|The tea salon/luncheon restaurant in the town near our village where Christine and I had lunch today.|
You make these conversations infinitely more interesting than I do alone in this space (see yesterday if you haven’t already).
Your comments about pregnancy and weight sent me out on a mission today. This morning I had my English conversation class. As always I like to use my students as my unscientific survey subjects. As I’ve said, in this group the women range in age from mid-40s to 70. All are mothers and two are grandmothers. To the question: When you were pregnant or when your daughter and in the other case daughter-in-law was pregnant what did their doctors counsel as an ideal weight gain?
The consensus was “between 12 and 15 kilos” or 26 and 33 pounds. All claimed they tried and mostly succeeded in staying within the boundaries.
Later I had lunch with my great friend (and pharmacist — you’ve “met” her many times here) I asked her the same question. She’s in her early 40s and has a son, 12, and twin 10-year-old daughters. She gained 12 kilos with Luca and 14 with the girls.
Christine is tall and thin although she says she was once overweight during her teens and part of her 20s when she was studying for her doctorate. “I was bulimic part of those years,” she said. “I had a completely unhealthy relationship with food. Food was my friend when I needed comfort. I would eat pasta in the middle of the night while I was studying and then feel tired and guilty. Food was, back then, my worst enemy.”
Now like most of the women I know, she is careful about what she eats without being obsessional, similar to many of you. This is what we had for lunch:
|Aubergine was substituted for layers of pasta in Christine’s lasagna.|
Christine: Vegetarian lasagna, except the layers were eggplant, not pasta, with spinach and parmesan. Next to the serving was a paper thin slice of prosciutto, a teeny glass of lettuce soup,
another with lentils, and a salad sprinkled with piñon nuts.
For dessert she had tea gourmand which was a green tea with red fruit and tiny portions of fondant au chocolat and an equally small triangle of a banana tart drizzled with caramel au beurre salé.
|The boeuf part of my boeuf mode was served in a ramekin which gives you an idea of the portion. The vegetables were on the side.|
Moi: Boeuf mode, except it was like no other I have ever eaten. The mean was in a ramekin and the al dente vegetables: two baby carrots, two slices of zucchini, one piece of celery, two small morsels of yellow turnip and two very small boiled potatoes with the skin were on the side. As with Christine’s lunch I had the same salad on the plate and the itsy serving of lettuce soup and the equivalent of a shot glass serving of lentils.
I had an espresso for dessert. It was served with a square of dark chocolate.
Clearly, after living here for so many years my vision of normal maybe somewhat skewed. Our portions were small compared to what one typically sees in the United States, but they were perfect and since we never stopped talking our mental hunger and stomach fulfilment were in total sync. That is to say we were at table about 90 minutes.
|The “magic” green tea. Mine is brewing.|
I’ll wrap-up this subject tomorrow with more from my French niece and Christine, until I reintroduce it as I am wont to do from time-to-time. In fact, Christine is lending me a book about the twice-annual detox that she and her husband have been doing for the last four years. It is totally natural and, she claims, life-changing.
We shall see about that. Already I am doubting my discipline in that regard. She said the first three days consist of only apples and green tea. Argh. . .