I am recently returned from a trip to Germany and France. I had training in Germany, so I extended the stay for a holiday visit. The training was very helpful. The travel was wonderful. The food…well, the food was different than my usual.
I had never thought of sauerkraut as a vegetable, but my experience in Germany showed me that sauerkraut is thought of there as a salad. The only other vegetable I saw in Germany was spargel, known here as asparagus. Actually, it wouldn’t be recognized here at all, as asparagus there is huge and also white.
While I was traveling, many of my fellow practitioners at Connect Health, back in Vancouver, were in the midst of an elimination diet. An elimination diet is used to help determine foods that might be poorly managed by the body and thus resulting in a variety of symptoms, from fatigue, to bloating, to skin disorders, to headaches, and more.
While they eliminated red meat, I was eating meat almost exclusively in Germany. I don’t think there could be many vegetarians in that country, at least not in Bavaria. While dairy was a no-no for my colleagues and is normally not on my food roster at all, it’s really hard to avoid cheese in France! And, really, I can’t say I wanted to avoid it in France. No sweets, pastries, and breads in Vancouver. More of those over those two weeks for me than I would normally have in months. My husband and I shared a pretzel in Germany that was almost the size of a steering wheel! And, what else would you choose for lunch or a snack in Paris other than a baguette or croissant? You might even wash it down with a coffee, something I have maybe once a week maximum in Vancouver. Finally, I don’t imbibe much at home, but one simply has to try the beer in Germany and the wine in France, doesn’t one? Besides, those beverages seem to be cheaper than water in these two countries!
So, now, back in Vancouver, I’m happy to be back to my usual choice of foods. I do not miss the wurst, the cheese, the beer or wine, or even most of the sweets (though I would have a good croissant if I bumped into one). Yesterday I made a fennel and apple salad with black beans for lunch. And today I prepped two full batches of date and nut protein snacks, half of which I will freeze for future use.
Some of my family and friends think I’m depriving myself by avoiding or limiting a lot of the foods they think of as staples. I think that I feel so much better without those foods and my taste buds have become stronger, able to taste sweet or salty without being flooded. Do you think of fennel as sweet? What about black beans? Eating backwards for a short time was a strong reminder for me that eating the “accumulation diet” is not for me. To modify the quote from Forrest Gump, “Healthy is as healthy does.”