10 things the French taught us about eating and living life better

Food is all about love, so share your meals with family and friends when you can.

  • Make PDF
  • Print Article
“A good meal ought to begin with hunger.” French Proverb


Lunch at your desk is a serious no no. You’re given a lunch break for a reason, so get away from the office to take it.. Eating is an act of pleasure and working your way mindfully through various the very tastes of a meal certainly the way to go. Scoffing a sandwich over your computer definitely is not.


Have a well stocked pantry – you’d be surprised how much you can make when you’ve got the basics easily on hand and that a good hearty meal really isn’t that far away.


Dark chocolate is king. The little ones nibble on the good stuff from an early age and it steers them away from the non descript candy rubbish that’s got far too many numbers in it. When it’s good, rich, and close to the source, you’ll only want a little.


Fat is flavour. Whether it’s that crispy golden skin on a chicken, a runny wash rind cheese or a good dollop of butter in the pan, use the good stuff, and use it well. Say goodbye to anything low or no fat.


Sauces make everything better, so get yours down pat. That simple steak? Oh so much better with bernaise. And that grilled fish fillet? Beurr blanc will take it to a far fancier level.


The notions of slow cooking and eating seasonally are both ingrained in the French cuisine du marche or cooking from the market. It’s an approach that applies both at home, and in the restaurant. If you want to cook like the French, you need to shop for food like the French and that means going for produce that’s naturally available. You’ll be surprised how much money you’ll save too! 


Never settle for second best! It’s about quality, NOT quantity.


Eat your carbs! It’ll stop you binge eating and searching for snacks throughout the day. Go for good ones like great sourdough, whole grains and root vegetables.  And on the topic of snacks – it’s good to be hungry between breakfast, lunch and dinner. Think of how much more enjoyable meal time is when hungry.


Food is all about love, so share your meals with family and friends when you can.


Know what you’re drinking. Water is always on the table, and sugary drinks are a rarity. If there’s juice it’s good and proper, never reconstituted.


  • Taking only a few minutes to make, and using things that any self-respecting foodie has lying around, this lunch is good enough for every meal. Whip it up while sipping wine and thank me later.

    The super sexy French salad you’ll delightfully devour

    Get your Sarkozy on and shamelessly enjoy yourself.

  • However, the magic of what Pollan does, is he looks beyond science and nutrition for the principles. He looks to those who've gone before and culture. It's simple, proven and, although seven plus years later, still rings true. (Image credit: Grub Street).

    8 years on and Michael Pollan’s eating approach still holds true

    What should humans eat in order to be maximally healthy?