Healthy eating on a car trip can be difficult. I thought it might be useful to share how I dealt with that on our recent car trip to a Cozzens family reunion in Northwest Wyoming (my wife Gail's side of the family).
One of the important considerations in how I approach eating on the road is my belief that loosening the constraints on special occasions is important to sustainability of an eating program. But the main way in which I loosened constraints was in having a much more spread-out eating window than I normally would. (See "Stop Counting Calories; It's the Clock that Counts.") I was just as careful as usual about what I ate. (Gail's choices were similar to mine except that she skipped breakfast in the hotel, didn't go for the pistachios, and doesn't like green bananas.)
Day 1: Monday, July 2
I didn't eat any breakfast before getting on the road. Having fasting as a regular part of our routine made it easier to get out the door. We wanted to see Fort Collins and had lunch at a Mexican restaurant there. We shared our dishes:
- tortilla soup (skipping the tortillas)
- carne asada (steak)
- fajita salad (skipping the crisp tortilla bowl)
I tried to hold off eating until lunch time, but then as we continued our journey I did eat some of the things we's packed:
- tea (Yogi and Tazo have some great herbal tea flavors)
- a mix of baked cashews and almonds
- macadamia nuts
- pistachios nuts
- manchego cheese
Other than the tea, I tried to be conscious of portion sizes on these. Portion sizes are not a big issue when eating low on the insulin index at home within a very short eating window, but it is easy to eat a lot out of boredom on the road, and the eating window wasn't as short.
We stopped in Casper for the evening. At an Asian fusion restaurant I had coconut curry over chicken and many vegetables. At the Hampton Inn, I had some decaf and half & half.
Day 2: Tuesday, July 3
Hampton Inn has a free breakfast. I had:
- scrambled eggs with ham and cheese
- decaf with half & half
- oatmeal with half & half
- cream cheese (with no bagel on my cream cheese)
We had a late lunch at the Irma Hotel in Cody. We shared our dishes:
- burger with fixings, no bun
- salad bar
- vegetable beef stew (small cup—skipped the potatoes)
- taco salad (skipping the shell)
We stayed at the Ralston Clubhouse & Inn owned by my sister-in-law and brother-in-law Deirdre and Dirk Cozzens. They have done a great job with it:
Knowing we would have a refrigerator and freezer, we stocked up at the Albertson's in Cody:
- 3 nectarines
- half gallon half & half
- 2 green bananas
- 2 containers of mint chip Halo Top
- 2 bags full-fat cheese curd ("squeaky cheese") for our contribution to the reunion pot-luck
The actual eating of those things was spread out over two days: July 3 and July 4. Based on glycemic index data, I think of green bananas as having less of an insulin kick that would lead to overeating than ripe bananas would. (See "Using the Glycemic Index as a Supplement to the Insulin Index.") In addition, at the Ralston Clubhouse I ate nuts and three squares of 88% chocolate. (See "Our Delusions about 'Healthy' Snacks—Nuts to That!" and "Intense Dark Chocolate: A Review.")
Our relatives are supportive of our eating program. At dinner that evening with relatives, I had:
- salad with olive oil (the mayo had too much sugar)
- roast beef (au jus without the bread)
- fresh bing cherries
Day 3: July 4
I skipped breakfast and had two nectarines cut up in half & half at lunch. At the reunion that evening in Burlington, Wyoming, I had:
- sloppy joe meat
- elk meat
- refried beans
I went back for many servings. That evening we ended the day of celebration by sharing a container of Halo Top ice-cream.
Day 4: July 5
On our trip back home to Superior, Colorado, we did it all in one day—about an 8.5-hour drive. Other than water, I only had tea on the trip. When we were back home, I had cherries and half & half.
I found what I ate on this trip quite satisfying. I can't recommend the particular restaurants we ate at, but the food there was OK and infused our diet with some variety. All of the other things I ate were quite tasty.
I hope this account is helpful in illustrating how to eat reasonably well even in circumstances that are more difficult than when eating at home.
