Trusting hunger cues & Berlin recap

Visiting Berlin isn’t just the obviously amazing experience of spending time in this vibrant and multicultural city. For me, it’s also a way of measuring my progress in terms of eating. There are usually months in between any two visits to the city and I can see at least a little bit of improvement every time. Maybe not visible to an outsider but noticable differences to me nonetheless. It’s What I ate Wednesday again so here’s to sharing not only meals but also some reflections on past and present times at Berlin. Don’t worry: deliciousness overweighs the heavier thoughts.


We had intended to spend the whole weekend in the city but as my mum had a busy week and still more work to do on Saturday we decided to postpone a longer trip and make the most of Sunday. Getting up far too early for my liking [7:40 AM on a weekend?!] to be at the station in time to catch our train at shortly past 9. How do you early birds do that every day??

at the station

Our first stop and priority after arriving in Berlin was warming up from the chill that lay over the city at a café. Not any, though, but Sarah Wiener’s at the Museum of Communication that we’d meant to visit in anyway. The café has a cozy and comfy feel and an inviting atmosphere.

Sarah Wiener_Kommunikationsmuseum

For any of you knowing Sarah Wiener you won’t be surprised by how pretty – though not vegan – the piece of cake my mum ordered with her coffee. I may or may not have snagged the decorative piece of white chocolate.

Sarah Wiener_Torte

Past visits to Berlin evoke memories that range from not more than an apple for breakfast to then touring the city in a grouchy beast mode and brain fog. Enjoyable days? Far from it. Not only did they clearly affect my general condition but fighting with my mum – related to food or not – was unavoidable. Eating or lack therof pushed itself in the foreground no matter what we did. It became a dominating issue whenever we visited Berlin interfering with any plans we might have made. Previously [note: years ago] trying to eat as little and move as much as possible throughout the day hadn’t made for the most amazing times. This time, however, I let go of plans and followed my intuition. A breakfast that left me satisfied along with some snacks was a first good change. The second was not ignoring my grumbling stomach after making our way through the exhibition on beauty and body image [possibly more details in a post to come]. Knowing we weren’t going to have lunch until the late afternoon we spontaneously stopped by yet another café.


I’m not a fan of being the only one eating when the people I’m with aren’t hungry yet so this was a step out of my comfort zone. A step that felt good and right, though. Not only was every spoonful of this tomato soup with a sweet and spicy kick warming and delicious. It was another little learning experience: Listening to our hunger cues – however untimely they might feel – isn’t always easy when our mind tries to convine us elsewise. But in doing so we free our minds from focussing on food instead being able to turn our full attention to more important things.

Tomato soup_youghuru

Like meeting blends as I did after eating said bowl of soup above. I’ll keep myself from gushing about how awesome meeting Lucie was again 😉 – but just because today’s about the food. And there was more of that because as good as it tasted the soup clearly didn’t comprise a full lunch. Enter lunch part two. When it came to choosing between an early train home or lunch food won. Food and good company.

Burrito bowl_January 2014

No visit to Berlin is truly complete without fulfilling my need for a burrito bowl at Dolores. Same order as usual: mild salsa, Mexican-spiced brown rice, a hearty serving of black beans. All topped off with salad and freshly prepared tortilla chips. We had a great time caching up with one of my aunts and her boyfriend who are living in Berlin. And just because it’s hard to tell from the first picture: yes, there were rice and beans below all of the chips.


Snacks on the train back home included Amanda’s oatmeal bars once more which I swear get better by the day. Back home I had – well-prepared as I am [as if] – oat bran waiting for me to reheat it on the stove making for a great breakfast for dinner on a cold cold night. Trust me you don’t want to see a picture of this let alone one taken in sleepy and ravenous state [not like I took one but you don’t need to know me slacking on blogger duties ;)]. Previously I’d have neither had a two-part lunch nor allowed myself to eat a full dinner plus more snacks after returning home on a rest day with hardly any moving around. It’s all about learning to trust my hunger cues and as hard on my mind as it can still be at times I don’t want to go backwards anymore.

Oatmeal bar_II

There you go with a day of good food, meeting a blend and bonding with family in Berlin. Blissful.

Happy Wednesday!

Happiness inducing today: Quiet me time in the morning.

Have you been to Berlin before?

Do you have an easy time listening to your hunger cues and following along no matter which situation you’re in?

29 thoughts on “Trusting hunger cues & Berlin recap

  1. Beth @ Mangoes and Miles says:

    You mentioning Berlin reminded me…did I ever tell you the reason why I wanted to email you? (I know I never actually emailed you…) I had plans all lined up to study abroad in France this semester and I wanted to come see you!…and then that didn’t end up happening, sooo. Sadface.

    Anyway, trusting yourself is definitely one of the hardest parts of recovery–you’re always second guessing yourself. I’m glad that you’re able to see progress though, regardless of how little! Every little bit counts. 🙂 Also, that cake…*drool* I have too big of a sweet tooth to not mention it. 🙂

    • Miss Polkadot says:

      Sad face on my part, too. I’m keeping my fingers crossed we will get a chance to meet after all – no matter when.
      Every little bit counts – yes! It can be hard to accept that progress can be fast for some and slow for others but better little steps than none at all. I can’t say anything about the cake but the chocolate topper was pretty good 🙂 – and chocolate beats cake any time.

  2. Amanda @ .running with spoons. says:

    Awwwr lady that’s so awesome and I’m super happy for you. I remember vacations being an absolute nightmare when I was in the depths of my ED, but all of my trips in the past couple of years have definitely shown me how much things have changed. I like my routine at home, but I’m also a huge fan of getting things shaken up when I’m away — it keeps things interesting 🙂

    I’m glad you had a good time in Beelin. I’ve never been, but I’d love to visit someday.

