Ah, Paris! How I fell in love with your beautiful architecture, the magic of your lights at night and your cafe lined streets. It truly felt like I spent another lifetime with you, from standing inside Notre-Dame, to sitting at Cafe De fleur and reading Hemingway’s “A Moveable Feast”, I truly loved spending time with you.
However, I also have some bones to pick with you, Paris. First of all, did you not get the memo that smoking kills? It’s completely disgusting the amount of people who still think it’s (gasp) still chic to smoke? Really?!! Looks like total self-hatred to me. Cancer isn’t cool and it was a major bummer that I could barely breathe while sitting outside in your cafes because so many people think this self destructive behavior is “fashionable”. The 80s are over Paris, I’m disappointed in you. Secondly, wow you made me grateful to be a New Yorker on the eating front. Bread and refined carbs on every corner and a struggle to find a green juice in a walking radius. Luckily, I had some amazing friends there and was lead to your farmers markets and the cute little whole in the wall juice places that do exist but it certainly made me realize how lucky I am for my east village plant based haven over here in NY.
I’m not trying to hate on you Paris, but perhaps *despecialize* you a tad from this beautiful, golden, dream city so many people think of you as. I had a lovely time roaming your streets, writing in your coffee shops and enjoying your river and canals. I actually found your people extremely friendly, granted I know a tad bit of french and that was quite helpful, but overall I never had a rude encounter in my time there. The hot chocolate at “Angelina’s” was literally divine and perfect for walking along the Seine and traipsing across your gardens. “Bob’s Juice Bar” hit the spot every time I was craving my green nectar and Cafe Pinson had some life saving almond milk matcha lattes when one too many spots looked at me with four-heads for asking for a non-dairy milk. Montmarte and Sacre-Coeur were absolutely magical, being on top of the hill gazing down on all of Paris, nothing short of breathtaking. Oh, and all the angels in Sacre-Coeur made me feel like I was walking through a different time and space. You gave me shivers multiple times.
I love that everyone sits outside at cafes and people watching is an everyday occurrence. Overall, your vibe was much more relaxed. To-go places are few and far between because “why not sit for a few minutes while you ENJOY your coffee” – don’t worry I realize there are somethings my beloved NYC could take a few notes from you from as well. Honestly, your gluten free pastries far surpass much I’ve tasted on this side of the pond (shhhh!!).
Paris, I know you are still on your journey and I look forward to you making more healthy advances before my next visit. Your architectural beauty will continue to enchant my dreams, the spirit inside your cathedrals will stay strong in my heart and the lounging in cafe lifestyle you exude’ s impact will continue over here for me in my favorite NYC cafes where smoking is not allowed and almond milk lattes are the norm.
Now let’s talk about the juicy stuff, the stuff that only comes up when you’re traveling by yourself in a foreign country!
Lessons and loving reminders from Paris:
EMBRACE THE TIMING OF YOUR LIFE AND KNOW THAT THINGS ARE UNFOLDING EXACTLY AS THEY SHOULD. That’s right you heard me, it’s happening as fast as it’s supposed to – stop trying to drive the ocean missy! You are so much more powerful when you ride the waves! This came to me all in a rush, I have been working on my book for a year now and it’s been taking me longer than I had hoped. When I got to Paris, I knew the universe had a better than mine. I was meant to have that experience before it was done. I also had been dreaming of Paris for years and I couldn’t have landed there at a more perfect time in my life. My experience would have been totally different if I had gone sooner.
YOUR SENSITIVITIES ARE YOUR GIFTS. I’m grateful that I’m not only repulsed by smoking, I’m allergic to it. I had sneezing fits constantly but this has also guided me against ever being tempted to touch the stuff! A few nights into my trip I decided to have some Brie and fresh baked bread, hey, “I’m in Paris!” – right?! Hahaha oh my body let me know how NOT right it was. I got hives all over my chest, my throat and chest got so itchy and I started coughing to the point where it felt like blood. Don’t worry I’m okay now, but it was a BIG wake up call that my food sensitivities and diet choices are for a reason. My body is very clear about what works for it, what heals and energizes it and what hurts it. Cheese is not my friend, sorry Brie, it’s not you, it’s me. I’m so grateful for these clear signs because it allows me to fuel my body correctly and guides my eating choices with love!
FARMER’S MARKETS WILL ALWAYS MAKE ME FEEL AT HOME. Okay, less powerful than the others but still pretty major. Finding a farmers market wherever I go connects me back to what I love: good, organic food made with love by real people. I speak vegetables in every language. 😉
TREAT YOUR BODY LIKE A LOVED ONE. This was a loving reminder for me. After struggling with body image in my past, feeling bloated and gross from food that didn’t work for my body put me in a funk I hadn’t felt in years. However, I brought it to my meditation and asked for guidance to help me love and accept my body deeper. I got that I needed to start thinking of it like a romantic relationship, realizing that I would never tell a boyfriend that I’d love them when they “lost ten pounds” or “got a six pack” – that sounded crazy! You love and accept your partner fully and that’s what makes them the best version of themselves. How could we not do that with our own bodies? Instagram is full of people who are waiting for “some day” to love their body. I say NO love your body NOW! Love and accept it for its beauty, it’s health, the miraculous systems that work all on their own day after day. That’s where real transformation starts. (Don’t worry you’ll be hearing more from me on this)
So that was the truth about Paris. The good, the bad, the ugly. Yes, I will go back and yes, I will be cooking all my food next time. Haha