^

French

Modern Eating Disorders Part Five: Finding Your Salvation

drunkbaby.jpg

At the end of Part Four of this series, I commented about finding a solution to the myriad of eating disorders that are plaguing our society. I also suggested that moderation is a farce…and I maintain that it is. In a previous article from a few years back I looked at how most people today view moderation when it comes to their diet. In short, the moderation lecture is usually given just before someone is about to stuff their face with an anti-Food item that does little more than temporarily satisfy a sugar, alcohol or caffeine craving.

To my mind, the only way that we can really tackle this issue of eating disorders is to surround ourselves with more Food, not less and to revere and respect it for the many virtues it has and all that it enables us to do. Think about it. Until a little over 100 years ago, for all of humankind’s existence the only food were those things that came out of the ground or otherwise were raised in nature. These foods have kept our species thriving on the planet — and healthfully so — for millenia.

However today, we are wooed by fancy packaging and guys and gals in lab coats telling us that many of those things were responsible for early death. Meanwhile, they urge us to trust some other packaged good that has only been on the scene for a few decades and, in more cases than not, have not been tested for it’s impact on health. While my vegetarian friends have bought this falsified information hook, line and sinker, my paleo friends take the opposite extreme unwilling to acknowledge the role that grains and dairy have served man over the past 10,000 years thus throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

To my mind, the best models we can follow are those of successful societies. When we do so, it is important do it with an open mind and be careful not to impose our own desires and expectations upon the information they still hold.

For example, the tiny island nation of Cuba boasts one of the largest numbers of centenarians on the planet despite having a diet high in pork (especially the fat), grains and alcohol — they smoke a lot more than most people too. However, when this info is shared by government dietitians, the recommendation is always to reduce the fat and meat intake in favor of beans which are “healthier” even though Cubans have proven that eating a lot of pork with its fat can be quite healthful! Same goes, coincidentally for the traditional diets of the French, Italians, Cretans and even the Japanese! Where the diet differs from the official government recommendations, the diet is altered to be more politically correct.

I, too, was guilty of this at one time. Having lived in France and working in a French newspaper, I have long had a relationship with French culture. Over the years, my female French friends have shared with me their diet tips. Twenty plus years ago when they were telling me how they stay slim, I thought they were nuts. After all, my government sources told me that fat wasn’t good, drinking unlimited amounts of water was good and exercise would cure all. But what I found in these women is that they all did the exact opposite and easily weighed about 20-30 lbs less than I did on average. How could I have been so blind??

The sad part is that with the speed of information and different pacts being made between governments, people around the world are slowly but surely adopting the American disdain for food. And with it comes disease and dysfunction. My hope is that these people will wake up sooner to recognize their heritage and embrace the wisdom of their forebears.

Thank you so much for coming along with me on this ride. I apologize for taking so long to get it out there. If you have any reflections on this series, I’d love to hear your input on it. Please leave your comments below


About Adrienne Hew

Adrienne-Hew_BlackWhite.jpg

Adrienne Hew is a Certified Nutritionist and the Nutrition Heretic Podcast Host, but is best known online as an author of the Amazon Top 100 Bestseller 50 Ways to Eat Cock: Healthy Chicken Recipes with Balls! Receiving a certificate in Chinese dietetics in 2002 and her degree as a Certified Nutritionist in 2004, she has helped many clients and workshop attendees to decode their own health dilemmas by understanding the inconsistencies in conventional nutritional dogma. She currently resides in Hawaii with her husband and two children.

Christmas Dinner in St. Martin

duck-dinner.jpg

Yesterday was Christmas. We spent a lovely day without going anywhere. Well, it would’ve been a much more lovely day if the neighbor’s mom didn’t crash into our rental car. We’ll get it all sorted out in the morning, so I’ll have to let you know how it turns out then.

Anyway, this is the second Christmas that we have spent in the tropics and I hope this is the trend as I plan to move to Hawaii before next winter hits.

We spent the morning having a leisurely breakfast on the porch and then until about 2 pm by the pool. Unfortunately due to the high winds and rain of the past few days the water was really cold — no wonder nobody was swimming in there!

After taking a nap with the baby, I started on dinner — a seared duck breast cooked with a cider cream sauce and mushrooms served with mashed taro root. YUM!

Here’s how you make it:

Score the fat side of the duck breast taking care not to cut the meat. I like to do parallel lines in two directions so as to make diamond shapes in the fat. Season with sea salt and cracked black pepper to taste.

