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Healthy Food in Paris?

Laar71 Jul 5, 2011 04:04 PM

Does anyone have suggestions on how/where to eat healthily (e.g., *whole-grain* breads, pastas, cereals, brown rice, whole-wheat cous-cous; protein sources *not* comprised of mammals; cheese-free, cream-free dishes, etc.) in Paris? I'll be staying at an apartment in the 10th arrondissement from July 12 to 19, and assume that finding fresh produce will be easy enough -- but would love tips on healthy bakeries, restaurants and shops, too. Thanks! (-:

  1. l
    Laar71 Jul 8, 2011 01:37 PM

    Thanks again, all! Will be staying on the Rue de Faubourg St. Denis -- evidently just a quick walk from the Gare Est. The area sounds as if it may be a little gritty, but then again, less-chic 'hoods often have fantastic food... (-:

    4 Replies
    1. re: Laar71
      vielleanglaise Jul 8, 2011 01:49 PM

      Sorry to be pernickety, but around what number on the street? Below the Boulevard de magenta (from numbers 1 - 100 or thereabouts) and I think you'll be fine. Very fine even.

      1. re: vielleanglaise
        Parigi Jul 8, 2011 02:00 PM

        Great section of street, especially aroud the Cour des Petites Ecuries. Just took an after-dinner walk there.
        O hey Vieille, nearby Kiku now has a traiteur next door.

        1. re: Parigi
          vielleanglaise Jul 8, 2011 02:49 PM

          Haven't been to the restaurant for a while, though I really like it - despite the fact that the staffs' nationality doesn't correspond to certain CH posters criterior.

          I'll take a stroll over there with the trouble 'n' strife, who's a big fan, this weekend.

          Thank you!

      2. re: Laar71
        PhilD Jul 8, 2011 03:32 PM

        "The area sounds as if it may be a little gritty, but then again, less-chic 'hoods often have fantastic food... (-:" - always a mistake to view Paris through the same lens as you use at home. Food is good in lots of areas, the grittier have their qualities but the finer areas are in a very different league to most other cities. Missing out on those is to miss what is so special in the city.

      3. l
        Laar71 Jul 7, 2011 03:45 PM

        Lol! No, Whole Foods is not my idea of "Mecca"; I definitely prefer farmers' markets. And I'm not terribly restrictive, either -- I love butter, sugar and cream in desserts. I just like to eat lower-glycemic-load meals first... (-: I'd heard that it could be hard to avoid beef/pork/lamb in France, which worried me b/c I've never eaten them; and I vastly prefer whole grains over white flour/rice/etc., whenever possible... Thank you all for the good suggestions!

        3 Replies
        1. re: Laar71
          Busk Jul 7, 2011 06:57 PM

          Maybe not relevant since you'll be in town, but if you hit a massive supermarket in the near suburbs, you'll find more than enough stuff to cook healthy. Might be a good idea to do a haul.

          1. re: Laar71
            vielleanglaise Jul 7, 2011 11:53 PM

            You'll be fine. Where are you staying in the 10th?

            1. re: vielleanglaise
              jarona Jul 8, 2011 12:24 PM

              I don't want to sound flip or anything, but we just returned from a nice 2 1/2 week stay between both Paris and Cannes. Luckily, we stayed in Paris with fiance's relative. As such we did a lot of market shopping. The produce over there is a lot better than here. Go to any market and you can have a fantastic choice of veg and fruit--not to mention great seafood. Also, the cheese IS healthy. Just drink good red wine with the cheese.

          2. v
            vielleanglaise Jul 7, 2011 03:16 PM

            Yes. There's a ton of places that serve "healthy" food in the 10th. I've been living here, on and off, for the last 20 years, have brought and raised two children into the world here, and we've all managed to scrape through.

            I hope that 'Whole Foods', that rapacious, reactionary purveyor of over priced caca, is not your idea of a mecca for "healthy" produce (to paraphrase a famous Russian writer who lived in Paris before he was run out of town by the Nazis, who I'm sure would have loved 'Whole Foods', "healthy" is a word that always needs to find itself between inverted commas) you'll be disappointed.

            There's a good asian vegan restaurant on the rue Bichat.

            Vivant, which I suppose could be described as being "healthy" is on the rue des Petites Ecuries.

            Nanashi, on the rue de Paradis, good, but overhyped and overpriced, looks as though that some people might think it's "healthy".

            1. t
              themags Jul 7, 2011 04:37 AM

              For lunch http://www.lebarasoupes.com/
              Soup in the 11th which is next to the 10th but on the far side of the 11th arrondissement

              1. t
                tmso Jul 7, 2011 04:14 AM

                "Cauchemar en cuisine" had an episode on a vegetarian/vegan whole grain type restaurant in the Marais, run by a foolish British woman. This sounds like the sort of food you're looking for. Post-Ramsay they should have reasonable food. I don't remember what it was called or if it survived.

                10 Replies
                1. re: tmso
                  carlux Jul 7, 2011 09:39 AM

                  It didn't survive. He was right, it didn't deserve to - she ignored the good vegetarian dishes he suggested, didn't bother to open when she didn't feel like it, etc.

                  1. re: carlux
                    Parigi Jul 7, 2011 09:56 AM

                    Both that hilarious episode and this thread remind me of the vegetarian resto on the Butte Montmartre that had AstroTurf on its narrow terrace.

