The “French Mystique” Revealed–A Q&A with Mireille Guiliano, Author of “French Women Don’t Get Fat”

Mar 25, 2013 by

 

 

WWB “Healthy Epicurean” Featured Book:

“French Women Don’t Get Fat–The Secret of Eating for Pleasure”

Author: Mireille Guiliano

 

Welcome to our Healthy Epicurean department at World Wise Beauty. You might find a bit of a “French theme” in this department because if there is one thing the French are quite known for it is their “Joie de Vivre”. Chocolate croissants, delightful cheese and red wine are an epicurean heaven for many. The joy of living can be found in France all around you, but from a wellness perspective the French diet was really perplexing to health researchers. How do the French stay relatively healthy eating rich crème sauces, fatty cheese and calorie filled croissants? We all wanted to know what their secret was?

It must be the red wine! Well maybe, but wine is only a small part of the equation.  We discovered their secrets weren’t just in the wine but also found in the French culture, lifestyle and mindset. A perfect segue to introduce our featured author who pieced the French puzzle together for the whole world with an International best seller called French Women Don’t Get Fat- The Secret of Eating for Pleasure”. Don’t be intimidated by the title if you haven’t read this, because the book is a personal story about how even a French gal can get fat if her lifestyle is out of sync.  I am thrilled to introduce Mireille Guiliano our featured author and former CEO of my favorite champagne “Veuve Clicquot”.  Let’s get started before I bubble over!

Lauroly Q- Welcome Mireille to World Wise Beauty. There is so much to cover and little space with a blog, but our readers will be happy to learn they can follow you on your website French Women Don’t Get Fat and immerse in all things French wellness culture with you there.  The words “wellness culture” comes up often at World Wise Beauty because culture really is a collective of mindsets, approaches and attitudes and all affect our health and lifestyle. Your story is compelling because you were a French girl who went off to school in America and came back with a new modus operandi.  Share with us how changing cultures affected your attitude and waistline…

 

Author, Mireille Guiliano

 

 

Mireille Guiliano: When young we don’t realize how our mind controls us and our emotions and while an exchange student in America it was fun to eat the stuff I could not eat in my homeland like ice cream except for the summer months or snacking with sweets at any time of the day, and I was also probably eating out of being homesick or exhausted, frustrated, bored, etc. I was also suddenly deprived of my daily walks as living in the suburbs we took the bus for school and car for anything else with parents (usually mothers) driving us everywhere. Before I knew it, I was fat. I was not able to grasp the cultural differences at that time and age and loved my adopted land but the wake up upon return to France was another challenge!

 

 

 

Lauroly Q- The other curious fascination American woman have with French ladies is they don’t seem to embrace gym exercise all that much.  When we think about staying healthy we think about strict diets and usually intense exercise. No pain, no gain is our motto since Jane Fonda hit the fitness scene.  French woman seem to achieve wellness without all the “pain” we seem to endure. How do the French take in so many calories without burning it all off?

Mireille Guiliano: We don’t eat as much, at least French women who don’t get fat. We eat with our senses, at the table, sitting down and eating slowly, and so our taste buds get satisfied with less. Also, our portions are much smaller and our food is better (although globalization requires becoming careful with all the salt and sugar and bigger portions etc.). We walk a lot and prefer biking or swimming and don’t like machines although this is changing too. I notice that France is 10-20 years behind the US for most matters but bad stuff at all levels is invading progressively with globalization. Not a good thing but tough to escape so each of us must take responsibility for staying healthy.

Lauroly Q –You have a long list of French women sensibilities in the back of your book we could all learn from, but if you had to pick just a few wellness inspired philosophies from French culture we could easily embrace in our lifestyles, what would they be?

Mireille Guiliano: I’d say go to the kitchen and cook even if only once or twice a week and no fancy recipe or ingredient or tools are necessary. This will put you in touch with produce and also allow you to eat simply and well, controlling salt and portions. It is super important if you have children as mothers are role models and at that age you will give values that will last a lifetime. Food needs to be respected like humans.

Lauroly Q- Very wise Mireille! My personal mantra for World Wise Beauty is to be comfortable in your own skin?  The classic French woman always seemed to exude this very idea to many women around the world. What is this particular “je ne sais quois” that French women seem to have and how can the rest of us find it in your opinion?

 

 

Mireille Guiliano: Each of us has to dig inside to find it. It would take much time to describe this but much can be found in my book “French Women Don’t Get Fat and in more detail in “French Women for All Seasons”. It applies to food but also to style, attitude and much more.

 

 

Lauroly Closing- Merci Beaucoup Mireille for joining me for a chat at World Wise Beauty.  It took courage to share your personal story as a young girl but your journey is such a great lesson for all of us to learn from.  We appreciate you sharing your interesting life story and wise French culture with us, and for being such a lovely World Wise Beauty.

Truly Herself,
Lauroly 

You can delve more into Mireille’s world view with a French twist by reading her many enjoyable books. Her first book is French Women Don’t Get Fat available in paperback now. Additional wise books by Mireille are; The French Women Don’t Get Fat CookbookWomen, Work and the Art of Savoir Faire: Business Sense and Sensibility, and French Women for All Seasons. Happy reading to all and wishing you a trip to France in your near future!

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