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Happy-Gourmand

Lose Weight and Eat Good Food

She says:
I guess I am rocking the boat here, but that is a boring title. Hopefully you enjoy our column enough on a regular basis that you are still reading, even though the creativity in this week’s headline is akin to the filling in a Twinkie. But I suppose that is perhaps the point. Martin appears to have taken on the idea of resolutions with a vengeance, and although I am the one heading off to the gym in the still-dark morning, he is the one preaching about eating and living right. I just like to know that I am enjoying life to the fullest, and quite frankly, Mickey D’s and frozen meals in a box don’t excite me, even if the items claim to be healthy. Let me try to explain it to you in more detail.

One of my first memories of food is watermelon and olives, enjoyed with my Gramps. Not that we ate them together, you understand, but they were two things he introduced me to – I think I was three. They were both cool foods to eat. That started me on a journey of discovery that continues to this day, as I experience new textures and colours and flavours with new foods. I still like to suck the pimento out of an olive now and again, and who doesn’t love a piece of ripe watermelon on a summer’s day? Those once-exotic things have become comfort food for me now, as I continue to explore new possible favourites. I like to enjoy my food.

I remember the first time my family went to McDonald’s, but I do not remember the food. (I can still sing the Big Mac ingredients song, but don’t tell anyone, please!) My food memories do not encompass fast food, unless you count waffles from a street vendor in Brussels or the first time I had poutine at Martin’s favourite family restaurant in Laval. I guess you could say my theory for food that has no intrinsic value (as in, no distinguishable flavour or nutritional value) is that it needs to have an emotional connection and then it can have some value to your life. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that the stuff is evil, but let’s face it, you can’t live on it, so why try?

Okay, all sarcasm aside, now… I live with a man who can still be classified some days as a “meat & potatoes” kind of guy. As you know from previous columns, we do not by any means always eat “high on the hog”. But we do take pride in our food, and treat it as a valuable part of our life. We do not eat to live, we live to eat. We are I guess, more European, if you consider Julia Child’s commentary on food and culture – that in Europe, eating is a part of the way of life, whereas in North America it is more of a fuel stop.

I have always been a gourmand, even before I had ever heard the word. I am also a vain person (it’s okay, I am over 40 so I can admit that now) so I go to the gym to make sure that I can afford to eat some rich foods and not look like the Michelin Man by the end of the year. But really, when I sit down with a glass of wine and think about it, I feel I can raise my glass in celebration of the fact that what it comes down to is making the most out of one’s life.

He says:
The people that know me have come to realize that I like food and I eat whatever I want whenever I want. I must say I don’t exactly have the type of body that gains weight after eating a bucket of fried chicken.

I believe in managing my food intake on a weekly basis is the best way to get everything I need. At least once a week Kristin and I cook ourselves a great meal full of good and rich food, but usually we starve ourselves the rest of the week. No, really, the rest of the week we eat lighter and healthier. This means that we eat salad as a main course for dinner once or twice during the week. We eat fish once or twice a week, prepared simply with a few ingredients away from butter, cream or deep fried oil. Kristin and I eat breaded or battered food about three times a year maybe four on a good year.

I will attempt to give you what ingredients should be in your pantry for you to lose weight or at least get healthier.

Replace words like “fast” and “now” by “whatever time it takes to do it right”.

Replace your ready to go prepared food that you have no idea how it’s made by something you can prepare yourself and has minimum chemicals in it.
Replace behavior like eating on the couch by eating sitting at the kitchen table.

Replace vegetable oil, Crisco oil, and light or pomace olive oil by extra virgin olive oil.

Replace your salted potato chips by a batch of roasted nuts made by you and seasoned by you.

Replace all your breaded food by non-breaded food.

Replace your daily few beers by one beer or even a glass of wine.

Replace pop by water. One liter a day minimum.

Replace your pan fried technique by baked in the oven technique.

Replace your sugar cereal by a granola cereal.

Replace your 4 daily cups of coffee by 1 coffee and 3 cups of tea.

Keep your 2% milk, your 10% cream for coffee and your occasional 36% whip cream, but don’t drink too much.

Keep your bacon but not everyday.

Keep your imported cheeses as long as you don’t eat them everyday.

Keep eating bread, but not every meal.

Buy less coca cola and you will drink less coca cola.

Buy a lot more vegetables, and you will eat a lot more vegetables.

Yes, it’s an investment of money and time to be healthier. I do believe that exercise is extremely important for everyone, too. Yes, it’s a way of thinking and living. Yes, it can be hard to create permanent change in your life, and yes you can do it.

I am going to throw a question out there and please if anyone has an opinion about this please send it me:

Do you think that your family benefits from being so busy with activities that they don’t have the time to actually sit down and eat a healthy homemade dinner everyday?


More Happy Gourmand articles

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About the Author

Kristin Peturson-Laprise is a customer experience specialist by trade, which means she is someone passionate about people having a good time. 

Her company, Wow Service Mentor, helps businesses enhance their customer experience through hands-on training, service programs, and special event coordination.

Kristin enjoys her own experiences too, and that is what she writes about in this column. She and her husband Martin Laprise (also known as Chef Martin, of The Chef Instead) love to share their passion for food and entertaining.  

Kristin says:

"Wikipedia lists a gourmand as a person who takes great pleasure in food. I have taken the concept of gourmandise, or enjoying something to the fullest, in all parts of my life. I love to grow and cook food, and I loved wine enough to become a Sommelier. I call a meal a success when I can convey that 'sense of place' from where the food has come . . . the French call that terroir, but I just call it the full experience. It might mean tasting the flavours of my own garden, or transporting everyone at the table to a faraway place, reminiscent of travels or dreams we have had."

 

E-mail Kristin at:  [email protected]

Check out her website here:  www.wowservicementor.com

 



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The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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