Thursday, August 4, 2011

How to Not Eat Like a Trucker

Vacation ended for me on Tuesday, and I am so glad to get back to my 100% clean eats.  Yeah, I ate a couple of cheeseburgers, some waffle fries, a few cookies, and some ice cream on vacation, which had me feeling kind of slimy. But, I also packed my ice chest full of berries, clean-eating sandwiches, water, apples, and almonds for snacking and was able to eat pretty well on the road with a little planning and good old-fashioned stubborness.

 I can clearly remember the day I stopped eating fast food. I was in the car, in the Wendy's drive-thru, trying in vain to find something for dinner that wouldn't wreck my nutrition and make me feel gross. It wasn't possible, and I realized, "I could have avoided this if I had just made myself a *&%$ing sandwich."  (Sometimes I think in curse words even though I don't say them out loud.)  From that point forward, I was done with fast food, and I packed my ice chest of sandwiches, little baggies of snacks, and everything I needed to stay fueled on the road. That was about four years ago, and I haven't had fast food since.  Here's how:

1. I pack snacks.  It does take some planning and time, but before I leave on a trip I pack little ziplocks or tupperwares of berries, sliced apples, carrot sticks, raw almonds, etc. to snack on. I don't do this randomly: I think out how many snacks I will need in a day and make sure I have enough. I'll also make some little peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and put some natural peanut butter in a small plastic container that I can use for dipping my apple slices into. I'll also throw in a knife, a fork, and a cutting board just to be safe.

2. I look for restaurants that serve healthy or healthified food. If I have my big cooler with me and access to lots of ice I will go so far as to make salads and pack them with me. But, if not then I rely on some standbys for healthy or "healthified" foods: stuff I can easily modify to make healthy. These include Starbucks (they usually have fresh fruit, the egg white omlette isn't bad, and their oatmeal has saved me a number of times - SKIP the sugary toppings and stick with walnuts and raisins), Panera Bread (they have calorie counts on their menu, their salads are great, and they have fresh fruit), and McAlister's Deli (fresh salads and sandwiches, and a kid's menu that actually includes salad.  Whaaaat?). These are usually easy to find with a smart phone that has a map feature, and if there aren't any nearby, well aren't you glad you packed that cooler? :)

3. I don't consider fast food to be a splurge.  Sometimes people tell me that they "splurge" on fast food and I just shudder.  Nothing could be further from the truth. Yes, there are times when I eat something unhealthy just because I am craving it or I want to (the chocolate frozen yogurt with little pieces of peanut butter cups in it wasn't exactly necessary) but I never consider it a splurge or a treat in any way.  Eating junk food is not a treat, it is a diversion, and one that should be taken with caution and a prepared mind.  Please please please don't trick yourself into believing that you deserve to eat junky food! You deserve good, clean, healthy food that will make you feel good!

My road trip was about 80% healthy thanks to planning and a positive attitude that I could do it. You can do it! Next time, I'll focus on keeping the kiddos healthy on the road.  That's a little trickier. :)  Until then, have a wonderful day and as always, get out there and get healthy!

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