The sheets are washed, all but the last minute items are packed, the car is gassed up and the counter is lined with cooled pies awaiting their turn to be loaded into the cooler with the reusable ice packs now filling my freezer. And of course, my darling dearest is moaning about the unfairness of life.
Later this afternoon we will begin out journey into Thanksgiving land. My baby is grumpy not about the actual visit but about the trip. You see he has always held a very firm belief that journeys are in between things and therefore no normal healthrules apply. On a road trip a person can stock up on all manner of junk and it makes no difference at all. He applies this to more than just food actually and has on a few occasions when driving by himself on a long haul smoked himself sick (yes, actually sick) on the bad cigars I don’t like. (while I do actually like the scent of a good cigar, these are pungent and foul. while he claimed they were fine if not the best, the one benefit of him smoking himself sick on them was that they have not reappeared in his humidor since and he no longer tries to defend them. I take that as a win for me.)
Now to be fair, for the most part I agree with him on the theory of road snacks. We have driven through some pretty desolate places. On occasion, the strange snack food (pre-packaged) that we found and tried has been the bright spot in a long dreary drive. In an odd twist, the limitations don’t come from my diet, but his.
Last spring his doctor became very concerned about his blood pressure and sweeping household changes were made in regards to salt. (I may have mentioned the tearful farewell to store bought tater tots, although I don’t believe I mentioned the tragicomic sequence where I tried to replicate the tot in all it’s totty glory. That might require it’s own thread)
While there were a few bumps, he settled more or less okay into the lower salt environment.
Then we took our mid-summer road trip and he learned an interesting fact. When you’ve been on a lower salt diet for a while, then try one of your formerly salty favorites, it can actually be too salty for you. On that trip he learned that several of his former favorites were no longer palatable to his tongue. he simply couldn’t eat them.
So when stocking up for this road trip there was much grumping and some heavy sighs. Our bag of treats now includes a bag of sunflower seeds and a can of honey roasted peanuts. The seeds are unsalted to provide balance for the peanuts. (oh yes, he thought this out.)
While I am not a big snacker and for the most part only nibble at the snacks as we roll down the road, I have added one good bar of chocolate. I have added this, not only because I like it, and because I know I can have just one square and be happy (notice any cheesy snacks have been banned from the snack supply, I know not to be confined with my weaknesses, for I will succumb. That’s my trick, don’t bring what you can’t resist.), but the appearance of the good chocolate will make him happy. He will sulk over the snacks he has available, knowing they aren’t what he wants and that he no longer likes what he thinks he wants, and then brighten visibly at the sight of the expensive chocolate.
Not only is he a major chocolate fiend, but while its not super expensive chocolate, it isn’t a super cheap candy bar either. So he’ll feel pampered. And I’ve realized that is the big secret to road snacks, at least in our house. When you can’t have all of the delicious but not so good for you things, add something that may be slightly indulgent, or at least something you think is slightly indulgent. Instead of grabbing whatever you can find that might ‘work’ in a gas station you happen to pass, go out and get something you normally wouldn’t allow yourself to indulge in as a snack.
And seriously, while the indulgence is in the fact that it is Lindt, which is not usually sold in the gas station at least not near us, one square of chocolate is only bout 53 calories. It just tastes like so much more, especially when you eat it slowly.
So going down the road, my baby will take a handful of sunflower seeds, gripe about not being able to take down a jumbo size bag of combos, followed by both a bag buggles and pork rinds, topped off of course with some beef jerky (or occasionally other sorts of jerky) like he once could, and then I will hand him a square of good chocolate and he will happily nibble at the square for several miles, complaints forgotten in a wash of chocolate giddiness. Sometimes a little indulgence can make all the difference. Just a little something extra to add to any planned road trip.
And since we are going to be out of town and I will be far from my computer, I will not be posting on either Thanksgiving or the Friday after. I will be back on Monday though. While I’m sure you will survive my absence, I will be missing my weekly weigh in so I wanted a quick record of my weight going into thanksgiving.
And that weight is…206.6 lbs.
While I am not going to let that number trip me up over the holiday, I did want a record. I know I will gain a few pounds while I’m home. It is inevitable. Beyond the thanksgiving table, there is my mother. Even though she will compliment me on my weight loss and tell me I look good (which admittedly she would do regardless of what I actually look like, after all she is my mother) she will also try to stuff me with all manner of food while I am in her aegis.
It is the role of the child who moved away. When you come home you are fed. And your brother complains that he doesn’t get his favorites and it is pointed out that he raids her fridge several times a week because not only does he live close but his idea of cooking involves adding ketchup to whatever he picked up at the drive through. To which he’ll respond that he has no need to learn to cook when everyone else already knows and then he’ll ask if I’ll make that thing he liked last time he visited me and after a lengthy discussion of what he is actually talking about, it will turn out to be something he liked that my mother doesn’t and I will threaten to send him the recipe so he can make it for himself. And then he’ll quiet down as he tries and figure out how he can get the recipe and then get someone else to make it for him. It’s a routine conversation.
But that is just family.
So I have a record of my pre thanksgiving weight and now I am not going to think about it. I am going to finish packing the last minute things, make sure all of the trash is bagged and out and that there is nothing left to spoil in the fridge. Those two chores might actually be reversed with anything set to spoil added to the trash, but you get the picture.
Then we will begin the journey into thanksgiving land a place that is equal parts butter and sugar and accented with turkey and cheese boards. As with all family filled ventures it is filled with both the happy and the landmines (both expected and thus usually easily avoided occasionally with whispered comments like ‘Just don’t mention the THING’ or the completely unexpected that make you think you should get combat pay.)
As I said, it’s family.
I hope you enjoy yours and manage to avoid any pitfalls or landmines that come your way. When the weekend is over, we’ll all dust ourselves off, assess the damage and get back into a few weeks of routine before Christmas hits. Happy Holidays and safe travels.
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