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“More than anything, I have an intense desire to share what I have learned with those who seek the same truth- how to live their very best life, one of honesty, freedom, authenticity, choice and ultimately health and longevity. The French style of eating – sitting down with delight and savoring every bite with discretion, moderation and passion – is the answer.” – Carol Cottrill
With each piece of knowledge I gain as I go through life, I believe more fervently that such knowledge is power – power to change one’s life for the better, power to find one’s true calling and power to become our best selves.
I began to become more and more engrossed with Carol Cottrill’s book The French Twist: Twelve Secrets of Decadent Dining and Natural Weight Management as I turned each page because while most books focused on helping the reader lose weight preaching restrictive, non-commonsensical prescriptives, Cottrill through her knowledge as a certified nutritionist prescribes a permanent lifestyle enhancement based on understanding how the body communicates with food. And it is the French lifestyle that is her muse.
Having traveled to France multiple times and then returned to apply their pleasure and balance focused principles to her way of living, she offers through first-hand experience coupled with science based research why the French paradox does indeed work and even more specifically why the American’s approach to weight management is less likely to have one’s good health as a top priority.
A few of the many insightful, aha tips found in the book:
- The women of France are nurtured and encouraged to embrace their individuality and eccentricity
- The intense restriction of calories actually has the opposite desired effect
- Logical arguments for how the body processes certain foods and how it responds or is unable to respond to other so-called ‘foods’
- French women don’t follow mass movements, as they are individuals (i.e. the latest diet craze)
- Food is not the enemy, our perception and irrational understanding of food’s power is the problem
- Balance of stress and pleasure, between indulging in wonderful food and burning calories is crucial
- Fresh, high quality food prepared and enjoyed with passion rather than eating processed “food” on a schedule that doesn’t listen to what your body needs
- Your body doesn’t recognize fake; it can only metabolize that which it can identify – real, whole food
- The benefits of making lunch the largest meal of the day
- Use a body brush to dry scrub your body and improve circulation helping skin to shine and lessen the appearance of cellulite
- The real reason red wine has been found in studies to be healthy (hint, hint – it has more to do with lifestyle, mindset and values, than just drinking a glass or two of wine)
- Exercise regularly as a way of saluting the day – so something you enjoy rather than dread
- There is not one plan for weight management – it is individualistic and it requires each person to truly pay attention and respect their bodies for all that it can do
- Differentiating between real, quality chocolate and the other stuff
- Drink water
- Eat fruit with breakfast in the morning and never forget your vegetables in the evening and afternoon
- Invest in yourself – quality food, quality clothing (fewer items)
- Wine is a precious gift to enjoyed and not abused and to awaken the senses to the enjoyment of food.
I genuinely enjoyed The French Twist, and while it is full of findings from studies, it is also full of French lifestyle descriptions, details and insights. One of my favorite sections is chapter 10 where the author along with a handful of women who live or have spent time in France share the rituals they follow when it comes to good eating and living.
Trust me, you’ll enjoy this book, and be sure to have your pen or pencil out as I was highlighting, underlining and writing all through its contents as many suggestions were ones I don’t want to forget.