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The Surprising Lessons I Learned From Eating Like A Frenchwoman For A Week

As Well+Good’s food editor, I write a lot about inflammation—and if I’ve learned anything, it’s that gluten and dairy are some of the biggest dietary offenders.

Maybe because I know too much at this point, I gave up the two food groups months ago. (I actually feel my best when sticking with a gut-friendly low-FODMAP diet, which eschews both.) For the most part, I have plenty of clean-eating inspiration to keep me on track, like the plant-based food porn from Instagrammers like Taline Gabrielian and McKel Hill. But whenever I see a photo of a buttery croissant or a baguette and Brie, it makes me a little bit nostalgic for the days when my eating habits were less regimented.

Deep down, I still want to believe there’s a way to have it all—I mean, if a Parisian can maintain a glowing complexion and a clean bill of health while still enjoying rich foods on the reg, why can’t I? So I decided to give my diet a complete 180, eat like a French woman for a week, and see how it would affect me. (Hey, it’s a tough job, but all in the name of journalism.)

Would doubling down on pastries and cheese keep me satiated and productive? Or would they make me bloated and give me brain fog?

Here’s how I fared while trying to eat like a brioche-loving French woman for 7 days.

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