Eating on the Road: My Failure in the Cave
My favorite of the Star Wars movies is easily The Empire Strikes Back, partially because development of Vader, but most importantly because of the development of Luke Skywalker’s Jedi skills, trianing with Jedi Master Yoda on the remote swamp planet Dagobah. One of the key scenes is the test that Luke faced during his training, entering a cave that would test his developing skill, and determine if he was ready to become a Jedi knight. He failed.
Like Luke, I’ve been training. For the past 10 weeks I have been adhering to an ever increasing set of rules and habits designed to deliver me to my desired body results. This is no mere diet, we’re talking about LIFESTYLE CHANGE including 6 days of planned physical activity, eating whole foods, cooking at home, the works. It IS a journey (careful not to say that in past tense), and so to date I’M ON IT!
A Few of The Eating Rules:
- Eat lean protein with every meal
- Eat 5 servings of vegetables daily
- Eat Slow – No Fast Food!
There HAVE been intermittent challenges and moments of mild panic. These are caused by my anxiety trying to stay consistent with a habit, and the challenges that present themselves in an attempt to stall me out. An example would be the day I realized I hadn’t any eggs left for breakfast. Pretty innocuous sounding I know, until you put it in context. I have resigned myself to eating 5 meals which would include 5 servings of vegetables per day. That’s hard to do for breakfast if you’re eating corn flakes. As a result, omelets or frittatas are my choice vehicle for veggie delivery in the morning. No eggs=No frittata=No lean protein=No veggies=FAIL=PANIC! I beat THAT situation by learning the value of a good smoothie. “I Win.”
My latest moment of anxiety came last weekend. I’d been looking forward to my trip to Washington DC, but it wasn’t until the night before I left that I realized that I had a serious problem on my hands. After weeks of working a system of planned meal, shopping and food preparation, I realized that I’d need to figure out how to achieve my eating goals while on the road, away from all of my systems!
What I did:
As SOON as I got in town I headed to the supermarket (Whole Foods, Dupont Circle). I already had 3 protein bars stashed in the car (I normally don’t eat these), and I grabbed:
- Sushi – Salmon, Avacado rolls with Brown rice
- Bottles of water
All of my meals that weekend were at restaurants. I scored chicken kabobs at this middle eastern restaurant “Souk”, on H St NE, and a few other finds around the District. Eatonville has frittatas on the brunch menu (hold the potato), Ben’s Next Door offers a customizable omelet that you can get made with egg whites if you choose. Sounds like a good start right? Here’s how I fared:
Positives: I didn’t eat anything I shouldn’t have. The meals I had were veggie heavy, and lots of good lean protein.
Negatives: I didn’t NEARLY eat enough. I ended up eating MAYBE 5 meals in 2 and a half days. Not enough to power the machine.
Overall, I’d give myself maybe a “C” grade. I didn’t do too much damage, but definitely didn’t push myself ahead like I want to.
I, like Luke Skywalker, failed the test in the cave but I lived to tell the story and fight again.
“Prepare better next time, you will.” -Master Yoda