Part 2 of 4:
In yesterday's article we looked at how the French excercise and lose weight. In this second instalment we investigate how the French eat healthily and how they learn a new skill or hobby...
#3. Eat more healthily
The French tend to stick to three meals a day, with a particular importance given to breakfast and lunch:
"Petit déjeuner comme un roi, déjeuner comme un prince, dîner comme un mendiant".
(Breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, dine like a pauper).
Surprisingly, although the French are not traditionally fans of fast food, MacDonalds (Le MacDo) in France is the company's biggest market outside the United States!
On the whole, the French are not as adventurous as Anglophones in their taste for exotic cuisine. A take-away meal is most likely to be a pizza. According to a recent study of 6000 French adults by Anses, pre-prepared food is also on the rise, mostly among the younger French. That said, it is difficult to generalise as the French love organic food and farmers markets too! Home grown food and food harvested from nature are on the rise.
There is a trend for raw, with sushi consumption doubling in the last 7 years and 80% of French regularly eating raw meat, fish or eggs. Men tend to have a poorer diet than women, eating greater quantities of meat and cheese and less vegetables and on the whole the French eat too much salt and not enough fibre. The market in food supplements (vitamins, etc.) has risen by 30% in 7 years.
According to one vegetarian website, vegetarianism and veganism are both on the rise in France with currently 5% of the population opting for a meat-free diet, and another 30% claiming to be flexitarians, consciously reducing the quantity of meat in their diet. Whilst it can still be difficult to find a vegetarian option on the menu, the coveted title of 'Maître restaurateur' was recently won by the chef Wille Berton with his vegan restaurant in Nice, so attitudes are slowly changing!
#4. Learn a new skill or hobby
Listening to music is by far the favourite French hobby and going to the cinema or on a cultural outing are preferred to a shopping spree.
French society is underpinned by a strong network of associations that propose a wide range of leisure activities from sport, embroidery, gardening, singing, ballroom dancing and more, so you are sure to find something that suits you. The Mairie of the local town or village can provide a list of local associations. There is also likely to be a nearby MJC (Maison de la jeunesse et de la culture), which provides activities for children but also cultural activities for all ages, such as pottery or painting or ballet. Musical instruments tend to be taught in music schools which might be municipal or run by an association and these tend to be very affordable.
We'll be back tomorrow with another instalment on how to spend more time with friends and family and how to drink less alcohol, just like our French friends!