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Planning Ahead with Food

Here’s a lament I hear repeatedly from clients: I was out and got really hungry and since I didn’t have any food with me, I ended up eating food I really didn’t want and now I feel crummy and mad at myself. Sound familiar? If so, why not start planning ahead?

When they’re going out with children, parents (and other adults) know the kids will get hungry and, therefore, plan ahead. In fact, who’d ever think of taking out the brood without packing a snack? Knowing they’ll need nourishment, this task becomes part of the going-out routine. The question is why more adults don’t think ahead this same way knowing that they’ll get hungry if they don’t eat for several hours. Why indeed?

In part, this omission is about poor self-care. Planning for nutrient needs is part of doing what’s healthy and self-valuing, a way of saying, “Nourishing myself is vitally important because I matter.” It’s also one of these easiest changes to make to recover from eating problems. Here are some times to consider bringing along food when you’re out and about.
Heading for a medical appointment. If your providers are anything like mine, they don’t always run on schedule. Why starve and stew when you could be eating?
Attending a show, movie, or event. It’s easy to pack a snack so you’re not famished by the time the event is over. Don’t assume you’ll be okay and can wait, or you might end up wishing you’d brought something along to nosh on. Instead, plan ahead.
Traveling by car, bus, rail or plane—anywhere. Here’s a time when you can think ahead to what you might feel like eating and what foods travel well. Nuts, seeds, yogurt, fruit, crackers, a bag of cereal, a sandwich/wrap, cheese, and my favorite, a cold baked sweet potato, are on-the-road life savers.
Out shopping. Often I think that I’ll be hitting just one or two stores and end up doing more running around than I’d expected. If that happens to you, pack a snack so you won’t get draggy or succumb to some food you’ll later be sorry that you’d eaten. Sure, once in a while, it’s a treat to sit down and eat a mall-bought treat, but it also feels great to know you don’t have to spend time searching for just the right thing because you have it with you.

Naturally, I haven’t covered every contingency. The goal is to think the following every time you go out: Is there a chance I’ll get hungry and not have access to food which is delicious and nourishing? Always plan ahead because you’re worth it!

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