The Top 20 Things I Learned While Living in Paris- #17- Deprive Yourself Not
Of pastries that is. When I first arrived in Paris I would regard the shop windows of the Patisseries with simultaneous longing and fear. The desserts looks so delicious- so tempting. What if I ate them and gained weight? Finally, I just succumbed and figured "when in Paris"... (I could always hit the gym when I got back to L.A.)
But then a miraculous thing happened. I wasn't gaining weight and I found I was really enjoying myself. I learned there is absolutely nothing wrong with having one gorgeous, decadent well made pastry or dessert a day, if that is what you desire.
The key factor (and this may sound strange) is to enjoy it. Every moment.
Enjoy it slowly. Enjoy it with an espresso. Enjoy it alone or with a friend… or even better yet- with a lover! But make sure that you by all means enjoy it thoroughly and in the present moment. No beating yourself up over it, s'il vous plaît .
Chocolate éclair? Divine, savor that delicious filling. Tarte aux fraises ? Fabulous, how do those seasonal berries taste? Don’t think about calories, or your thighs, or how you’ll have to put in an extra hour at the gym. That sort of thinking is rubbish (and so unsexy). What is the point?
Relish it with extreme pleasure, and eat slowly and mindfully. That way you are less likely to have two or three (and let's face it- we've all been there before).
And finally make sure that you are savoring a high quality dessert- Twinkies, Ho-hos and other inferior products do not count- in fact banish them from your repertoire. If a well made pastry (or chocolate) is not within your reach, you’ll simply have to go without- never settle.
Yes, one of the sweeter lessons I learned while living in Paris is not only are pastries and other sweet delights OK- but they are a necessary part of living a pleasurable existence. Deprive yourself not.
Won’t you stay tuned for #16?
The above picture was taken of me at some café in Paris (there were so many!). I’m not sure why I’m laughing with my head in hand here. I believe my afternoon tea companion kept stopping passers-by to take my picture and it all became a bit ridiculous. Even the waiter is looking the other way…
My book, Lessons from Madame Chic: The Top 20 Things I Learned While Living in Paris will be published by Simon & Schuster and re-released in the fall of 2012.