Eating Healthy in France: Part I

Hello Nutrition by Eve readers!  Thanks for visiting my blog.

I just returned from a 2 week vacation in France & Italy with my husband.  We had a truly fantastic time, managed to eat very well, see a lot of amazing sites, taste wonderful wine, and much more.  People often ask me how I stay healthy while away.  Many people find it interesting that I don’t cut back while on vacation, but enjoy my favorite foods in moderation!  I brought a pedometer with me on the trip so I could tell you how much I walked while away, unfortunately I lost it halfway through!  We typically walk 5-10 miles while in a city touring around, we never take the subway or ride in cabs (except at night)!  Staying active and eating small portions are some of the keys to success while away.  Let me take you through my first few days in France.

We left JFK at 10pm and had a direct flight into Paris, arriving around noon (6am New York time).  I had packed a couple bags of cereal with me and had one when the flight landed.  We took a taxi to our hotel, showered, and despite feeling a bit tired & groggy (overnight flights tend to do that to you), we headed immediately out to seize the day in Paris.  We opted to go straight to lunch, since it was about 2pm settling into a cute typical french cafe.  There were quite a few salads, and I decided to go for the one with chicken, corn, string beans, egg and tomatoes.  It was really delicious.  I normally order salad dressing on the side but the waiter did not speak any English and being my first day in Paris, I was having a lot of trouble thinking of how to say anything in French (I studied french in high school)!  I was really pleased with my salad, everything was delicious and the salad dressing was only drizzled on top so underneath was completely dry and it was the perfect amount for the salad.  I ate everything except for the yolk from the egg (figured I had enough fat from the dressing)

Paris Salad Lunch

After my lunch, I was ready for my daily coffee.  I usually have one at breakfast but clearly this day was a bit off schedule.  I ordered a cafe au lait (coffee with milk).  Immediately after ordering it I realized it would be made with whole milk, and I found a young waitress who spoke english and asked her if they have low fat, but they did not!  The nice thing about Europe is the cups are very small, so my cafe au laits (in France) and cappuccinos (in Italy were about 4-6 ounces, when you consider a shot of espresso is 1 1/2 ounces, there was about 2 1/2 -4 1/2 ounces of milk, approximately 70 calories.  I never add sugar to my coffee, so even though my cafe au lait was made with whole milk, it still has less calories than a TALL (small) nonfat cappucino or latte from Starbucks!!  That just shows you that even low fat/fat free choices still have calories especially when you consider the size – you may be getting more calories than you bargained for!

Cafe au lait