Monday, November 18, 2013

Thinking about Food Matters

I have been thinking a lot about food lately. This time of year I miss a lot of the special foods from Germany. But then again, I think it's just well I can't have them. German Christmas treats aren't exactly healthy. Still, I can't help but feel I ate much healthier food when I lived in the Vaterland.

Needless to say, I was a bit shocked when I came back from my trip to Germany this summer, and hopped on the scales. REALLY. I had gained 8 pounds in less than two weeks? That's crazy. Is there something wrong with my memory? Or was it just that everybody fed me sweets and cakes when I came to visit because they missed me so much?

I have worked really hard since June to get rid of the extra pounds. When I need a break from sewing I go to the gym. I try to go a minimum of 3 times a week. I am proud to say I can withstand an hour of torture on the elliptical machine these days. Don't even feel winded afterwords. Still, I have not been able to shed all the extra pounds. I hover around the same weight. And it's driving me nuts. What is it with your body not cooperating any more once you hit 40? What happened to the good times? I can't even have a glass of wine any more without waking up the next morning with a bad headache.

So I went to the library to check out some books on nutrition and dieting. It's not that I am overweight. People who know me laugh at me when I say I need to lose weight. Why you? You are skinny. That is nuts. I just don't like the lack of energy. I don't enjoy feeling tired all the time.

Why not try a new approach? I stumbled upon Mark Bittman's book Food Matters and I have decided that it's perfect for me. It expresses a lot of the thoughts and emotions I have had around food and eating. From the day I moved to the US I have struggled to adjust to the different diet. I guess what I miss mostly from home is bread. In Germany it was one of my main food staples. You know, the daily bread thing goes a long way when you are a poor student in Berlin. But here? If I want to buy a decent loaf of bread I have to drive 50 miles and spend oodles of money. I highly recommend the Prussian Rye at Whole Foods Market! It comes closest to what people eat in Germany.

The first couple of years I tried to bake my own bread. Unfortunately it didn't go so well. I found high altitude baking in Colorado very challenging. I finally gave up and resigned myself to the stuff they call bread in the grocery stores here. It has about 5 million ingredients, including sugar and preservatives. Even the supposedly "healthy" overpriced loaves are full of sugar and sweeteners.

But like I said, I am tired of feeling tired, and I am ready to try Mark Bittman's approach. I want to cut out as many highly processed foods, white sugar, and as much meat as I can. Maybe I'll  even give baking my own bread another try. Just hope hubby won't suggest burning it in the woodstove again. That's what happened to that last German-style sourdough bread I baked years ago.


Harvest Moon by Hand said...

Sounds like a good book, Ulla. I'd give bread-baking a try again. There's so many good recipes out there for healthy bread.

As a side note, there's a place up north in MN that bakes bread in a wood-fired oven. I've always wanted to take that class because the pictures of the loaves that come out of it look amazingly delicious.

germandolls said...

That bakery sounds great! I hope you get to take that class!

I have begun to eliminate all highly processed foods. I never was a fastfood fan anyways. I guess the hardest part will be cutting down on chocolate and sweets...I do have a "bit" of a sweet tooth.