Thursday, June 27, 2013

Healthy food in Germany and big decisions


Again, first things fist:

and Mama: Alles Gute zum Hochzeitstag ihr zwei!!!

Happy, happy, happy anniversary to my awesome parents! I hope they celebrate the best of all anniversaries today!
From what I heard, their wedding was the biggest party the 70s have seen and I am not surprised! The two of them really know how to have a great time together. One of the things that really get me every time I spend time with them is how much they laugh together and that they always have something to talk about! They have been perfect together for 38 years now and I can't wait to see what the next 38 will bring them!

Now, you may wonder "why did they meet with you yesterday instead of spending their special romantic anniversary day with you as a third person tagging along?"
- to tell you the truth: I just don't know. I just don't.

Maybe they didn't want to share their amazing dinner.

I could have helped them!

Anyways, I hope that everyone is having a spectacular Thursday!

It was another rough night, because I am a jumpy freak. When the trash was picked up around 5am this morning, the sound of glass being dumped into the garbage truck made me jump out of bed. Within .28529 seconds, I was standing up right and had woken up Nick (who thankfully doesn't remember that this ever happened) to tell him that it was in fact not a car accident that just happened and everyone could calm down!

I wish I could tell you that this was the only time for this past night(s).

However, the day was actually really wonderful. I managed to be all housewifey most of the hours I was awake. With doing laundry and all! Now, I am pretty hopeful that we don't have to wear pjs all day tomorrow.

As I was throwing my running stuff in the laundry, I was thinking that the half marathon in March is really really far away and started looking online into other (earlier) halfs around here. The one I will be running is quite big (with 30.000 participants), but there are two significantly smaller ones. Interestingly enough, one if the Mercedes Benz Marathon (on September 1), the other one is sponsored by BMW (on August 25).



Not only is the one in August cheaper (€20) than the Mercedes run, it also starts 3 blocks from our house and goes around the university I go to. Do you think it would be a good idea to register?

What is holding me back right now is the fact that I am still not 100% recovered from my knee injury. Yes, it will probably all good by mid July, but I have no possibilities for endurance training (on an elliptical or spinning bike), because I am too cheap to sign up for a gym. This is not even considering the weight training.
What do you think? The race on August 25 sounds really amazing and is so incredibly close to where we live! It would be a shame not to run it. But given my knee situation, are 2 months really enough to recover and train just with my running routine and a few core exercises I do here at home?

I just don't know.

Plus, €20 would buy a lot of these!

Just kidding. Kind of.
Speaking of food prices, one of the big differences I have noticed when living in the U.S. Food in Germany is really cheap (in comparison). Even now that we are living in one of the biggest cities in Germany and are paying inner city prices, it is far cheaper than what I would pay in Baltimore.

I took a few pictures out of an advertisement from the store down the road. Not including the blueberries, all those prices are for 1kg (about 2lbs) of produce. But not only the vegetables and fruit are much more affordable, also the meat (again prices are per kg) seems to be at least half of the price.

These are the prices for the deli section.

I have to admit that the exchange rate has to be taken into consideration as well, which is at 1.30 today.

What I keep wondering is: why there is such a big difference? Yes, the country is smaller, but not all the produce comes out of Germany. We import a lot from Spain, Italy, the Netherlands etc. and the gas price over here is incredibly high. When we had to refill our rental car, we paid €80 for a gas tank of diesel (which is considerably cheaper than regular gas). Also, the tax on food items here is 7% and is already included.

I just don't understand.

Of course, for the time that we are here, we will make use of the wonderful offers and enjoy eating more fresh vegetables. It just makes me sad to think that this is not available to everyone. In Baltimore, I would pay $4.99 for a pound of fresh tomatoes and cucumbers (the long, seedless ones) were up to $3.99 each. Here, I pay €0.29. Of course, you can't live of just tomatoes and cucumbers, but this applies to pretty much all foods from potatoes, over meat, to frozen pizza.

Why am I talking about this? Obviously, I want all of you to come here to run and eat with me.

Another reason is that it was sometimes really difficult for me to stay within budget and get the groceries I would feel comfortable buying.
Especially since I started running, I have become more aware of the way I want to refuel. I don't want to just eat something just because I can afford, but I want to decide what I think is good for my body and doesn't cause us financial ruin.
I will never forget the day I went to the grocery store and saw that the packaged chicken meat was laid out while still being frozen. It was left out to thaw for the rest of the day. Early customers would get the still frozen chicken, late customers the thawed chicken that had been sitting in a mix of water, blood, fat and what not. I was so grossed out that from that day, I have not bought pre-packaged meat and started buying meat only in the deli section. Which can be really pricey.

I don't know if you have followed recent discussions on food stamps and if they should be restricted to healthier foods. Without trying to answer this question, I think that it would be wonderful if everyone (food stamps or not) would have access to reasonable priced fresh products - particularly fruit, vegetables, meat, and dairy products.
Otherwise, everyone just has to move to Germany! Ha!

What do you do to stay in your budget and buy healthy(er) foods?

Is it important to you where your food comes from? 

Which brands/ stores/ markets do you trust the most?


  1. It's definitely important to me where my food comes from! I tend to buy all my meat and produce either from the local farmers market, or Whole Foods here in the US. That's really interesting how much cheaper the food is in Berlin!

    Regarding your August half, I would probably just do it, but I'm not always the smartest girl when it comes to taking time to heal from injuries :) Maybe you can see how you feel in a few weeks and sign up then if you're feeling confident about it?

  2. Isn't it crazy? I bought a ton of fresh baked bread at a local bakery this morning and was shocked how little I had to pay. That never happens! Ha! I may have to fill a whole suitcase with food before I fly back to the US.
    It is so hard to decide about this half. But I think I will do what you suggested, too. Just wait a bit longer and then see.
    Thank you for reading and commenting! :o)