Almost two months ago, mon meilleur ami came to stay with me, for about three weeks. Originally French, he grew up in Paris and now lives in Barcelona working as a theatre instructor. We met in Louisiana when I was in high school, back in the late 80s, and essentially, he is family.
Even though each time we meet we swear we will not let another four or five years pass, it’s inevitable. Life gets in the way. So instead, when we do see each other, we are forced to make up for lost time in food and drink. And believe me, we do. But this chica can’t quite rooster like she used to. Although my palate is elated, my body hates me. And no matter how exhausted I, or how tight my pants, become, I can’t not overindulge when I’m around him. Because frankly being a bon vivant is a helluva lotta fun. What’s not as much fun? Recuperation.
Now that he’s safely back in Barcelona, it’s diet (ew!) time for moi. I don’t usually diet. I don’t like to diet. Even the word diet is just absurd. But what I do like is feeling good, not being exhausted and getting enough sleep. One of my top to-do’s in this lifetime is to visit the Viva Mayr clinic in Austria. No, I am not a masochist. But a nice two- or three-week refresher for ye olde bod doesn’t sound all that bad. Because timing and my bank account don’t currently allow for this extravagant escape, I instead recently forked over $13 for The Viva Mayr: 14 Days to a Flatter Stomach and a Younger You by Helena Frith Powell and Dr. Harald Stossier . The main premise is based on healing the digestive system, while following certain guidelines: chew each bite more thoroughly (at least 30 times), eat only three meals a day (the larger one for breakfast), drink more water and balance acids and alkalines. There are other terms involved, but I’m not going to read you the entire book. It’s up to you to do the rest.
I’ve been following the regimen for a little over two weeks now, and have seen a difference. Sleep helps too. Not following each day’s exact menu and recipes by the book, I have cut out caffeine and alcohol, for the most part, stopped snacking and am learning what foods work, and don’t work, together. And I do love learning how to eat lighter and cleaner. Coffee was a tough one. But I did have a cup the other day, and enjoyed it for what it was without it becoming a necessity. I don’t crave it as much anymore as I also see that my body doesn’t react well to it. Alcohol is the same. Louisiana is a tough place to give up alcohol, as I’m pretty sure is almost anywhere. But I had a couple of drinks the other evening with friends, and the next day wasn’t feeling my best. So I know that it doesn’t agree with me either. I’ve felt that for a while, but didn’t want to admit it. Alas. I love my food and drink so the diet wasn’t all fun and games. There were days, especially those with added stress, when I craved some of my usual comforts. But I didn’t give in, and I’m happier and healthier for it. Isn’t it funny how we start to feel better when we eat better? Crazy, right?
I won’t give up everything I love to eat forever, but following a few simple rules has definitely steered me in the right direction to feeling better every day and to craving less and less those things I know my body isn’t happy with. And that’s definitely a good thing.
Now, to add fuel to the fire, join me next time when I review A Taste of Paris: A History of the Parisian Love Affair with Food by David Downie. Vin, pain, boursin, anyone?