Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Dieting on the road

Traditionally, when my Japanese friends visit the USA, they add on a few kilo. This is understandable, as most of us love to try the local cuisine when on the road. For a returning expat like myself, the temptation is more nostalgic, wanting to eat the favorite foods of my childhood.

Curiously, I've discovered these sentimental treats taste better as a memory, than in actuality. Very little of what I gobbled down as a child was all that special. What was special was being young and hungry and active, the perfect storm of delectability! Now at 60, I am mostly sedimentary, and I really do not need, nor even enjoy, the sugary carbohydrates of my youth. I deserve, and can afford, better.

I have discovered eating primarily a choice protein, a great well prepared steak, for example, or fresh un-breaded seafood, matched to a choice selection of well prepared vegetables, or a creative salad, beats the traditional poor boy grub of massive piles of breads, potatoes, grits and assorted greasy goop, designated to most of the American plate.

The trick to healthy eating while on the road is diligent scrutiny of grocery store labels, and restaurant options. Fail safe old habits, or following the suggestions of advertisements or fast food marketeers, is a formula for disappointment. There are great treasures in the American horn of plenty, it just takes scrutiny. Feeling satisfied beats being stuffed by bad choices. Too bad it took me so long to learn this lesson.

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