Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: Chic & Slim Encore: More About How French Women Dress Chic Stay Slim-And How You Can Too
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A few years ago, while vacationing in the Bahama's I observed a table of two French women eating lunch. They were both very slim, tres chic, and obviously not counting calories. Each woman had a full glass of red wine, some rich looking cheeses, a few crackers and a small assortment of other goodies. I couldn't help but wonder HOW they managed to remain so slim eating THAT. I was righteously nibbling on 1/2 bagel with a tad of fat (cream cheese) and some turkey protein thrown in. Yet I had at least ten pounds (ok 20)to lose. As a child I had lived in France and can still remember the delicious croissants, mouth watering chocolates, hearty breads, and rich cheeses the French ate so frequently. How did the women stay so slim? I had also noticed that the majority of them managed to look like a million dollars though I knew many of them were on tiny budgets. How did they do it? Then I came across Anne Barone's book at Amazon! Mais Oui! What a pleasure! I savored every morsel of Anne's delicious book, "Chic & Slim Encore". In the book Anne truly reveals how so many French women come across as attractive, chic, slim, in control, and poised regardless of the physical features nature gave them. She explains how you can eat rich, fatty, (forbidden) foods and remain tiny and terrific! What to look for in clothing so you always dress rich regardless of your pocketbook. How our feminity can be enhanced and appreciated if we so desire. The book embraces many aspects of the French culture and teaches aspects of the French lifestyle that we can use to enhance our lives. You learn how to simplify your life by aiming for quality not quantity. Moderation not accumulation. Buying the best you can afford in small amounts and forgetting the rest. Simple steps you can integrate into an active lifestyle to increase delight in the everyday! The book is a wonderful resource for enjoying and living the good life! Merci Anne!
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on August 22, 2002
Didn't know what to expect when I bought this book and the original Chich & Slim. However I love this book (and the original too.) It's full of lots of real gems of good information. I'm a nursing mother and everyone claimed that the pregnancy weight would just "melt" off but even after 9 months I still had hardly lost more than a couple of pounds. Using just some of the ideas in Anne's books, I was shocked to find I lost 3 pounds in a week. Now after a month the weight is still dropping off and I have lost a total of 10 pounds! I am finally close to fitting into some of my pre-pregnancy clothes. I also was having sleep problems at night and when I changed my eating habits, I noticed right away that my sleep problems practically disappeared! Here is some of the advice I took from her books: No low fat food (I buy whole milk, real cream, real butter, eggs, cheese, etc.) I check the labels on all my products and try to buy organic when possible (I won't buy things with tons of chemicals in them.) I also check labels for hidden sugars in foods that aren't desserts. I bought Julia Child's French cookbook and have been slowly learning some of the easier, rich recipes in it. I shop more often so that the food I am cooking is as fresh as possible. We eat 3 meals a day and don't ever skip breakfast. We've stopped eating in front of tv and eat at the table now. We have water and a little wine with meals instead of pop. etc, etc... It may sound trite but this book has honestly changed my life!
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on February 9, 2001
This book focuses on the French Paradox. The French eat all this amazing food that's high in fat, rich, indulgent, yet they remain a much thinner culture than those of us in the US, who eat low-fat everything. Barone attributes this to many factors, primarily feelings of love and passion for food, rather than feelings of guilt. Part of French culture is taking time and care to go to the market, select the best ingredients, and to prepare food lovingly, rather than grabbing a low-fat (and probably unsatisfying) micro-meal of bowl of cereal. They French savor their food and take time with it. As a result, they are satisfied with smaller portions. They make sure to include courses such as soup, fruit, and cheese as part of their meal. These are filling, nutritious foods which keep entree sizes down. Another point Barone makes (which I really appreciate) is the focus on REAL food, instead of the foods we have here in the US now, whose ingredient listings take up half the box. Since reading this book, I have used my bread machine to make some French bread, which is cheaper and much better than sliced bread from the store. I had already given up on presliced bread, but I was buying it at the grocery. Now, I've gotten one step closer to real food! Barone also suggests shopping more often for only a few days at a time. This means food is as fresh as possible. This seems time-consuming, but it isn't. It's really great! I bought some whole milk yogurt and have been having it after dinner the last few nights with fresh blackberries. I add no sugar, and I relish every bite. It's heaven! The only complaint I have about this book is the section on men and relationships. I can't help but find the French "pout" childish and manipulative. I wasn't interested in that sort of advice when I bought this book, and I think it detracts from the book's overall message. In some arenas, French women are good role models. In the arena of relationships, I prefer my own experience to be my guide. Changing this aspect of one's own culturally-ingrained habits is nearly impossible and, in my mind, not desirable. The points Barone makes about relationships seem like stereotypes more than truth. Other than that, this is a great resource conveying an attitude about food that I hope American women can begin to embrace.
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on October 3, 2000
For those of you who loved CHIC & SLIM, take notice of the wonderful follow-up volume! Filled with advice concerning health, relationships, fashion, and self-esteem, ENCORE is a must-have for any woman's library.
Having lived in France and experienced the beauty of the French lifestyle, Ms. Barone is a proponent of moderation -- something sadly lacking in our American society. We are a culture of "overconsumers," as is apparent not only in the way we eat, but also in the way we often misuse our finances and conduct our relationships. We also go overboard trying to be "perfect" -- but generally use the media standard as our own, which has inherent problems. Ms. Barone recognizes this, and offers a refreshing solution: a sense of healthy self. It is not a matter of becoming a vegetarian or a protein powerhouse; it is not a matter of buying size four jeans in the hopes of starving your way into them; it is not a matter of applying a mask of cosmetics to make others think you were born with a certain "look"; nor is it a matter of building a draining career only to procure wealth. Instead, it is about appreciating the beauty with which one is born, as well as savoring the beauty of one's surroundings. It is about establishing one's femininity and being so confident as to not need to become involved in a relationship to avoid being alone. It is about using money wisely, and controlling finances rather than having debt control you. In essence, it is about finding and expressing true joy - enjoying solitude, savoring art, making one's home a haven, taking pride in goals achieved, understanding the elegance of simplicity, and cherishing each age (one needn't be young to be a spectacular woman!).
