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Re: FATFREE Digest V99 #21 Message-Id: <v01530500b2d2aa25792b@[]> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"

>==Your message follows==
>i have just found out that i may be entering a VLF person's worst
>nightmare- i'm moving to norhtern France for a year to live with a french
>family. what am i thinking?! the land of cheese, white french bread, fois
>gras and wine(none of which i eat or drink) if anyone has any suggestions,
>ideas or excuses (i do have to try to explain this to my new family somehow
>without seeming a burden- i have no idea how they will take this from a
>cultural stand point- should i say nothing and make do?) PLEASE help!i
>realise there will probably be NO health food stores and i will have to
>make a few comprimises. any ideas would be greatly appreciated!


My experience in France has been that it is just fine for fat-free diets. In
fact, it can become a whole new adventure in eating. Haute Cuisine is pretty
heavy, but like elaborate or celebratory North American cooking, it is not
eaten domestically on a regular basis. In fact, I believe you will find that
the daily French diet has more options for low and non-fat selections than
the SAD culture you're coming from. The French LOVE food, and take pride in
providing it fresh and perfect - you will find fewer fast-food outlets, and
more vendors who will make things to your exact specifications. There ARE
health food stores, and massive, elaborate SuperMarchés that can put the
selection at American supermarkets to shame. But there are also weekly
markets where you can stroll the streets and find the perfect eggplant, and
spices that work like none you've ever had before. I bet the family you'll
be staying with eats a lot of vegetables, soups, beans, stews, and
sandwiches, and will tend to serve things separately at table (fruit plates,
bread unbuttered with preserves on the side, vegetables in a bowl), which
will allow you to assemble the kinds of meals that you want. There will be
many choices in the bakeries for higher fibre bread, and the bakers guild is
very strict - only water, yeast, and grains are allowed in the daily bread -
you'll realize how low-fat it is when it sets up like a rock eight hours
after you buy it. There will be lots of pasta about, rice dishes, and ethnic
food like cous-cous from ex-colonies. The French are proud enough of their
cheese that they like to serve it on its own, rather than mixing it in
everything as an ingredient. Half the pizza on any menu won't have any on it
at all. Worry more about the dismal state of French rock and roll music, and
the erratic hours and seemingly endless  holidays observed by institutions
such as banks and post offices.