In a large frying pan, sear the duck breast fat side down for about 5-7 minutes until nearly all the fat has been rendered from the skin. Drain of the fat and SAVE IT!* Next, flip the breast over to the meat side and cook for a further 5-7 minutes. Remove to plate and keep warm with the fat side up to keep the meat from drying out. In the pan, add a tablespoon of butter and 8 ounces of quartered button mushrooms. Turn up heat and cook briefly on all sides. Remove to plate with duck on it. Then add the thinly sliced white part of one leek to the frying pan. Cook for one minute, then deglaze the pan with 1 cup of medium dry sparkling apple cider, scraping up any brown bits from the bottom of the frying pan. Allow sauce to reduce by half then add 1/2 cup heavy cream or crème fraîche to pan. Continue to reduce stirring occasionally until sauce coats the back of a spoon.

Return duck and mushrooms to pan. Coat them with sauce and adjust seasoning. Serve hot and enjoy!

*This will taste delicious in sauteed potatoes, stir fries, fried eggs or anywhere where people are normally told to use vegetable oil. There are a few distinct differences however. First, like lard, duck fat creates a natural non-stick surface in your pan. Second, it is light just like lard so it help you burn fat and will nourish your cells. In fact, poultry fat is a powerful immune system booster! Third, just like lard (again) it does not absorb into foods easily so you will use considerably less of it than you would of any vegetable oils. So if you insist on calorie counting, then use animal fats in cooking, not rancid vegetable oils!


About Adrienne Hew

Adrienne-Hew_BlackWhite.jpg

Adrienne Hew is a Certified Nutritionist and the Nutrition Heretic Podcast Host, but is best known online as an author of the Amazon Top 100 Bestseller 50 Ways to Eat Cock: Healthy Chicken Recipes with Balls! Receiving a certificate in Chinese dietetics in 2002 and her degree as a Certified Nutritionist in 2004, she has helped many clients and workshop attendees to decode their own health dilemmas by understanding the inconsistencies in conventional nutritional dogma. She currently resides in Hawaii with her husband and two children.

How do the French stay so skinny?

French-stay-so-skinny.jpg

Let me start by saying that there  is no French paradox. Red wine will not unclog your arteries. Plenty of real fats — including the animal fats — minus an abundance of refined sugars will.

The French start the day with coffee (no cream or milk usually), yogurt, cheese, pâté, butter and baguette for breakfast. A piece of fruit (some berries, an apple, orange or pear) is also common, but rarely eaten alone. Occasionally a soft boiled egg is eaten time permitting. More recently, people will eat Muesli type cereals.

For lunch, a salad with meat, egg, tuna, etc is common as are things like steak frites (steak with fries) or an omelette with cheese, ham and fries. If you can’t sit down, you’ll probably get this served on half a baguette (but your waistline will pay for it!) or stop at a baker to pick up a quiche, pizza or croissant sandwich. But these bakery items are usually an accompaniment to a big salad.  Sausages are eaten in some locations as well popular in some areas as well.

Dinner will likely depend on your schedule. If you work a 9-5 job, you’ll make dinner the biggest meal of the day. Otherwise, lunch is. If you eat in a restaurant, you might start with a nourishing soup, then move on to a slice of fish, frog legs, another steak or a chicken preparation. One of my favorite soups I enjoyed in Paris many years ago was made from pâté. Yum! At home, you may also begin with a soup followed by a simple chicken or fish dish or swap them both for a hearty stew and a salad. Mashed potatoes made with real butter and cream are also favorites on the French dinner table. When bread is eaten, it is usually a very small piece used to sop up the gravies on your plate or soup left in the bowl. In essence it is a way to get more fat soluble vitamins into your body.

Fruit is a typical dessert. Sometimes served with a little cheese. Sometimes cheese instead of fruit. Cakes and pies are generally reserved for the special occasions. A birthday party, anniversary, holiday, out-of-town visitor…. Not everyday and not as snacks.

The last time I was in France 5 years ago, I found that there are far more obese people. Many of these people seemed to believe what the Americans do which is that obesity is controlled by exercise alone. Meanwhile, many of them were eating lots of empty carbs including desserts whether it was in a restaurant or on a street, while their skinnier friends were eating salads, meat, cheese or nothing at all. So in effect, as the French (Italians, Spaniards, Germans etc) begin to follow our lead, little by little they too begin fighting the battle of the bulge. In effect it was indeed the presence of these delicious fats and animal foods that made the French live long as well. But in this too, we sadly begin to see a rapid decline. The take home message is that exercise is good, but it cannot replace real food.


About Adrienne Hew

Adrienne-Hew_BlackWhite.jpg

Adrienne Hew is a Certified Nutritionist and the Nutrition Heretic Podcast Host, but is best known online as an author of the Amazon Top 100 Bestseller 50 Ways to Eat Cock: Healthy Chicken Recipes with Balls! Receiving a certificate in Chinese dietetics in 2002 and her degree as a Certified Nutritionist in 2004, she has helped many clients and workshop attendees to decode their own health dilemmas by understanding the inconsistencies in conventional nutritional dogma. She currently resides in Hawaii with her husband and two children.