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French Ways to Eat for Pleasure and Good Health: Gourmet Status

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Ways to eat for pleasure and good health: gourmet, taste, wine, and satiation


Stealing from the French can be legal when it includes improving our health and living with more food balance and satisfaction.  Gourmet status is part of the action plan for ways to eat for pleasure and good health.  A seven step action plan within this series on French methods and techniques to live longer and healthier without feeling deprived of eating for pleasure.  Living gourmet is not a high-class term. In fact, the simple definition of gourmet is an appreciation of fine food and drink.  With appreciation comes learning about taste, enjoying each bite and sip of food and drink.  With appreciation and satiety, we learn to say “stop” when we feel full.  To listen carefully to our body’s hunger and full cues.  For all of us and especially our kids, listening to our body is one real step for healthy weight control and good health.


Being a gourmet means to have an appreciation of fine food and drink.  However, the term can appear a bit “bourgeois”, or high-class society.  It doesn’t have to be.  Anyone can appreciate a good taste of food, a freshness of the ingredients, a glass of nice wine.  Do you feel gourmet means less quantities of food?  Do you think drinking wine is something to do rarely because it isn’t healthy?  Do you have problems with overeating?  Read on and start eating like a gourmet.


Someone recently commented that one of the reasons why there is an obesity epidemic in America is because we enjoy eating our food so much that we cannot stop.  I don’t agree.  The obesity epidemic is a complex issue, but is it because Americans cannot stop eating these high fat and sugar foods because we enjoy the taste?  That we cannot stop eating until we have overeaten because the high fat, high sodium and high sugar foods taste so good?  Eating healthier and lighter, but above all having an appreciation for all foods helps to enjoy every bite and to stop eating when full.  Even food that is considered unhealthy can still be appreciated and left on the plate to be enjoyed the next day.  The key is balance in favor of lighter, fresher foods.  This action plan for gourmet status is simple:

Sit down to eat with hunger in your stomach and brain.  Serve yourself half of what you would normally eat.  Take second portions if still hungry.  Eat slowly and stop when you are full. Just stop.  Put your fork down and do not take another bite.  Wrap the food up for tomorrow.  It will be there.  Do this for every main meal. 


Wine is a great complement to food.  If you are a wine drinker or just someone who drinks wine occasionally and enjoys doing this, great.  If you don’t drink wine or alcohol, don’t begin to indulge just for good health. Wine can be a positive part of your gourmet status.


Our tongue has papillae (taste buds) and 4 areas for tasting bitter, acid, sweet and salty foods.  The more papillae we have on our tongues, the more we taste.  Do you think you are a supertaster?  Take out a mirror and count your taste buds.  If per centimeter (about half an inch) on your tongue you have around 400 papillae, you are in supertaster category.  Lucky you.  For the rest of us (about 75% of the population), taste and appreciation of taste is a tool that begins early on in life.  However, it is never too late to begin.  Appreciation of taste is also tied into smell.  A clear breath and nose will enhance the taste of your food. This is why when you have a cold the food doesn’t taste as good.  SO….What is the action plan for appreciation of taste?

At the start of each main meal, look at the plate, breath in deeply to smell the delicious smells of the food, take a small bite, chew and appreciate the taste.

C’est tout!  (That is all).  There is a great game my kids love to do with new foods and dishes.  They taste and see if they can guess all the different ingredients in the food.  What are your ideas for taste appreciation and helping your family enjoy the meals you cook?  Shout out your comments and ways you eat for pleasure and good health.   If you would like to read the other ways to eat for pleasure and good health in this 7 step action plan click here:  Easy, Moderate, More Challenging and The Challenge.

Until next time Bon Appetit!

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  1. Restaurant Dining, An Opportunity For Indulgence or Restriction? - brightonyourhealth | brightonyourhealth - September 15, 2011

    […] Welcome to the action plan for tips and techniques on staying healthy, living healthy and eating healthy borrowed from the French culture.  The final food phase steps up our habits to focus on food, what types of foods to eat and where our food come from.  Have you been reading this series on French ways to eat for good health?  Have you made a committment to stop dieting and find a long-term plan that works for you?  Keep reading and click on the links to the other articles in this series.  The final food phase in this action plan involves three areas:  supporting farmers markets and local foods, being a demanding person, parent or consumer on what is in our foods, how food is processed and grown and finally enjoying a meal plan that is a pleasurable experience with lots of fruits and vegetables, healthy fats and lean proteins.  First, here are links to the previous 5 action ways for further reading: Easy, Moderate, Challenging Targets, Challenging Yourself, Gourmet Status. […]

  2. Suzanne Saxe-R, Ed.D - May 16, 2011

    RT @mbrighton66 French Ways to Eat for Pleasure and Good Health: Gourmet Status: Eating for good health and heal…

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