Bonjour again from Lyon! This is my family's first extended stay in France, so it's also the first time I've had the role of preparing meals for my children here. Living here has improved my meal planning skills and expanded our palates, I'm glad to say! I've consistently tried to plan French meals so my children can enjoy one of the best aspects of living in France--the food and the culture surrounding it. Here's what I'm doing differently here:
America: The land where What to Expect When You're Expecting has sold more than 34 million copies as the self-proclaimed "pregnancy Bible" since its publication in the mid-eighties. Nevermind that it inflates hypochondriac concerns in a patronizing tone. Nevermind that until 2008, its diet recommendations emphasized carbs and listed bran muffins as an indulgence. Enter Alicia Silverstone, whose book The Kind Mama was just released April 15th. In her "Simple Guide to Supercharged Fertility, a Radiant Pregnancy, a Sweeter Birth, and A Healthier, More Beautiful Beginning," Silverstone advocates for purposeful pregnancy and parenting choices such as a plant-rich diet, natural birth, co-sleeping, and breastfeeding. But in response, online book critics has been anything but kind.Read More
I've always loved dairy products--I grew up eating cold cereal with cow's milk for breakfast and after-school snack, and if you had asked me in my preteen years to describe my ideal diet, my answer would have included a lot of Kraft macaroni and cheese. (I was an American child of the 80s, when processed foods were proliferating). But in my early twenties I started noticing that certain yogurts gave me gas, and after I got food poisoning in Hungary, I started experiencing brief but recurrent stomach pain. It took a miserable (but free) nasogastroscopie in France for me to understand that my stomach was fine, but it could no longer digest the dairy products I was putting into it.
Nonetheless, it wasn't until I read Alisa Marie Fleming's nutritional guide and cookbook, Go Dairy Free, that I realized that replacing dairy products with plant-based foods was probably one of the best nutritional actions I could take--and it was much easier than I had realized.Read More