Monday, June 23, 2014

Petit Dejeuner: Part I, The Rehab Series

The Sunday morning exception: a buttery croissant. 
          Last Thursday, I had an "in house" (as in, in my room) consultation with the resident dietician at my rehab facility. The idea is that I, and my doctors, would like me to lose the weight I gained by not exercising and barely walking for over two years.

          Not only will that make me happy, but it will ease the stress on both the good and the new knee.

          As I mentioned last week, the food here is truly delicious. What the dietician did is tweak the menus for me. In our interview she asked me what foods I didn't like -- any kind of organ meats and I can definitely live without charcuterie, I told her. I like all fruits and vegetables and as far as I know, just about everything else. She checked her lists.

          We have a follow-up appointment on Friday to see if we're both content with the menus and the results.

          The first thing she said to me was: "There are no forbidden foods. Next week I'll explain to you how you can eat a piece of cake without losing your momentum." I can't wait, though I would rather apply the formula to ice cream.

Fresh applesauce, no sugar added of course. I've asked My-Reason-For-Living-In-France to bring me some cinnamon on his next visit.
          Let's start at the beginning then. This is what I have every morning at 8 a.m. sharp:

          A small --very small -- bowl of fresh apple sauce. (That was her substitution for a glass of concentrated orange juice.)

          Two packages of Pasquier biscottes, which equal four small biscuits for a total of 134 calories or 67 per package. I love them, which many people think is strange. The dietician lamented the fact that even in this spa  rehab center, the kitchen does not have whole grain bread.

          Two of those restaurant size pats of butter. I use one-and-a-half. Spreading anything on a hard surface makes it easier to be parsimonious I've discovered.

One of these each morning, but they're French and they have no added sugar, just the natural sweetness of the fruit.
          One small container, again like those in chain restaurants if you will, of jam.

          A lovely, large café au lait.

I have café au lait bols like this at home, they're a cheerful way to start the day. Here the bowls are no-nonsense white and the coffee is no-nonsense French strength.
          On Sunday morning everyone -- even I -- get a flakey, buttery croissant. (No off-limit foods, as she said.)

          She mentioned she may add a yogurt to my menu. It's up for discussion on Friday.

          Tomorrow and Wednesday, I'll tell you about the entrées that precede lunch and dinner. They've given me great, easy solutions for my re-entry into the real world and maybe they'll help you as well.


hostess of the humble bungalow said...

I am interested in what the nutritionist suggests as in France I would think they have a good idea of how to keep all the French femmes chic and slim.

I am not sure if you are familiar with the Weight Watchers regime and no foods are off limits but the program trains you to make better food choices. I tried for years to lose 30 pounds and walking and WW helped me succeed.
You might not be able to start walking too far or fast for awhile but even 20 minutes each day can make a big difference.
You can do it!

Tabitha said...

I adore croissants and have one a few mornings a week, the difference I've noticed here in Europe is that ours are a third of the size of US ones, everything really is bigger there. Last time I ordered a mixed alcoholic drink it was so strong that I had to ask for three glasses and three more mixers!
I have to battle my weight every day, but it's better than the misery I felt being fat. Looking forward to reading the rest of your menu, I have some post holiday pounds to shift - French butter what can I say?

Anonymous said...

Dear Trish. I am following your blog for quite some time. And I love your news about living in France. I am also struggeling with my weight due to pain in my knees. I already have one replaced and next year the other one will be done. So I know what you are going though right now. Therefore I wish you all the best for your recovery. I keep on reading your blog with plaesure.

All the best


Sue said...

I don't eat croissants very often as I'm aware how fattening they can be. I have to say that the best ones I've ever tasted have been in France and I plan to indulge when we visit Toulouse in September for my birthday! I've put on weight during my recent holiday in northern Spain, so will be following these posts with great interest. I should confess that I did eat croissants several times on our holiday, but they were the tiny ones (so don't count?)!!! Good luck with your recovery.

Georgia said...

Hi Trish,
You are an inspiration - bringing style and grace to joint replacement - exactly what many of us femme d'un certain age need right now. Thanks for writing.

dianespainting said...

I have been trying to lose the same 10 pounds for the past few years, and trying to find satisfaction without deprivation and without obsessive calorie or Point counts.
Thank you for these timely posts, and for the info you are sharing.
Best with your recovery,
Diane in Canada

Lorraine Keep said...

Tish, I am so thrilled every time there is a new post on your knee surgery recovery!
Even though it's been a few yrs. since both mine where done, I'm learning new things I can still apply because of you!
You are a gem, thank-you so much.
Hugs, Lorraine

Lorrie said...

You are giving us a first-hand look into French thinking about food and nutrition. I love it, although I'm sorry for your knee situation. Now, however, you'll be able to start moving again. Your posts are always enjoyable. Love the idea of no foods off limits.



peggybraswell said...

love hearing about your portions. Good luck will continue reading this blog.

D. A. Wolf said...

Oh goodness... Les genoux! Je ne me rendais pas compte!

Heal quickly, eat mindfully, enjoy that cafe au lair and Bisous.

Karena Albert said...

Tish it sounds like you are on a great regimen. I have 15 pounds I would love to shed, and am certainly planning to continue making better food choices.

The Arts by Karena

Kathleen said...

So many people are getting knee replacements....ouch!! I love the small size pastries. That's all you really need. It's been proven after about 5 bites you're not really tasting it anymore due to the way taste buds work. The thing I notice in France is the weights down, in my opinion, due to how many people still smoke A LOT over there. Even dining outside I get a sore throat from the smoke. That's not a healthy option for staying slim. It all boils down to less everything and keep moving. I'm sure you'll do very well.

MJH DesignArts said...

You are emboldening me to get that left hip done. I do think that the post operative care is much better in Europe than here where you are, basically, just sent home. Get well and mobile ASAP.

Eleanorjane said...

Interesting stuff. I think I remember from my one year of French classes when I was 13 that French tend not to eat much for breakfast. We had a class breakfast of croissants and hot chocolate(cos we weren't old enough for coffee).

What are these biscuit things you mention? Like small bits of dried toast? I do find it weird that you can buy loaves of toast in Europe.

Tish Jett said...

The biscuits come in a box and inside they are individually wrapped two or three to a package. In rehab, mine are made out of white bread, but in the grocery store there are all sorts of options from whole wheat to cereal breads. And, yes, they are basically dry toast.

As I vaguely recall there were, at least when Andrea was a baby, those biscuit-like things that babies sort of teethed on and then they got all soggy and disgusting. They're a bit like those.

The great thing about them is that the hard surface makes for easy scraping of the butter, just enough to make me happy and not too much to make me feel guilty.

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