Today I'm sharing the last and final part of my book review of French Women Don't Get Facelifts by Mireille Guiliano.
In this third part I will share Mireille's "nondiet anti-aging nutritional formula."
She starts out by recommending a daily dose of sunshine to get our Vitamin D, quality sleep, and plenty of water every day. She gives many reasons why water is important, and says that as we age, our "thirst centers" don't work as well, and we can get dehydrated. Our brains are 85% water, and we don't want them dehydrated, either!
Ms. Guiliano says Do Not diet; most diets are not successful in the long run, and can be actually dangerous. Three meals a day, no snacking, and portion control are key. If you gain five pounds, an alert should go off, and you need to take immediate action; decrease sugar and fat, have leaner meals, and cut out wine during the week (if you drink it). If you don't take action, you'll keep gaining, and we all know how much harder it gets to lose. Also, be aware of eating in response to stress, and try to deal with your stress in healthier ways. Get a manicure. Go to the movies. Get a massage.
As you would expect, she's an advocate of whole foods. She eschews processed foods and urges us to make our plates colorful. Look for three to five colors on your plate. Of course, the best way to do that is to incorporate a lot of vegetables and fruit in your diet.
Her mantras, less is more and quality over quantity apply to food as well. In her book, French Women Don't Get Fat, she encouraged us to eat the very best whole foods we could get our hands on, but to eat small portions. I remember her advice about chocolate: have a small, quality, delicious truffle and enjoy it, rather than scarfing down several handfuls of M&Ms, for example.
She cites the Mediterranean diet as an extremely healthy way to eat, but also mentions the typical Okinawan diet. I was interested to read that the Okinawans practice Hara Hachi Bu, a Confucian practice of eating only until you are 80% full.
Here is her list of some super-healthy foods:
She believes honey is the healthiest, best anti-aging food of all. Maybe one of the reasons for this is that she says to reduce your sugar intake and use honey instead. It has been proven that white sugar is aging. So maybe it's not the honey itself? She praises the use of honey for various medicinal treatments, as well as for beauty preparations (such as a homemade mask).
The rest of the book devotes time to various things that help promote aging well: hobbies and interests, good friendships and relationships, sex, or at least some kind of physical contact like hugging, and a spiritual life.
She believes good sleep is critical, and gives suggestions for getting better sleep. She advocates regular rest and vacations, and participating in some some of recreation (golf, bridge, or tennis, for example). And laughing regularly!
On the whole, French Women Don't Get Facelifts presents a very practical, common sense approach to aging well. Her recommendations are not expensive, and don't rely on gimmicks. And it's a very balanced approach, too, and one that I think we know intuitively. Eat well, exercise moderately, get sleep and rest and water, dress and style yourself keeping quality and moderation in mind, and mostly, just be comfortable in your own skin. Accept yourself and enjoy your life!
No one is young after forty, but one can be irresistible at any age. -- Coco Chanel
To see her recommendations on clothing, skin care, and makeup, as well as how to cultivate a little je ne sais quoi, please see my previous two posts. Merci!