Jump to content

Europe, never been, what to expect??


Recommended Posts

Hi all, so I will be done with my Whole30 by the time I get married and leave for a Euopean honeymoon in 2 weeks (2 weeks!!), but as I think is the point of this, with the drastic improvements I am seeing in my physical and mental well being I just cannot envision going back to my previous eating style. In particular, I have no desire whatsoever to eat anything grain-like or dairy. Pretty sure I will indulge in a bit of wine though. :D

I'll be in Vienna, Munich, and some places in between. Has anyone traveled this region while embracing paleo-style eating? Is it going to be difficult (more so than here in San Diego) to find foods that will keep me feeling good?

Just would like to hear some advice/experiences if anyone would be so kind as to share. Thanks!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We lived in Germany for about two years. I was not paleo then but can give you some tips on what to expect that hopefully will help.

The breakfasts at the Gasthauses are usually a couple of types of yogurt, lots of cold cuts, muesli, and a few breads. Plus juice, coffee, that sort of thing. You might want to google and find more info as to what the coldcuts over there typically contain as I didn't check on that stuff back then.

A lot of German food was gluten heavy - gravies, beer in sauces, breaded stuff. Here's the silver lining, though: if you try and speak German and are friendly, the locals are really nice and usually switch to English to help you out. I was always asking for "ohne zwiebeln" (no onions) and they overlooked my awful pronunciation. So hopefully you can look up a few key phrases or get a small pocket dictionary to order a meat-and-veggies meal. There was always lots of meat available, soooo good :). If I were going now, I'd probably just eat a lot of meat or sausage (bratwurst!!) dishes with sauerkraut, mustard, and/or veggies, hold the gravy. And maybe potato salad, too - it'll likely be vinegar rather than dairy based sauce (not at all like the picnic goop here in the states, ew).

Many dishes also usually had a side salad that came tossed in a dressing - a sweet, vinegary sauce on it. Not sure if it had gluten? Don't remember soy sauce used often in restaurants there so perhaps it is only an oil/vinegar/sugar concoction. And the greens were pretty good, real salad greens, not iceberg.

How gluten/grain intolerant are you? If you are off gluten for general health but not celiac or severely intolerant, you may want to consider at least trying some of the beer there. It really is different. That being said, we had some great white wines in Germany, too. I'm not a red drinker so not sure about those.

And don't be afraid of the grocery stores... the ones by us had nice produce sections and Europe has higher standards than we do. From what I remember, there weren't things labeled "organic" because the produce was already non-GMO and didn't have the pesticides ours does. You could also hit up the deli within grocery stores, my husband was constantly buying salamies, jerky, coldcuts lol...

Have an amazing trip, and congratulations!!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Elleon thanks so much for your reply and helpful suggestions! I'm definitely looking forward to eating some bratwurst! Fortunately I'm not celiac or severely gluten intolerant though do notice uncomfortable effects enough that I'm going to continue to avoid it at least until I let my groom smash a cupcake in my face at the wedding (and probably then several days after). But in my past I have been a beer lover, therefore am sure I'll be making the conscious decision to endure whatever conseqences may arise from raising a mug when I get to Oktoberfest. :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...

We currently are living in Germany. This might be too late but still might be helpful for others:

Elleon said a lot of what I would have, but here is my take; Europe does not allow for many of the pesticides that go on produce and hormones that go into meat. I have tried to find out exactly what is allowed, but the language barrier (even w/ the help of locals and google translate) has proven too difficult to really find answers. I buy mostly regular produce here at the local stores but there is also a "bio" label and that is very similar to organic.

- I second going to local grocery stores. Many have a Metgerei (butcher/ meat shop) right there, but if not, it is VERY easy to find one. If you are ok not being 100% Whole30, enjoy their sausages and meats (if you find a local shop, you may even be able to skip out on the nitrates, etc). Most have what kind of looks like a slim jim but tastes divine. I honestly don't know what it is called, but we just point and ask for a "fleisch stuck" (meat stick!) and those are GREAT for packing away for long days that need a snack. Germans are very proud of their fresh, local foods.

As far as food goes. I personally believe that traveling means experiencing local cultures (which, sadly, is often the food and drink of the locals). What is great about Germany and Austria is that while they have plenty of absolutely delicious foods (not whole30 compliant) they are still many that are still decent choices.

- I have not found a local restaurant that doesn't have fabulous side salads. I have often asked for a "Grosse (say it: Grosseh) Salat" (big green salad) if I don't see one on the menu and they are almost always happy to help out. Right now (the fall) is a a GREAT season for kurbis suppe (pumpkin soup). If you are going to Oktoberfest, you can always get a hendl (chicken) which is what I opt for when at fests trying to be paleo. It is roasted to perfection and SOOO juicy and mouth watering AND not off the wagon!

-Schweinhaxen is a Bavarian specialty. It is a giant pork knuckle and is DELICIOUS. This is a total paleo choice as well. If you see this, you MUST try it.

- For breakfasts be ready for lots of rolls, breads and cereals. However, many places will offer boiled eggs. I have to admit that breakfasts are usually a hard one for me while traveling.

Now, of course, Germany has SO much more cuisine (and obviously drink) to enjoy but since this is a health site, I will avoid mentioning these since they will just make me hungry!!!

Good luck! It is totally do-able if you have the right mindset

P.S: Here are some common German words for meats in case you are looking at a menu (how to roughly pronounce is in parenthesis)

Scwein (Shvine)= Pork

Rind (Rinde)= Beef

Huhn, Hendl, Hähnchen= All different ways to say chicken

Pute (pewteh)= Turkey

Salat= Salad

Soße (sooseh)= Sauce (watch out, many meats have a sort of sauce/ gravy)

Ohne (oh-nay)= without

Link to comment
Share on other sites

From a french food perspective - eating paleo/gluten dairy free is pretty cruisy.

Every french restuarant (bistrot, brasserie...) has a massive selection of meat + vegetable(s). They are also obsessed with french only produce (so you know it is seasonal) and the french heavily regulate their produce - so no pesticides, antibiotics....

God bless the french, they love ratatouille - might know it from the movie. But it is just vege + olive oil and practically every restaurant sells it.

The hardest part, is saying no to dessert (and the delicious bread that comes with every meal). But there are a couple of strategies.

1. Get your significant other to taste the bread - if he says it is the best of his life (well, then I think you have to try it/ sample) if not, then know that you don't have to eat it, because it's not that good.

2. French Restaurants don't really do dessert. Sure they have icecream, profiteroles, tarte tatin etc but it tends to either come out of a carton, or absolutely covered in creme fourette (air whipped cream)- I'd skip the dessert and instead go pastry hunting. If your going to break paleo it might as well b fore something delicious homemade (or made with love) and not drowning in whipped cream. My best strategies is to buy 2/3 if im with some friends. I'll try some of them (1/4 or 1/8th or if it is absolutely delicious and the best of my life then well, it might be a whole) and let my friends to devour the rest (otherwise I'm afflicted by something known as food envy)

You will absolutely love Europe - amazing continent, filled with darn attractive people, crazy cultures, and delicious food and wine.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...