warm water so the foie gras won’t ‘break’ into pieces.
    • Serve with the best organic wholemeal toasted bread from your local baker. Foie gras deserves the best bread! 
    • Never discard the duck fat. Use it to roast vegetables… Super healthy and to die for!

    Dessert wines used to be the wine of choice to accompany foie gras. These days, more and more people like it served with an excellent red or even with Champagne. Champagne goes definitely very well with this very delicate dish and with Christmas. For those who haven’t read it yet, find out more about my love for Champagne by simply clicking here.  Please enjoy with moderation.

    Now I would like to hear from you. What is your favourite Christmas dish? Any family recipe you would like to share? 

    Bon appetit and Joyeux Noel!

    Yves

    PS. If you haven’t subscribe to my FREE weekly nutrition tips yet, simply enter your first name and emial address in the blue banner at the bottom of the page. 

  • 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

    PS: new to my blog? Sign up (at the bottom of this page) and you’ll get my newsletter straight to your inbox. It’s free.

     

  • 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.