Filled with sensible and savvy advice, delectable recipes, and an abundance of encouragement, CHIC & SLIM ENCORE is a wonderful gift to give to a mother, daughter, sister, friend -- or yourself! Its lessons will be treasured by any woman. Sit back, sip your coffee drink of choice, and indulge yourself in one of the best ways possible -- enjoy ENCORE and take it to heart!
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on October 10, 2000
... for reminding us that quality, not quantity, is paramount to feeling satisfaction in our lives. This book is not just about losing weight -- although certainly that is a big part of it. It's about learning techniques that advocate moderation in all things, and which ultimately support our efforts to lose weight and maintain that weight loss without feeling like the quality of our lives has gone down. Indeed, in the two years I've been following Le Systeme Barone, I can only say that the quality of my life has improved, in so many ways.
The role of blockbuster-sized portions of what I like to call "Frankenfood" (whole foods altered from their natural state by the use of preservatives, additives, and other inedible chemicals) in the average American diet is really pretty scary. The chapter on food in this book is quite illuminating and educational, even for someone like I, who had always eaten pretty well. It's impossible to look at food -- and indeed the typical American lifestyle -- the same ever again.
Finally, I just want to add that although the book is written for women, the message is for men as well. My husband has been "boot-camping" Le Systeme Barone for the last three months and easily lost over 30 pounds. Just by eating higher-quality foods in moderate, "French-sized" portions. While I trust he will not take to wearing pretty French lingerie, as Anne advocates, my husband has taken a different point of her advice and donated all of his "fat clothes" to Goodwill and will never use them again as a safety net. The fact is, if he gains more than five pounds, he'll have nothing to wear; good incentive to stay trim, non? He also realizes that it's okay for him to spend more money on fewer, but higher-quality, pieces (ah! more of that moderation I was talking about!) in his wardrobe now that he knows his weight will never again fluctuate more than a couple of pounds.
Trite to say so, but this book can change your life.
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on November 16, 2000
This is a book that goes beyond fashion or diet, focusing more on lifestyle, self-perception and a certain maturity in one's thoughts and actions that lend grace and elegance to one's everyday life. Rather than focus on any "magic bullets", the book explores various facets of shaping and prioritizing the "chic" lifestyle, through food, fashion, love, decor, and how each one can enhance or detract from living "the good life". It is a relief to see a book that stresses common sense, good food and pleasure as the cornerstones of a healthy lifestyle, rather than focusing on extremes of behavior and thought that lead to an unhealthy mental state as well as unhealthy physical state. It recognizes that any lifestyle change must be sustainable to be successful over the long term- and how sustainable are most of the "fad diets" and injury-inducing exercise trends that tout themselves as the new silver bullet? How soon after their introductions are these fads debunked as more injurous than healthful? Furthermore, when we follow such new trends, is it out of true self-concern and desire for health and wellness, or do we subconsciously use them as new forms of self-punishment, a la the Puritans? Not that the book gets too heavy or philosophical- the writing is light and delightful to read, but does gently point out some of the behaviors and thought processes that may be injurous to American women.
I also recommend this book's predecessor, "Chic and Slim".
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A few years ago, while vacationing in the Bahama's I observed a table of two French women eating lunch. They were both very slim, tres chic, and obviously not counting calories. Each woman had a full glass of red wine, some rich looking cheeses, a few crackers and a small assortment of other goodies. I couldn't help but wonder HOW they managed to remain so slim eating THAT. I was righteously nibbling on 1/2 bagel with a tad of fat (cream cheese) and some turkey protein thrown in. Yet I had at least ten pounds (ok 20)to lose. As a child I had lived in France and can still remember the delicious croissants, mouth watering chocolates, hearty breads, and rich cheeses the French ate so frequently. How did the women stay so slim? I had also noticed that the majority of them managed to look like a million dollars though I knew many of them were on tiny budgets. How did they do it? Then I came across Anne Barone's book at Amazon! Mais Oui! What a pleasure! I savored every morsel of Anne's delicious book, "Chic & Slim Encore". In the book Anne truly reveals how so many French women come across as attractive, chic, slim, in control, and poised regardless of the physical features nature gave them. She explains how you can eat rich, fatty, (forbidden) foods and remain tiny and terrific! What to look for in clothing so you always dress rich regardless of your pocketbook. How our feminity can be enhanced and appreciated if we so desire. The book embraces many aspects of the French culture and teaches aspects of the French lifestyle that we can use to enhance our lives. You learn how to simplify your life by aiming for quality not quantity. Moderation not accumulation. Buying the best you can afford in small amounts and forgetting the rest. Simple steps you can integrate into an active lifestyle to increase delight in the everyday! The book is a wonderful resource for enjoying and living the good life! Merci Anne!
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It does not matter to me if Anne Barone is not a doctor, dietician or scientist--her diet and life mentality works for her and seems to be working for thousands of French women. There is no famous study backing up her opinions just the old common sense adage--if it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck etc., than it must be a duck. In the same way, if eating cheese, butter, eggs, and bread does not put weight on the French, then it can certainly do the same for you. Anne Barone, in a fun breezy style, explains how to take the French lifestyle of shopping for just enough food, buying fresh and real products, eating slower over a longer period of time by taking smaller bites and using the continental manner of using a fork and knife, so that you too can be fitting into those wonderfull slim black skirts and form-revealing white blouses accented with a pretty scarf or antique pin. Sounds to good to be true? The key as with all things is moderation and good judgement. Anne explains how to think about your eating habits in ways that will help you to maintain good health while eating sumptious meals. In this, her second book, she actually gives portion sizes and sample recipes as well as additional information comparing American ways with those of the French regarding the six major lifestyle departments of culture, being a woman, personal style, cuisine, shopping and home decor, and love--ooh la la!

