Food Rules Fail

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I had an early day Friday. I had to travel about an hour and a half away for work (with plans of being picked up my hubby at the end of the day to road trip it to his mom’s house), so I packed my stuff Thursday night. I made sure to pick out an outfit Thursday night so I wouldn’t have to think in the morning when I was still super-sleepy.

I was up at 5:30am, had a cup of coffee, got ready, was out the door around 6:15am and caught a ride with a co-worker around 6:30am

I like traveling for work, but my only gripe is not being able to control my food as well. Typically, I have healthy snacks and what not at my house and at the office. I suppose I could have packed these with me, but I didn’t. I brought a slice of Great Harvest honey whole wheat with me to eat in the car, but never quite got  around to eating it. I wasn’t all that hungry…I think I was too sleepy. lol

They had bagels and coffee at the meeting when we got there around 8:30am (had bad traffic – passed TWO wrecks!). I grabbed a yummy blueberry bagel with some honey walnut spread, which I applied lightly. Besides being healthier, I go light on cream cheese because the idea of a bunch of creamy goop on my bagel kind of weirds me out. 😆 I just like a light schmear of cream cheese toppings. Anywho, though I still love my bagel breakfasts, they don’t keep me full at all. I think because they’re typically not whole grain based and don’t really provide a lot of (any?) protein. I usually feel a bit like I’m eating air. Tasty air…but air.

Shortly after our meeting started, someone brought in a box of Krispy Kremes. I had to have one. They just melt in your mouth.

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Lunch didn’t turn out so hot. I was hoping to go out to lunch with some co-workers but most already had plans or had to work through lunch. Luckily, the office had a cafe upstairs. Since I gave up meat for Lent, I didn’t have a lot of options. My choices were basically things I couldn’t or didn’t want to eat: hamburgers, chicken fingers, french fries, chips, cookies, sodas.

I tried to order an egg sandwich (for protein) but when the guy gave me a look like “you don’t want to eat that” and then basically said “you don’t want to eat that” and then showed me a yellow disc of “egg”, which he pulled out of the freezer, I quickly changed my mind. I ended up having to eat stuff I normally try to avoid.

I ended up getting some salad from the salad bar (this was the saving grace of the cafe – yay for fresh veggies!), a yogurt (not my fave brand, but I wanted some protein), and a bottled water. I remembered I had some Great Harvest bread with me, and I was SO glad to have it for lunch. That bread was a life-saver!

The salad was good, but the yogurt was waaaay too sweet! Much sweeter than I remembered. I must be used to Greek yogurt now that I’ve been eating it so frequently. I was reminded why I like plain yogurts – so I can control my own sweetener – type and amount.

I had my Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual book with me, so I took a break from my laptop to start reading it. The book was very easy to read and the rules were really straightforward and short. I’ll try to do an official review later, but the book made for a nice lunch read.

Though lunch wasn’t exactly what I’d call a normal lunch for me, I thought I’d see how it lined up with Food Rules.

First, the yogurt…

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Food Rules Fail #1 – the ingredient list failed a number of the rules, including:

  • #3 Avoid food products containing ingredients that no ordinary human would keep in the pantry
  • #4 Avoid food products that contain high-fructose corn syrup
  • #5 Avoid foods that have some form of sugar (or sweetener) in the top three ingredients

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Food Rules Fail #2 – the packaging failed a couple rules, including:

  • #8 – Avoid food products that make health claims
  • #9 – Avoid food products with the wordoid “lite” or the terms “low-fat” or “nonfat” in their names.

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Food Rules Fail #3 – the salad dressing didn’t do much better, failing at a couple rules also, including:

  • #6 – Avoid food products that contain 5 or more ingredients
  • #7 – Avoid food products containing ingredients that a third-grader cannot pronounce.

The salad and Great Harvest bread both passed.

I thought it was really interesting comparing the Food Rules to my actual food. I remembered why I don’t buy a lot of the products and foods that I used to get before I started reading food product labels. In fact, Michael Pollan’s suggestions line up really well with food tips my Dad has passed on to me and how I’ve been eating lately anyways. Michael and my dad would get along famously! :mrgreen:

I felt pretty full after lunch but I knew it wouldn’t last long since I had very little protein (though at least I got some whole grains in thanks to Great Harvest). In a couple hours, I was hungry again, so I had a leftover bagel from breakfast with a light spreading of hazelnut topping. It was delicious (esp that hazelnut spread – yum!), but not very filling.