Don't miss these other posts on diet and health and on fighting obesity:
- Stop Counting Calories; It's the Clock that Counts
- Forget Calorie Counting; It's the Insulin Index, Stupid
- Obesity Is Always and Everywhere an Insulin Phenomenon
- The Problem with Processed Food
- Which Is Worse for You: Sugar or Fat?
- Our Delusions about 'Healthy' Snacks—Nuts to That!
- My Giant Salad
- Using the Glycemic Index as a Supplement to the Insulin Index
- How Fasting Can Starve Cancer Cells, While Leaving Normal Cells Unharmed
- Why You Should Worry about Cancer Promotion by Diet as Much as You Worry about Cancer Initiation by Carcinogens
- Good News! Cancer Cells are Metabolically Handicapped
- How Sugar, Too Much Protein, Inflammation and Injury Could Drive Epigenetic Cellular Evolution Toward Cancer
- Meat Is Amazingly Nutritious—But Is It Amazingly Nutritious for Cancer Cells, Too?
- The Keto Food Pyramid
- Sugar as a Slow Poison
- How Sugar Makes People Hangry
- Why a Low-Insulin-Index Diet Isn't Exactly a 'Lowcarb' Diet
- Hints for Healthy Eating from the Nurse's Health Study
- The Case Against Sugar: Stephan Guyenet vs. Gary Taubes
- The Case Against the Case Against Sugar: Seth Yoder vs. Gary Taubes
- Gary Taubes Makes His Case to Nick Gillespie: How Big Sugar and a Misguided Government Wrecked the American Diet
- A Conversation with David Brazel on Obesity Research
- Magic Bullets vs. Multifaceted Interventions for Economic Stimulus, Economic Development and Weight Loss
- Mass In/Mass Out: A Satire of Calories In/Calories Out
- Carola Binder: The Obesity Code and Economists as General Practitioners
- Carola Binder—Why You Should Get More Vitamin D: The Recommended Daily Allowance for Vitamin D Was Underestimated Due to Statistical Illiteracy
- Jason Fung: Dietary Fat is Innocent of the Charges Leveled Against It
- Faye Flam: The Taboo on Dietary Fat is Grounded More in Puritanism than Science
- Diseases of Civilization
- Katherine Ellen Foley—Candy Bar Lows: Scientists Just Found Another Worrying Link Between Sugar and Depression
- Ken Rogoff Against Sugar and Processed Food
- Kearns, Schmidt and Glantz—Sugar Industry and Coronary Heart Disease Research: A Historical Analysis of Internal Industry Documents
- Intense Dark Chocolate: A Review
- In Praise of Avocados
- Salt Is Not the Nutritional Evil It Is Made Out to Be
- Confirmation Bias in the Interpretation of New Evidence on Salt
- Whole Milk Is Healthy; Skim Milk Less So
- Is Milk OK?
- How the Calories In/Calories Out Theory Obscures the Endogeneity of Calories In and Out to Subjective Hunger and Energy
- Putting the Perspective from Jason Fung's "The Obesity Code" into Practice
- 'Forget Calorie Counting. It's the Insulin Index, Stupid' in a Few Tweets
- Julia Belluz and Javier Zarracina: Why You'll Be Disappointed If You Are Exercising to Lose Weight, Explained with 60+ Studies (my retitling of the article this links to)
- Diana Kimball: Listening Creates Possibilities
- On Fighting Obesity
- The Heavy Non-Health Consequences of Heaviness
- Analogies Between Economic Models and the Biology of Obesity
- Debating 'Forget Calorie Counting; It's the Insulin Index, Stupid'
- Podcast: Miles Kimball Explains to Tracy Alloway and Joe Weisenthal Why Losing Weight Is Like Defeating Inflation
Also see the last section of "Five Books That Have Changed My Life" and the podcast "Miles Kimball Explains to Tracy Alloway and Joe Weisenthal Why Losing Weight Is Like Defeating Inflation." If you want to know how I got interested in diet and health and fighting obesity and a little more about my own experience with weight gain and weight loss, see my post "A Barycentric Autobiography."