What We Learnt From Our German Colleagues About Food

Posted on November 28, 2012 by Rebecca in General Health, Nutrition

Here at Hypoxi HQ we have established a great relationship with our fellow colleagues in Austria and Germany, so much so, that we have had a string of German exchange students conducting their internships at Head Office.

Working alongside these progressive, young women has presented itself with nothing unfamiliar. Despite living thousands of kilometers apart us modern day Western women are pretty much alike in our hopes desires and tastes.

But then there is the food situation.

Yes, when it comes to the wining and dining habits of our European sisters…it appears us Aussie girls are particularly ‘anti-social’ bunches.

And herein lays one of our potential ‘flaws’ as a weight loss obsessed nation.

For many women on a weight loss mission, eating is no longer a social and enjoyable act… it is merely a means to a weight loss end.

Devoid of fun. Devoid of pleasure.

So what can we learn from our European sisters?

1) Learn to relish the act of eating

Move beyond the concept of dieting and realise the importance of pleasure when you eat. This doesn’t mean chocolate cake for lunch every day! Rather think about tantalising all your senses; serve your food in an attractive way (not from a takeaway box) and share it with people who make you feel good!

2) There is no good or bad food.

Learn to eat in moderation and don’t black list foods. This only leads to guilt trips, binge eating sessions and a general anxiety associated with eating. Instead, if you want dessert, why not share it with a friend? And appreciate the beauty of a fine salad with freshly picked veggies! Foods from all sources are divine in their own right.

3) Just eat food…

If your great grandmother knows what it is that you’re eating then you have the European’s tick of approval! Avoid processed items, riddled with fake fat and fake sugar. If your grandmother lived off butter, cuts of ‘fatty’ meat and full fat dairy yet lived to the ripe old age of 90, then you really need to question where our priorities are when it comes to ‘healthy eating’. ‘Calorie Counting’ is both unhealthy in mindset and in making you think that eating a 100 calorie processed chocolate bar is as healthy as a good portion of vegetables dressed in olive oil.

4) Eat Mindfully, and acknowledge the process!

Take the time to eat your meals. The German interns in our office were astounded that we ate lunch at our desks and didn’t take the time to actually sit outside and share lunch with friends. They also commented on how fast we demolished our food whilst we flicked through emails! (guilty as charged…) No wonder we all suffer from digestive issues and struggle to feel full even after a large lunch! Taking the time to put down your fork after each bite and savor the flavor of food with friends is so vital to making food soulful rather than just filling! Eating mindfully and slowly allows you to eat less and enjoy more.

5) Focus on moving each day

Make walking everywhere part of your daily makeup. Most European women find it frightful that we don sports tights and head to the gym for a sweat session. Why ‘make the time’ to exercise when you can unwind with a walk to work or bike to the supermarket for your groceries? These seemingly insignificant lifestyle habits can mean the difference between maintaining your twenty something figure in your thirties and forties or adding on those extra kg’s every year.

So perhaps the most pertinent difference between our European and Aussie sisters was all in the mind.

Our German interns’ ultimate defense against fat was in their head, home to their senses. Through their heightened awareness they could experience food through its flavor as well as its sounds, site, feel and smell and in this way they reaped the best feeling from eating.