Sometimes I get stuck. Plain stuck in a rut. When everything seems to be the same old routine, dull and boring. When nothing much is happening. I’m sure it happens to everyone, right?!
Does it ever happen to you?
When it happens to me, I find my posts are dreary, my photos are terrible, the food I cook a total bore – well, when you’ve been cooking chicken for 20+ years, how do you get giddy about yet another chicken recipe?
To get out of the mud, I seek new energies. Look for new ideas. Hunt for exciting recipes. See what other people are doing.
(Or I go shopping. I went. I’m back.)
I search for inspiration.
Sometimes I find it.
Have you heard about Mireille Guiliano?
No? OK, let’s try again. Have you heard about the book “French Women Don’t Get Fat”? A-ha! I thought so.
I attended a gathering in Muse coffee shop in Seattle last Monday. Oh, how I wish I had a coffee shop like Muse close to my home. It’s a very energetic and exciting place; the coffee is so tasty and fresh, the beautiful art hung on the walls is so colorful, and there’s so much light… It’s just fantastic! The sort of place that gets you in the creative mood and in the muse indeed.
We had an opportunity to hear Mireille’s stories and philosophy about life and food, and ask her questions. (For some reason, I always find myself to be the most curious person in the room/the one who nags with so many questions.)
So what is so inspiring about Mireille Guiliano?
First, she wore a fabulous royal purple jacket.
Her hair looks great. And I loved her green sunglasses.
But I think it was her repetition of the word “pleasure” (with a French accent) that did it.
Yes, that pretty much summarizes everything. Pleasure…
Anyone who encourages me and my fellow people to have more pleasure in life is my guru.
OK, you want to know more?
“Pleasure”, “eating with pleasure”, “good life”, “Joie de vivre”, if you must. How can a person who talks like that not be inspiring? And she seems the kind of person who practices what she preaches; pleasure.
Pleasure as a way of living, pleasure as a way of eating.
Food-wise, she made a good point when she asked, “Are we eating to live or living to eat?”
I want to be living to eat.
A while ago I have blogged about weight loss together with 3 other bloggers and after a while I quit. I just thought that diet talk is a total bore and leads to nothing. (I won’t even bother to point out the link to it.) I did nothing really to lose weight. Just talk, talk, talk… and blog, blog, blog… Mireille is right; diets don’t work. Instead, she proposes eating as a way of living.
I know that for me the main problem with food is that I relate to it as a task, as “eating to live”. I constantly feel I’m on the run, thinking about the millions things I need/want to do next, I don’t feel relaxed when I eat. I cook fast, I eat fast, I barely breath between bites. Literally, I sit at the edge of the chair during each and every meal. Not a good thing.
My main question for her was, “How can I, with two young kids, can relax and enjoy dinner when there’s so much noise at the table, and when there’s so much to do after dinner? It just makes me eat fast and as a result, more than I need.”
Here are a few notes I took while she spoke (the rest you can read in her book/s):
- To enjoy eating with children, delegate tasks, set rules at the tables, cook together, take the time.
- As a general approach, we need to take the time for enjoyment and pleasure by setting boundaries. It’s the 21st century trap – we eat too fast, as if it is work. Don’t speed, slow down.
- Focus on the food when you eat (no talking on the phone, or reading a book, no eating by your desk at work, etc).
- No snacks. Three meals a day. Each meal should have carbs, protein, and fat.
- Portion size. (I noticed the recipes in her cookbook have smaller portion size. For example, 3-5 oz. of meat and fish per person.)
There are many recipes I plan to try from her new cookbook. Some are: Shaved fennel and citrus salad, Macaroni with ricotta and walnuts, Lemon ricotta pancakes… But as a daily reminder, I’ve decided to adopt Mireille’s breakfast suggestion, her recipe for Magical Breakfast Cream.
Mireille’s Magical Breakfast Cream
I thought that since the recipe has oil and nuts, why not use a nutty oil (like walnut or hazelnut oil) instead of flaxseed oil? Also, I like to add a little sweetness from a fresh fruit. Otherwise, here it is, the recipe from the French Women Don’t Get Fat Cookbook.
Makes 1 serving
|1/2 cup Greek yogurt||Put in a small serving bowl|
|1 teaspoon walnut oil (the original recipe uses flaxseed oil, or use another flavor you like)||Add to yogurt and mix well|
|1-2 tablespoons lemon/citrus juice||Add to yogurt and mix well|
|1 teaspoon honey||Add to yogurt and mix well|
|2 tablespoons finely ground cereal (with 0 sugar and 0 sodium)2 teaspoons nuts, lightly toasted (walnuts, or almonds, pecans, etc)||Grind together in a (mini) food processor. (You can make a bigger batch of cereal-nuts mixture and use it for the the next days)|
|Fresh seasonal fruit (1/2 banana, mango, a handful of blueberries, etc)|