V and I headed to Lille, in northern France, for lunch and shopping. And surprise of all surprises, while it was lightly raining in Brussels when we left, the sun was peaking out in Lille.
Lille is a beautiful city, with lots of charm and great shopping
We ate a delicious lunch at a brasserie in the city center. One of the things I really enjoy about being in Europe is the normalcy of taking time to enjoy a real lunch. We sat, had a glass of wine, and a great meal (with appropriate portion sizes :) It never ceases to amaze me to see people sitting and truly enjoying their meal, not by overindulging but by savoring the food and the time. Of course, dinner was light after such a meal, and the day was in great balance.
Going back to a more traditional eating pattern, where sitting around the table is not a chore but a treat, could serve us well in the US. I'm not suggesting that we go back to an era where women (usually) spend hours in the kitchen each night (although it would be so luxurious and fun for me to have hours to cook dinner). I feel, and the principle of mindfulness confirms, that even if you're enjoying a meal of a sandwich it is far more satisfying when you mark the occasion by sitting at the table. Sitting at the table without a TV blaring, a computer on, or a book open. I suggest you give it a go. If you want more info on mindful eating, there are books on the subject (Mindless Eating by Brian Wansink comes highly recommended), and this blog on Psychology Today outlines the basics: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/mindful-eating/200902/mindful-eating
We also made room in the day for a late afternoon sweet- it was necessary after all of that shopping! Going into a bakery is usually not my favorite thing these days, as I'm trying not to eat wheat and to eat less sugar (thanks to a testy tummy) and the majority of items in bakeries are laden with both. But when in France, bakeries usually have french macarons, which luckily for me are delicious and made with almond flour.
Anyone who has been to Paris/France knows the brand Paul, and this macaron did not disappoint! Naturally, we sat and enjoyed our treats to their fullest- and practiced mindfulness in its most delicious form.
Lastly, while I'm apparently in a francophile mood, for all my single friends, I would like to introduce you to the weekend news anchor on channel France 2, Julian Bugier.
|Photo Cred: http://www.leblogtvnews.com/article-julian-bugier-remet-a-sa-place-robert-menard-63113484.html|
Since I don't really understand the actual content of the news, I've resorted to watching (swooning?) Julian. Not worry, V knows all about my new crush :)