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A Lifestyle Comparison Between America and France

Love America But Worried About My American Loves

Every summer, it is with great anticipation that I and the four kids venture off to America to enjoy two months of living again in our home country!  Yippee!  But, each year as I get off the plane I always feel a bit shocked and startled by first all the smiles (Americans are very friendly, did you know that?) but second by the amount of overweight, tired looking people.  This is hard for me to handle as a health professional, because I know in general people suffer from being larger than they “ideally” should.  During tough times, like those we live in now, we tend to take less care of ourselves and just focus on surviving.

Does anyone else find it difficult and stressful to balance everything in the crazy world we are living in now?  Does the economic crises weigh heavily in your mind and has this directly affected your mental or physical health?  Has anyone taken the current economic situation as a signal to slow down and start living more simply?  Perhaps during this difficult time it is an ideal moment to slow down and start living more close to earth and our own cultural roots?

Having lived in both America and Europe, I feel that when I compare the two lifestyles, living a balanced life is more challenging in America than other industrialized countries.  Why? In America, there is so much more focus on consumerism, on buying, shopping, working than in France, for example.  Believe me, I get caught up in it too!  Much of my non food items are bought (usually on sale!) during the two months I am in America.   Although it isn’t always easy for me to live outside my home country,  if anything, at least I can say that it has helped me to tone down my personal American tendencies to work a lot, buy a lot, have a lot, and do a lot!  This has been a positive thing.   Has anyone else lived outside the country and feel the same?

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3 Responses to A Lifestyle Comparison Between America and France

  1. Emma January 8, 2010 at 12:50 #

    How very true, Mary ! I think now is a good time to start changing the way we live, in any case I don’t think we can carry on like that for much longer and we will then be forced to change. Why having 10 of one things, just because they were cheap, rather than 1 thing which is really nice, may have cost a bit more, that we can treasure and take care of ? Yes, it would have cost more and maybe require some effort to get it but how satisfying it is when it’s finally yours.
    My resolution is let’s (at least try) buy less rubbish; more quality stuff, local and organic or fairtrade as much as possible . Re-use, re-cycle, give old things a new life, give, exchange even ! Someone’s rubbish is someone’s elses treasure !!
    It’s easier said than done, I know, but I also know that once we try it won’t be that difficult.

  2. christina January 5, 2010 at 20:55 #

    may i add a recipe? mommy and dad love it.
    heart healthy too.

  3. Heather January 3, 2010 at 19:40 #

    It is wonderful!!!!!! I read every word as if you were speaking it to me! I can’t wait to read more! Keep up the fabulous work and healthy tips! Best Wishes, Heather USA

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