Keller quoted Thomas Chalmers:
It is seldom that any of our [bad habits or flaws] are made to disappear by a mere process of natural extinction. At least, it is very seldom that this is done through the instrument of reasoning...[or by] the mere force of mental determination. But what cannot be thus destroyed may be dispossessed--and one taste may be made to give way to another, and to lose its power entirely as the reigning affection of the mind...[T]he heart['s] desire for having some one object or another, this is unconquerable...The only way to dispossess [the heart] of an old affection is by the expulsive power of a new one...He was talking about replacing idols with Jesus Christ.
Guiliano was talking about food.
It impresses me that her philosophy has such truth to it. She speaks to misuse of food: loving too much of a thing, and wanting bad things. But her solution is not diet, and it's not deprivation. Instead of conquering our love of the unhealthy and trying to eliminate it by sheer determination, she has a replacement plan. She encourages us to look carefully at all that we eat. Then decide what we really love, and reduce how much and how often we eat it, and instead focus on enjoying it thoroughly when we do eat it. And she offers suggestions for delicious healthy things to take the place of unhealthy treats. The result is that our pallets are re-trained to enjoy fruits and vegetables, and to slowly savor foods.
For example, one overweight lady used to drink a beer every night before bed. She had just developed this habit, she didn't even really love it that much. But the ritual and comfort didn't need to disappear, just how she was dealing with it. Instead she began drinking herbal tea. She started to love teas, and even became a connoisseur.
This is the second book about the way the French live that I've read this year. And I'd highly recommend both.
I'll write more about this one later.