Tuesday, July 27, 2010

When Clean Eating Attacks

"Food is fuel, food is fuel, food is fuel..."

My friend robotically chanted this to me a couple of weeks ago, her eyes closed and head bobbing methodically as if she were trying to convince herself that she believed it.  Instantly, I knew what had happened.  We were on a business trip.  In a hotel.  It's bound to happen eventually.

The clean and healthy food she had so carefully packed had somehow been compromised, and she had to eat it anyway, because food was fuel and she needed to fuel and she wasn't going to divert from her nutrition plan.

So that makes me the solitary person in the back of the theatre slowly clapping my hands. 

Atta girl!! 

An example of a Happy Place, though not mine.
Her downfall?  The old ice-bucket-as-refrigerator trick.  I've done it myself.  Lacking an actual ice chest or fridge, you're forced to wrap your food in plastic, cocoon it in a bed of ice, and hope it resembles something edible in the morning when you need to fuel (eat) again.  Sometimes you get lucky and your egg whites or yogurt or oatmeal still resemble food. Other times, you find yourself in the same place Lisa was: your own personal episode of Hotel Room Fear Factor.  Close your eyes, hold your nose, go to your happy place, and swallow it before you can think anymore about it.

You're fueled.  Yes it was gross and hopefully we won't need to do that again but the mission has been completed:  body nourished, all systems go.

What do you do when something you've prepared to eat turns out gross?  You eat it anyway because food is fuel.  I learned that lesson when I carefully crafted a salad that sounded like a good idea at the time but actually turned out to be a pretty unfortunate combination of flavors.  But I sucked it up and ate it anyway because food is fuel, not companionship or reward or validation of anything other than the fact that we are human beings that require calories to live. 

Harsh?  Yeah, it's a little extreme and I totally understand if you think I am crazy.  But I was so proud of Lisa that day.  I don't want her to eat disgusting things, but I love that she was able to look at that disgusting thing and get over any feeling she had of entitlement to a hot, delicious breakfast and just see food as fuel.  I am a big fan of hot delicious breakfasts.  But I've also eaten cold oatmeal out of a water-logged tupperware while chanting that familiar mantra, "food is fuel. Food is fuel.  Food is fuel..."  And then I got over it and went on with my day because food is fuel.  Have I mentioned that food is fuel?  I did? Just checking.

To all the fuelers: keep fighting the food fight!

Good day!


Christy said...


Just about every single room service menu has plain oatmeal, fresh fruit, egg whites, etc.

Room service is proof God loves us and wants us to be happy. ;-)

The (not so) Reluctant Athlete said...

LOL, because I am CHEAP! :) And paranoid! And cheap! :) You make a great point though - there are some hotel restaurants who do room service with actual healthy food and for them, I am very thankful. The egg white omlette (no cheese, lots of veggies) at the Ritz Carlton has saved me a few times, even if it was $30. :)

Christy said...

Well I never said you could be happy for free. ;-)

In fact, the healthier options are usually more expensive. That is what really irritates me about eating out.