Category Archives: Self Help

Eating like a Frenchie

Himself brought home figs from the market yesterday and declared “they’re bloody in season so I says bloody heck I’m gonna buy some”.

The French have this thing they call “manger de saison“.  It means only eating fruit and veg that is in season.  It’s not very revolutionary and up until globalisation everybody had to do it.  But what is interesting is that the French, stubborn and headstrong as they are the wee devils, insist on continuing the tradition.  And it’s not even a hipster thing.

So why the culinary grit?  Apart from their adorable stubborn streak they reckon it tastes better, is more aligned with your nutritional needs, is less processed, costs less, has less carbon footprint and so on.  And after much navel gazing and not much scientific proof I reckon they’re right.

Having said that I can’t keep track of it because there are so many fruit and vegetables and I am admittedly a bit monomaniac when it comes to spuds.  But French kids learn it as they grow up and it becomes a part of their DNA.  Pardon the pun.

As an Irish girlie growing up in the eighties my main memory of figs growing up were fig rolls.  I used to love discovering them in my lunchbox at school.  Imagine my surprise when I saw what a real fig looks like.  Sorry Mum maybe you gave me real figs and I don’t remember.  Although I suspect you don’t give a fig.  Giggle.


So here’s the deal if you want to eat fruit like a Frenchie!

I think I am going to print this in an effort to learn it




Anti-grumpy Investigations

how to be less grumpy: my findings

Like most grumpy people, I am fully aware of the fact that I am irritable at best, feckin’ awful at worst. I have my bad days and my badder days. As I am also aware of the fact that I am not the only person in the world (and I do appreciate enormously my family and friends) I am very interested in understanding ways and means to be less grumpy. And making their lives easier.

I have done a bit of a trawl on the internet and come up with some interesting articles.

side-note: it made me very grumpy to see the title of this article, but then I did type “grumpy woman” into google so I only have myself to blame.

Women spend 10 days a year in a grumpy mood: But men say it seems rather more than that! (Daily Mail)

Apparently the things that make us grumpy are amongst the following :

  • Feeling fat
  • Money worries
  • Men who don’t listen
  • Bad weather

The poll results came up with a lot of women saying they were moody a lot and spend a lot of time huffing. I also learned about the term manopause, where men say they get grumpier as they get older (hormones apparently are the culprits here). Men also maintain that women are a lot grumpier than they are letting on. But then they would, wouldn’t they.

Next list is “Things that help overcome grumpiness”:

  • Me time
  • Girlfriend time
  • Shopping
  • Exercise
  • Chocolate
  • Glass of wine

good wine

(is that a gorgeous looking glass of wine or what?)

The rest of the article lists all the other things that make us grumpy (time of the month, having nothing to wear, having a bad hair day etc.) – basically thing that happen to you when you are alive. Which get worse when you have kids and/or get older.

One thing that didn’t appear in the article, but which has come up in discussions with my lady friends is guilt. Guilt about

  • being a bad mother/wife
  • not having kids/husband
  • being a bad employee
  • getting old and ugly because one is
    1. getting older
    2. swilling too much wine
    3. not doing enough yoga etc. etc.

guilt monster

On reflection, it also seems like a vicious circle, because the grumpier you are the more you will look for quick fix solutions. And from the list above, those are guilt inducing monsters. As in:

  • I ate too much chocolate and now I have an enormous spot and an enormous belly and my jeans don’t fit.
  • I drank too much wine and now my head is sore which makes me grumpy and sad.
  • I did too much shopping, thought only about myself and now I have no money left (and the children need new pyjamas).
  • And so on (list is endless)

So grumpy makes you search a quick fix solution and that makes you feel guilty which ends up making you feel even grumpier.

Personal experience moment

Personally I am currently a disaster. I don’t do any exercise, I have a very stressful job and I have zero “moi” time. My quick fix solutions are as follows: first the shopping option with minor forays into the second option, i.e. glass of beer in the evenings. I tend to limit the beer now though, as with years of experience I have found that getting through the week with a continuous minor hangover is a pain in the bum. And that makes me a pain in the bum.


So, I have made some new year resolutions this year. Exercise and healthy eating are my focus points. Am cheating a bit as I already started by mistakenly eating a lot of fruit last year. We have a “blended” family and united the unit mid last year. My boyfriend is French and big on eating fruit. To him, they are like sweets. So by default and very much despite myself I got into the habit of munching on fruit with him and the kids.

Cue less spots, better hair and a general feeling of having more energy.


I didn’t make the connection until one week when we didn’t have the kids and I ate nothing except pasta and pizza. It was a tough work week and I didn’t have much time to cook and eat. By the end of the week I felt like a piece of old poo. The kind of tired where you wake up and want to spend the day in bed.

Being of an analytic ilk I pondered the question and realized the only thing that had changed was that I had eaten zero fruit and very little veg.

What else?

So, exercise is the next step – I have been fairly sporty all my life but since I came to the most sporty town to France I have rebelled against it. This is probably because all the cheerful, muscly, skinny (smug?) people who run up mountains make me incredibly grumpy. So anyway, I think this will be a major upheaval but am fairly convinced that is necessary.

I have no muscles left in my body, or at most 6%; 5% of which manage to keep me upright – the other 1% which are concentrated in my hands and arms and enable me to type.

I intend to start slow, but build it up during the year so that I can go back to snowboarding next winter.

More energy = less grumpy?

Anyways, I suspect that energy levels may be linked to grumpiness levels. If you have more energy in general, you are more likely to have more energy for smiling and being happy (right?). Core body functions are taken care of de facto and all the “nice to have” stuff is easier to achieve. As in being outside of your own head and thinking more about those around you.

Apparently that makes us all feel great too – human interaction and all that.

Sewing circle

Also have more energy means things like having some extra “projects” outside of work doesn’t seem completely impossible. It seems to be unanimously agreed that work does not act very efficiently as an anti-grumpy mechanism. Unless you love your work, which is rare.

However, having one’s own projects in one’s life does. Projects can be anything from learning how to sew/knit/draw/run/cycle to setting up your own company. Basically anything that gets you out of your armchair staring at your bellybutton.


And it is not the actual fact of achieving of your project that gives you satisfaction either…it is the path you take getting there.

The path being the people you meet, the hurdles you overcome, the laughs you have and the general changes it brings about in yourself and your life.

Reality check

So today we were supposed to go for a walk in the snow in a nearby valley…but it is fecking raining. This was supposed to be my first step towards getting fit again. I had even made the effort of checking out a path which wouldn’t be too steep and wouldn’t last seven hours. Sheesh. (150m height and 2 hours walk, the easiest one I could find)groggy

Options now:

  • shopping (can’t its Sunday and we are in France and all the shops are bloody closed)
  • chocolate (can’t this is france there is no chocolate in the bloody house)
  • glass of wine (holy god, not at 10 o clock in the morning quand meme!)
  • me time (ok this works)
  • hobby / project (weeeell, I suppose blogging is your modern day equivalent of a mix of me-time and having a wee project)

Either way, as a grumpy person determined to be less grumpy I reckon anything is better than sitting around waiting to be less of an oul grump..except today maybe I am allowed to go back to my armchair (?)

DSC02182-smaller(it is calling to me)

science bit Continue reading Anti-grumpy Investigations