A Guest Post by Dr. Torsten Stein B.S.D.C
As a chiropractor, many of my patients are either healthy eaters, vegetarians or vegans. So when I went back to Germany just recently, I kept my eyes open to see the options overseas to report back. I wanted to examine how the generally health-conscious Germans eat, shop and live.
Germans love walking. You can see them walking everywhere. If they don't walk, they take their bikes. It can rain or shine, and Germans will be outside moving around. One of the reasons that they don't like taking their cars are the insanely high gas prices as well as the severely limited parking spaces. Many streets are several hundred years old and existed long before the first automobile appeared. So streets generally aren't very wide. When you have to maneuver backwards into an empty space with cars coming and going from both directions, you too will wish you were walking. A Tip: Practice, practice, practice your parallel parking before visiting & driving here.
The best places to walk are the inner city places where no cars can go. They are called "Fussgaengerzonen" and besides a few small regular stores, you will see lots of bakeries (even the dreaded gluten and sugar filled chain - Dunkin' Donuts). Traditional German bakeries often bake their own bread and it is fresh and spectacular! There are gluten-free options and bakeries if you plan ahead to find these hidden gems before you travel. The pastries are yummy too and less sweet than in the U.S. These places often have a coffee shop attached and there will always be a few tables and chairs outside because Germans love eating pastries and drinking coffee.
Now the biggest mark of health conscious behavior you'll see is when people buy BIO products. BIO Products are similar to what we classify as "organic" food here at home. Even though there are specific BIO stores around, most of the stores carry BIO products. The same goes for bakeries or better restaurants.
One of the things I did during my recent trip was visit my old dentist from when I used to live there. I also signed up for a teeth cleaning, and at the end, the dental hygienist asked me if I were a vegan. After telling her that I am not, she told me that one of her polishing creams is dairy based and she didn't want to mess with my beliefs. How great is that? To sum it up, if you desire to visit Germany, please do so. It's a beautiful and friendly country - covered in green. There are trees and greenery everywhere and it's a general rule to have fresh flowers in the home.
Fitness is also popular as people walk a lot and are generally in pretty good shape and very health conscious. Another tip: The one thing that will surprise you is how many people smoke in contrast with the healthy lifestyle they portray otherwise. Especially in the summer time, you will want to sit outside while eating your food at the cafes to avoid the smoke exposure.
You can also visit Gluten Free Travel for printable gluten-free restaurant cards in German to take with you when you travel.
We would love to hear your experiences if you've visited Germany and your favorite healthy finds.
An accomplished chiropractic doctor, Dr. Torsten Stein is known for being the world's tallest chiropractor. Standing at 7'2" the tall doc practices the Gonstead method and practices out of Glendale, AZ - treating patients from around the world. More on Dr. Stein and his methods can be found at. www.72doc.com.
Nosh & Nurture was born of this journey I am on to better the health of myself, my family and those around me. What started as a simple compilation of recipes has grown to a all-around lifestyle journal with ways to incorporate organic products into your home, pantry and beauty cabinet. I also include stories on pregnancy, new motherhood, travel, Proverbs 31 marriage, and spiritual health, as I am a Christian who couldn't do any of this without my Lord & Savior Jesus Christ. For more of my story you can click here.
All recipes are gluten-free and dairy-free with a lot of soy-free, grain-free, sugar-free options.