At an airport waiting with an old friend for a flight, the topic of food planning came up. Seeing as it was about lunchtime, I pulled out my freezer bag containing my yummy lunch and snacks for later. My friend asked why I just didn’t eat airport food and wasn’t I being a bit obsessive about carrying food with me whenever I travel. As I munched on lunch, I explained that airport food didn’t strike me as nutritiously appealing. Clearly she thought I was crazy for schlepping food around and I thought she was unwise to depend on airport food for sustenance. An aside: I love to eat at restaurants and have no problem dining at the homes of others without knowing what they’re serving.
So, imagine my delight when I attended a clinical workshop with a therapist friend, bumped into a colleague, and the three of us pulled out our freezer bags at lunch break. While other attendees were waiting on line at the hotel restaurant and still others could be overheard asking about places to dine nearby, the three of us were nestled outside in a shady spot away from the hot Florida sun. We even caught a delightful sea breeze.
Granted that each of us was 60+ with digestive problems. My IBS flares up regularly, one colleague has Celiac disease and the other has a plethora of food allergies. Beyond that, however, we enjoy nourishing ourselves well and don’t think it’s a big deal to carry around food. Being healthy—including nutritious eating—is a top priority for each of us, an extension of self-caring.
Our composite lunches were composed of nuts, veggie wraps, cold veggie salads, fruits and crackers, and homemade tea in a thermos. Making my lunch the day before and packing snacks probably took me all of 10-15 minutes. Looking at what my colleagues were eating, I can tell you that, as busy therapists, they hadn’t slaved over the stove for hours to make lunch either.
None of us would have cared if we’d eaten alone, nor were we the least bit ashamed to bring our lunches. Even if we didn’t have digestive problems, we likely would have brought food along. I don’t know what you think doing so signifies. Maybe you’re like my friend in the airport who thinks it’s a sign of over fussiness and rigidity. Or maybe you don’t want to bring your breakfast, lunch or dinner with you because you unconsciously or consciously relish the idea of eating out and “not caring about what you eat.” Or perhaps you don’t think ahead in general and the art of planning is difficult for you.
If you don’t already, I suggest that the next time you can bring food along with you, you do. Whatever the event, I bet you won’t be the only one with delicious homemade fare.