I find myself referring to this book just before I go to bed and have had time to mull over the events of the ending day--I try to tally up what I did to enjoy my life better, if I ate slower, took smaller bites, decided against that extra bite of pie-- and I find that this time to myself helps me to encourage myself because I know I am on the correct road to health and well-being. How can I not be? Eating real food--not boxed convenience meals? Taking enough time to know when I am full and then stop just beforehand. Yes, it can be done and Anne encourages you along the way with her stories, examples and anecdotes. I recommend this book to all women who want to feel like women and look like those women who turn men's heads! Brava Anne---I look forward to your next book and hope you do a seminar in my neck of the woods soon.
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on February 28, 2005
My dears skip the first 2...this is really the only one you need! Okay in fairness I skipped the second one but if it had any of this info before (which a lot of people say it does) then its not worth it. Anne has some good advice, but her books do tend to repeat and overlap. However for those who JUST want Dieting tips I suggest the Original (first) Chic & Slim. Chic and Slim Encore is well just that: Dieting PLUS! In Chic and Slim Encore you'll find tips on food/exercise, style/fashion, love, life, career, etc...

As said in my review of the first Chic & Slim I think Anne goes a bit overboard but I dont think that means these books are worthless. She does tend to be a bit harsh towards American culture but I think it really gives us Americans an idea of our culture...even if some of it was meant insulting I found some of it inspiring. Like when speaking about how Americans always speak their minds and such...I found some pride in that :p but I am a bossy Gemini so eh!

