Drink wine, have sex, advises leading French doctor

A recently-published book by leading French oncologist, David Khayat, urges people to enjoy life’s pleasures, from sex to wine.

Following the release of his newly-published tome, Arrêtez de Vous Priver (Stop Depriving Yourselves), Khayat has featured in a range of leading French media over the last few days, promoting the message that people should have a “few small excesses, without feely guilty,” as reported by French commercial radio network, RTL.

Such indulgences are necessary for a person’s self-esteem, according to Khayat, who points out that the constant denial being promulgated by organisations, governments and some doctors are in fact harmful to the mind, while making little difference to the body.

Indeed, in an interview with Adam Sage at The Times, which was posted online yesterday, he says that the health risks from enjoying chips, meat and alcohol are being inflated by “rarely very great doctors”, who, he adds, are keen on imposing their “hygienist” vision of society.

While such influential figures suggest that people “will be able to avoid old age, illness and death” by avoiding “excesses” from wine to meat, Khayat says, “but that’s wrong, we are all going to fall ill, and we are all going to die”

In particular, he is critical of the “dogmatic” approach by the World Health Organisation (WHO), dismissing its guidance on risks from electronic cigarettes to processed meat.

Commenting that the former are “not a problem at all”, he then attacks the group’s claim that 50g of processed meat a day raises the risk of colorectal cancer by 18%.

He told The Times, “They tell you the rise in the risk is 18%, but they don’t tell you what your risk is in the first place. In fact, it is 2%. So if you stuff yourself with ham, your risk goes from 2% to slightly over 2%. Is it worth depriving yourself of a slice of ham for that?”

In place of WHO, he suggests people follow the precepts of Epicurus, who advocated enjoying modest pleasures for tranquility of the mind.

In essence, Khayat says that people “need balance”, and, having recommended drinking wine and having sex, he says, “life without pleasure makes no sense”.

Continue reading “Drink wine, have sex, advises leading French doctor”


How To Strengthen Your Resilience For The Road Ahead

Our ability to muster up the energy and courage to meet the day’s demands and the mercurial nature of the pandemic we face requires added endurance and strength. We also need to build future reserves so that we may emerge even stronger.

By Paula Conway

If you feel emotionally and physically empty well before the end of the day, you’re not alone. Many of us are feeling depleted in far less time than the average work day because of the added stress of adjusting to the new normals in life. Our ability to muster up the energy and courage to meet the day’s demands and the mercurial nature of the pandemic we face requires added endurance and strength, something we need right now but also need to build for future reserves so that we may emerge even stronger.

According to the American Psychological Association, resilience is the process of “adapting well in the face of adversity, tragedy, threats or significant sources of stress…” To do so, we need to be both mentally and physically strong, which requires some focus and work. Here are 5 ways to muster strength now and build your resilience reserves for the road ahead

Keep Up With Your Connections

Your friends, family and long-time supporters are the lifeblood of your happiness. At your core you want to know that they are safe and well and discover new ways of connecting.

Facebook research reveals that talking online or off to friends is associated with improvements in well-being.  Take the time to check in on everyone you care about.  Having the emotional support right now will help you face these daily challenges with a fresh perspective. This also applies to business connections. You may read a social media post that someone is struggling in business, or quite the opposite that they are thriving. No matter which way the chips fall, reconnect with them.  The wheel keeps turning so everyone you know is valuable to your wellbeing.

Think Positively About Your Future

Having a mental image of the great things to come will help you move the balls forward.  This is simply positive thinking; visualizing all of the wonderful things you will be doing two, three, six months out and so forth,and being excited about it. Johns Hopkins Medicine sites the link between positive thinking and cardiovascular disease. A study on positive thinking by Lisa R. Yanek, a master of public health and associate professor at Johns Hopkins University, found that people with a family history of risk factors for coronary artery disease who were positive thinkers were 13 percent less likely to have a heart attack or coronary event than their negative counterparts. Your ability to forge ahead in difficult times is directly linked to your health, so take extra measures to infuse your body with good positive thinking.

Take Care Of Yourself 

We know that mental and physical health is linked, and that you need to perform regular maintenance on your body to impact your mental health. Physical fitness is critical right now to be prepared for the challenges ahead. Being physically fit does not mean you need to lose 15 pounds immediately. Getting fit is simply taking care of your body, building strength and building up your cardiovascular strength to be able to bounce back in tough times.  There are many low-impact ways to get fit, including walking daily, bike riding, and low-impact weight training. Companies like Team Body Project offer hundreds of on-demand fitness programs to choose from, including this free low-impact video workout for beginners.

