Travel and Food

Have I said this already?  I’ve been thinking a lot about why it is that travel seems to be the last stronghold when it comes to controlling myself around food.  Now, most of the time, I don’t actually do that bad.  I usually take my breakfast and my lunch with me, and then usually allow myself one treat and eat dinner out.  My dinner choice is not always the best, but its certainly not the worst either.  But the thing is, I obsess about what food I am going to eat before I ever leave the house.  I think about every special restaurant that is in the vicinity.  I think about all the special candies/baked items/treats that could be had.  All my old favorites.  ALL of them.  I do google searches to see what’s in the area, and then I do mapquests to get directions to some of them.  WHAT is the deal?

This is what I think it is.  As I got heavier and heavier, shopping and any other fun activity associated with travel became more and more difficult.  Finally, the only fun thing left to do when traveling was to eat good food.  To seek out the best and to move from meal to treat to meal.  What a vicious cycle.  You are too heavy to enjoy moving, so you eat more so its even more difficult to move so you eat more so you won’t think about how hard it is to move (and BTW, debby, remember that it wasn’t even so pleasant to SIT at your heaviest.)

That’s what I’ve been thinking about.  It was a very  long-term deeply ingrained habit in my life.  So I guess that’s why its been so hard to break.

The “Japanese Maple Forest” continues to surprise me with new colors almost every day.

This is the grandaddy of the Japanese maples–not a dwarf, just a commoner.  But one of my very most favorites.  The first one I bought after I moved up here because it was cheaper than the fancy dwarfs.  Now its roots have grown into the ground and it is firmly enmeshed in the soil here.  This was what I saw when I walked out the door this morning.

Close-up of the leaves:

And one of his many offspring.  I watch for the little maple saplings and pot them up.  I’ve given quite a few away, and currently have 4 young’uns in different stages of development.

Another of the lace-leaf variety.  This one is doing extremely well this year.  It took a big hit last year when I somehow overlooked it in the watering rotation in August, the hottest month of the year.  Shows the resilience of trees.

And that’s all I’ve got for this Friday evening.  Hope you all have a wonderful weekend.  I am looking forward to a quiet weekend after a busier than usual week.

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13 thoughts on “Travel and Food

  1. I always read posts like this with great interest because the title contains two of my three favorite words. The other being hiking, of course. I have no great words of wisdom except to say that it helped me when I stopped using the word “vacation.” That word is no longer in my vocabulary and I don’t think of any trip, be it 2 hours or 2 months, as a vacation since that words conjures up mental images of running away from EVERYTHING including healthy eating. I know it’s asking us to play mind games, but isn’t that what a lot of this whole thing is anyway?? So when you go somewhere, focus on the purpose of the trip and remind yourself constantly that you are traveling and there’s no need to change anything about the way you eat. When I travel solo, I carry ALL my food with me. It isn’t fancy, but is totally doable with just a tiny bit of planning.

    • Yes, mind games. I do need to find a way to think differently about it. I am not thinking ‘vacation.’ For me it has a little to do with living in the country and just having a lot more choices when I go almost anywhere.

  2. Twins!! I am the same way with travel. Most times because travel has to do with time off and freedom and all that, so I want to experience to food of an area. Eating was always an enjoyable past time for us (and still is, really). I guess that still is emotional eating. Eating for pleasure – is that as bad as eating out of depression? It leads to the same thing in the end – tighter pants.

    I do find, however, that I don’t enjoy some of those old foods so much any more and am more willing to be adventurous in a more ‘healthy’ way. I am also very lucky that when John and I travel together, he is willing to split entrees with me.

  3. ” It leads to the same thing in the end – tighter pants.”–hilarious!!!

    I agree with you on not finding some of the old foods as enjoyable as they are in my memory. That helps, but it still takes time to erase the pleasure connections that are still there. Yes, when I am with most of my friends there is always someone willing to split entrees with me. I love that.

  4. I don’t get to travel much so this isn’t really an issue for me. Does traveling to and from work count? If so, I’m totally in control! 😉

    Oooh, Grand Daddy is so stately!! That youngun’ is looking pretty also!

  5. I’m usually ok once I get there, but travel food is a toughie for me – I seem to think that all kinds of crap is necessary to make it several hundred miles, by car or plane. Although, back in THE DAY, whenever I used to get back to California, it was one big food fest, eating at all the restaurants that aren’t in Texas. Thankfully the last couple of visits haven’t been focused on THAT. But habit. Yep. I don’t know how to break those decades-long habits!

    I love your maple trees. We had a couple when I was growing up in Santa Clara, but not the Japanese maples. So, so pretty.

  6. I don’t think I’ve seen any varieties of Japanese maples that aren’t beautiful year-round. Yours is particularly so.

    I do the treat and one moderately indulgent meal when I travel, too! Part of it is sampling regional foods (Cincinnati Chile, for example–Skyline, preferably), but it’s also that I like to “think* I’m going off the rails crazy because I’m on vacation, when all I really did was have oyster crackers with my chili or mayo instead of mustard on a sandwich. 🙂

  7. First two paragraphs about food , obsessing , planning. Yes , yes, and also in my daily life somewhat. I understand about the living in the country and not being around certain foods or places. I’ve experienced that all my life in some way–from a small family where little homemade baking and sweets were made, so I always was overly excited and entranced when at a church function or a friends’s house or a grandmother’s house where I could enjoy homemade treats. I’m from a small town that had few fast food restaurants, so travel out of town to go shopping or to a movie or to a restaurant made the experience of going out to restaurants special. And now travel outside of my little neck of suburbia involves research on the internet and in magazines for the more interesting offerings of greater Atlanta and the ‘gourmet’, ‘farm to table ‘ restaurant movement , and the classic “french” bakerys and special coffeehouses . But I just came back from a trip of interstate driving to visit my family. and being on the road means wanting chex mix or pretzels or finding certain fast food places. I’ve been thinking about this topic a lot.. great post.

  8. We all have food habits that we need to break I think. Funny, I will pack a bunch of stuff for a car trip and sometimes never even eat a bite. I don’t know why I get a sort of comfort knowing that if we break down, the Cheez-Its are there. My worse habit is constant snacking if I’m home alone. s if my husband being absent equals free for all. Even though I don’t do it I fight the thought of doing it constantly.

  9. Hello. How do you treat/fertilize your Japanese Maple saplings? I have rescued and potted a few in an attempt to nurse them to health and ready them for replanting outside. Any tips?

    • Hi, I don’t do anything special. I just dig up the little plant, trying to NOT disturb the roots, and put it in a pot. Put it where it doesn’t get a TON of sun (I just killed one with too much sun) and just fertilize with miracle gro when I fertilize the other plants. I have only had luck with this one “common” japanese maple. Most of the others (I think) are grafted.

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