A weekend away

This weekend my husband and I packed up and headed to the Cape for the weekend.  I have always loved the Cape in the winter–its so quiet and there isn’t a tourist in sight.  What also helped us decompress and relax all weekend was the fact that our Cape house doesn’t have TV or Internet in the winter.  So all weekend we read, took naps, and went out to eat.

luggageI just packed a few essentials for the weekend in my Longchamp overnight bag.   This trip I made sure to bring some comfy PJs and “non-electronic” reading materials like Elle and a new book on Audrey Hepburn and the making of Breakfast at Tiffany’s. I had packed my running clothes thinking I could take a jog around Oyster Pond, but the frigid temperatures kept me inside and reading by the fire all weekend.

Modern Girl Rule: Slow Down

french cafe

With today’s iPads, iPhones, Wi-Fi and more, modern girls literally have the world at their fingertips.  Instant message.  Instant access.  Instant gratification.  However, I think there are some things, two in particular, that are better when we take the time to enjoy them.  Perhaps in the same ways that our parents and grandparents did when they were our age!

I wont lie, I really love my iPad. I think that it’s great I can carry around thousands of books in a tiny, nearly weightless reader.  I even order a lot of magazines on it now. However, there are some things that just are not the same on the screen.  For example, I cannot read any newspapers online (besides a few foreign ones that are too hard to get in the US).  I just like the feeling of holding a newspaper.  In college one of my best friends and I took a early morning economics course.  Each Tuesday and Thursday we would trek to the dining hall at 7am to eat omelets and share a newspaper.  He, the money and sports sections.  Me, the front page headlines and travel section.

Sure fast foods are quick and convenient for our always-moving lives.  We eat in our cars, at our desks, standing up and walking down the street.  Studies have shown that it takes at least 20 minutes for our bodies to feel full.  So many of us don’t take the time to eat a nice, long, healthy meal.  This leads to that awful snacking that always seems to happen during the rest of the day.  If we all took the time to take a nice, leisurely lunch we wouldn’t feel the need to snack (on what literally is garbage to our bodies) all afternoon.   Time yourself.  See exactly how long you give yourself to eat lunch.  If it’s under 15 minutes, I dare you to double it!

Fit or Fat

I’ve always been enamored with all things French. From a young age I’ve been interested in not only the French language, but also French culture, style, cooking and everything in between.  Of course when Mireille Guiliano released French Women Don’t Get Fat, I had to run out and buy myself a copy.  And although I was dead set on following all of her rules, there’s a reason why she titled the book “French” women…

Chapter 2: La Fille Prodigue: Return of the Prodigal Daughter.   I live in the United States; the land of the oversized dinner plate.  I’ve lived here all my life, and when I go out to dinner and order a plate of pasta that can serve an entire family, I just eat what I need.  Usually I don’t make a dent in the plate, but I know that American portions are well above the serving size, so once I feel full…. I’m finished!  And I don’t eat big, puffy pastry cookies.  But if it’s a serious occasion I’ll have a macaron, thank you very much.

Chapter 4: The Three C’s.  I like this chapter. She offers some good advice that I can apply to my life.  Look at what you’re eating; identify the “offenders” and cut out what you can. Find the nearest market for fresh fruits and vegetables. Not supermarket, actual market. Experiment with new foods and flavors. EAT BREAKFAST! Drink more water. Eat sitting down.  Ok.  These are all things I can do.

Chapter 10: Moving Like A French Woman.  It is apparently very un-French to go to the gym.  Now I don’t feel that I am like every other American who is searching for a shortcut, but I live in suburbia and physically cannot walk everywhere.  I can’t walk to my grocery store, and I certainly could not carry my groceries out of the parking lot, let alone down the highway to my house.  So I drive.  Oh well.  But I walk to the train from my office each night (which is a mile!), and days I don’t go to the office, well, I go to my very un-chic YMCA gym for a little spin on the elliptical. I take the stairs in between floors as much as I can, and during lunch I like to take a walk to the waterfront when the weather is nice. I do what I can with what I have.

Chapter 12: The Plan For Life.  Just a few words from this chapter. Eat the real thing in moderation.  Yes.  Eat with all five senses. Yes. Don’t eat in front of the TV.  I will try. Entertaining and eating at home is sexy. Sexy? No. Hard work, but a lot of fun? Yes.  Love to laugh. Eat for pleasure. Enjoy the moment. Ok Mireille. I’ll try.

(Fit or Fat… oh, I love a good Clueless joke!)