Half a chocolate croissant never tasted so good

What a wonderful morning!  Had a lovely catch-up with A, three hours of chatting and laughing over coffee and cocoa at Transcend (one of Edmonton’s best coffee houses).   This is my favourite things to do, spend time with a great friend over good food.

While we talked, A enjoyed a couple of cups of coffee and I lingered over a delicious cup of hot chocolate that was truly one of the best I’ve had at a coffee house.  Barely sweetened, the chocolate was rich without being decadent.  That said, I drank only half the cup.  A had a piece of banana bread and I ordered a chocolate croissant (a weakness for which I developed while living in Montréal).  And I ate only half.

This is a technique I’ve implemented again recently, inspired by re-reading “French Women for All Seasons,” the sequel to “French Women Don’t Get Fat” by Mireille Guiliano.  Much of what she espouses I agree with, having experienced it work first hand while living in Québec for 5 years.  I read her first book when it came out and while she uses certain terms I don’t necessarily think are positive (e.g., describing a banana as a “food offender”), I agree with the concepts of eating balanced meals, moving your body, and focusing on delighting in the food we eat rather than stuffing in as much as possible in the shortest amount of time.

One of the techniques Mireille recommends is to slowly eat half of what’s on your plate, savouring every bite.  Then, pause for a few minutes to let your body decide if it’s still hungry.  If so, then eat just half of of what remains on the plate and pause again.  It’s a very simple and extremely effective technique that allows one to really enjoy their meal without overeating (particularly when portions can be so oversized).

She writes what I have been coaching for years, helping clients and friends to thoroughly enjoy their food, to savour really great tasting meals slowly, and to use ingredients and products of high quality and flavour for maximum satisfaction.  It’s about quality, not quantity.

Haven’t you had that experience of that first bite of something amazing?  How incredible it tastes, how it explodes in your mouth?  And as much as you want them to, every bite that follows never quite measures up to the first.  Yet we keep eating.   This is one more reason to have amazing tasting food on your plate in small portions – a full measure of pleasure that has nothing to do with volume.

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