T ravelling not necessarily means that I am leaving the country – especially during the holiday season I tend to become more of a homebody and enjoy spending time in Munich with friends and family.
So the task is up to you now – grab your passport and come to me. If you actually happen to be in Europe around Christmas time, you will not be able to miss out on a tradition carried out all over the place as of December 1st: Christmas Markets.
Most of my evenings are now fully booked – alternating between proper Christmas parties and the casual after work mulled wine at a Christkindlmarkt (Bavarian for Christmas market) – but what to eat there when you are completely grain-free and opt for a low added sugar intake?
Is it even possible to stick to the paleo lifestyle, when the air smells of mulled wine, gingerbread and roasted chestnuts? Does it require to cancel all plans and because a pre-Christmas anti-social individuum or is the holiday season a legit excuse to go and forget about everything we successfully maintained all year?
I went out – and I will add more input during the next weeks – and investigated Munich’s nicest Christkindlmärkte with the eyes of a low-carb paleo – don’t you panic, I got you covered. In a delicious way, which will up your calorie intake but won’t take you off the caveman/ cavegirl route
Best Christkindlmärkte in Munich, Germany – my recommendations:
I love the one at Münchner Freiheit in Schwabing – snug, and yes mainly crowded but the lovely setting with hundreds of colourful lampignons makes for a unique atmosphere with a nice mixed crowd and an international selection of food and drinks.
Another favorite it the Medival Christmast Market close to Odeonsplatz: different from anything else and a treasure for delicious food and craftsmanship in the heart of the city. My paleo food favorite: Spanferkel / Suckling Pig from Erwin Manz or Grilled Fish from Der Fischer
PINK CHRISTMAS I gave you my heart – the best place for people watching and good music: Glockenbach’s tiny, but popular markets features all the joy and delicacies one could ask for within the holiday season. Located in our gay neighborhood, the market hosts an array of mixed characters both on and off stage, incl. Munich’s best drag shows (show programme 2015)
Check out Munich’s full Christmas market map for the exact locations and more inspiration.
So now that you know where to go – and there are many many more options all around town as you now know – it’s time to check what we can eat to stick to our lifestyle, weightloss or fitness goals – without compromises in the taste department.
I mean, you came to Germany. To Bavaria in my case – and what is more Bavarian than a good sausage. No more food listings necessary, because if we do one thing well it is sausage – roasted ones, with different flavours, lengths and shapes makes it almost impossible to only hit the booths once. Traditionally Würschtl will be served in a bun to take on the way, just ask for the bun-less version: sausages, a paper plate and a napkin. Simple as that.
If you simply like a sweet treat or something to pick on whilst chatting to your friends, make sure you stay away from ginger bread, fried doughnuts or sugar-laden gummi bears. There are plenty of paleo options for the sweet tooth as well – I love to go for chocolate covered fruits – preferably strawberries in dark chocolate. If the chocolate of your choice is above 75% cocoa, the treat is paleo conform and even on the low-carb side.
Another typical treat are roasted nuts, like almonds, cashews or pecans. I mainly go for the simple roasted coconut chips, as the usual nut choices are covered in sugar and will not fit to my dietary requirements.
If you are still a hungry caveman or cavegirl and low-carb is not for you anyway, Maroni (water chestnuts) are another typical Christmas market delicacy suitable for a real food diet style – typically roasted over open fire and enjoyed still hot and steaming, they provide you with good sources of minerals, vitamins and some good-quality protein. As all nother nuts, they too are rich source of mono-unsaturated fatty like oleic acid – even though their high starch content make them comparable to the other known paleo starches like sweet potato, plantain or bananas. An occasional treat in my eyes.
So again, I can only encourage you to give your local Christmas market – or the one you visit on your trips – a go to find out how to easily avoid non-paleo choices and, for once feeling unsatisfied or deprived.
In case you want to recreate a healthy version of my favorite holiday season nibbles – roasted almonds – click here for the recipe.