Sampling-savvy without worry

Starting the week off with a [more or less] clean slate I have to admit my camera decided to tag along and – as opposed to me –  stay the same way until now. Clean. In terms of food pictures, that is. Hence why today’s What I ate Wednesday won’t feature any foods eaten this week but recent ones with some pictures courtesy of my phone [not exactly my camera of choice but it works]. Looking back there’s a trend of one food category making up a rather large part of the last weeks: free food.


Granted, this first one is a bit of a stretch in terms of free. But how could I go without mentioning the fantastic lunch at Vapiano that rounded out the marvelous Sunday I spent with my mum?

Vapiano II

Liking it a lot the last time I went with their Pasta Arrabiata again – this time with whole spelt fusili – while my mum’s fettucchine dish had feta, sundried tomatoes and parmesan.


As I mentioned in my last WIAW post I take my lunch breaks for short walks. What I didn’t mention, though, was the destination of the latter. Situated in a industrial area of the city the office doesn’t offer the nicest walking environment. Nevertheless I’m making the most of it in the foodie sense by taking the ten-minute walk to two large stores close by. Sounds boring? Not so much to me if one of them is a fairly large organic supermarket [Alnatura for any German readers]. Summing up the benefits of this in just one word: samples.

cookie monster

Cookie Monster cookies …

Unfortunately, the idea has yet to spread far around here so it’s mostly organic supermarkets dishing up samples. Admittedly, I can go a little crazy on these … but that’s actually the upside to my sample-savvyness. While I still can’t pride myself with being completely [calorie-]count-free I’ve noticed how much more comfortable I’ve gotten with bits and bites. Sampling trays have helped a lot here. Who could say no to free food? Not me at least. Cookies, chocolate, truffles, bars, … as long as it’s vegan or has only a little bit of dairy I’m in.

... and fresh fruit is an obvious one.

… and fresh fruit is an obvious one.

All of the above free or paid-for-by-others foods came [mostly] guilt-free, too. Considering free foods free of calories, too? Maybe not all the way [yet] but I’ve decided not to feel guilty for eating them anymore. Eating the equivalent of five cookies in one sitting? It might have happened before. Yet if I was offered them at any other time I’d likely still dismiss the opportunity. For now it’s still taking baby steps and  but this one feels quite freeing. It’s like sampling the freedom of mindless eating which I’m hoping to reach eventually. One sampling at a time …

butter biscuits

Which better way to end an almost-last-of summer WIAW post with ice cream [samples]? Naturally I didn’t whip out my camera in front of the store employees scooping out the samples. Yet I decided to buy some and when pondering aloud which flavor to get was even offered a spontaneous discount so I could buy two [never mind that I might have done in anyway]. Apparently that’s what a little flirting with the hottie employee gets you ;). Don’t mind if I do.

Strawberry Lime Sorbet

Strawberry Lime Sorbet

Now if only I could make Jenn‘s Dark Chocolate Chip Banana Bread appear on those sampling plates around here 😉 …

Happiness inducing today: Talking to one of cousins – it had been too long already again.

Are you a sneaky sampling snacker, too?

What are your favourite foods to sample?

Random question: Is it starting to feel like Fall where you are yet? I wish summer wasn’t slowly fading away already.


25 thoughts on “Sampling-savvy without worry

  1. Emily says:

    I’m dying to make Jenn’s bread too! Let me know if you try it. (:
    I totally know how you feel when it comes to samples but it sounds like you’re making amaaazing progress. I’m so proud of you. And that pasta dish looks mouth-watering!

    • letsgetupandlive says:

      Broadening the foodie horizon? Now that’s a great way to think about it :). I enjoy getting the chance to try fancy foods I wouldn’t be likely to buy, too.
      Oh, and yes, we ate at Vapiano.

  2. Ksenija @ Health Ninja says:

    How nice to see restaurants and grocery stores on a blog that I actually know 🙂 ! I love vapianos pasta dishes and Alnatura is so amazing. Sadly the next Alnatura store is quite a ride away, but they also sell products in some drug stores and I get my regular fix. I do especially love their vegetarian burgers – delish! And I’d love to send you a sample of the banana bread over, but I highly doubt that it would make it through the post 😉

    • letsgetupandlive says:

      Alnatura has just recently opened up around where I live, too. It looks like they’re expanding quite fast lately, though, so maybe you’ll be lucky to have a store closer by soon, too?
      I’m afraid you’re right about the banana bread 😉 though I’d happily take any leftovers.

  3. Khushboo Thadani (@KhushbooThadani) says:

    Ah I love Vapiano- it especially appeals to the part of me which loves to customise/change about orders ;)! Grocery shopping is only fun when free samples are involved…even better if those samples are of products which I’m debating about getting but can’t make up my mind! Alternatively I’m also never one to turn down fro yo/ice cream samples 🙂

    • letsgetupandlive says:

      The customizing is the best part, really, because it makes eating with larger groups a breeze. That way there’s something for everybody and it’s even easy to eat there as a vegan.
      I wish more stores offered samples over here but the idea hasn’t spread all that far yet. Though any are better then none :).

    • letsgetupandlive says:

      Good call on the cheese. While I’m not a huge fan of it myself it’s the one food regularly offered for samples at stores. So I shouldn’t lament about there not being enough samples over here. At least not a lack of them for cheese fiends ;).

  4. liftsleepeat says:

    I love food samples!!! No supermarkets in the UK really sample that much though 😦 boo hoo; it’s a rarity! I’m excited though because next weekend there is a huge food festival going on near me which only means one thing – lots of samples muahaa!
    That pasta you had with your Mam looks so good! Mm.

  5. Sarah @ The Smart Kitchen says:

    When I was getting over calorie counting, one of the first things I noticed was how much more freeing it was to be able to just take a pinch of whatever was offered, instead of worrying about (or at least, worrying only slightly) about if it fit into the count, or how I would ‘make up for it’ later. I SO resonate with your statement about eating five cookies at once, and yet samples seemed scary because I didn’t know just how much I had eaten.

    I will say I have no shame in taking photos of said samples in front of the demonstrators, however. 🙂

    P.S. You are making me have pasta + sauce cravings! [Maybe it is a Friday thing, because last Friday I swear I ate half a box of pasta. And it was SO worth it.]

    • Miss Polkadot says:

      That’s so true about the samples and “pinch of this, pinch of that” eating: freeing but somehow still scary if I let myself think too much about it at the end of the day. Because that’s when guilt might still set in at times.
      Sorry [I’m not sorry] for the pasta cravings you had ;). Making pasta a regular Friday thing sounds like a pretty good idea to me. Hm …

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