                    1. re: Parigi
                      tmso Jul 8, 2011 12:24 AM

                      I remember him straightening them out, and getting them to serve food people would like, but don't remember it ending badly, so I guess I must have missed the end. Too bad, the cook came off seeming nice.

                      Speaking of hilarious and vegetarian, one more thing comes to mind: there is a Loving Hut on blvd Beaumarchais (between the 11th and 3rd), for anyone who likes their healthy whole grain food mixed with strange asian cults.

                      1. re: tmso
                        Parigi Jul 8, 2011 12:37 AM

                        For the context of this thread, I think healthy food should be written as quote healthy unquote food. -- I see as usual Vieille had the idea already before me.
                        Cher(e) Vieille, does your paraphrase come from my idol who in 1969 said: " I often think there should exist a special typographical
                        sign for a smile-- some sort of concave mark, a supine round
                        bracket…"? No, he was not working on a book called LOL-ita.

                        1. re: Parigi
                          vielleanglaise Jul 8, 2011 04:51 AM

                          That's the guy...My brain's addled from all of the burgers, hot-dogs and dairy, but I think it's from 'Speak Memory', and the word's "realism" or "reality"

                          1. re: vielleanglaise
                            Parigi Jul 8, 2011 05:01 AM

                            Decades ago, as a new gal in town, I was reading that very book on the 80 bus when a Frenchman practically rested his head on my shoulder. I thought: soit il me drague, soit il aime mon livre." Then I saw it was Bernard Pivot. OK il aime mon livre. (2 years ago I had the pleasure to remind him in person of the story.)

                            1. re: Parigi
                              vielleanglaise Jul 8, 2011 05:07 AM

                              Funny. Me too. Just arrived. 20 years ago. I bought it second hand at Gibert Jeune. Still have it. I think the passage on his brother is one of the saddest things I've ever read.

                              Talking of Pivot,have you seen the Apostrophes interview?

                              1. re: vielleanglaise
                                Parigi Jul 8, 2011 05:11 AM

                                Of course. Hilarious, the teapot of whisky. Confession sanglante: I actually stalked him once in Montreux.

                                1. re: Parigi
                                  vielleanglaise Jul 8, 2011 05:19 AM

                                  Did you say hello?

                                  My great grandfather knew the father in Saint Petersbourg.

                                  1. re: vielleanglaise
                                    Parigi Jul 8, 2011 05:23 AM

                                    Nooooo. Too embarrassed when caught, so I turned around and left. I was then not much older than his famous heroine

                2. Cookingthebooks Jul 7, 2011 02:29 AM

                  There's always Bob's Kitchen, an almost vegan canteen (74 rue des Gravilliers in the 3e).

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Cookingthebooks
                    PhilD Jul 7, 2011 03:44 AM

                    Cooking - I thought the OP wanted healthy?

                  2. l
                    Laar71 Jul 7, 2011 02:23 AM

                    Thank you for the tips! (-:

                    1. PBSF Jul 6, 2011 08:34 AM

                      Same with the other posters; one will always find excellent seafood in most restaurants and rarely find cheese with it, less and less with cream; difficult to do without some butter; portions are small, therefore, it need not to be 'unhealthy'. "Healthy bakeries' is an oxymoron as what makes pastries worth eating are excellent butter, cream, eggs, etc. Most posters on this board who live in Paris or spend a large amount of time there love food and eat 'healthy' by eating a balance diet. You won't get many recommendations for restaurants that eschew "protein sources not comprised of mammals and cheeses and uses brown rice, etc.
                      If you cook in your apartment, there should be no problem finding good produce, meat, etc, at most markets; the Sunday Raspail is all organic. Most boulangeries will have whole grain breads; especially good are the chain of Moisan, Kayser; even the ubiquious chain of Paul will have some. Forget about looking for a whole wheat croissant. The chain of Naturalia stores will have whole-wheat cous-cous and all the other grains, flour and staples for cooking in your apartment.

                      1. Parigi Jul 6, 2011 04:42 AM

                        As Phil described, there is plenty of healthy food in Paris, but not much like the kind of food you describe. Try the Naturalia stores for your restrictive dietary products.

                        1. PhilD Jul 5, 2011 04:17 PM

                          It is really easy, fresh healthy produce is abundant. France has its fair share of processed food but there is so much high quality produce that it is fairly easy to have a very healthy diet.

                          However, you will miss a lot if you stick with healthy = whole-food paradigm. In France the market hasn't polarised as it has in certain countries so you don't need to go to health food or whole-food shops for great produce, simply shop like the locals do.

                          As for restaurants, bakeries etc they are also not a problem since they use the same great produce and treat it with a lot of respect. Any restaurant loved by Paris hounds will serve healthy food - fresh salads are common and make a great lunch option.

                          Even the meat, chicken, fish, butters, creams and cheeses are perfectly healthy when consumed in moderation. Much French produce is raised traditionally and the quality products have to achieve very high standards to use the designation labels. So good French beef isn't pumped full of hormones or antibiotics and thus is perfectly healthy - so you can safely eat mammals and stay healthy.

                          That said the biggest risk to healthy eating in Paris is gluttony, there is so much great food it is easy to overeat.

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