It’s all in the dressing!


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.


  • 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!



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



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!


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  1. Great advice and seriously tasty… def going to do this!

    • Yes Janine! And let me know what you think :) Yves.

  2. this is interesting…I thought France is just about chic and slender women..
    Thanks for writing..

  3. Love your website great tips which i will definitely be following. Ive devoted my whole year to clean healthy eating and feel great so any extra advice is well received

    • Fabulous! Keep up the good work! If you want to make sure to get all my weekly tips, simply enter your first name and email address in the sign-up boxes below. All the best. Yves


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