As a French woman living in the USA, I always find it amusing to be asked what kind of diet I am following. Americans feel as though they need to follow a specific diet. We are never asked this question in France! In France, we aren’t as concerned about diet. We don’t feel the same stress about understanding what foods to eat or not eat. With Fast French Food, I share my own dinner planning with traditional French food recipes. But what kind of diet is Fast French Food?
First of all: stop following fad diets
Let me tell you first what Fast French Food is not: Fast French Food is not a low-carb or low-fat diet. It’s not 100% vegan or vegetarian, a ketogenic diet, a paleo diet, or a raw-food diet. Extreme diets make me cringe!
I have tried every single one of the diets mentioned above. Some made me feel good. Others felt good for a little while, then stressful to follow later. One made me feel simply terrible. Each one claims to be the way we as humans are “supposed” to eat. However the truth is: we are all different. It’s paramount to learn what your body needs depending on your unique health history and life stage.
As a nutrition coach, I am aware that some people will need to eliminate certain foods from their diet to start feeling better. Some people will indeed feel drastic positive changes by eliminating dairy or gluten from their diets, but it’s a big stretch to conclude that everyone needs to eliminate them. They are French food staples, and perfectly healthy for a lot of people!
Unless you know you have a certain allergy or an intolerance to a certain food, you don’t need to stop eating it. Often, consuming the same foods just of higher quality is the cure to a lot of discomfort in the body.
What is so special about French food?
In her book Deep Nutrition, Catherine Shanahan recognizes French cuisine to be the healthiest traditional diet. She explains that the answer is in healthy fats, very little sugar, and a variety of high quality foods from each of the “four pillars”. She describes the four pillars of a human diet to be: meat on the bone, fermented and sprouted foods, organ meats, and fresh, pure plant and animal products.
I absolutely recommend you read Deep Nutrition. It helped me understand what a healthy diet is, and how healthy making the change to a traditional French diet can be.
So, what is the Fast French Food diet?
Fast French Food focuses on something all nutrition experts agree on: eat real food. Eliminate all unnatural, processed foods (anything that comes in a bag, a box, or wrapped in plastic). I even add one extra word to this belief: eat real, quality food.
I took a cab the other day, and my driver was from Djibouti. He was telling me how much he missed his home cuisine. He exclaimed, “All the food in my country can be considered organic!” His comment made me smile. Then I thought to myself how sad it is that people have access to worse quality food in the US than they do in Somalia!
Eating organic is not a luxury; it’s an important necessity in our Western world. We are constantly surrounded by toxins, and we need to push toxic foods off of our plates as much as possible.
Like Michael Pollan illustrates in his book In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto, my simple rule in creating each Fast French Food meal plan is: “Could my grandmother find this ingredient?” If so, then I can eat it. Pretty simple, right? Fast French Food is a way to plan simple healthy dinners, but extend this rule to the rest of your day. It’s a small change that will make a big difference in your life.
Fast French Food offers a wide range of culinary traditions from many different French regions. French food is quite varied throughout the country. In the north of France, they will cook mainly with butter. Southeastern France has a Mediterranean diet featuring a lot of fish and olive oil.
Fast French Food is a diet of real whole foods, high-quality fat, high-quality protein, and a limited amount of high-quality, minimally processed grains.
What should I eat?
Don’t listen to anyone claiming they know what diet is the best. Experiment for yourself to find your right balance. Your body is special and unique!
However, if you’re trying to eat better, healthier whole foods, Fast French Food is a great place to start. Sign up for the Fast French Food meal plan this week, and begin your path towards a happier and healthier life!