The Lou Messugo Blog - life in the south of France from a British/Australian TCK's perspective, bringing you French culture, travel on the Côte d'Azur and beyond, expat issues and a little bit of je ne sais quoi all mixed up with a hefty dose of photography.

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How to eat French food and not get fat

Posted by on in Food & drink

Today I'm sharing a post writen by Sophie of Franglaise Cooking revealing the secret of eating like the French.  She shows us how it's possible to eat well and not put on weight.  I write reasonably often about local dishes, cakes and wines so thought it time to show that it is possible to enjoy all these marvellous things without turning into an elephant.  However, Sophie explains it so well I thought I'd let her do the talking.

How to eat French Food and not get fat

by Sophie from Franglaise Cooking, an English girl married to a French man living in London after 12 years in the South of France.  Together Sophie and Ben blog about their interest in everyday English and French family food, sharing recipes and helpful tips for better eating.

             French cheese in moderation


Since starting this blog many people have asked how the French can eat as they do and not have big problems with obesity. If you scroll through the recipes on our blog you will notice that the French ones aren't exactly calorie-counting, diet dishes. So, how do the French not get fat?

First of all, French eating habits are very different to British habits:

- The French eat 3 meals a day and don't snack between meals. French children eat 4 meals a day as they have goûter at around 4pm before having dinner at around 8pm.
- There is one key word that sums up French eating: Moderation. The French tend to eat whatever they want, but in moderation. So they will let themselves have cheese and cakes, but in moderation: a couple of small pieces of cheese, a thin slice of cake.  Click here to read more

I urge to click through to Sophie's full post, it's fascinating and I couldn't have explained it better. What do you think?


This post is linked to #FoodieTuesday

Tagged in: Food gastronomy
Last modified on

Silent Sunday - 20 April 2014

Posted by on in Lou Messugo

     easter welcome




Last modified on

Easter in France

Posted by on in French culture

Easter in France is not very different from most countries that celebrate it, the main focus being getting together with family and friends for big meals and chocolate indulgence.  The French love their chocolate, 13,000 tonnes of it is sold every Easter!  But not just any old chocolate, a high percentage is artisanal hand-made chocolate from boulangerie-pâtisseries rather than supermarket mass-produced low quality produce.  Just walking around towns at this time of year is torture for a chocoholic like me who only has to look at a beautifully decorated shop window to put on weight! But looking at it a different way, it's heaven - all that delicious chocolate hand crafted into eggs, bells, fish and bunnies just waiting to be devoured!


Luckily for me and my helpless lack of self-control when it comes to temptation, one of the things I appreciate most about Easter in France compared with Britain is the relative lack of commercialisation. In general eggs don't appear in shops until about 2 weeks before Easter, sometimes a little earlier, but not much, and then the selection in supermarkets is good but not overwhelming.  It's in the bakeries where the choice is phenomenal; from all shapes and sizes to all different types of chocolate, garnished or not, prettily decorated, plain (or just plain ugly)... The chocolate is there, but it's not around for so long, hence less temptation.  And it's usually really expensive, another deterrent.

     Easter eggs in France

I mentioned chocolate "eggs, bells, fish and bunnies" and you may well be wondering why bells and fish? In fact Easter rabbits are not traditional here and have only come in as a result of commercialisation and influence of multinational confectionary companies.  Eggs are delivered by flying bells in France.  Bizarre but true!  (You do believe me don't you?)

     cloche de pâques

The story goes back many centuries to a time when the Catholic authorities banned churches from ringing their bells from Maundy Thursday to Easter Sunday.  Legend has it that the bells had flown to Rome to take away the grief of those mourning the death of Christ and would return on Sunday, having been blessed by the Pope. They would be full of chocolate eggs which they dropped from the sky on their way back to their churches. Even today church bells still don't ring between Good Friday and Easter Sunday.  

     easter fish

So that explains the bells, what about the fish?  Chocolate fish are associated with the Poisson d'Avril tradition on the 1st of April when children tape paper fish on the backs of their friends, teachers and any unsuspecting person as a joke.  As Easter changes date every year, it often falls around about the same time as the Poisson d'Avril hence chocolate fish in the shops.  You can read more about April Fool's Day here in a previous post I wrote.

     Easter egg hunt

     Easter egg hunt 2

A typical Easter celebration in France revolves around an egg hunt on Sunday morning after Mass (for those that go to church).  This takes place in the garden or a nearby park, weather permitting. (If you're visiting France at Easter it's worth noting that many Châteaux and other historic buildings put on fabulous hunts in their grounds for a small fee.) Then it's time for a big lunch of several courses, starting with an apéritif, followed by entrée, plat, salade, fromage et dessert.  The plat - main course - is usually roast lamb.  Different regions of France have their own specialities and variations, this is a generalised view.  In my area in the south we also eat a lovely sweet brioche called Mouna that's only available at Easter. Easter Monday is a public holiday leaving everyone time to digest and travel back home.

     Easter  table

I've lived in many countries and incorporate different traditions into our family Easter, ones which aren't common in France.  Amongst other things my children always blow eggs and decorate them with paint, stickers and glitter.  We also dye boiled eggs to eat at breakfast which as far as I know isn't done here. One thing I think is fairly standard no matter where you spend Easter, whether in France, England, Australia, Czech Republic (some of the best Easter traditions in my opinion, fond memories from years living in Prague) to name a few of the places I've called home, is that it's fun, kids love it and we all eat too much!


How do you spend Easter?  Is it celebrated where you live?  What are your favourite traditions? Wherever you are, I wish you a very joyeuses pâques.


This post is linked to Travel Photo Thursday#TravelTuesday and Oh the places I've been!




Last modified on

Silent Sunday - 13 April 2014

Posted by on in Silent Sunday

                  Montpellier fun






Last modified on


 Living in France


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