Thursday, November 25, 2010

30 Chic Days - Day Twenty Five

Day 25: Plan ahead

At this time of year there are many social events on. In the past I have found it quite helpful to plan ahead what I am going to consume, both food and drink, either on a normal day or going to a party or family gathering.

It's so easy to look forward to an outing as an excuse to eat (and drink) to merry excess, and be fatter the following week. I have had success walking myself mentally through an outing and planning what I am going to eat (or not eat) and what I will drink (or not drink).

For example, this Christmas day which I will spend with my inlaws, I am thinking about not eating any snack foods, chocolates or sweets, no matter what might be nestling enticingly in bowls. That way I will enjoy my mid-afternoon Christmas lunch and dessert.

And because it is likely to be quite warm, I will drink plenty of water and only a few glasses of wine over the meal. I often find wine on Christmas day, a glass here, a glass there, over the day ends up making me feel blah and slothlike. Definitely not drunk, too much time has passed between each glass, but it makes you want to go to sleep.

I've been rereading my Anne Barone 'Chic & Slim' printouts from her old website (unfortunately she took all her supplementary writing down when she redid her website recently) - specifically the section on surviving Christmas in a chic and slimming manner.

She has some great ideas, like imagining you are a chic French woman spending the holidays where you live. You have been invited to a New Year's eve party at the home of some locals. Anne says to think about this role, how you act at the party, how you are picky with the buffet, avoiding the processed foods (which you don't understand, being French), and tasting tiny bits of different foods to see what you like.

Because you are French, you don't eat with your hands, so everything you do choose to partake in has to be eaten with a knife and fork, so, sitting down. You will also remember to keep your posture perfect, and not eat anything that might smudge your lipstick (potato chips can make lipstick disappear within minutes). You will also think about what current events, latest books or movies you wish to discuss with people.

I also like Anne's thoughts on drink: 'Being French, you will also opt for a small glass of beverage of your choice, sipping slowly from it all evening. You won't want to overindulge because then you will not feel well the next day. And especially you will not look your most attractive, if you drink too much alcohol. A healthy look is the basis of an attractive look.'

Some of information in the printouts is from her books, which, if you don't have, I heartily recommend. I have reread mine over and over (and over), and love them. The first three (Chic & Slim, Chic & Slim Encore and Techniques No. 1) are all worth having, but unless you really want more, I wouldn't bother with the other two unfortunately.

I wish I liked her 4th and 5th books more but they are just not enjoyable reading. They seem like they are from a totally different author. If anyone has them and loves them, please point out what I am missing here! I would love to love them.

This planning ahead technique also applies to the everyday. I find it quite helpful if I sit down at breakfast and plan what I'm going to have for lunch and dinner, along with fresh fruit (making sure there is some available in the fridge at work) and even things like choosing green tea over black tea, or coffee.

I create a picture in my mind of a day of chic eating and look forward to and enjoy it.


  1. For myself it's about making sure I focus on the conversation and my food, but eat mindfully. It's easy in the middle of listening to someone to eat without thinking. I try and set my fork down, listen to them, respond, take a bite. I guess I'm lucky I don't mind much if my food isn't hot, so taking my time and eating room temp. food doesn't bug me.

    Oh, and if you wanted to link to your guest post that would be lovely! I really loved what you had to say. Making your restaurant foods at home can actually be very thrilling because you can tweak them if you like it a little spicier or want to add a vegetable. Thank you again!

  2. I love her books, but you are right, the first three are the best. This is a timely post and one that I'm so glad you decided to share today. I'm going to be very mindful today during Thanksgiving and plan it out how much I eat and drink.

  3. Dear Fiona,

    I laughed upon reading this! I was just writing about the horrors of holiday processed foods (really, merely mentioning it, setting up for later discussions of butter). It certainly makes me gain weight. After visiting my family, I couldn't believe the extra pounds I came home with last Christmas, and they were the most difficult to take off.

    I love these tips for eating and drinking, especially the one about lipstick, and I must find the book somewhere. Good luck with partying according to your plan!


  4. Great advice! I love the comments about not eating anything with one's fingers and keeping the posture perfect. Both little practices go a long way in keeping us "aware" of what we are putting in our mouths. And now I am off to get my Anne Barone books off the shelf (I just pulled "Elegance" by Kathleen Tessaro last night--so charming.)

  5. haha planning ahead..good advice! <3. but oh my goodness do i need to work on this!
    unfortunately i have a tendency to indulge in my impulses!
    spontaneity at its best...

  6. Thanks for the review on the Anne Barone books. I'm reading the second book and now know that I can stop after the third.


Merci for your comment. Wishing you a chic day!

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