Finding my Footing

It’s the start of summer, and I’m finding myself drawn again to the French lifestyle.

There’s something about summer that evokes French-ness. Maybe it’s summer Fridays, the availability of fresh produce on every corner, or the general desire to be outside and active. But no matter the reason, I’m feeling the strong tug to re-awaken the French lifestyle. After all, I miss having my bread and eating it too!

Re-embracing the French mindset is all about getting reconnected with pleasure and enjoyment, and learning to set up those moments that are more meaningful to you. Here’s how I’ll be re-starting the journey this week:

  1. Focus while eating – take a mindful approach to every bite.
    • Eat only while sitting down, with the right cutlery and table setting when possible. Set the table, and along with that, set the mood for eating. Describe the taste of the food to myself while eating, check in with regularly throughout the meal to see if I’ve had enough, which leads me to point two.
  2. Take at least 20 minutes to eat my meals.
    • It takes at least 20 minutes for the stomach to signal to the brain that it’s had enough to eat. It’s easy to overeat by going too fast and stuffing myself before my brain’s had a chance to catch up, so I will slow myself down by putting my fork down in between bites and really taste my food. I’ll use the clock as my companion, especially for dinner and lunch, and give myself time before going back for seconds. Breakfast is harder because I’m usually in a rush to get multiple things done in the morning, but I will eat this mindfully even if I might be multi-tasking.
  3. Avoid snacking in between meals.
    • For the past year or so, I’ve been snacking mid-afternoon. Not that my snacks were unhealthy, but the truth is that I don’t really need a snack, and it might be a symptom of something much bigger: dehydration. Instead, I’ll swap out the snack with a cup of green tea. Green tea is not only an appetite suppressant, but it also has a bit of caffeine to give me an energy boost right when I need it most.

It’s always best to start small, so I’ll stop there for now. Step by step is always the best way!

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