Paris To Go

Simone Lemon, Zero Waste, Gluten Free, and Vegan Friendly Paris Buffet


When Chiara, the super sweet blogger and tireless advocate behind Baci di Dama Living Gluten Free, invited me to Simone Lemon, I had no idea what an amazing afternoon I was in for. After reading about the colorful, eminently Instagrammable restaurant in our beautiful friend Soraya's guide, Paris Sans Gluten, she asked if we could test it together. Simone Lemon takes unsold produce from the best quality local producers, transforming perfectly imperfect fruits and vegetables into tasty dishes for a gluten free, vegan, and omnivore friendly buffet. As soon as I walked in, the friendly, model-gorgeous staff greeted me and explained the concept: Weigh your plate and bowl, paying just for what you eat, with no food waste. Any leftover food is composted in clearly marked receptacles, and real china plates and utensils sit alongside eco-friendly takeaway containers, in case you're in a rush. Ten euro will get you a plateful of filling, flavorful dishes, including gluten free options like beetroot carpaccio, tomato risotto, two types of salad, and roast aubergine and sweet potato, not to mention a heaping bowl of rich chocolate mousse and giant mug of organic sencha. 

Google describes the atmosphere as "cozy, local crowd," which couldn't be more apt- office workers and businessmen sit alongside 9ème residents and ladies who lunch. It's busy during the day, but the organized, attentive staff somehow help everybody. The young co-founders, Elodie Le Boucher and Shehrazade Schneider (ESCP graduates) were so nice, I immediately wanted to be friends with them, and I'm a misanthropic recluse. Everything from the smartly designed interior to the impeccable cleanliness bespoke brilliance, delicious food notwithstanding. I know I'm gushing. I just really loved Simone Lemon, and all the food comes within 25-200 kilometers of Paris! It's a favorite among other zero wasters too, like Elif and Allegra.

I immediately told my husband we have to go there for lunch sometime. It's hard because I'm celiac and my diet is restricted, but he wants to be able to go to the same restaurants as me without being given food that his food eats. Places like Simone Lemon (which had several meat dishes people were raving about) allow us to share the dining experience so neither one ends up feeling like an outcast. Chiara told me a beautiful story about being able to eat a delicious gluten free pizza with her mother- finally, they could share a meal they both enjoyed. It was a wonderful bonding moment. She made me realize that in my family, food always glued us together, so it's important that I enjoy good, healthy cuisine as I start my own cat family with my husband. I stuck around while Chiara took beautiful portraits of Shehrazade and Elodie and when we left, they blew us kisses :) I was touched. J'ai hâte de revenir pour une prochaine repas sans gluten et anti gaspillage!

P.S. My hair and eyebrows look disgusting in recent pictures because they are. I walked ten miles before that picture was taken and since got five inches cut off my hair. Still working on the eyebrows

Simone Lemon

30 Rue le Peletier, 75009 Paris
Paris to Go

Two and a Half Years of No Shampoo

Day 1 after washing, air-dried, un-brushed. First picture taken against the sunlight - most realistic depiction of hair color

Audley writes:

I started no-poo two and a half years ago with one baking soda wash to remove all styling products and to make the change easier. Since then, I wash water only, once a week. The biggest difference between shampoo and water only was, and still is, that my hair is more voluminous, thicker, and stronger. I think it's because of the sebum left over when you wash water only. I don't have to worry about my hair. I wash it, and if the ends are dry, I use a bit of oil- that's it. I noticed the first results after one or two weeks, but I've often read it can take 6-8 weeks.

Before, with “normal” shampoo, I had to wash my hair every other day. Despite frequent washing, the skin and roots were oily, my hair looked straggly, and the lengths and ends were too dry. I lost lots of hair (saw it in my brush) and it seemed to not grow at all. My hair looked dead regardless of which shampoo I tried, and I didn’t like this look. Years before no-poo, I gave up shower gel because of my dry skin, with good results. So I thought water only would be worth a shot.

Day 3 after washing, still unbrushed 

Before no-poo, I used normal drugstore shampoo. At first, I bought conventional ones; later greenwashed or natural ones, but the results were always the same. I used a wooden hairbrush with boar bristles (still use it), and sometimes hair spray. I hardly ever applied conditioner because it made my hair silky but totally lifeless. I never could tolerate the noise of the hairdryer (same with the vacuum), nor its heat in my face, so I almost never used it. Then, I used baking soda to start no-poo to remove all leftover styling products, especially silicone. I think if I were to use hair spray for a special occasion today, I would remove it with baking soda again.

After one or two weeks of no poo, my skin and roots were no longer that oily. My hair became shinier and silkier, stronger and more voluminous. It also became heavier and took longer to air-dry. One thing that didn’t change or improve after several months are broken hairs. They still break, unless I constantly pin up my hair with a hair stick, which helps a bit. Since I prefer my hair loose, I obviously have to accept it.

Wooden boar bristle brush

Wooden hair stick

There wasn’t really a transition period, probably because I started with baking soda, which cleans more than everything else I tried. The only issue that occurred was some flaking I discovered after a few weeks. It wasn't so bad that I could see it on dark clothes, and they disappeared after a few weeks.

