French women are masters of dissimulation. When you’re at a dinner party with them you actually think they’re eating as much as you are. They never are.
Yes, yes it’s the oft-repeated portion control bit and all things in moderation, etc. But what’s so amazing is they actually seem to be having a grand time with only one flute of champagne. Go figure.
With all the holidays coming up I thought I would get us psychologically prepared to have more fun with less food. My former nutritionist insisted we must never say “non” to pleasure. O.K., works for me.
If we train ourselves to think like French women life is a constant battle of desire over discipline and seemingly the formula equals pleasure. (Little secret: I think it makes French womenexceptionnellementhappy to be slim and the mere idea has some kind of chemical appetite suppressant effect. I may be wrong.)
Let’s say we decide to eat one slender slice offois gras, the size of a deck of cards with about 30 cards left in the pack, it will take: a one-and-a-half hour stroll; a fast one-hour walk or an intense exercise like my aqua gym class of 30 to 40 minutes to burn it off. Calories are approximately, 250 per oz. of which 220 are from fat, but from good fat (!)
A significant problem: One cannot eat foie gras unless it sits upon something, like a piece of toast normally, i.e. more calories. I put mine on a salad of haricots verts dressed with a lovely vinaigrette.
Now, who can have foie gras without champagne? (For those of you who think I don’t know about Sauternes and howinit is to drink with foie gras, I do know. I hate Sauternes and it has about 30 more calories than champagne. Besides bubbles are festive.)
|The world famous Chateau d’Yquem Sauternes. Not for the budget minded.|
As I was saying, afluteof champagne — brut obviously — pictured above, has between 120 to 140 calories (20 calories per oz.) using the above formula for the foie gras, it would take about half as much exercise to burn off the golden liquid.
If I haven’t potentially ruined your holidays, may I suggest you treat them the way a Frenchwoman would. Indulge within reason and make up for any disturbing variations on the scale in January. January is a rather depressing month anyway. You might as well go with the flow.
***All vinaigrettes, to my knowledge, work on the three-to-one principle, from that base then, the recipe from my nutritionist is (use whatever measure you need for the basic formula, here I’m using a large tablespoon): two tablespoons of oil — one olive, one colza, one tablespoon water, one tablespoon vinegar (your choice) then the addition of herbs, salt, mustard, if you desire, is in your hands. The water helps reduce the calorie count, but you really have to whisk like crazy to get oil and water to agree to stay together. I use my battery operated whisk for frothing milk and the emulsion holds.