Monday, July 7, 2008


I know that this blog is supposed to be about relationships, but I feel compelled to write about that other thing every woman is interested in—aging attractively. Having just spent a week in the company of three generations including a seventy year old French woman, I now can remove French Women Don’t Get Fat from my intended summer reading list. I saw first hand how a French woman can literally look 20 years younger than she is, have boundless energy, strength, flexibility and still thoroughly enjoy food and wine.
Marianne was up at 6:30 every morning making coffee, which she drinks slowly and in abundance, while she ran around playing tag with her grandkids or squatted on the floor to color with them.
For breakfast she had a thin slice of toasted German health bread with honey and another cup or two of coffee. Lunch was a salad, a couple of slices of cold turkey or ham, and a glass or two of red wine. Snacks- never. Water- here and there. Dinner was fish, shellfish or chicken, vegetables, potatoes or rice, another salad, and another couple of glasses of red wine.
I picked up on some of her“rules”: bread is only worth eating if it is fabulous or accompanied by a small piece of cheese, preferably French. Red meat is consumed only to be polite. Portions should be small and eaten slowly and with great enjoyment. Eat nothing that you’re not completely in the mood for. Once in a while indulge in ice cream or some other treat, but a square or two of dark chocolate is a daily mainstay. Have a croissant every Sunday morning, but only if it is excellent and very fresh.
So that’s the food part. The exercise part was that she was in constant motion all day long playing with the kids, and almost always standing, sitting only for meals. She does no formal exercise but walks everywhere she can.
From a distance she looks 15 and from close up, maybe 55 if she’s tired. I don’t know how much is a result of her eating habits, how much is due to never sitting down, and how much is just good luck, but I learned a lot watching her and hope that it pays off!

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