This is my fitness program. I'm on the Provence Diet!


I find fitness quite elusive in Provence. Today’s “challenges” are a perfect example as to why, exactly.

Amira and I decided to go on a long, vigorous walk from our apartment in the painfully picturesque French village of Pernes-les-Fontaines. We didn’t get 30 yards before stumbling across an incredible boulangerie we hadn’t tried before. The gravitational pull was too great, and we were forced to buy two baguettes.

Onward with the fitness program!

Except right across the street was a beautiful little shop selling lovingly selected wines and cheese and other stuff, and the tractor beam pulled us in. The shop is owned by a young couple with a baby, and we asked them if they had any local, very interesting, organic, naturally produced wines (trying hard to narrow the scope in an effort to not buy something). Alas, they had dozens of wines fitting that bill, all very reasonably priced.

Plus their cheese was amazing; we bought three cheese types (two of them pictured here) and a very good bottle of 100% mourvèdre, of all things, from an up-and-coming local winemaker.

Horrified, we scamped back to our apartment to put away all this stuff and try again. We decided that the streets were unsafe. We’d run into incredible food shops no matter which direction we ventured in.

Our little town has a moat, which is really an extended creek with a pedestrian walkway next to it. So we decided it would be safer sticking to the creek for our walk.

We got about 50 yards down the creek, when directly parallel we discovered an incredible “producers” market (all the sellers grow or make what they’re selling), with all manner of organic produce, including fresh cherries, ice cream, more cheese, more bread and other goodies. Once again, compelled beyond reason, we purchased more delightful foodstuffs before scampering back to our apartment.

That’s when we gave up, locking the doors and setting our sights on enjoying all the stuff we bought.

Resistance to the Provencal food culture is futile. You WILL be cheesimilated.

Anyway, we’re really enjoying our fitness program.