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Publisher's Summary

French women don't get fat, but they do eat bread and pastry, drink wine, and regularly enjoy three-course meals. In her delightful tale, Mireille Guiliano unlocks the simple secrets of this "French paradox"; how to enjoy food and stay slim and healthy. Hers is a charming, sensible, and powerfully life-affirming view of health and eating for our times.

As a typically slender French girl, Mireille (Meer-ray) went to America as an exchange student and came back fat. That shock sent her into an adolescent tailspin, until her kindly family physician, "Dr. Miracle", came to the rescue. Reintroducing her to classic principles of French gastronomy plus time-honored secrets of the local women, he helped her restore her shape and gave her a whole new understanding of food, drink, and life. The key? Not guilt or deprivation but learning to get the most from the things you most enjoy. Following her own version of this traditional wisdom, she has ever since relished a life of indulgence without bulge, satisfying yen without yo-yo on three meals a day.

Now in simple but potent strategies and dozens of recipes you'd swear were fattening, Mireille reveals the ingredients for a lifetime of weight control, from the emergency weekend remedy of Magical Leek Soup to everyday tricks like fooling yourself into contentment and painless new physical exertions to save you from the StairMaster. Emphasizing the virtues of freshness, variety, balance, and always pleasure, Mireille shows how virtually anyone can learn to eat, drink, and move like a French woman.

Here are a culture's most cherished and time-honored secrets recast for the 21st century. For anyone who has slipped out of her zone, missed the flight to South Beach, or accidentally let a carb pass her lips, here is a buoyant, positive way to stay trim. A life of wine, bread, even chocolate, without girth or guilt? Pourquoi pas?

©2004 Mireille Guiliano; (P)2004 Random House, Inc. Random House Audio, a division of Random House, Inc.

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  • Overall

Enjoyable Listen

The content was enjoyable and uplifting, giving hope to the fantasy of living a healthy life without dieting. But what I enjoyed most about this book was listening to the author's delightful French accent. I never could have enjoyed this book as much just reading the words (I would have glazed over anything in French and not even tried to sound it out).
I do wish I had the recipes in print, this is the only drawback.

26 of 26 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Enjoyable, thought provoking

My family has changed their way of eating thanks to this timely book. The American way of eating has produced an epidemic of obesity but we still keep eating "low fat" in between super sizing our meals. Our family is now eating much smaller portions of more enjoyable food and we are losing weight and inches quickly. I heard about this book from a friend who was the only normal weight person at our college friend luncheon (we are all 60 yrs or older) I bought the book immediately after hearing this program and love them both!

13 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Margot
  • Knoxville, TN, USA
  • 03-29-05

It's working for me!

I enjoyed the book, especially the author's narration and charming stories. Across the past eight weeks or so, I have also lost 12 pounds following the plan. One key, I think, is to follow the suggestion of having yogurt for one meal and, of course, watching portion size. I love this book! My only regret is that the version is abridged and that the recipes are missing.

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • CrzGzr
  • Northwest North Carolina
  • 09-13-05

I love this book!

For many years I worked with European women but after I left that work to work from home I gained weight. This book has helped me realize how my habits have changed from those early years. I remember laughing until my face hurt at those lunches! Her advice is a brilliant reminded to live well. I must also include Italian women to the group. Also, I have discovered recipes from the book are online at the author's web site:
Bonne chance and bon appetit!

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Pass the leeks and yogurt.

This book has a lot of the stuff we all know, eat less, move more, drink lots of water. I really liked the point of view of a foreigner towards our eating habits. It was a great comparative of both cultures. I'm looking forward to adding it to my diet repetoire

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Anthony
  • Binghamton, NY, USA
  • 02-22-05

Pratical Tips

I enjoyed listening to this french woman's story. I have known many european exchange students who have found themselves in the same situation here in america gaining weight, only to return to their culture and slim back down. An insightful personal story that can only be of help to youin understanding why we are too large!

12 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall


A wonderful book full of common sense and humor. Sound advice in an age plagued by fad diets and experts constantly contradicting each other. I loved the narration by the author. "La Joie de Vivre" remains the most important lesson to remember. Merci Mireille!

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Julie
  • Carmel, IN, USA
  • 02-29-08

Being French

Great to hear the author read this - inspired me to buy the hardcopy for the recipes! Worth hearing just to look at our american ideas about food, enjoyment and "dieting". Ciao!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Very Nice!

I very much enjoyed listening to this book(Which I understand to be quite French. If it's not pleasurable, why do it?). Very good common sense type advice, and yet, what we lack in today's American culture. My mind kept going to people I know who practice several of the activities she recommends, it all rings very true. Small portions of a large variety of simple unprocessed foods in a very natural state, eaten with moderation and balance, combined with daily physical activity(i.e. walking, taking stairs, etc.) Wonderful, I will listen to it several times.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Jodi
  • St. Peter, MN, USA
  • 02-12-07

Really Enjoyable

Some really good tips here, and very enjoyable to be taken away to France to lose weight!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful