Again, you already know my great pal Christine. She is our pharmacist, the woman who gives me great beauty products (think Nuxe rose petal gommage), Retin A when my prescription runs out and appallingly disgusting plant based detox potions to be mixed into water.
The other day for example, while I was sitting in her office interviewing her for our series, she looked at my eyes and asked me what was wrong. I told her they were terribly itchy, she leapt up from her desk and returned with La Roche-Posay Toleriane Ultra Contour Yeux, opened the box and handed me the little pump bottle.
“Here, try this, it should help,” she said. I did, and it did.
“Consider it a laboratory sample,” she replied.
Christine and I have lots of fun together, speaking of which we often amplify that fun with wine.
Christine loves her wine.
As I was trying to insert questions into our conversation — not always easy because we flit from subject to subject and get off message — she emphasised that she is primarily a salé sort of person as opposed to sucré.
“When I’m having an aperitif, never put a bowl of salted nuts or saucisson or anything salty next to me, I’ll just vacuum everything in without thinking,” she said.
“I can easily pass-up dessert.”
From my experience, chez nous, she can pass up dessert if it does not involve chocolate or coffee macarons. (She admitted I had a point.)
Now, let’s be honest here: Christine is verrrry slender, as in Inès de la Fressange territory. Recently she claimed her summer excesses led to a three kilo weight gain (6.6 pounds).
“I understand no one can see the difference when they look at me, but I feel it and I don’t feel healthy,” she said. “You know I’m not obsessed about my weight, but I know the range in which I feel energetic and have no sensations of bloating. For me, that’s what is important.”
When these moments set in, when she’s feeling bloated, tired, sluggish she does a three-day detox fast. From breakfast throughout the day for 72 hours she eats nothing but apples, apples, apples accompanied by whatever herbal teas she may feel is appropriate for the situation.
She stands in front of the shelf of tisanes in her pharmacy and selects a box that coincides with her “purge” and her mood. The other day she was sipping one that involved réglisse and cannelle — liquorice root and cinnamon.
“I highly recommend three days like this, you feel so clean and wonderful after and I promise you by breakfast of the second day, you’re not hungry at all.”
(All I could think was: “Maybe, but what about that first day?”)
She explained that the single food one chooses could be pears or a vegetable bouillon if three days of apples doesn’t appeal. “The tea helps a lot,” she admitted.
“This is not a diet, but you do lose water weight and get yourself back on track, I highly recommend it. My three kilos disappeared and didn’t come back when I started eating the way I normally do,” she said.
Christine is the mother of three preteens and she and they eat only “bio” fruits and vegetables. She also knows the sources of her eggs, chicken, and fish. They have a potager in their garden which she believes is a fun, family participation means to produce and eat delicious vegetables and fruits. On her 40th birthday we gave her a cherry tree which delivers a magnificent crop every year. When she has time she makes her own confiture.
She is also a runner, clocking in at least five hours a week jogging in the Rambouillet forest with her dog, Fuji, at her side.
Instead of going through each meal, as I did with Alexandra, here is an overview of a typical day for Christine:
Breakfast: Yogurt, fruit, tea (no milk), her homemade bread with confiture.
Lunch: A vegetable and cheese omelette with a salad, espresso with a square of dark chocolate.
Dinner with her children: Vegetable soup, chicken or fish, a green vegetable, fruit and yogurt, a tisane.
“What about if you are really, really, really hungry at about four or five in the afternoon?”
Since her days are long, the pharmacy closes at 7:30, she does get hungry and she occasionally succumbs to a late afternoon snack.
“Normally it would be whatever tisane I’m drinking at the moment and a mandarine or an apple,” she said. “However, I have been known to walk out the door turn right, cross the street and buy a croissant. . .and I don’t feel the slightest guilt.”