Thursday, February 16, 2012

Living in a Snow Globe. . .Searching for Fresh Organic Produce

Hi Friends!

So here we are on our military post in Stuttgart, Germany, as Mr. and Mrs.! Our wedding, on January 28th, was wonderfully beautiful and was so much more than I ever dreamed it would be. My mother and some close friends worked from sun up to sun down to make everything look beyond perfect! Just a little over two weeks ago I married my best friend and started my adventure by taking on the role to be his loving and supporting wife as we serve not only each other hand in hand, but also our country. Today has been my first day of military briefings as a military wife. I have to say that I now feel quite officially accepted into the military as my husband's significant other!

We have been here 5 days and there are a few challenges that we have already faced. Finding quality, healthy "living food" on post has been the most difficult task so far. Since all of our belongings and our car are still being shipped over, we are reliant on whatever is available to us here on post near our hotel. There is a food court that consists of Popeyes, Pizza Hut, and the like; and there is a Commissary (a mini military grocery store) that has a selection of fresh produce and organic foods that can be carried out of the store in one hand. Needless to say, our options for healthy eating are severely limited. I have had to pick the lesser of the two evils- scrubbing non organic produce until it is nearly drunk on bubbles, and selecting eggs and meats that are at least not super full of hormones and chemicals.

I have definitely noticed my body having a super hard time adjusting to the limited selection, mostly because it's used to a much cleaner diet that was readily available at the nearest Whole Foods or small organic grocery store. I'm sure all the stress from the wedding planning, getting things ready to move here (military PCS move), and emotional goodbyes to our families after the wedding, is finally catching up to me as well. I have had to take my Clonazepam almost every other day since we have been here (which I hate doing), but I have definitely learned over the past year that it is far better to take the small doses I have instead of suffering through scary "attacks". . . which my Doctor in the States still doesn't know what to label under. I can feel that my adrenals are super maxed out and like I said, I know its from a combination of things. The items that seemed to help me feel "normal" back home (organic whey protein, organic grass fed beef, liquid iron supplement, a truckload of organic teas, some of my probiotics, etc.) were not easily packed into my luggage for various obvious reasons. So until I can order a magic wand and "kalamazoo" some of my key necessities over here, I will have to make do with the little amounts of organic foods that I have managed to find on the Commissary shelves over here; and keep my fingers crossed that my body plays nice.

Last weekend Daniel and I ventured off post and walked 45 minutes, in 20 degree weather, to see what we could find in the nearest town. I had at least three layers of clothes on every body part, so I wasn't completely  freezing. . . except for my nose! We ended up finding a charming little "produce stand" once we reached town. Since this was our first adventure on German soil we knew that our encounters with the locals would involve pretty limited conversations. As Daniel and I selected some fresh eggs, tomatoes, onion, carrots, and various other things (that we may or may not have known the names off-haha), the owner of the charming tiny "grocery store" made the first move- a string of German words that flowed out of his mouth like alphabet soup to my ears. I'm sure though that the looks on our faces somehow said even more than the German had spoken! In the moments that followed we all somehow communicated, with made up sign language and sounds much like a child learning to speak, that we definitely do not speak the same language; and that it was indeed okay for him to chop off the green carrot tops that we were trying to purchase. I had really wanted to keep the vitamin rich green tops, but at that point I figured it would be harder conveying that I wanted to keep them for their nutrition value! It was quite the experience!

So, moral of the story is that there are little fresh veggies out there in Germany, just waiting to be placed into my little backpack and taken home; however, we may have to spend a little more time learning to speak German if we would like to know everything that we are purchasing, and whether or not I would like to take my green carrot tops home for juicing :o).

For now, I will keep practicing my German (especially phrases pertaining to grocery shopping) and continue to let the local German food work it's magic- even if it's only medicine for the soul! 

Tschuss!/So Long (pronounced chewss), Meg


  1. I was so excited to see your post. I can't wait to hear about life in Germany. I also can't wait to travel myself and experience awkward circumstances :)

  2. Wow! Good for you! And take those carrot tops home girl! Also, look for anything fermented you can get your hands on. The Germans are good at that! I love your posts Meg. Keep them coming!

  3. I totally wanted to take the carrot tops with me, but I couldn't figure out how to explain that to the poor man- haha. I also don't really know what to do with them other than juicing; which I can't do for another 2 months when our household goods arrive! Do you have any suggestions for how I can use the tops without a juicer?!

    1. Way to go meg! I love the picture. What's your address out there?

  4. oh, thank you for the post!! reminded me of trying to order ground beef years ago when I was visiting Lonny when he was stationed there ~ and at work!!!

    here is a neat link for your carrot tops ~

    love you bunches and I look forward to more wonderful updates from you!!


  5. Meg,

    Congratulations!!! From one military wife to another, welcome to the military community. Regarding Germany: 1) German isn't that hard. Download the free version of the German language software that transparent language provides ( or I used it for German, Italian and Russian and it's SO easy to learn with their system. German is also one of the languages that is close to English. Many words in German and English will sound very similar. Once you know what you listen for you'll start to catch on very quickly. 2) Europeans are REALLY big on fresh produce, organic, natural, healthy etc. They have tons of small corner grocery stores, markets etc. During the spring, summer and fall you'll be able to find local produce that is completely organic that is grown locally. You just have to know where you look. 3) Driving in Germany is not that hard either (I know you didn't mention it). They should offer a class on base to teach you the basic signs etc. Once you learn the German signs (European signs) you'll be comfortable driving in Germany, France, Spain, Austria, Switzerland or Italy. I highly recommend checking out Garmisch Partenkirchen (southern Germany), great castles, great skiing. Also Austria, wonderful Christmas markets, homemade Christmas ornaments (same in Germany and Italy) and also great castles. We used to go to Saltzburg Austria all the time. Have a wonderful time in Germany!!! You're going to love it there!!! The community is amazing, the people, the culture, everything!!! We miss it SO much!!!