Embrace Change

The book Who Moved My Cheese by Spencer Johnson was published in 1998 and became an instant New York Times business best-seller.  The book is a fable about two mice and the typical reactions and responses to change in work and life. The lesson illustrates that change is inevitable and embracing it is the key to success, and that instead of getting stuck in the moment, you must grow to move forward. While some goals might not be attainable right now, look to the ones that can be fulfilled and accept that the only certainty is that things will change.  If you work at changing your perspective on inevitable change and welcome the unknown, your resistance to negative forces will build.

Maintain Perspective 

No matter how deeply you look at the situation, the reality is rarely ever as bad as it may seem.  In a list of 50 quotes on perspective from Psychology Today, these standouts provide some enlightenment we can all draw from:

“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.” ― Oprah Winfrey;

“Life is 10 percent what you make it and 90 percent how you take it.” ― Irving Berlin;

“The optimist sees the donut, the pessimist sees the hole.” ― Oscar Wilde;

“And those who were seen dancing, were thought to be crazy, by those who could not hear the music.” ― Friedrich Nietzsche;

“If the doors of perception were cleansed, everything would appear to man as it is—infinite.” ― William Blake

Paula Conway is a best-selling author with Harper Collins and the President and Founder of Astonish Media Group in New York City. Follow Astonish on Instagram @astonishmediagroup.

Source: How To Strengthen Your Resilience For The Road Ahead

Worries Trump is ‘deteriorating rapidly’ after video shows him struggling to walk down a ramp: ‘They can’t hide this much longer’

Commentators on Twitter worried about President Donald Trump’s physical and mental health after video showed him struggling while descending a ramp following his graduation address at West Point.

“He minces down the ramp taking tiny baby steps and staring at his shoes, then pulls up big at the end, and blusters through the last step like he’s Patton surveying a battlefield full of knocked out panzers,” Mike Rochschild posted on Twitter.

Source: Worries Trump is ‘deteriorating rapidly’ after video shows him struggling to walk down a ramp: ‘They can’t hide this much longer’ – Raw Story

France Declares All New Rooftops Must Be Topped With Plants Or Solar Panels

In a win for planet Earth, as of 2015 all commercial buildings in France must have at least partial coverage of their rooftop in solar panels or plants.

In this time of doomsday-like predictions where our environmental health is concerned, it’s all hands on deck. We are coming to the conclusion, hopefully not too late, that every little bit of conservation counts.

There is a shift in general consciousness that’s begun to happen. We’re becoming aware of the impact we humans have, and the myriad ways we make that impact. With the purchase of a plastic water bottle as opposed to a reusable one. Using grocery store bags instead of bringing your own. Buying new when used would be perfectly acceptable. These are a few examples of shifts that have started taking place. We see now, how easy it is to carry our own bottle, or our own bag, or shop consignment.

It’s been far too easy, for far too long, to buy into the idea that we as individuals don’t have an impact. One bottle won’t make a difference. One bag won’t hurt anything. But not only is that incorrect, but it also doesn’t really speak to the heart of the matter, which is that we’re all in this together. How we individually live, is how we collectively live. So, not only can one person have a huge impact, we have somewhat of an obligation at this point, to us and to each other, to live as we do. To act like it’s all connected – because it is [ . . . ]

Continue at Source: France Declares All New Rooftops Must Be Topped With Plants Or Solar Panels

‘Quoi, just two glasses?’ French urged to cut down on their drinking


France on Monday launched a national campaign to encourage the wine-loving French to cut down on their drinking after a study showed that a quarter of them over-consume. But many still feel that “a nice meal can’t be enjoyed without a good wine”.

France has one of the highest alcohol consumption rates in Europe, with the country trailing behind only Estonia, Lithuania and the Czech Republic in the quantities of alcohol it drinks, according to the World Health Organization. This drinking culture – largely attributed to wine, which represents 58 percentof France’s total alcohol consumption – on Monday prompted the public health agency and the National Institute of Cancer (INCa) to launch a national campaign, with recommendations for the maximum daily intake of alcohol.

I’ve never seen, to my knowledge – unfortunately, perhaps – a youngster leaving a nightclub drunk because they drank Côtes-du-Rhône, Crozes-Hermitage or Costières-de-Nîmes.

“For your health, alcohol should be limited to a maximum of two glasses per day, and not every day either,” they wrote, a limit that 24 percent of French adults regularly surpass. Alcohol is the second-biggest cause for preventable deaths in France after tobacco, killing some 41,000 people each year.

