La Rentrée

I returned to Paris almost a month ago. Adjusting to the time change, my new eating plan, being a student again, and living in another part of Paris has been tough to say the least. Being here last year gave me a good base of linguistic, cultural, and geographic knowledge, so it could be worse!

I always forget that even though I am moving between two western countries, it’s still a big change to live here. I’m not a Peace Corps volunteer, living in a primitive culture where simple things like taking a shower or getting drinking water can be an ordeal, but my life here is different than it is in California and it takes some re-s’habituer-ing.

While I am sad to report that I have had to walk by every bakery and sandwich stand without indulging in my favorite thing about France (baked goods) I do have some good news on my diet. I have started re-introducing foods back into my diet that were forbidden to me in the past month. I’m well on my way to figuring out what foods are a problem for me.

I am proud to report that I only cheated on my diet two times by accident during the whole six weeks. It was fun to experiment with new ways of eating rice, quinoa, meat, vegetables, and fruit. I’ll definitely try to continue eating a high volume of those healthy things, and keep taking the supplements prescribed to me. However, I am so excited to be able to incorporate more “fun” foods back into my diet! It’s incredible how emotional it is to be restricted from something you love – I literally teared up the first time I walked into the cheese section of Monoprix, realizing I couldn’t eat any of it.

I truly believe that to be fully healthy, you need to feed your soul as well as your body. For me, feeding my soul is eating cake, chocolate, coffee or a too-buttery pastry fairly often. While I felt physically much better, emotionally I was pretty sad to be left out of so many delicious things. The key will be finding a good balance of different foods in my new eating habits. So, in the end, it was a positive experience!

Before I left California, I made a version of this salad that was amazing – I love crunchy celery! Eating gluten- and dairy-free forced me to be more creative. See this salad: celery, Harvest Grains blend from Trader Joe’s, toasted cashews, golden raisins, mint, and lemon-olive oil dressing.

Internet is not solid, so be back soon I hope!

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