No matter what stage you’re at in the French lifestyle, it’s always good practice to review the basic principles of recasting:
1. Look at your three-week profile of eating; identify and reduce the offenders as much as you can without inducing shock. Whatever you can cut out completely without agony, just cut it. Reduce others peu à peu (little by little).
2. Eat at regular times.
3. Look at portions of non-offender foods, trim these gradually too.
4. Get to know the market, not the supermarket. Shop for food several times a week (on a need-to-eat basis, but never when hungry).
5. Diversify your foods with an eye to seasons. Increase the proportion of fresh fruits and vegetables.
6. Introduce and experiment with a couple of new flavors.
7. Prepare your own meals. Shun prepared foods, especially processed ones with artificial anything.
8. Have a real breakfast.
9. Eat slowly, sitting down. Chew well, even if you seem theatrical at first.
10. Introduce 2 daily servings of homemade yogurt as a dessert, breakfast or snack food.
11. Drink at least two more glasses of water per day, slipping in more as you find opportunity.
12. Introduce a small but regular new physical movement, like a daily walk or climbing stairs. (If you go to a gym, you’re probably doing enough in spandex, so pick something you can do in street clothes.)
13. Don’t stock offenders at home.
14. Develop a list and stock of food pacifiers, substitutes for offenders.
15. Keep your “en cas” in your pocket for off-site emergencies.
16. Choose and enjoy your weekend rewards.
As I say, this is not radical. But to those who are first encountering these principles, the steps may still seem a little abstract at this point (the tendency toward abstraction is admittedly a French weakness.) With a little bit of practice, however, recasting easily can become second nature.