    • Miss Polkadot says:

      The whole vacation issue is sadly still an altogether different story but at least those day trips of no exercise and eating out multiple times don’t scare the heck out of me anymore. It’s slow progress but progress. Fingers crossed for some worry-free vacations in my future 🙂 .
      And you totally need to visit Berlin. It’s an amazing city and then we’d obviously have to meet up, too!

  3. Meghan@CleanEatsFastFeets says:

    What a difference. What a great difference. I’m so happy you’re finding your comfort level with food and giving your body the nourishment it really needs. Plus, you got to eat fabulous food. That’s always a winner in my book.

  4. lovenataliemarie says:

    I’m so happy that your trip to Berlin was a positive reflection on how far you have come. I get where you’re coming from with eating as little and possible while moving as much as possible.. That is definitely not a good combo to say that least. I could tell from the looks on my family’s faces how disappointed they were. I am finally eating more and more flexible with what I am. I am glad you listened to your hunger cues. What I’ve been going by.. “EAT ALL THE FOOD.” 😀

  5. Ms.J says:

    Ohhh gosh how I relate to this! But its getting easier to respond to my hunger because I’m loving the feeling of mind freedom that comes with being satisfied; much better than dreaming about when I ‘can’ eat next. You are doing so well 🙂

    • Miss Polkadot says:

      It really does get easier by the time and not pounding on what and how much I ate felt great. No waiting for the ‘right’ time to eat but going with the flow and focussing on the people more than the food.

  6. Flake And Cake says:

    What a lovely post, I’m so happy to read it! All your eats look so wonderful – healthy, nourishing and colourful. Will have to look out for the places you mentioned when I next hit Berlin (maybe see you there too :))

    • Miss Polkadot says:

      Maybe??! I think you meant to say that we definitely need to meet next time you’re in Berlin. A stop at Dolores is a must any which way but I hope you’ll keep me updated. Any plans yet 😉 ?

    • Miss Polkadot says:

      Thanks, Lucie! I didn’t have time to check the whole menu at Atlantic but I’ll trust your judgment – or why not stop at Dolores together next time? Think the German equivalent of Chipotle if that’s any indication of how much of a [blogger] must it is 😉 .

  7. Christine@ Apple of My Eye says:

    That cake looks delicious! I’m definitely guilty of stealing the decorative pieces of chocolate on top of cupcakes/cakes. Too hard not to haha! I’m, so glad you’re finding it a bit easier to relax when it comes to food and were able to eat intuitively and listen to your body! That’s FANTASTIC and so liberating!

    • Miss Polkadot says:

      Thank you, Christine! I’m slowly but surely working my way up to intuitiveness.
      Stealing toppers or frosting of otherwise non-vegan cakes is daily business for me 😉 . But when my mum dared trying the same regarding the croutons adorning my tomato soup: no way! I never said we played by the same rules.

  8. Davida @The Healthy Maven says:

    I’m glad you were able to enjoy the family time. It’s awesome to see how much growth you’ve made and you should be so proud!

    My one and only time in Berlin was quite memorable…though truth-be-told I was extremely intoxicated for most of it so there are definitely some unmemorable moments lol

    • Miss Polkadot says:

      Unmemorable memorable Berlin memories 😉 ? I think I need some details in your next mail. Sounds like you had a great time in this great city. Fingers crossed we’ll be able to meet there for more memories – of the memorable kind 😀 – sometime!

  9. Emily says:

    What an amazing weekend! I’m dying to visit Europe. It’s definitely in the top 5 places I want to go…
    All of the food looks amazing, as usual. Burrito bowls are actually one of my favorite meals in the world- I LOVE them. They’re typically called Taco Salads over here (I order them without the meat) and they’re so delicious. I’m really proud of you for enjoying everything- you deserved it! xoxo

  10. Molly says:

    The food looks really good! And I’m not a big fan of eating when others aren’t hungry either, but I’ve learned to eat anyway because I get kind of upset when I get too hungry and listening to my body (and my hunger cues) is really important for me. The oatmeal bars also look great! 🙂

    • Miss Polkadot says:

      It can be hard to not to wonder “why am I hungry already when others aren’t??”. This used to make me feel greedy but in the end no two people are the same, no two days for a single person are so we really need to trust in those hunger cues. Good for you already following along with them!

  11. Laura says:

    Vacations can be really difficult to handle, but it looks as though listening to your hunger cues paid off! I don’t like being the only one eating either, but just remember- your mom ate that piece of cake when you weren’t eating anything…right?? People do it all the time, because everyone’s bodily needs are different. I actually end up being the only one eating a lot, because I ALWAYS need fuel!

  12. Heather @ Kiss My Broccoli says:

    “It’s all about learning to trust my hunger cues and as hard on my mind as it can still be at times I don’t want to go backwards anymore.” <- I want you to know that I am giving you a STANDING OVATION for this!!! Omg! Ahhh! Yay!! WoooHOOOO!! *tear*

    And as for your question about listening to your hunger cues when faced with "untimely" situations? Yeah, that is definitely hard to do. It actually reminds me of my trip to St. Louis LAST November when my friend and I were hopping all over the city and he was perfectly fine with just having breakfast and dinner…I on the other hand was about to gnaw my own arm off half the time! And the other half, I was "sneaking" bites of bars I had stashed in my purse! Really? Yeah!

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