May 24, 2015

Healthy Hacks in Germany

Humans are an incredible species. We can survive - and thrive! - on a wider diversity of diets than pretty much any other species!

While some cuisines, like the Mediterranean and Japanese cuisines, are known for being healthy, any world cuisine can be healthy. Today, let's take a look at how a cuisine known for heavy meats and less-than-fresh foods can actually be very healthy when done right.

Here are healthy hacks for Germany!

Follow the traditional style of eating.

Traditionally, Germans have a light, bread-based breakfast, a warm lunch (the largest meal of the day), a sweet afternoon snack, and a light, bread-based dinner.

This way of eating is satisfying, easy on your digestive system, and promotes good sleep. I know that I definitely get better sleep when I have a light, cold supper over a heavy, warm dinner!

Eat the local bread.

Today, American 'toast bread' is readily available in German supermarkets, but this bagged, familiar soft bread is generally very refined and full of unnatural additives and chemicals.

Choose the fresh German Bauernbrot, Graubrot, Roggenbrot, or Schwarzbrot instead! They're made fresh daily with simple, natural ingredients and are full of whole grains and the accompanying nutrients and fiber!

Take advantage of the robust dairy industry.

Germany may be famous for its sausages and beer, but it should be famous for dairy, too! To start, here are some not-to-be-missed dairy products that are fairly unique to German cuisine:

Quark, a protein-rich and often low-fat soft cheese that is most comparable to greek yogurt. Eat it with fruit and granola, for a healthy breakfast or snack!


Alternately, use it to replace sour cream in recipes or as a baked potato topping.

Harzer Kaese, a smelly hard cheese whose strong flavor and low fat content make it a delicious and digestion-friendly alternative when you've had a few too many sausages or too much dessert in the past days! It's also just a really delicious cheese that is one of my favorites, nutrition instead.

Buttermilk, a refreshing low-fat alternative to milk that is full of good bacteria to promote digestive health. These good bacteria can also make buttermilk easier to digest than normal milk for some lactose-intolerant individuals! Buttermilk is also high in lactic acid, making it an immune-boosting choice.

Melonen-Buttermilch Smoothie

If the traditional sour stuff isn't for you, there are lots of sweetened, fruit-flavored, and even chocolate-flavored options!

It's all about the proportions.

Traditional German lunches are well-balanced, with mineral- and vitamin-rich potatoes and vegetables, as well as a protein source. Instead of loading up on Wurst and Schnitzel and suffering the digestive consequences of too much grease, fill most of your plate with potato and vegetable sides.

Like many things in life, it's not about yes or no - it's about the balance!

Participate in the movement-friendly culture.

People like to walk, hike, and bike places in Germany. Adopt that lifestyle while you're there and you'll not only find that you see more of the country, and experience living like a local, but that you also stay fit without the gym!

Healthy living is fun! Germany also tends to have really mild, beautiful summers, so it's perfect for spending lots of wonderful time being active outside.

What are your favorite healthy travel tricks?

Do you prefer regimented workouts or free-form active living?

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