The Longevity Diet ®

  • 5 top anti-ageing foods.


    I am often thought to be 10 years younger.

    I however do everything to look 10 years… older! read more

  • The ONE food you need.


    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: 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.



  • Better than kale?



    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?


    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!


    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!



    Better than Kale

  • HNY as in…


    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!


  • Red wine loves your gut flora.


    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!).


    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.


  • 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.

    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.


    PS: While you’re here, subscribe to my newsletter at the bottom of this page. It’s free and always contains information exclusive to my subscribers! Simply enter your first name and email address (and don’t forget to click on the confirmation email).


  • I LOVE garlic.


    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.




  • Be stronger with Probiotics (2/2).

    We all know how critical fermented foods are. If you don’t, go back to my last week blog post and you’ll see why immunity, digestion, weight loss are directly linked to the quality, diversity and numbers of good bacteria in your gut. Yes, good bacteria are your best friends!

    Now let’s look at how to easily include these wonders in your daily diet.

    Kefir contains even more probiotics (good bacteria) than normal yoghurt, which are able to colonise the gut for longer.

    Given that the French live longer and healthier lives than most other developed countries (not to mention the fact that there are only 35% of obese and overweight people in France vs. 65% in Australia), let’s look first at the traditional French diet. Surprise, surprise, it is one of the richest in probiotics: sourdough breads, fermented vegetables, red wine… you name it. However the main source is -real- dairy products in particular full cream yoghurt and ‘fromage blanc’, a very creamy yoghurt. Yoghurt is one of the richest natural sources of probiotics. 80% of the French have yoghurt very regularly: they eat around 25kg a year while the average Australian consumes 8kg only (more than 3 times less. Cheeses made from raw milk, cultured creme fraiche and butter help also a lot to optimise the daily probiotic intake of the French. There are also very popular traditional dishes rich in probiotics that the French love: ‘la choucroute’ (fermented cabbage served with pork meat) from the North-East of the country is one of the best examples. You won’t also find a gourmet table without its jar of ‘cornichons': delicious small pickled gherkins left to ferment through souring by lacto-fermentation  (with NO sugars or other nasties like in most gherkins available these days). A must-have to enjoy French charcuterie… Or simply for a quick super healthy snack with a piece of real cheese.

    However, don’t panic: if you don’t like French cuisine, there are many other options easily available here:

    – kombucha tea, which is also a fabulous liver cleanser and will help you lose your water weight. Ideal winter drink to sip throughout the day at work!

    – kefir, another type of fermented and cultured yoghurt, which contains even more good bacteria than normal yoghurt. These bacteria are even able to colonise the gut for longer. You can find kefir in all healthy food stores. Another option is to ask your Indian friends to get the best lassi (the Indian version of kefir)

    – miso: this might be the easiest way of having your daily dose of good bacteria. You already know that you can use this paste for soups like in Japan but you also can use it to season all your dishes (instead of using salt). You simply need to dilute one tablespoon of miso in hot water and to mix with your dressing or add while cooking. However don’t boil it as it would kill the bacteria. Always buy unpasteurised miso to be sure it contains live good bacteria. You will find the best organic unpasteurised miso in healthy food stores.

    – ‘Life in a Jar’ fermented vegetables made by ‘Green Jar Kitchen’ (#greenjarkitchen): pricy but delicious! A spoon before each meal every day and you’ll feel fabulous. You could also simply make your own fermented vegetables, it’s uber easy! Google it and you’ll find many workshops to learn how to make them! Or ask me the recipe…

    – One solution is to buy probiotics supplements. However don’t be fooled by these highly marketed products such as powders, tablets, capsules or even enriched regular foods. They are all super pricy and you are never sure what you get…

    Fermented vegetables: try and make your own. Super powerful probiotics!

    Finally, two very important things to make the most of fermented foods. First of all, given that probiotics tend to die quickly (except for some strains like in kefir), they work best when consumed daily (at every meal ideally). However if you are not used of having fermented foods in your diet, start slowly during the first 2 weeks. Secondly, don’t forget to have healthy fats such as olive oil and lots of soluble fiber rich foods also know as prebiotics. This is extremely important as they are critical to make probiotics florish to help balance your ecosystem, fasten your metabolism, promote weight loss and make you feel your very best. Prebiotics are found in legumes such as lentils, whole grains, berries, tomatoes and my favourite stars: the humble yet super foods garlic and onion. For the best prebiotic boost, try Jerusalem artichokes, normal artichokes, leeks and asparagus.

    Now your turn! Take action now: make sure to have your daily dose of good bacteria. Always choose organic, real and local when possible. And share your experience in the comments below!

    Bon appétit and talk to you next week!




  • Be stronger with Probiotics (1/2)

    Delicious pickled vegetables at one of the best restaurants in Surry Hills, Sydney: Nomad.


    “Perhaps this is why 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, the US influential nutrition education organisation.

    All nutrition programs I design for my clients are built on my motto: Real Food + Pleasure = Health. ‘Real Food’ refers to what food is still supposed to be and was before the processed food era started a century ago. One of the most important real foods are fermented foods. Do you know that theywere central to traditional diets all over the world whether it was miso in Japan, pickled vegetables in Eastern Europe, lassi in India, fermented milk in Kenya or cheese and yoghurt in France?

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

    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, alcohol, processed foods, medication, exposure to chemicals (from food, air, water, cosmetics) and stress dramatically reduce the number of good bacteria. It promotes inflammation, depletes our immune systems and leads to diseases, lack of energy and weight gain! This is mainly because the digestion is impacted when the gut flora is unbalanced and poor in good probiotics: you aren’t able to make the most of the food you eat, which consequently makes you fell 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 Australian population!) will not only have less diversity than in a slim person’s flora but will also be more populated with bad bacteria, encouraging inflammation and weight gain: lack of balance and diversity in the gut flora leads to dysbiosis and triggers immune dysregulation, leading to inflammation. If instead the microbial composition is well balanced and diverse, you’ll have symbiosis in your gut, promoting immune regulation.

    How could you incorporate more fermented foods in your diet? We will look at several options next week. You will be surprised how easy it is and how powerful it will be on your health. In particular during the colder months.

    If you are already a probiotic fan, let us know and leave a comment below.

    Have a fantastic good-bacteria-friendly week!