Saturday, February 23, 2013

Eating on the Road

When I am on a long road trip, I don’t like to dilly-dally. I’d prefer to keep my stops to a minimum and get to my final destination as quickly as possible. But sometimes, my gut tells me I need to stop. And I don’t mean some weird, Leroy Jethro Gibbs instinct, I mean, my hunger pains! What I have learned is that it is best to keep snacks easily accessible in the car (of course, it helps when I have a passenger to hand me food and drink) so that I don’t have to stop for long meals.

Up until now, these posts have used the theme of a road trip as an allusion to my path on “the plan”; however, this scenario actually translates to both journeys. I need to make sure that I have healthy snacks along the way in order to keep my hunger to a minimum and so that I don’t find myself sitting at the drive-thru window of the Golden Arches. When there is a break in the normal routine (road trips, business trips, etc.), I think many people make the mistake of thinking “hey, I’m on vacation, why not?” or “I can always get back on track when I get home” and while both of those statements are true, why should I derail myself from the new routine have created? If I feel good eating healthy and exercising, why would I want to deviate from that routine on vacation? If I know that overeating and overdrinking is only going to make me feel like crap, why would I want to waste the calories on something that isn’t worth it? Now, of course the beauty of “the plan” is that if I want to have it (whatever “it” is), I’m allowed. Nothing is off limits.

Somehow, I got sidetracked from my original thought: healthy snacking along the way. Yes, if I am on the road, I must keep the healthy snacks with me. Now, I don’t know about you, but if my stomach is growling from hunger, that is all I think about. And when food is all I’m thinking about and I finally get to a restaurant, I’m like a shark feeding in chummy waters! My eyes roll back in my head, and I bite down on whatever I can get my teeth into before it disappears! OK, so maybe I’m not that bad, but at one point and time, that wasn’t too far off from reality! But if I have some fruit, or some other snack, that sharky behavior doesn’t rear it’s ugly head when I finally do get to sit down for a meal.
And so it is, that one of the most important lessons I have learned along the way is keep good snacks with me at all times. I really don’t relish the thought of sitting down to a meal after a long day of traveling and in the back of my mind I start to hear the theme from Jaws! I’m pretty sure there is a bunch of sciencey stuff out there to support this theory of snacking, but I don’t feel the need to go search it out. I just believe in my gut and know how I feel when I do keep snacks around (or don’t have them around). Who needs sciencey stuff when that gut feeling is all the evidence I need.