By Carol Cottrill, CNC
Morgan James Publishing, $17.95

American nutritionist Carol Cottrill shares the French Paradox. The French have a higher life expectancy and lower average weight than Americans do. Yet, as the French indulge in the rich foods, we consider forbidden, their health is better.

“The French style of eating – sitting down with delight and savoring every bite with discretion, moderation, and passion – is the answer.”

In twelve chapters, with interludes on cheese, bread, and chocolate, Cottrill expands on the paradox, sharing how Americans can learn to use these twelve French secrets to manage weight and improve health. The twelve secrets are your natural weight, no resistance, quality, pleasure, balance, real food, portions, metabolism, exercise, rhythms and rituals, values, and eating the French way. Each chapter shares personal anecdotes with statistical information to delve further into each area, showing the wisdom of this more natural and enjoyable approach to our relationship with food.

“But … when it comes to dining and weight management, the French have it figured out.”

What this reviewer found especially significant was how obvious this natural approach seems, but how it is one to which most Americans have not been privy. As the author shares, our society endorses diet after diet, but still we have “the highest obesity ranking in the world – 34.3 percent of our population weighs in as obese.” We worry about obesity in our children, yet America’s school lunch programs lag behind the French. “In France, school meals are important. The French spend more on school lunches than we do and use school meals as an educational tool to instill proper eating habits and good manners.”

After an epilogue, there is an appendix of body and beauty foods with their key nutritional elements and benefits, which, when eaten, improve both health and appearance. This appendix could be a book unto itself. Further endorsing the French concept of variety in food choices, it shows how each, specifically and differently, benefits health, providing an exceptional reference guide.

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