Saturday, August 18, 2007

Foody Talk

Going out for dinner at someones house is something that I find a special challenge when it comes to keeping my nutrition under control. Restaurants are no big deal because you pay for it, you have a certain amount of control about what turns up, you eat as much as you like and nobody makes a big deal about unfinished food or alcohol. As a guest in a private home, there is usually pressure, both internal and external, to eat more than you normally would. At times when I have been, for example, dieting for a photo shoot, I would take my own food and not really care about being polite (who really cares about anything when you are low carbing?). On holiday, and with language issues, I just practice moderation to the best of my ability and walk that line of compromise between being polite and staying healthy.

Here in Liechtenstein we are staying with a friend and he has a large family. This means large family lunches and dinners and the food is always spectactularly tasty and usually excessively calorie laden. Tonight was exceptional. There is a certain food combination that haunts my nightmares.... baked potatoes, cheese and bacon. It`s got it all... high glycemic carbs, saturated fats, sodium, nitrates and massive calorie density. Unless you are eating a very small portion (very difficult when you are a guest), it`s going to be costly. Add some alcohol you can easily inhale 1200 calories with hardly a glitch on the `full-o-meter`. Scary.

Tonight the table was laden with... a huge plate of FAT cheese slices, a plate of sausages and a plate of bacon. At every set place there were four baked potatoes. There was a big bowl on the sideboard with more baked potatoes. In the middle of the table there was a grilling device, the likes of which I`ve never seen before. The top of it was a regular grill, where the sausages and bacon were cooked and then under that were 8 little trays, each with an individual cooking implement. Here you place your fat piece of cheese, along with some chopped onions and other seasonings. When the cheese is melted you pour it over a baked potato and top that with bacon, sausage and more seasonings. Between potatoes there is wine and schnaps. Not a vege in sight. What are ya gonna do? I managed to eat veeeeery slowly (which was noticed and repeatedly commented on, but I put on my best Ich verstehe nicht expression) and managed to enjoy myself immensely by again turning down my internal calorie-calculator and just doing the best I could. Those of you who understand the mentality of an ex-binge eater will know that after this meal my thoughts started down the `OMG that was sooo fattening, might as well finish it off with a block of chocolate`, but instead I had an espresso and joined my niece in the lounge for some crazy dancing to some really, really dodgy German pop music. I think I`ve finally gotten a grip on the fact that a little overindulgence is better than a lot. I was astounded to watch most other people at the table eat up to 500g of cheese each. It`s not the first time I have witnessed such impressive cheese consumption. On the first week here we had cheese fondue. The post-fondue day would be the first day in at least five years where I could not face eating until well after lunchtime. I have read in my studies that fat is the best thing for long-term satiation (whereas protein and carbs are the best for short term satiety) and since being here I have noticed this in practice. So, instead of gaining weight like a hippo, I am at least maintaining and possibly losing some, judging by the fit of my clothes. I`m just not as hungry as usual, which could be due to the extra fat I`m eating or it could be because I do not have the usual stresses of my daily life.

Tomorrow we are heading into Buchs in Switzerland for another street party in the afternoon and I`m just making up my mind whether to stay in Liechtenstein and relax or head to Bern and Zurich for a few days of shopping before we fly out to Singapore next Wednesday. Oh, the decisions... lazing around or shopping? laxing or spending? mmmm... it`s a tough one.


  1. Speaking of food, and seeing as your mum could not send the Marmite or Vegemite, I am curious to know if you found the Cenovis for your sister. (I advised that in my last email)
    If not, how is she coping?

  2. Ciao Ant!

    No, I`ve looked for it too. I`ve really only been in the Coop supermarkets and most are quite small. Sister is coping.. just. She keeps saying `why dont they have normal food here?`. Maybe not a natural traveller? ;)

    Thanks for pointing out the correct spelling of Knödels. I will email you real soon.


I love to hear from you! Tell me what's in your brain, your heart or your dinner plate :D.