As some of you might know, I went to France in May to start a new adventure. This adventure included a job for 4 months – now extended for at least another 4 months – so I had to adjust myself and start living the French way.
I can tell you that the Frenchies definitely enjoy their food! So I enjoyed a little bit – okay, I have to admit, sometimes a little too much – of ‘du pain, du vin et du Boursin’ or even better, Camembert or blue cheese. Apart from all the yummy foods they have here, they also have different eating habits than I’m used to.
In Holland we have breakfast with sandwiches, prepare our sandwiches for lunch and take them with us in a plastic bag and at 18h sharp we eat potatoes, vegetables and a bit of meat.
Here in France they have a small breakfast, but at lunch they take their big meal. Lunch is holy by the way, there are businesses who close between 12 and 14, and don’t you even dare to try to disturb them between those hours. After work they sometimes have an apero, with some drinks and snacks and then late at night a small meal for dinner.
At work we also have a one hour lunch and during the training we got warned not to take prepared sandwiches in a plastic sandwich bag, French people apparently see it as a ‘poor man’s thing’. And let’s be honest, nobody wants to be seen as a poor man! So I decided to take anything but prepared sandwiches for lunch. At the beginning I was struggling a bit. Since I’m used to have a normal sized dinner, every evening I made myself a normal sized dinner. I didn’t make real small meals in the fear of going to bed with a hungry feeling.
Then I started to make myself lunches, which were similar to normal sized dinners. I found it impossible to make a small meal, I always tossed in too much rice/pasta and vegetables. In the process of getting used to these normal sized lunches, I started to like it. To still make it a healthy lifestyle, I take small dinners now. Maybe a soup, a vegetable omelet or something like that.
I can tell you that it feels great! I notice how lunch really is the time to take the biggest meal, because I don’t crave snacks anymore throughout the day. And having a small dinner is really enough, I’m not even that hungry, because I already got my nutrients at lunch. Still have a full stomach though, so at night I don’t crave snacks neither. It feels as if I nourish myself better than I ever did with the Dutch eating habits.
It’s probably not without a reason that our Dutch ancestors had a warm meal at noon and just some sandwiches at night, it really makes sense. I can really find myself in this way of spreading my meals over the day.
If you are struggling with cravings, maybe this is something for you to try?