People in my life know about my no poo routine because I told them- otherwise nobody notices- and they don’t care. Some wonder how my hair doesn't stink and can become clean with water only. Then they say they can't imagine this could work for them too, and that is why they don’t try it. Sounds like a circular argument. Only my mom tried it once or twice- she didn’t like the remaining sebum in her hair. She felt it wasn't clean enough, so she went back to “normal” shampoo, although I told her that she didn't try it long enough. Still, she couldn’t tolerate the “messy feeling.”

Thank you Audley!
Paris to Go

My Year Round Zero Waste Wardrobe


How to make your wardrobe work year round? By choosing temperature regulating, all season fabrics, like woven wool, thick linens, and waxed cotton in muted or jewel tones. Layering is easier when items already have some structure, so material doesn't cling or form unforgiving wrinkles. I also like to have all the hardware in my wardrobe match, which is probably crazy- gold everything from zippers to my two pieces of jewelry (wedding ring and a gift from my sister). Not only does gold suit my skin tone, but I remember watching an episode of Clueless where they said silver was tacky, and it always stuck with me.

You don't need a huge accessories collection to mix things up. Shoes or creative layers add variety, giving me practically endless combinations. For instance, the black jacket, heels, and boots go with everything, the sneakers match all my casual clothes, and I wear the shirt and sweaters over dresses and skirts sometimes.

The additions

Since this post, I've made a few changes. I haven't bought a new pair of jeans since middle school- it's one of the easiest things to buy at thrift stores- and for the first time in years, I have two pairs. My previous jeans didn't fit anymore; now that Vetements made flares cool again, I'm taking it back to 2014 with skinnies. I should have switched long ago, but I'm sartorially self flagellating. The Maria jean is true blue, the 811 indigo. Buying used meant no color bleeding, though I still wash them inside out with a capful of vinegar to fix the dye. This denim is less dense than my last pair, so I could wear them in a humid desert and feel fine. Conversely, they were warm enough for freezing Cleveland, easily tucked into boots, substantial enough not to rip or tear. Best of all, the fabrics don't attract or show much cat hair.

I usually shy away from collared shirts, but some corporate settings require them. All the Paris Vogue women wear checked shirts- this Etoile Isabel Marant shirt felt like the perfect nod to both my Ohio roots and new French home. It came with a weird pleat that formed a big bubble down my back, which I stitched flat to look better. Again, linen-cotton blend is great on hot days, yet cozy enough for winter. In Cleveland, I wore this with high waist jeans and boots and never felt chilly at bonfires or shoveling snow outside. If you can't thrift or purchase an ethical, sustainable collared shirt, consider custom made options to wear forever.

I thrifted the white t-shirts in Cleveland and the tank top in Paris, naively imagining the ribbed tank would make me look like Emily Ratajkowski at Coachella (Fun fact: We were both photographed by the same person, obviously with very different outcomes). I don't care if I look like everyone's great uncle at the Fourth of July family reunion, it's comfortable, isn't sheer, doesn't shrink when washed, and is perfect for la canicule.

Winter is coming

Everyone worries about me being cold, but I grew up in the tundra. If it's freezing, I add tights and a coat to my regular outfit; if it's raining I carry an umbrella and wear boots or patent leather shoes. I spend a lot of time outside in business attire, and this formula works well. Thanks to climate change and the small size of my wardrobe, I don't keep anything in storage. Everything can be washed or hand washed except the down coat. I air dry (no ironing!) before hanging them in the closet. Shoes stay in their original dustbags and shoeboxes where possible. Also, ever since I got multiple t-shirts, tank tops, and jeans I feel like I'm constantly doing laundry. I'm actually still doing all of our household washing only weekly but it seems like there's way more and it takes longer.

Note: Normally I hang the cashmere sweater in the shower so it's unwrinkled when I wear it. Kar's been climbing up on the closet shelf to sleep on it for two weeks so I wasn't going to bother getting the creases out for a few pictures. I'm not smiling and I'm clutching my stomach in a bunch of photos because I took these when I was sick... I don't know why I'm hunched over on one side in most of them though. This is a new level of awkward, even for me! P.S. I was sneezing in many pictures.

Not pictured: Eight pairs of socks, grey tshirt and leggings for exercise, wool tights. Stockings (Elin nude and Stefanie seam) and sunglasses purchased new


I. Navy wool Dior dress, Ferragamo Vara shoes in nude bisque, black H&M cotton jacket, Christian Louboutin Simple pumps, Louis Vuitton wool skirt, organic cotton Nuria Couturiere espadrilles, grey wool Dior dress
II. LK Bennett Marina dress in natural barley, grey angora cat
III. Prada shirtdress, cashmere J Crew sweater in heather acorn (worn over navy dress), J Brand Photo Ready 811 jeans in Bluebell
IV. Red Dior dress
VII. J Brand Maria high rise jeans in Storm, Etoile Isabel Marant Keiran linen t-shirt
VIII. American Apparel 2x1 u-neck tank top, Etoile Isabel Marant Tom cotton linen shirt
IX. DIY t-shirt (based on Isabel Marant Felipe), Nike Sky High dunks
X. Dior down coat, Louis Vuitton trench coat, Celine cashgora coat, Alisa Design sharp shoulder handknit alpaca sweater, Lomaki handknit alpaca hat and mittens, Geox boots

All items secondhand except espadrilles and handknits ethically made from sustainably sourced wool. See more on my Snapchat: paristogo.
Paris to Go