She also does kinda take credit for bringing this system to us by coining it 'Le system Barone' which well I dont find fair. She may have brought it here but its the old French Culture's system...not hers. As a recent slate.com article pointed out most French dont even follow half this stuff (I havent read the 'French women dont get fat' book yet but they do have a lot of the same ideas from what Ive read and heard) anymore and both Anne and Mirelle havent been to France in quite awhile...

*Anyways* just because this is the *old* system doesnt make it bad...its good stuff! Well most of it...and whether a lot of French women ever followed all this or not is beyond me but some stuff does seem a bit far fetched. To simplify it I'll go by sections:

La Culture: Makes sense...She probably is a bit exagerrating on both American and French part but the whole purtanisim thing makes sense...

La'art De Femme: This one was iffy. I dont think women should always have to act like Women stereotypes to get ahead in life. Sure if a woman is walking around in golf clothes with a butch haircut screaming her hate of men she probably isnt going to get far in a male society...but thats quite a difference from most American women, and thats why I dont think the whole 'girly girl' thing is well right. I'd take this chapter with a grain of salt. Whether French women are like that or not or get ahead for it or not I dont know, but I dont think its fair to either sex! I also find the whole Child advice a bit far fetched...However there is good advice about clothing and loving yourself...so its worth a read!

Le Chic: Again some of it may be a bit far fetched or UnAmerican Adaptable but an okay chapter...

La Cuisine: Has a LOT of good points on 'franken foods'. If your gonna complain about the book at least give this chapter some credit! Made me read my bread...and I found Anne was right about the hidden sugar!

Le Shopping and La Deco: Has some good points but seems a bit unadaptable...Her thoughts on Chuck E Cheese were funny though not meant to be! Sorry I had to throw that in, any mother or teen raised on CEC will find it funny too :p!

L'Amour, La Vie, Weight: This goes back to my earlier complaint about acting 'girly girly'. I have a lot of problems with this chapter. Okay the sports mentality is a good note...thats something Americans reaallly do and can do with out. But the affairs advice, the giving in to your partner, the basically being a 1950's StepFord woman...I dont agree with a LOT of that! Yes you can be a Feminist and still a Female but you dont have to manipulate men to do it!

The rest of the book is some words of encouragement, recipes, and resources. Not to bad. Honestly if your smart enough to find the good advice in some of these outlandish claims/stories/rants well then you can still get the book without much trouble. Even though I had the above mentioned problems I still did get a lot out of it: Learning to take care of myself a little better, not be so competitive in relationships, and eat a little more carefully. Its helped me in my weight loss goals so mission accomplished I guess!

As for hating Anne for her Bush comments well I missed all that. Ive only had contact with her once, my books got lost in shipping and she very polietly sent me another pair and autographed them. She was sweet to me and thats all I can say! I dont agree with her apparent Bush rants...Im not a Bush lover (in fact quite the oppiosite) but I dont see that as chic or kind or well any good at all! However if you just want to learn a few good tips then overlook that, buy the book, and make your own opinions on it.
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on March 22, 2001
Several years ago I spent time in Paris, and wondered to myself why the only fat people I saw were Americans. It seemed odd, but I forgot about it until I read this book. As we all know, there IS no magic bullett..no ONE THING that will make you thin forever. It's a matter of changing your life, but in reality, the changes shouldn't be drastic, or you'll never stick to them in the long run. It is far easier to make many small changes -- one at a time -- to reach your goals, and this book will help you achieve many of them whether you need to lose weight or not. Ms. Barone has an eye for the subtle differences that make for a chic (and slim) lifestyle. Try this book. There's a lot of surprising information in its few pages.
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