Happy Tuesday, friends!
Hope the week is treating you well so far. I was super excited for my lunch of peanut butter, oats, Greek yogurt, strawberries and mango made in a near-empty peanut butter jar on Monday. Too bad I grabbed the wrong peanut butter jar when I was rushing off to work…
Oops. Trader Joe’s and a fruit stand saved the day. (I know NYC has a million take-out lunch options, but I just hate spending $12 on a salad or sandwich, you know?)
Tuesday started off a bit better with a 7.5 mile progression run in Central Park. I decided on a progression run to ease my way back into tempo runs and more speedwork, and stayed on the bridle path to keep the pace under control.
I find that when I stay on the bridle path, my pace is about 20 second slower than when on the roads. Consistent speedwork on the bridle make me feel a little speedier when I stick mainly to the roads – kind of like swimmers who don’t shave their bodies until race day, maybe?
Heaping bowl of Kashi Heart to Heart with berries for breakfast
Anyways, I’ve been thinking. Whenever I travel anywhere, whether it be across the country, ocean, state or just to Brooklyn, I always find myself observing what people are eating. I guess this is kind of a subconscious nutritionist thing, but I really find it fascinating.
I like thinking of and finding connections between the things people are eating and the geographical area they live in, because this almost always influences their choices. For example, growing up in Buffalo (my hometown), pizza, wings and fast food were a staple in my diet and in the diets of mostly everyone I knew.
It’s just the way it was. Pizza, wings and sub restaurants are everywhere you turn, and vegetables were kind of an afterthought at a lot of these places.
When I was in Napa and San Francisco a few weeks ago, the food was fresh and there was a ton of variety. Ingredients were largely local and I never had to hunt for healthy menu options when we dined out.
Living in New York, I’m probably spoiled. Not only are all kinds of restaurants and foods at my fingertips, but the latest food and nutrition trends are everywhere – you can’t help but notice them. (Ok, maybe I’m also a little too in the trenches because I read and learn about this stuff all the time).
But seriously, sometimes I wonder about the advantage I have as a New Yorker, or the advantage others have as San Franciscans, or those that live near organic farms in Maine (you get the idea…) over people that live in other areas when it comes to food and nutrition.
Because you can’t change your habits or lifestyle if you don’t know what you’re doing or putting into your body isn’t so great. If it’s what you grow up on or what you’re surrounded by, whether it be a pizza and wings-based diet, a heavy, fried Southern diet or [insert other regional diet here!], it’s so hard to see things any other way.
I think this is a huge challenge I’ll face as a dietitian in a lot of ways, but one that isn’t going to go away any time soon.
Now you tell me – how did the area you grew up in influence the way you ate (or still eat)? Have you ever changed any of your eating habits based on where you live?