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Benefits of Being Prepared

March 14, 2015

Do you feel like being prepared with food takes too much time and effort? If so, it may help to consider the alternative. Take this example of my recent trip to California for work.

 

I flew out of Maine at 6 a.m. on a Tuesday morning, which required getting up about 4 a.m. I arrived at the airport with just enough time to fill my water bottle, shed some layers, and get an apple. Since our plane had to be de-iced, I almost missed my connection in NJ, and I certainly didn’t have time to get anything to eat for our six-hour flight to California.

 

Happily, I had made breakfast bars to bring (a mixture of oatmeal, pureed pumpkin, sunflower seeds, cashews, and spices), as well as carrots and sugar snap peas, protein powder (to add to a beverage), Luna bars, dried fruit, chocolates, and almonds, plus I had the apple. I was particularly happy about my packing when the woman next to me asked what food was available on the plane, and the only options were cheese and crackers, and a breakfast sandwich – neither useful for someone avoiding gluten. I had more than enough to tide me over until we landed about noon (Pacific time), when I got a fruit cup and a salad with chicken to eat while waiting for my luggage.

 

My packing also proved very useful on Wednesday. My hotel provided a complimentary breakfast, likely even things I could eat, except that it didn’t start until 6 a.m., and I was awake and quite hungry around 5 (which still felt like 8 a.m. to my body). Breakfast bar, protein powder, and orange from the office to the rescue!

 

Lunch was fine, since we got Thai food, including a yummy tofu and vegetable dish that was allergen-friendly, but things started to go south in the afternoon. Our meeting went long, until 8:30 p.m., but since we didn’t know this until around 6 p.m., our office manager couldn’t get someone to put together enough food for all of us (over 20 people) within an hour. So she did the best she could and provided some cut-up vegetables, Greek yogurt, tortilla chips with salsa and guacamole, and fruit.

 

For me, this was enough. Since 7 p.m. is late for me to eat anyway, I’d been snacking throughout the afternoon – Luna bar, almonds and fruit, sunflower seeds – so I managed okay with Greek yogurt, tortilla chips, a little more fruit, and some veggies. Others didn’t fare so well, and by the time we got out at 8:30 they were all starving and went to a restaurant, and then didn’t get back to the hotel until around 11, by which point I was happily asleep.

 

And finally on Thursday, we had pizza for lunch. The office manager did order some salad, and she got the tortilla chips at my request (since those are gluten-free), but I was definitely happy to have some other items to supplement my meal.

 

All in all, while it took a little extra time in advance to put together the food, it proved well worth it. It meant that I didn’t have to worry about getting excessively hungry, or finding something to eat that I would want and wouldn’t be a concern on the allergy front. I could eat more mindfully as a result, and not feel stressed about what and when things would be available for me to eat. It made a nice change to some of my earlier travels, when I hadn’t prepared as much, and it’s something I plan to continue.

Do you feel like being prepared with food takes too much time and effort? If so, it may help to consider the alternative. Take this example of my recent trip to California for work.

 

I flew out of Maine at 6 a.m. on a Tuesday morning, which required getting up about 4 a.m. I arrived at the airport with just enough time to fill my water bottle, shed some layers, and get an apple. Since our plane had to be de-iced, I almost missed my connection in NJ, and I certainly didn’t have time to get anything to eat for our six-hour flight to California.

 

Happily, I had made breakfast bars to bring (a mixture of oatmeal, pureed pumpkin, sunflower seeds, cashews, and spices), as well as carrots and sugar snap peas, protein powder (to add to a beverage), Luna bars, dried fruit, chocolates, and almonds, plus I had the apple. I was particularly happy about my packing when the woman next to me asked what food was available on the plane, and the only options were cheese and crackers, and a breakfast sandwich – neither useful for someone avoiding gluten. I had more than enough to tide me over until we landed about noon (Pacific time), when I got a fruit cup and a salad with chicken to eat while waiting for my luggage.

 

My packing also proved very useful on Wednesday. My hotel provided a complimentary breakfast, likely even things I could eat, except that it didn’t start until 6 a.m., and I was awake and quite hungry around 5 (which still felt like 8 a.m. to my body). Breakfast bar, protein powder, and orange from the office to the rescue!

 

Lunch was fine, since we got Thai food, including a yummy tofu and vegetable dish that was allergen-friendly, but things started to go south in the afternoon. Our meeting went long, until 8:30 p.m., but since we didn’t know this until around 6 p.m., our office manager couldn’t get someone to put together enough food for all of us (over 20 people) within an hour. So she did the best she could and provided some cut-up vegetables, Greek yogurt, tortilla chips with salsa and guacamole, and fruit.

 

For me, this was enough. Since 7 p.m. is late for me to eat anyway, I’d been snacking throughout the afternoon – Luna bar, almonds and fruit, sunflower seeds – so I managed okay with Greek yogurt, tortilla chips, a little more fruit, and some veggies. Others didn’t fare so well, and by the time we got out at 8:30 they were all starving and went to a restaurant, and then didn’t get back to the hotel until around 11, by which point I was happily asleep.

 

And finally on Thursday, we had pizza for lunch. The office manager did order some salad, and she got the tortilla chips at my request (since those are gluten-free), but I was definitely happy to have some other items to supplement my meal.

 

All in all, while it took a little extra time in advance to put together the food, it proved well worth it. It meant that I didn’t have to worry about getting excessively hungry, or finding something to eat that I would want and wouldn’t be a concern on the allergy front. I could eat more mindfully as a result, and not feel stressed about what and when things would be available for me to eat. It made a nice change to some of my earlier travels, when I hadn’t prepared as much, and it’s something I plan to continue.

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