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How to Eat Like the French

The world is obsessed with the French lifestyle. French fashion is held as a standard people should aspire to, French women are thought of as an ethereal yet elusive ideal, and, of course, the French diet is presented as the end-all-be-all of all diets every couple of years. When it comes to French diet, though, there’s no use discussing “what” they eat, but “how” they eat. It’s much less about specific ingredients and recipes and more about your eating habits. So, if you want to bring a little of that French glamour into your life, this is what you’ll need to do.

Take Your Time

Breakfast is not a power bar you chow down on while running to the subway trying to catch the last train to work. Likewise, lunch is not a reheated burrito you hastily eat at your desk before your meeting, and dinner is not just cold pizza in front of the T.V. Meals are meant to be enjoyed and savored. And yes, not everyone has the luxury of spending 1.5 hours sitting comfortably on a table at every meal, but you don’t have to.

If your lifestyle won’t allow you to sit and enjoy every meal, and it’s likely it doesn’t, don’t sweat it. Make a habit of sitting down for just one meal a day, and if even that is too much, then make a habit of sitting down for one meal a week. What you should be aiming for is some downtime with a delicious meal and amazing company. That doesn’t mean hastily cleaning out your plate so that you can get up and leave, but taking your time to savour your food, the moment, and the conversation. Eating should be relaxing, comfortable and enjoying, not something you have to get out of the way as quickly as possible.

Keep it Simple

So, now that you’re in the mindset of enjoying your meals, try to make your life easier by not going for elaborate dishes at inconvenient times. If pressed for time in the morning, don’t worry about making a continental breakfast that will take you forever to finish and stress you out about being late. Instead, make a smoothie and toast. The key is to eat things that you can take the time to sit down and finish comfortably. It doesn’t really matter whether you make a fancy, Instagram worthy, breakfast or just manage to make some scrambled eggs. The emphasis should be on the enjoyment, not the quantity.

And Fresh!

On that same note, the last thing you have to keep in mind if you want to bring a little French style into your life is the quality of the products you use. The French are big on using quality ingredients and fresh vegetables. A farmers’ market might be a better choice than the frozen food aisle in your local grocery shop.

Whenever possible, opt out of prepackaged food. Junk food should also be something you indulge in on occasion, definitely not part of your daily diet. Sure, it might be easier to buy a meal that you can just heat on the microwave for a few minutes, but it will never be as tasty as preparing something from scratch. And again, it’s all about being able to enjoy what you eat, so it’s fine if you can’t do this every day. Just try to add a little French style bit by bit, you’ll feel healthier and more relaxed than ever.