Indiana University Overseas Study

Paris I love you, but you’re bringing me down.

No, literally. All your butter is weighing me down.

I would be lying if I said that food wasn’t one of the main things I base my day around, something that I always want more of, something that I’m always looking forward to. Let’s just put it out there: I’m addicted to food.

So naturally, when I discovered that I would be spending my summer in Paris, my inner fat girl leaped with joy, drooling at the thoughts of pain au chocolat and crispy baguettes with fresh brie. And let me tell you: I’ve embraced the food here. But while I find my pants fitting looser because of the amount I walk every day, I feel as if I’m constantly walking around with pounds of chocolate, butter, and cheese in my stomach (because I am). So while I’m here to tell you that the food is amazing, that angels sing every time I sink my teeth into a fresh croissant, and that I’ve never had better, there’s one thing that I’ve learned: My mom was right about that whole food pyramid thing.

Since I’ve been here, I haven’t gone a day without dessert—wait, I should re-phrase that—since I’ve been here, I haven’t gone a day without at least one dessert. And what do I eat between those desserts? Oh, butter-laden ham and cheese sandwiches, quiche lorraine (if you thought quiche was healthy, you should see how the French do it), or the occasional yogurt if I’m putting in an effort to eat something light. Who wants to go to a foreign country and order a salad? We’ve all been told it: Eating a country’s food is one of the best ways to experience its culture. However, if you’re constantly eating rich meals AND dessert, that feeling of ecstasy after you finish a pastry will quickly turn into regret.

So when you study abroad, you must go out and try what the city has to offer. This is your time to order that 10 dollar chocolate mousse, your time to spend a somewhat unacceptable amount of time traveling to get to a particular restaurant, and your time to forget about calories. Just don’t completely forget about your body. Maybe eat strawberries instead of a croissant, or fix yourself some green beans with dinner.

Or maybe, if you’re like me… lean toward that apple dessert instead of its chocolate counterpart.

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