For wellness-minded eaters in the U.S., a healthy grocery store haul may include cauliflower rice, oat milk, greens, and avocado (duh). But in other countries, the definition of healthy eating looks a bit different. Are the cult products we love here trending in other countries, too? How do people elsewhere shop, and do they care about meal prepping at all?
Curious as to what grocery shopping looked like in a country best known for wine, baguettes, and brie (France, of course), Well+Good asked French singer-songwriter and fitness influencer Jess King—the founder of TLN 58, a personalized HIIT and meditation company—to show us what an average grocery shopping trip looks like for her, and what meals she makes at home. Allons-y!
Ever wonder what healthy grocery shopping looks like in France? Scroll down to peak inside Jess King’s basket.
Her food ethos
King says when it comes to her personal food philosophy, she doesn’t adhere to a specific eating plan, but she does aim to make her meals both creative and colorful. “Eating locally grown fruits and vegetables feels nourishing, so I gravitate this way,” she says. “I don’t live by rules when it comes to food. I’m an intuitive eater and a highly active person; I listen to what my body needs. Sometimes it’s healthy, but not always.”
She says that like most people, her schedule is jam-packed, so she plans her meals out in advance. (Yep, they meal-prep in France, too.) But despite being busy, she isn’t an eat-on-the-go type of person. French food culture essentially requires sitting for meals. “My favorite meals aren’t rushed,” King says. “They’re shared with someone close to me and often include a glass—or two—or red wine and a lovely cheese from the nearby fromagerie [cheese shop], like chèvre, my favorite.”
When grocery shopping—Paris doesn’t as many mega “supermarkets” as we do here in the States—King says she gravitates toward the fruits and veggies, like figs, bananas, avocado, red cabbage, and mesclun. “Paris is all about fresh and local produce,” she says. She also usually picks up some fish, such as salmon, mackerel, or sea bass.
During the week, King used her grocery haul to make a breakfast bowl with chia seeds, honey, thyme, almond milk, and fresh fruit. Another day, she made a matcha bowl with chia seeds and fresh fruit. “These breakfasts are not traditionally French, but I got sick of baguettes a few years ago because I went overboard,” King says. “Now, I only have them occasionally, although a hot baguette in the morning is a slice of heaven.”
She also says that Paris has not been immune to the wellness boom, and acai bowls and juice shops are becoming more common. “It has changed so much in the past five years,” King says.
An average lunch for King is often salmon with avocado, red cabbage, radish, and grilled red peppers—a meal brimming with fiber, protein, and healthy fats. “My biggest criteria are fresh and local,” King says of shopping and prepping her meals.
King loves fresh fish so much that she often has it for dinner, too. “The fish dishes are so simple, but so tasty,” she says. One weekday night, she made sea bass topped with green beans and carrots, served with a side of rice. She also made a simple salad with tomato, avocado, and pepper.
The crux of all King’s meals are that they include ingredients that are bought fresh, unprocessed, and are super simple. And that’s some intel that translates to healthy eating in any language.
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