Pork Butts and Wise Brains: Healthy Eating on the Road!

Blog regulars (hi, all 3 of you!) are aware that I am just now getting back from a house swap adventure in Toronto. And I've been threatening to do a post this week with a Healthy Eating on the Road theme, featuring a bunch of murky camera-phone pictures from our trip.

Gosh, can you contain your excitement? But then, just when I was hunkering down to slop together a bunch of trip pictures and contemplate the horror that is my email inbox, suddenly a new twist!

(Gratuitous Toronto museum photo.)

Yep, Rick Hanson's Wise Brain Bulletin just came out yesterday!

This is always cause for celebration, because it's a great read, and it's free, and if you haven't done so already you should definitely follow the link and sign up. But it just happens that this WBB is special... because it starts off with an ebook excerpt written by a foul-mouthed Wellness Coach and Health Blogger we happen to know.

So, I'd like to say a special hello to any Wise Brains who recklessly clicked on a link and found themselves at the weirdness that is Cranky Fitness! Where exclamation points are apparently on sale or something!

(And hey, speaking of Rick Hanson and wise things generally: Rick's new book, Hardwiring Happiness, is coming out soon and it looks like it's going to be great.  Plus he's got another free online interview series with even more experts talking about this stuff. More on that below).

Anyway, on realizing there could be a curious new visitor or two to the blog, my first instinct was to scuttle the lazy vacation post and put up something clever and practical and scholarly instead.

But then it occurred to me I'd have to write something clever and practical and scholarly.


So, welcome, wise-brained people, to the Healthy Eating Post-Toronto Cameraphone Photo Dump!

It has been said that a picture is worth a thousand words. Which means a crappy picture is worth at least 250 don't you think? So we should be good with just a few headings and transitions and not so much blappety blah blah as usual.

The Easy But Boring Way to Eat Healthy Meals When Traveling:

Stay somewhere you can prepare some meals yourself!

This is not necessarily worthwhile for short trips, but if you're vacationing for more than a few days, consider forgoing the glamour of a nice hotel with room service and mints on your pillow and maids who clean up your slovenly messes and who even fold the toilet paper ends into perky little triangles.

Instead, opt for more utilitarian accommodations that have fridges and stoves!  That way you can shop for fresh whole foods at grocery stores and fix some of your favorite healthy meals and save cash and calories for real treats. But note: it makes for really boring vacation photos.

 Oh, Boy, it's Bok Choy!

Often Chinatown has the best produce deals.
What's up with that?

Looks like I need a bit more coffee.
But happy-sleepy!

Our local Whole Foods is nowhere near this fancy.

 Home-made blueberry salad dressing, for the most Ginormous Salads on Earth.

Well, you wouldn't want your pretzels DISROBED, that would be indecent.

This scary reddish-brownish stuff was actually very tasty. 
You will NEVER guess what the hell is in it.
 I believe a whole boring post is forthcoming. 

But Don't Be Dumb-Ass, Go Out and Have Fun!

One of the best things about travel is the chance to try new things, or savor special treats that you don't have every day.  Some of these are not perhaps the healthiest choices if you were to make them every day, but consider the mental health bonus you get from breaking the rules every now and then.

For example, I'm a bit intolerant of cow's milk, but the self-serve yogurt places with 97 flavors where you get to be as piggy as you want are not yet hip to goats' milk. So I ate a crapload of moo-derived frozen yogurt with all kinds of nuts and berries and bloated right up until I was a round little crab and the Lobster had to roll me home. On more than one occasion, if truth be told.

(BTW, I am still of the opinion that the little free sample cups they give out so you can try all the flavors don't have calories no matter how much you overfill them and no matter how many you eat, because they don't weigh them and they're free so they can't possibly count, right?)

We also wined and dined and beered at fun restaurants...

And went to venues where healthy food choices were vastly outnumbered by tastier sounding options.

However, that doesn't mean you can't...

Mitigate the damages!

We all know that consuming healthy vegetables magically cancels out any recent dietary sins. (Life is way more fun if you believe in magic).

So even at the CNE expo thing, before we had some insanely junky deep fried waffle slices (complete with vanilla ice cream for the Lobster and some kind of chocolate-peanut mess on top for me) we managed to find reasonably healthy dinners. The Lobster had a Greek Salad with chicken and I had the blandest Thai cuisine ever but at least it contained magic vegetables:

And when we went out for Vietnamese, I had a DIY low-carb version by leaving these remains of the day:

Don't Forget Beverages!

A great trick for feeling like you are "going out on the town" while still eating boring home cooked meals as pictured above, is to go out for coffee or tea in the afternoon and possibly more adult beverages in the evening.

Bonus: If you are me, you can meet up with an awesome Cranketeer!  We are not pictured with our tea and coffee but it was consumed earlier during a downtown rendezvous. Thanks Kimberley!

When to Sample and When to Just Behold in Fascination?

We probably should have been braver in our cuisinary choices. We probably missed some wonderful opportunities.  Would, for example, "pork butts drive us nuts" too if they were Canadian Pork Butts?  Should we have ordered up some Poutine?

Lots of interesting options!

(Worth clicking on to read the, um, lets say "poetic" product description)

To Sum Up My Vacation Eating Philosophy:

This was taken at an aptly named establishment (facing a massive church):  Sin and Redemption.

And now, with absolutely no transition at all except to mention the possibility that there are alternative routes to happiness besides tasty food and booze, here is...

More Info on Hardwiring Happiness!

As Cranketeers know, I am a big fan of Rick Hanson as his work has helped me be way less crazypants and pessimistic and grouchy.  And now I'm pretty darn excited that his new book Hardwiring Happiness is coming out.

To quote, because I'm lazy and I'm sure it's true: "Grounded in neuroscience, Hardwiring Happiness is super practical, full of easy-to-use methods and guided practices to grow a steady well-being, self-worth, and inner peace. And it has special sections on children, motivation, relationships, trauma, and spiritual practice."

I'm even pre-ordering, in part because there's a cool free bonus presentation: "Your Best Brain: 5 Great Ways to Change Your Brain for the Better."  It's an hour and a half and normally costs $49.

But also I'm signing on in advance because I'm sure it's gonna be great, and it seems that pre-orders create buzz and sales. And heck, if advance sales help more people discover Rick's work and become happier and nicer, I'm thinking the world will be a way better place.

Also, in other Rickellaneous news, he's got a free online interview series that looks awesome, with thoughts from lots of other smarty-pants brain experts, starting soon. So you may want to head on over to Entheos to sign up for Hardwiring Happiness: The 7 Essential Strengths virtual conference.

So, anyone have any thoughts on Eating Healthy on the Road, or on Happiness and Hardwiring, or on Any Damn Thing at All?

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