Among German food bloggers there are common word jugglers and downright stars such as today’s guest and main attraction of the “Croation-Swabian State Circus”. Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome to the stage: The Whitest Cake Alive! Sonja’s exceptionally honest and entertaining posts, her stunning recipes including this strawberry-rose petal-pistachio-cake as well as her being fructose intolerant to top it off, makes it all the more easy to instantly become a huge fan of hers. Good morning Sonja, let’s get this day off to the right start!
Good morning Sonja! Please introduce yourself to the Fructopia readers!
Good morning Deniz, thanks for inviting me over to your breakfast table! My name is Sonja and I’m 29 years old. By day I’m an economic correspondent in English and Spanish. By night I’m a verbal acrobat, passionate baker and food blogger. Let’s call it my creative outlet, a fun way to get my mind off a busy day at the office.
Together with my brothers I grew up close to Stuttgart (editor’s note: A city in southwestern Germany). My parents are from Croatia, but moved to Swabia over 30 years ago. I’m a big fan of what I call my second home and we used to spend most of our summers in Croatia. Unfortunately nowadays I can’t visit as often as I would like to due to my job.
Food is a huge part of my life. My whole family loves to cook up a feast and dine together. Everyone joining in to share a meal is a tradition I’d truly miss if it were to stop. Whenever I’m in Croatia, it feels like all my relatives and half the town are seated at the same table as me enjoying the food. Sometimes I wish we’d have more dinners like that here in Germany.
Ever since I got diagnosed with fructose malabsorption my food habits and food philosophy have evolved quite a bit. Most packaged foods won’t catch my attention anymore and no longer appeal to me. Highly processed foods in particular are a complete turn off for me these days. The more natural the better.
Today additives, flavor enhancers and other chemical nonsense are totally banned from my kitchen. Studying ingredient lists and nutrition facts in detail and avoiding most of the crap that’s considered part of a “normal” diet is just one of the positive implications of my fructose malabsorption today. I used to ignore weird/exotic ingredients and make convenience food part of my regular diet. Meanwhile I don’t even recall the last time I made myself a frozen pizza. Must have been over three years ago…
It might sound weird, but I’m actually quite grateful for my fructose malabsorption. It was a real wake-up call in terms of how to nourish myself. I learned which foods make me feel good or in other words which foods are generally harmful. I pay much more attention to what I eat and how it’s produced and that’s a true gain. I like to take my time now when shopping for groceries and preparing meals. Eating is a very sensual act that shouldn’t be performed on the go. The same goes for shopping ingredients. And it’s fun! There are worse things than being in love with food, aren’t there!? But I’ll share a secret with you: I have a really sweet tooth. Passing up on fructose bombs such as baklava, cakes and tarts doesn’t always come easy for me.
‘Morning Glory’ or ‘My Life Nightlife’?
‘My Life Nightlife’. It takes quite some effort for me to go to sleep at night because there is just so much to do/prepare/read/research. That makes it difficult to get out of bed the next morning, but it’s gotten better. And then of course, we aren’t getting any younger… *cough*
When are you usually on your feet?
On weekdays I’ll get up around 8 o’clock. As for the weekends I’ll generously grant myself an extra hour. I don’t get up much later than that though, so as not to miss out on the day. Instead I’ll treat myself to an extended breakfast.What’s the first thing you do, when you open your eyes?
First I’ll roll over and snooze for another 20 minutes. That’s my way of starting the day in a relaxed manner. Jumping out of bed right at the gong is not my thing. I need some time to boot. As soon as I’m on my feet I’ll open the windows and let the light flood into my room.
What’s your morning routine?
First thing after opening the windows, I’ll turn on the radio. This is an integral part of a good morning. I’ll then head straight to the bathroom to get dressed, grab my breakfast and lunch, which I usually prepare the night before, and head off to the office.
I must admit that I don’t usually have breakfast before leaving for work. I even gave up trying… Getting up 10 minutes early to have a proper breakfast just doesn’t work for me. Instead I’ll grab a handful of nuts and head out the door.I do have breakfast at the office though. Lately I’ve been enjoying my overnight spelt-flakes with all kinds of toppings: Cocoa nibs, hemp seeds, hemp meal, vanilla (I’m truly in love with vanilla), some chia seeds, half a passionfruit or a combination of these with some other delicious toppings. I’ll try to mix things up as often as possible, according to what’s in season. Suffering from fructose malabsorption doesn’t mean your dishes have to be on the plain side. Sometimes I swap the spelt flakes for natural yogurt and top it off with an array of crunchy and yummy ingredients.
So I’ll grab my bag full of deliciousness and a book and head for the subway to work. At the office I’ll get myself a latte and enjoy said breakfast, which usually leaves me energized until lunch time.
Coffee or tea or …?
I like both. But on weekdays I prefer a good cup of coffee.Breakfast is …
Breakfast to me is the deceleration of everyday life. Unfortunately I only have time to enjoy extended breakfasts on the weekends. But when I do find the time I really celebrate the moment and everything else takes a back seat.
What type of breakfast is sure to get you on your feet?
There’s nothing like the smell of crisp bacon and freshly ground coffee to get me up in an instant! But this actually rings true for all sorts of delicious food.
Which thing or act is a morning essential?
Music! I just don’t function without music. I also like to start the day by splashing ice cold water on my face. That’s become a must as well…
What does your partner, roommate, family say/think about your ‘morning self’?
In my eyes, my “morning self” is pretty low maintenance. But when the hunger kicks in, it can get a little unpleasant for my surroundings. *cough*
Thank you Sonja für your time and this wonderful insight into your morning routine!
For more stories and delicious recipes follow The Whitest Cake Alive on Facebook, Instagram or her blog!
More interviews from this series:
My Morning: Healthy Happy Steffi
My Morning: The Fructose Friendly Chef
Schön! Das ist doch ein sympathischer Eindruck. Und Sonjas Einstellung zu Lebensmitteln sowieso vorbildlich.
Ganz Deiner Meinung! Von Sonja’s Umgang mit Lebensmitteln können wir uns alle eine Scheibe abschneiden! Liebe Grüße, Deniz