I'm new at this message board but saw your post and I just HAD to reply. I'm currently living in Holland and had my surgery in January this year.
Foods are so different over here! It's a challenge, but here are some tips which might help you:
- Restaurants: Go for Spanish TAPAS, you can have seafood, Serrano ham, Manchego cheese, olives, mushrooms, etc. Jus****ch out for hidden fat content, as in chorizo! At a normal restaurant, just ask for either the catch of the day or beef dishes - should not be a problem in France but might be challenging in Germany because everything is breaded and fried. You're better off with steak in Germany because they have lots of variety. But please stay away from their fries with mayo... yuck!
- Protein drinks: If you depend on protein drinks, I suggest you bring your own as you can't find them around here easily. Not only are protein drinks not used for WLS patients, but many Wester Europeans do not believe in artificial supplements. You might find some Atkins shakes if you're lucky but don't count on it.
- Water and drinks: Water will be your best friend; you can find bottled water everywhere. However, please watch out in Germany because their standard bottled water has bubbles and lots of salt. If you want normal bottled water, you should ask specifically for "mineral wasser ohne gas". If you're into Crystal Light, you might want to bring some To Go with you, too. You can't find them anywhere around here! This is one of my biggest frustrations lately, and I have to have all my Crystal Light sent from home by mail - so I suggest you pack some in your suitcase NOW before you forget them! Same goes for Splenda, which I believe is only available in the UK.
- Fuit/veggies and snacks: In both countries, you can find good fresh fruit and vegetables; you might want to stock up and eat these as snacks. Otherwise, go for nuts - always handy.
- Milk: Now here's something to talk about! I have been living in Europe for almost six years now and only last month did I find some decent fat-free milk. But I'm afraid this one is only available in Holland and Germany... the brand is Campina and I quite like it. Not sure if you can find any in France.
For the rest, you should be alright... there is always a healthier option to almost any kind of food; just make sure you ask lots of questions and if you're not sure DON'T EAT IT!
Hope this helps. Have fun and enjoy your trip! And if you get stuck, just drop me a line and I can try to help.