Guest PostTaste: Food & Drink

10 Clever Tips To Eat Healthy When Travelling in Provence

When you think of travelling and a great vacation, chances are you’re looking forward to the food. However, just because you are on holiday in Provence does not mean you should consume foods that will leave you feeling bloated and tired.

When you make better food choices, you’ll enjoy your leisure time without sacrificing your health. As athletes and bodybuilders know, healthy foods and plenty of water boost your energy, which helps in the recovery process.

The food you eat while on holiday will determine your experience. Today, we are going to discuss ten smart tips to eat healthy when travelling throughout Provence. Bu using these tips, you are going to have a great time with your loved ones in Provence. Let’s get started!

1.   Soup cures everything

In France, soup has always been thought to have magical properties. When you are sick or want to lose a few pounds, try eating soup. Since lunch is the main meal of the day in the area, vegetable soup with cheese or ham is acceptable for dinner. Generally, the French prefer smooth and creamy to chunky soups. At Chez Paulette, a restaurant that we love in Eygalières serves a puréed mushroom soup (no cream), personally I think it has magical properties. The photo below is a creamy mushroom chestnut soup by Cocoa & Lavender.

Creamy Mushroom Chestnut Soup

2.   Herbal tea curbs hunger and cures a cold

My best friend in Provence used to drink herbal tea throughout the day. When I started drinking it, I discovered that it not only cuts appetite but also keeps my body hydrated. Plain dried herbs such as orange flower, mint, verbena, fennel seed, licorice, and chamomile are widely available in the area. I drink fresh thyme infusions when I have a respiratory infection or cold and it works like magic. After lunch or dinner, a cup of herbal tea will keep you relaxed and hydrated.

Auberge La Fenière Cuisine Libre Auberge La Fenière Cuisine Libre

3.   Local is better than organic

The French do value and practice their agricultural past more than we the Americans. The French understand what a ripe berry tastes like. If you visit France during the fruit basket (cherries, apricots, peaches, and so on) season, you’ll quickly develop the locavore habit.

apricots and cherries Market Provence

Neighbours and friends might leave you bags of tomatoes or ask you to pick cherries off their trees. Organic is not always a guarantee of quality as compared to local. Keep in mind that GMO vegetables and fruits are illegal in this great nation.

You don’t need to go far to find a local market in Provence. Here is a comprehensive list of markets in the region.

4. Don’t snack

French adults don’t snack eat between meals, which is something you’ll witness while travelling in Provence. They eat their food at a specified time and place (three meals a day, a cup of coffee and cigarettes).

Young children get an afternoon goûter (snack) when they arrive home from school. The French don’t eat while working, driving or walking. Even homeless people will tell you to watch your weight if they see you eating that bar of chocolate while walking.

5.   Serve smaller portions

The first time I went to France, I wondered how these adults can eat bread, dessert, cheese and drink wine and still maintain their health and fitness levels. Later, I discovered the secret: It was all about the portions. In general, a French meal serving is half the size of an American portion. They also take three times longer to eat compared to Americans.

If you are attending a dinner party with your French friends, you’ll have a hard time pacing yourself. The French serve their meals in multiple courses. The main course might feel like an appetizer. By developing the habit of serving smaller portions, you’ll easily manage your weight and health during your vacation.

6. No takeout

Cooking every night can be daunting, especially if you’re focused on having a great holiday. However, if you are in a position to cook every night, you’ll end up consuming nutritious foods, which will have a positive impact on your health.

A typical dinner in French households can be a bowl of thick vegetable soup with cheese or bread or wheat pasta with homemade tomato sauce. Fish is common on menus in the South of France. During the winter months, recipes include slow-cooked, braised meats such as wild boar, or lamb. Also, dessert is often seasonal fruit or plain yogurt.

Food Trucks Provence hameau-des-baux-camion-bleu

Camion Bleu Hameau des Baux @lionelmoulet

However, food trucks are popular in France, here is a list of food trucks delivering world cuisine in Provence.

7. Ancient grains are a staple

Different species of wheat have been grown in Provence for thousands of years. Épeautre or spelt is an ancient grain that is common in Provence. It is rich in nutrients and contains a different kind of gluten that is easily digestible even for people with gluten intolerance. You can use it in stews and soups to get that nutty flavour. You can also use the flour to prepare cookies.

8. Dieting has no place

Among the rituals of the French is the joy of preparation and sharing of food. In France, everything is about culinary moderation. You can consume any food so long as you do it moderately. The French are not afraid of being fat and take pride in their diet. They enjoy rich desserts that are not too sweet. And they prefer seasonal vegetables and fruits. Simply eating and eating simply.

9. Who you eat with matters

In France, mealtime is family time. Families eat together every day. They also prefer a glass of wine after dinner. They also love entertaining their guests, especially during the long summer evenings. Eating with your friends and loved ones mean you are going to consume nutritious foods, unlike eating alone.

A Provencal Table Setting

10. Good eating habits develop early

In most schools, little French people consume lentil salad for lunch. They also serve their meals family-style at a round table. Children are not allowed to carry food from home. They can have their lunch at home or eat what’s offered by the school.

Most children tend to eat at home what they eat in school. If you have children, do not wait for them to grow up to start developing good eating habits. Once they’ve developed this habit, they’ll also help you whip the habit of eating junk or snacks every time.

Conclusion

You are going to learn a lot while travelling throughout Provence. As you’ve seen, you don’t have to be extremely hard on yourself during your vacation. Eat whatever you like, but do it in moderation. Use smaller plates and cups. And most importantly, develop good eating habits as early as you can. As the saying goes, great victories are the results of small moment to moment victories.


Michael Gorman Photo

Michael Gorman is a highly skilled freelance writer and proofreader from the UK who currently works as an essay writer and resume writer. Being interested in everyday development, he writes various blog posts for the best essay writing service and discovers new aspects of human existence every day. Feel free to contact him via Facebook or check his Twitter.

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Carolyne Kauser-Abbott

Carolyne Kauser-Abbott

With her camera and laptop close at hand, Carolyne has traded in her business suits for the world of freelance writing and blogging. Her first airplane ride at six months of age was her introduction to the exciting world of travel.

While in Provence, Carolyne can be found hiking with friends, riding the hills around the Alpilles or tackling Mont Ventoux. Her attachment to the region resonates in Perfectly Provence this digital magazine that she launched in 2014. This website is an opportunity to explore the best of the Mediterranean lifestyle (food & wine, places to stay, expat stories, books on the region, travel tips, real estate tips and more), through our contributors' articles.

Carolyne writes a food and travel blog Ginger and Nutmeg. Carolyne’s freelance articles can be found in Global Living Magazine, Avenue Magazine and City Palate (Published Travel Articles).

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