I tweeted about how the other bagels left from breakfast were calling my name and Heather tweeted back suggesting I try to beat Mark’s 4 bagels in a day record. It was tempting, but I held back. 🙂

Soon enough, the work day was over. I said goodbyes to some co-workers before taking off. I haven’t seen some of these guys in months, so it was nice working with them face-to-face again, instead of just over the phone. Plus, I met some really nice people in the office – they have an amazing group of people there! Such positive vibes!

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As I was leaving work, I saw this old tower. It looked pretty photogenic, so I snapped a shot.

The work day ended and hubby came by my out-of-town office to pick me up on his way to visit his Mom.

I was pretty hungry when hubby picked me up, so we pit-stopped at Starbucks and split a spinach feta wrap (protein…finally!). I also got a kid’s soy hot chocolate – adult temp – no whip. I was so glad to get some more food before sitting out the rest of the car ride.

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Hubby’s mom had dinner ready for us when we got there, starting with a salad.

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Sundried tilapia, shrimp/scallop scampi, broccoli, and rice. I ate almost everything but the rice, because I filled up before I could get to it. I tried to tackle the most nutritious foods first since I felt like most of my eats earlier in the day had been lacking: broccoli (can’t get enough veggies, right?), shrimp and tilapia (protein!).

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I split a piece of garlic bread w/ hubby.

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Plus, a couple small bites of brownie for dessert.

Lesson learned today: always be prepared. Next time I travel, I’ll be sure to pack a couple food/snack options with me…just in case.

Reader Question: Have you ever been somewhere without a lot of food options? What did you eat?

21 thoughts on “Food Rules Fail”

  1. I don’t know why more places do not offer vegetarian options. Even meat eaters enjoy a vegetarian dish every once in a while.
    I hate traveling now that I am sticking to a vegan diet (for the most part). The past few times I traveled I made a bunch of food for me to eat, even when I went to my moms. No offense to her but she doesn’t understand what “vegan” is, even though I have explained it to her. I don’t care but I can tell she gets bummed when I wont eat her container of store bought potato salad. (I wouldn’t eat this even if I wasn’t vegan, yuck)
    I have always been a planner and hate to be in situations that I have no control over, especially food.
    Sound like you had a great ending to your day, though! You mom makes a mean looking meal! 😉

    • Yea, I don’t like store bought potato salad unless the grocery store made it and usually only if it’s made at somewhere like whole foods or earthfare. I hear ya!

    • I actually wanted to read In Defense of Food first, but I’m going to borrow it from a friend. So, I figured I’d get Food Rules since it’s the hot item right now. 🙂

  2. sometimes you just have to take one for the team when you’re out- I don’t always replace my goto bar that’s in my purse- and even with the goto bar- sometimes I need more- you just do whatever you can to make it happen.

    I love Michael Pollan- I’m just reading an Omnivore’s Dilemma right now.. have you seen food inc? so good.

    • Yup, I normally keep a meal bar with me if I think I may not get to “real food.” But I forgot. 🙁

      I haven’t seen Food Inc yet but I can’t wait! I won it from Stonyfield on Twitter and I should be getting it soon! 🙂

  3. I know all too well these situations and try my best. Not everyone understands our own personal food choices, sometimes you just have to make due and remind ourselves that its the long run big picture that matters most! 🙂

  4. I have been to a lot of places with slim food options (think grocery stores with most stuff in packaging). What I tend to do is try and find an avocado or a pot of normal (real) guacamole or alternatively hummus. Then I mix it with a big bag of green leaves and eat that.
    I’ll be interested in your review of Food Rules. I haven’t seen it on the shelves yet over here…

  5. I’ve been stuck in that situation before, so now no matter where I am I’m always over prepared with snacks. Even in meetings, out with friends, on vacation, out of town, always be prepared. That book sounds like my kind of book and similar to another book I read and loved. I agreed with so much of what the book had to say about food in our society and what not to eat. I think I’ll pick up that book right away.

  6. Quite a few years ago, my tire went flat and bent the rim in the middle of nowhere and it had to be towed to the nearest shop to fix it. It was the middle of nowhere, the only food in the shop was vending machine things but luckily, there was tiny hospital across the street. They had a lame salad bar but it was better than the alternative!

  7. totally understandable — sometimes you just have to make do! i am not a fan of hard and fast ‘rules’ anyway 🙂

    SO SAD to have missed seeing you last night! can’t wait to read your recap . ..

    finally, i nominated you for a l’il fun award on my post today 🙂


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