Saturday, January 28, 2012

The German Food Experience

We've been in Germany for 10 days now, and although I anticipated the food experience being tough, but not as tough as it turned out to be. The first two days weren't so bad because we were out and even ate at a Subway, so things looked positive.

We arrived last Thursday, and I didn't make it to the store myself until last Saturday. We have an Aldi's right around the corner from our apartment and that's when the culture shock really hit me. I knew about bringing your own bags, but what I saw inside the store really freaked me out. There was absolutely NO variety. Almost everything in there was carbs, too, and we all know that in Points Plus 2012, carbs are the enemy. We grabbed cereal, a jar of Nutella, some yogurt, sandwich bread (we never have bread in our house), a package of chicken breasts, whole wheat pasta, a can of chili, and two packages of microwave veggies.

I was already starting to freak out a little because I had no idea what I was going to eat for lunch. Andy hadn't gone back to work yet, but I knew that time was coming soon and I'd be on my own, with not only myself to feed, but Brady as well. I had brought from the States 12 packets of tuna (they don't sell it in Europe) that would last me 3 months, a few cereal bars for Brady, and oatmeal for Brady.

For those of you who have never been to Europe, the fridges are small, and the freezers even smaller if you have one at all (which we do). You don't go to the store once a week and stock up. Most people go every day. My goal is to go no more often than every other day.

We had coffee with a neighbor last Sunday and she offered to take me to another market, in addition to the butcher, where she assured me that I could at least acquire lunch meat. I got some sliced turkey at the butcher, and then we went to a market that had more variety and plenty of produce. I stocked up on apples, bananas, yogurt, tortilla wraps, and a few other things that would help get us through part of the week. Another part of the trouble with Europe is that parking is all paid on the street and most people use public transportation. That means, when I go to the market, I have to consider what I can carry, the distance to the certain store, the weather, and the fact that I have to push Brady in the stroller. It's certainly overwhelming.

In our first week here, what we ate for dinner consisted of frozen pizzas, chicken breast, that one jar of chili, and pasta. We went through an entire box of cereal, a whole loaf of bread, and an entire jar of Nutella. Eating things like this had me convinced that there was no way to lose weight or even maintain. Andy was convinced that I wasn't eating enough to even hit my points, but I assured him that most of the items I was eating were carbs and that was just bad enough to hit my daily points plus allowance.

Today, we again went to the larger market and the butcher, this time with Andy in tow. We found it difficult to find many of the main staples needed to make most of our favorite recipes. I was very frustrated and again wondered whether or not I'd starve to death or go the opposite route and start eating badly.

The only weigh-in I had this month was a week after New Years, and I was up to exactly 150lbs. Four days after that weigh-in, I left to spend a week with my parents and I was up a little over a pound when I left. No doubt, I gained some more in the week before we traveled here, since we ate out lunch almost every day. I stepped on the scale this morning because we got our freight shipment on Thursday, and almost didn't want to know what it would tell me. It showed me up less than half a pound from my last weigh in, exactly three weeks ago. I hope this is a good sign but only time will tell what the food here will do to my weight. There are several weight watchers within the city, but only have weekday meetings, and mainly in the afternoons during naptime. I did a broader search and specified only weekend meetings and found one just outside the city, within 20 minutes driving distance. This way, Andy could take me, as he has the car at work during the week. I technically only have to weigh-in once a month, but to keep up my accountability, I think I will try to make it every other week.

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