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!)

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Sweet Tarte

I have never been a big fan of cake.  I never eat birthday cake and I wasn’t super excited for my wedding cake tasting.  On our big day I only ate that one bite my husband fed me during our reception.  It was OK.

On my birthday my mom would go to the local farmers market and buy me a pie.  My birthday is in the fall and I remember having the best peach and rhubarb pie one year in high school. To be honest, I think I would have been really thrilled with a wedding pie, rather than a cake.

When I got my issue of Self Magazine in this month (thank you Alpha Phi!) I was drawn to the “Delicious Desserts” headline on the cover.  The first dessert I saw was the Almond, Peach and Plum pie.  Ahh.  I adapted the recipe a bit since I wasn’t in the mood to make my own almond crust, but it came out just perfect.  And Self Magazine proclaimed it “guilt free” which just makes it even better!

Peach and Plum Tarte (adapted from

2 Pie crusts (roll out one into tart dish, roll out other onto cutting board)
7 Sliced peaches (peeled or unpeeled)
3 Sliced plums (unpeeled)
1/3 Cup granulated sugar
2 TBSP Cornstarch
2 TBSP Lemon juice
1/2 TSP Cinnamon
1/4 TSP Salt
1 TSP Unsalted butter

Heat oven to 350*.  Mix together peaches and plums with granulated sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice, cinnamon and salt.  Add to tart dish making sure that the mixture is arranged evenly. Cut the butter into cubes and arrange on top.  Cut 2nd pie crust into 1/2-1 inch strips and weave on top of the filling.  Pinch the edges of the strips to form a seal.  Paint a bit of milk on top of the strips, then sprinkle a bit of sugar over them.  Bake for 65 minutes until pie crust is golden brown. Enjoy!

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