Monday, July 6, 2009

Food Reflections

Healthful snacks is an oxymoron. A snack to be good needs to be tasty-salty or sweet and most of all fattening. I know there are those health nuts that love to chew on crisp carrot sticks or tasteless celery stalks, but how much fun is that compared to zesty pizza flavored tortilla chips or sour cream-onion potato chips or a lovely candy bar filled with peanuts, caramel and covered with chocolate? Now we are talking snacks. No wonder those of us who love to travel by car or plane, and take along bags full of snacks are gaining weight. It isn't rocket science to figure that out!

My skinny hubby can drive all day long never craving any snacks. He's happy with just an occasional drink of water and not bubbly soda water with a cup of sugar, chemicals and caffeine added. His idea of a tasty snack is fresh fruit bought at a local farmer's market enroute. Guess that's how he keeps his svelte figure at age 65 with nary an extra pound on his slim 6 foot frame added since he was 25. But think of all the tasty delights he has missed-snicker bars, tootsie rolls, flavored popcorn, crunchy chips, etc. Oops, time to go find a snack and I'm not even traveling. LOL!

Eating while vacationing is challenging. Every meal is a daily decision and a delight or disaster depending on the results. No problem you say, just take a picnic. Okay. But what to take and how to refrigerate it for days on end can be a problem. Ideally fried chicken and potato salad plus homemade rolls and ice cream would be fun but only if you have an RV with a frig and freezer run by battery to keep your food from spoiling.

For those of us less fortunate with only a car, sandwiches in an ice box with a melting ice block can be our only option or eating out. Next comes the question of where to eat? A picnic table in a shady park would be nice, but it depends on where you are during your trip when you get hungry. In the middle of a hot desert with 102 degree weather or driving through a busy city, then the solution is to eat in your car with no table and serve directly out of your icebox (which is now probably filled with melting ice water that your prepared food may be floating in and hopefully not filled with, thereby wrecking whatever you have carefully bought and packed to eat.)

We cleverly took along two folding camp chairs then used the trunk of our car for our table which worked out fine most of the time. Finding shade under any nearby trees, we were ready to start our picnic feast, then the ants, bees and mosquitoes discovered us. What an adventure in eating. Where's the nearest McDonalds? (By the way, they have a new Southwestern salad that is wonderful.)

Eating out is an easier solution but it's also a challenge. Asking locals for their recommendations on where to eat is best. Sometimes you are really disappointed by service and fare, but occasionally you'll find a great place with wonderful food though it's maybe a bit pricey, but hey you are on vacation! Then comes the shock of returning home and realizing you have to fix your own daily meals again.

13 comments:

gigihawaii said...

LOL. This was a wonderful post. Yes, I, too, love fattening snacks. While David stops at one ice cream bar, I must help myself to 3...

Linda Reeder said...

Yes, we have had experiences with "road food" too. We usually fly somewhere and then rent a car, so having a big cooler isn't an option. We usually stay in motels that include breakfast. Then I pack a small,soft,insulated lunch kit with a plastic tub to hold motel ice. Our first stop each day as we head out is a grocery store, where we can pick up yogurt, fruit, sandwiches, chips, etc. I always pack a bag of Hersheys dark chocolate Nuggets with almonds for "dessert". Then the trick is to find a park or rest stop with a restroom and a place to eat. We have eaten in some interesting places - some beautiful, some remote and rustic, some very hot, some cold. But I do prefer a road lunch. And if you eat healthy, then you get to have an ice cream treat later in the afternoon.
Dinner is another whole adventure, and yes, sometimes it turns out great, sometimes not so much.

Cheryl and Ashton said...

To me, part of the vacation trip is trying to leave behind the "diet stuff", worrying about eating this or that, we just enjoy in "some moderation"! Its great to find a little hole in the wall foodery and those places can sometimes be as nice as a five-star restaurant! Now I had better stop munching on these barbecue chips...

Deborah Godin said...

Who would kill for a metabolism and /or will power like your hubby has...

Carla said...

Great post! Reminds me of the family vacations we took when I was a kid. There were no McDonald's then. And I agree...their Southwest salad is great!

Snacks? For me, that means ice cream. Lots and lots of ice cream...almost any flavor will do.

Jo, a retired teacher said...

I also like a little snack while on my regular drive. I find having some nibble food helps me stay alert. The problems? I love the salty chips, but then I'm thirsty. That requires too many pit stops. So I try to have carrot sticks, licorice, maybe mints or sour patch gummies.

Hubby is not a big lover of sandwiches, so we usually have to take a proper restaurant stop. Your post was lots of fun (and full of memories).

SandyCarlson said...

You are funny! I admire your husband's discipline. I succeed only if I don't put the stuff in the car.

Mom and dad travel distances with lunch in a cooler. No heavy grease, no killer batters, no questions! Works out and saves money.

Babli said...

Lovely post.Though it is not good to eat fattening snacks but its pretty difficult to control it specially finger fries, chips, ice-cream and many things.Keep writing.

Anonymous said...

Love your humor -- and your idea of real snacks!! It all reminds me of traveling with my parents when I was little. Of course, I get to chose the snacks now. If it is covered in chocolate, it is bound to be good.
Marion

mom/caryn said...

I don't envy anyone who doesn't appreciate the joys and emotional benefits of a Snickers Bar and Pringles.

Wayne and I mostly eat oranges, yogurt, grapes, Wheat Thins and cheese when we're traveling. I try to sneak in some Swedish Fish, M&M Peanuts or M&M Almonds... and my all time favorite, chocolate covered caramels...preferably See's or Mr's Cavanaughs.

This was such a fun post! Tell me, when you travel and say...stay in a cute little cabin at the beach... how does he feel about keeping not altogether healthy snacks on the kitchen counter? And is amenable to going out for Pizza? I need to have a local cheeseburger and an occasional cheap taco now and then. You know I LOVE In&Out Burgers... you don't care for them because the meat pattis are sorta small. But the meat is my east favorite part of a hamburger anyway, so it works out well.

Mare said...

Very funny and true! I agree with Caryn...you have to be able to appreciate the beauty of a Snickers Bar!

Rambling Woods said...

Your hubby sounds like mine. Slim with no taste for anything that is naughty and tasty...lol....

Kay said...

It really is a challenge to eat healthily when on a trip. We snack on nuts but I want mine at least 50% salted. My husband is like yours. He's very thin and doesn't care of snack type foods.