Food as Fuel

I started the day with pecan pancakes. We set off to have breakfast out this morning. The first place we stopped (at ten a.m. on Sunday morning) was already “tearing down from breakfast” and getting ready to start lunch. Could we come back in twenty minutes? This is a independent restaurant that hasn’t been open long. I can see already that they’d make Gordon Ramsay weep with frustration.

As it happened, we could not wait twenty minutes to eat lunch at 10:30 in the morning on a Sunday. So I drove my mother and son on into Columbia and we had pancakes. They were delicious. I didn’t order meat with them, because I thought the pecans would provide enough protein. This happens to be a chain restaurant: in Ohio, their pecan pancakes are loaded with pecans. In South Carolina, where they grow pecans, the pancakes had about half as many. Go figure.

But I was full after breakfast anyway and feeling pretty cheerful, we went about our day. It was going to be shopping, but it ended up being seeing the relatives. I like my extended family and it was good to catch up. But it’s also a little exhausting to visit so much. So by the time we drove back to my mother’s– at four o’clock– I was famished. I mean, I was so hungry I felt ill.

So I had a tangerine fruit bar because there was one on hand. Of course, that gave me instant energy followed by more exhaustion. I did finally get a little more “real” food (a chicken salad wrap), and a short nap to make up for the sugar crash, but the fact is, I didn’t eat enough today. Again.

Talking to my mother tonight I said “I have a feeling that Americans are starving themselves right into obesity.” We watch what we eat, we count calories, we don’t get enough fats or proteins and we play havoc with our metabolism. Then, because we are disgusted that we haven’t lost any weight, we decide to hell with it and go out to eat some chain restaurant meal with 200g of fat and 5000 calories. And the beat goes on.

The thing is food is fuel. If we don’t get decent fuel, our bodies don’t run the way they’re supposed to. We feel crummy. We have no energy. I should have started breakfast before we walked out the door. An extra yogurt never killed anybody, and it would have gone a long way to have sustained me through all those hungry hours. I know how to do this right, I just have to remember not to cheat myself.

Target 55. Steps: 2639. Breakfast: three pecan pancakes with a little butter and maple syrup. Iced Coffee  Lunch: tangerine popsicle. Dinner: chicken salad wrap, 8 french fries. 2 squares of Ghirardelli chocolate.

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