Bret and I are on our third trip to France (something we only dreamed about)
I can’t get enough.
It’s so gorgeous here (I should know, I literally got so caught up in the beauty and mystique of this oceanfront gem that I literally got lost. What was supposed to be a 40-minute walk turned into 2 1/2 hours with no cell phone service, and just a few sentences from my freshman French. – check the pod for details!).
It’s crazy how much healthier the food is here. Even processed foods have so few ingredients compared to the very same product. Sold on the shelves in America. It just doesn’t make any sense! America we have to do better.
I’m not exaggerating when I say everything tastes different. Olive oil, omelets, even the salads hit different here. And it’s true. You literally walk everywhere. This healthy European lifestyle really suits us.
Why does everything taste better in Europe?
Compared to the convenience-driven restaurants we often experience in the U.S., the European countries we’ve visited clearly appreciate slowing down and savoring life’s simple pleasures. We are here for it.
In terms of everyday life, France and the U.S. have some pretty distinct differences
- People walk and bike around town, enjoying leisurely activities
- Their diet is all about fresh, whole foods and reasonable portions
- They really know how to balance work and play, taking time to enjoy life’s little pleasures
Meanwhile, in the U.S.
- Sedentary behaviors and processed foods are more common
- The focus is often on productivity and long work hours
- Convenience and efficiency sometimes supersede leisure
Potential explanations for lifestyle differences
Culinary Traditions & Ingredient Choices: Many European countries have strong culinary traditions that prioritize quality, flavor, and traditional cooking techniques over processed or fast food options. This emphasis on fresh ingredients can contribute to a healthier dining experience.
Smaller Portion Sizes: Portions served in European restaurants are often smaller compared to those in the United States. This can help with portion control and preventing overeating, as smaller portions tend to contain fewer calories.
Local Sourcing: European countries tend to have a stronger tradition of sourcing ingredients locally and supporting local farmers. This focus on local and seasonal produce may result in fresher and higher-quality ingredients compared to the extensive industrial farming practices sometimes found in the United States.
Limited Use of Additives: Food regulations in Europe generally have stricter guidelines on the use of artificial additives, such as preservatives, flavor enhancers, and artificial sweeteners. This can contribute to reduced consumption of processed foods and potentially lower exposure to certain additives.
We can pretty easily adjust our daily pace and shift the way we view socializing meals. Controlling our portions when eating out or limiting processed foods at home in the U.S. is easier said than done. Let’s take a look at some of the differences in regulations surrounding those obstacles and how to overcome them.
The FDA vs The EFSA
- The EFSA (European Food Safety Authority) has a strict authorization process that establishes maximum limits for additives
- The FDA (U.S. Food & Drug Administration) permits certain substances to be added to food without undergoing pre-market approval
- The EFSA requires comprehensive scientific assessments to ensure the safety of any genetically modified organisms (GMOs) before they can be introduced to the market.
- The FDA’s approach to GMOs is more focused on the voluntary consultation process, which doesn’t involve mandatory safety assessments
Transparency & Public Access
- The EFSA allows the public to review the basis for their decisions
- The FDA has faced criticism for its handling of public access to data
Implement a healthy European lifestyle
– Prioritize whole foods by focusing on fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, and dairy products
– Pay attention to serving sizes and aim for moderation. It’s about quality, not quantity
– Slow down, enjoy the flavors, and make mealtime a relaxed and enjoyable experience
– Walk or bike whenever possible, and find ways to be more active throughout the day
– Spend quality time with family and friends, whether it’s through shared meals, outdoor activities, or having meaningful conversations
– Create solid boundaries between work and personal life, and make time for activities that bring you joy and fulfillment
All in all, it’s about making small changes that work for you. If you can, travel to Europe and see firsthand how much easier it can be to live a healthy lifestyle.
We’ve already had so many incredible experiences on this trip, including eavesdropping on the riveting couple next door. You don’t want to miss Bret’s description of these two on episode #993 – France Culture, Getting Lost, Hotel Gossip, and Why People Unsubscribed | Lifer Update
Bon appétit, mes amies!
Here’s why you want to listen to episode #993 – Frane Culture, Getting Lost, Hotel Gossip, and Why People Unsubscribed | Lifer Update
- Reaction to my controversial announcement
- How I got lost in the South of France for two hours
- Even the farms smell different in France
- Smoking in Europe
- Details on the couple in the room next door
- Beach club afternoons
I’m on Patreon!
Oh, and did you know I have a Patreon? If you love my free episodes, you’re going to LOVE the extra ones that I reserve just for my homies. These episodes are juicer, more personal, feature my husband Bret completely unfiltered, and are kinda like a secret club. Check it out here.