Forty-year-old Caroline from Paris, who did not want to give her real name, said that she grew up “literally swimming in wine”.

“In my family, our meals together have always been extremely important, and there has always been wine on the table.” Continue reading “‘Quoi, just two glasses?’ French urged to cut down on their drinking”

The British have Brexit. We French have our wine delusion

Sure, it occasionally leaves us horizontal, but it’s a proud part of our identity, says freelance journalist Marie Le Conte

If you want to become – or remain – the president of France, you have to touch a cow.

François Hollande touched a cow; Nicolas Sarkozy touched a cow; Jacques Chirac touched more cows than anyone can remember; and every party leader or Elysée hopeful has had to touch a cow at one point or other. It cannot be any cow: the ceremonial patting must occur at the Paris International Agricultural Show, an annual event that does exactly what it says on the tin, and is attended by every French politician worth their salt.

The fair often becomes the scene of minor gaffes as senior politicos trip over themselves to show just how provincial and normal they are, with predictable results – a particularly amusing example in 2015 involved the then prime minister, Manuel Valls, getting thoroughly sloshed.


“From the liver’s point of view, wine really is alcohol!” was the title of the letter, which pointed out that nearly 60% of all alcohol consumed in France is in wine, and that alcohol kills around 50,000 people a year in the country.

Emmanuel Macron didn’t appear drunk at the agriculture show last week, but alcohol did end up causing him a headache. Speaking to journalists from the regional press, the president admitted to drinking wine every day “with lunch and dinner”, and being a staunch believer in his predecessor Georges Pompidou’s saying: “Don’t piss off the French.”

“It is a danger to public health when young people binge-drink spirits or beer,” he added, “but wine isn’t the issue.” He then confirmed that his administration had no ambitions to make the Loi Évin, a law passed in 1991 putting restrictions on alcohol and tobacco, any stricter than it already is.

This clearly didn’t go far enough for Christophe Castaner, the secretary of state for parliamentary relations, who took it upon himself to add in a TV interview: “Let’s not get carried away – there’s alcohol in wine, but it’s not strong alcohol. Wine is a part of our culture, our tradition, our national identity. It’s not our enemy.”

Shockingly, this didn’t please everyone. In an open letter published by the newspaper Le Figaro on Monday, nine health professionals politely but firmly reminded the head of state and his minister that wine is – believe it or not – an alcoholic beverage like any other.

“From the liver’s point of view, wine really is alcohol!” was the title of the letter, which pointed out that nearly 60% of all alcohol consumed in France is in wine, and that alcohol kills around 50,000 people a year in the country.

That this needed to be said is quite remarkable, but perhaps unsurprising; behind that glass of red sipped at a family dinner lies an interesting quirk of the French, and how we like to see ourselves.

You see, French people are civilised. They care about the food they eat and the bottles they carefully pick to go with it. They look down on anyone unsophisticated enough to suggest that their habits might not be as refined as they think.

Sure, they might occasionally drink more wine than the food can soak up and find themselves horizontal, but they don’t get drunk like the British do. Over the Channel lies a an island of feral binge drinkers who do shots and throw up on themselves and pass out in public. Isn’t it ghastly? Like retired people showing their slides after a holiday, French expats in the UK and holidaymakers who have been there catalogue instances of the British binge culture –it’s almost a national sport.

Of course, data collected by the World Health Organisation in 2015 shows that French people drink nearly as much as their British counterparts – 11.6 litres of pure alcohol per capita compared with 12 – but this doesn’t matter.

Every country has their very own national delusions – Brexit certainly counts as one – and France is no exception.

In a way, Macron embodies a lot of ours. He arrogantly charmed his way into the presidency, frequently pontificates about philosophy, unashamedly talks about his love of classical novels and poetry, and is passionate to the point of absurdity about the French language.

France isn’t, in reality, the France we know from the movies, and everyone knows it deep down. But it doesn’t hurt to pretend once in a while. However, deciding that wine simply isn’t a normal alcoholic beverage because it happens to be quintessentially Gallic is not harmless, and though the current crop of politicians are knee-deep in patriotic cliches, future generations might finally decide to put health before tradition.

They just need to make sure they touch a cow first, if they want anyone to pay attention.

 Marie Le Conte is a French freelance journalist living in London | Source: The British have Brexit. We French have our wine delusion | Marie Le Conte | Opinion | The Guardian