Monthly Archives: June 2016

* Staying Bright-eyed and Bushy-tailed on Holiday *


The Streets of Avignon

Living in Berlin gives you access to many amazing countries, all just a short flight or train ride away. I’ve been super lucky to have spent the last week in L’Isle sur la Sorgue, a delightful village close to Avignon, and Barcelona. We attended an amazing wedding in France and carried on to meet some more dear friends in Spain.

Naturally, it was all laid on for us. Enough rosé and sangria for a village fiesta, the best cheeses I’ve ever tasted and croquetas, my new favourite deep-fried morsel of goodness. And don’t even get me started on the patisseries and boulangeries.

Place du Palais

When you’re on holiday in another country, it’s all about new experiences and grasping those opportunities that come your way, which for many of us means devouring a whole lot more of the good stuff and not keeping up with the usual exercise routines. It got me thinking about ways to not feel too sluggish, überunheathy and heavy whilst you are exploring the world. Here are a few top tips that I’ve learned from my own travels:

Move: Exercise everyday, preferably first thing in the morning. Just get up and go for a run, walk, bike ride, swim, or do a few sun salutations on the beach. I also pack a Pilates resistance band and some yoga socks for variety, which are both light and won’t take up to much space in your luggage. This makes you feel instantly better after what was probably rather a joyous evening with the odd refreshment or three. It also means that the evenings are kept free for much of the same carry on. And repeat.

There are also lots of opportunities for incidental exercise on holidays. There is no better way to see the city than on foot or on a bike, so ditch the sweaty public transport options and do your body and bank balance some good.

Delightful French Buildings

Vegetables: Try to eat as many as possible so that you don’t go overboard on rich, heavy foods. I’ll often have lunch or dinner consisting of a big plate of salad and vegies, as well as some protein like chickpeas or chicken. If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you’ll know that I believe that beetroot is in fact the key to life, so I’ll buy it in any form from the grocery store or village market. It means that I feel a whole lot healthier, as consuming beetroot ensures that my vitals are functioning optimally.

Snacks: You never know how much you are going to absolutely love somewhere and want to stay for longer. You could easily spend the best part of an afternoon wandering around La Sagrada Familia being utterly captivated. Having some fruit, nuts, seeds or wholegrain crackers on hand will ensure your blood sugar doesn’t get too low and you start freaking out. Depriving your body of the fuel that it needs to function means that you’ll get hangry (hungry angry) and crave instant energy, often in the form of saccharine sweet, stodgy food. After you’ve had your second slice of tarte tartin and you’re making eyes at the macaron shop, your body moves in to overdrive mode, which creates a vicious cycle of eating anything and everything you can get your hot little hands on.

Gaudy at his Finest

Indulge, but don’t go overboard: If I know the evening will probably consist of having a few glasses of vin de pays, I won’t have a gelato in the afternoon. Heck yes, I’ll have the petit gâteaux and have yet another ohemgee Super Foodie moment, but I won’t have it every day that I’m in France. This ensures these little indulgences remain special and will long be remembered after the holiday.

To me, travelling to other beautiful countries is what summer in Europe is all about. Now is the perfect time to make your own swift exit to a place where you can’t understand the local news and be blissfully ignorant – you’ll probably find it rather liberating.


* Deutschland, Hallo *


Goodness, it feels so verdammt gut to be back in Deutschland. I really have left my heart in two places – New Zealand and Germany are worlds apart but both feel like home to me.

Here I feel so unbelievably free. Free from the bitter weather back home and the people who are falling into their winter slumps. Free from the confines of what constitutes a “normal life”. Free from the mind-numbing politics I used to have to deal with in my previous world. The only remotely political thing I have to contend with here is which organic supermarket am I going to buy groceries from? The one which has the more sustainable packaging or the one which makes those highly addictive dark chocolate amaranth bars from the healthier, less refined ingredients?

I’m just busy doing my things: biking around in the sun, reading in parks, doing laps around the Sportplatz, practicing yoga, a spot of meditation here and there and eating my fill of Dönerkebaps. You know, first I have my pot of tea and then I do the things.

Sportdplatz Prenzlauer Berg

I also feel so wonderfully alive  – in Berlin you can just be. It may have something to do with the warm weather, the pink hawthorns in full bloom, the whiffs of herb through the streets, my propensity for Club-Mate. Or perhaps it’s that even though in the last few years I’ve only spent summer times in Berlin and haven’t had to endure a long, harsh winter, these guys have a good thing going on. Here are a few of my faves:

For starters, people bike everywhere. This makes for a whole lotta spaß, helps you burn off some fuel after a night and is a great way to keep fit whilst working on your tan. Who needs to pay for a taxi or ride the inferno-like trains when you can push your pedals? It’s good for both you and the environment.

As most people are apartment dwellers, people hang out in parks or along one of the many canals or rivers. Pick up a brewski or a Club-Mate and a wee Schnäpschen from one of the many Spätis (late night dairy) and you are away laughing. It makes for some über interesting chat when it’s party time with other people from every corner of the globe. This is a stark contrast from New Zealand where most people generally hang out in their own backyards, so I’m loving this extra-social element.

Canal Life

The organic supermarkets or Biomarkts are amazing. As a superfood writer, Berlin is paradise for me. Because there is such a demand for organic food and the government incentivises the industry, it keeps the cost down and there is a huge variety of interesting and health-enhancing superfoods that really get me amped. I’m going to write more about this at a later date so stay tuned.

The Sommerbads are so so good. These outdoor swimming pools have everything I want in a pool: a newspaper or magazine for sale on arrival, a variety of pools to swim in, trees to shelter under, slides and volleyball courts. Der Sommerbad Kreuzberg ist mein allerliebsten closely followed by the Sommerbad Neukölln.

I do however feel myself becoming more German by the day. How dare they walk in what is clearly the designated bike lane, damn tourists. Mein Gott, will that person in the queue please pack their groceries just a little but faster so that we can all get on with our lives? Why are you not on the right side but hogging the left side of the escalator, and worse still, just standing idle, when I clearly need to get past?!

Berlin is a world away from the small city of Dunedin where I live in New Zealand – I’m really in the big smoke here. As the wise yogi Sadhguru says, “if you want everyone to fall in love with you, the first thing is, you must fall in love with all of them”. I have to remember to chill out, give love, rise above and be much more tolerant as I share this city with the millions of other people in this melting pot who call Berlin home.

I’m super stoked to be sharing this journey with you through Super Foodie and my new gig on Berlin Logs as well. Tschüssi!