Last Friday, my friend Rob and I were chatting about our weekend plans during an edit session. That’s when he asked a question that left me stumped: what could he eat that night at CitiField while watching the Mets take on the Reds that wouldn’t leave him feeling totally sluggish for the 10 mile run he had planned for the next day?
Listen, when I get to cheer on my beloved Bronx Bombers at Yankee Stadium, I know it’s going to be hard to eat anything super healthy during the game. Know what? That’s okay! Part of my stadium experience is indulging in some of the higher-calorie items that you’ll probably never find in my kitchen like hot dogs, steak sandwiches, beer and brownie sundaes.
Rob and I ended up in a “deep” discussion to weigh his options. (Don’t worry, we still met our deadline!) I’ve never been to CitiField, but I was pretty sure he’d be hard pressed to find fresh grilled chicken or fish or a veggie-loaded salad. So, my simple suggestion was to watch his portions.
Instead of having two hot dogs or one hot dog and a sausage with peppers, I recommended he choose one or the other and have a bag of pretzels on the side rather than French fries or nachos. As for the libations, I told him to stick with light beer and drink a bottle of water in between each beer to cut down on the total number of suds consumed during the game.
Making small changes like cutting back portion sizes (if you really want those fries, share them with a friend!) and eating sensibly throughout the day before you head to a venue with less-than-optimal food choices are a couple of ways to enjoy yourself without going overboard. Also, the every-other-drink rule is one I follow whether I’m at a ballpark or a BBQ. It’s a great way to keep your alcohol consumption -and all the sugar and calories that go with it – in check. Since one of my mantras is “everything in moderation,” I find no reason to skimp on summertime fun!
In the end, Rob ate a small cheeseburger, drank only a couple of beers and loaded up on the water. On Saturday, he woke up and conquered his 10 mile run. Success!
This scenario illustrates what I consider to be the wonderful domino effect that fitness can have on your life. You get into a regular workout routine, look forward to your run, swim, kickboxing or Zumba classes and enjoy the endorphin rush you get from breaking a sweat. Before you know it, the last thing you’ll want to do is negate all your hard work by putting bad fuel into your body.
In a world filled with unhealthy relationships, diet and exercise are two things that happen to work in perfect harmony to keep you on the path to have fun, be fit and feel fabulous!