Living in France for 3 months with Jeannine & Roger

skinny chic

Luzech 17th June

Today we went back to Luzech to complete some caches on top of two hills via steep Saint Jacques pilgrim trails. One had a Cross and the other an old chateau, however I don’t want to bore you with more geocaching religious experiences so today’s blog is a little different.

When people go on holiday they tend to overeat, our blog would indicate that we are living up to those expectations. However all our eating is normally matched by walking, evidenced by the speedometer which is currently showing 851,000 steps, an average of 11,000 per day. This morning while I was reading about the Toulouse riots of the 1500s and enjoying my baguette, layered with butter and cheese, the literary works of Mireille Guiliano sprung to mind. She has written several books about why French women don’t get fat even with a diet of pastries, bread and three-course lunches.

So I decided to do a blog devoted to her theory using our blog photos.

Firstly French women do get fat. I don’t want to offend anybody with photo evidence, so I will refer to a previous blog picture of some French art (see below); who does she think posed for these pictures.


Guiliano’s book implies that French women remain skinny after eating three-course lunches because they exercise a lot. True, France is built on a hilly terrain, everywhere you go you have to walk up steep hills, even in town. Because the hill climbing is an everyday event, to make life harder for the pilgrims they create even steeper paths for them.

txt txt

Her next claim is that French women eat less than other women because they focus on quality and flavour and not quantity. True, France promotes degustation experiences, for example you can go to a restaurant and enjoy a ten course degustation menu. Degustation translates to ‘tasting’, small portions, and you are hardly going to get fat eating 10 bite size bits of food. Jokes aside, they eat one good bit of quality chocolate, not a whole bar of sugar.


Guiliano also claims that French women don’t snack between meals. True, French sit down to dine for lunch at a restaurant; they don’t walk around snacking on junk food.


French women don’t get fat because they eat slowly, chewing their food and savouring it. True, they stop for two hour lunches and order nutritious meals of fish and vegetables, they eat with all five senses, while focusing on their dinner companions, not a cellphone.


I have my own theories why French women don’t get fat based purely on our holiday.

  • They drink and smoke more than they eat
  • cigarette rubbish
  • They don’t eat on weekends because all the food shops are shut
  • They must live on prunes and vegetables, because these are often the cheapest and most appealing things at the farmers market
  • They don’t have much time for eating because they spend a lot of it in a queue, whether it is at the supermarket, the farmers market or a fête
  • queing for strawberry tart
  • At the beginning of spring it was so cold, it is a known fact that cold weather stimulates you body to burn energy (fats) to keep you warm

I could go on but I have a tuile waiting for me. Today’s taste of France is a French Tuile. French word of the day Tuile = tile. A tuile is a thin biscuit that is shaped while hot to look like a roof tile. However in the supermarket they looked like failed cookies, in fact they didn’t have the claimed crunch and were quite chewy.

blank biscuit

Last photo of the day, Cahors’ secret garden No. 21. Following on from the small tasting menu above, the garden is the petite enclosure of the Poor Clares (an ancient monastery).

secret garden cahors

Last point of significance today, Roger had his first paid haircut since moving to Karapiro. Several cutting blades later, a lot of hair brushing and gel, and for only a mere €10, he is now sporting his first French haircut. I’m not so brave as I don’t know the French translation for mullet.

Jeannine & Roger

A couple of people who decided to try living in France for three months, to absorb some of the culture and to try a diet of Baguette, Cheese and Wine.

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