Thursday, March 22, 2012

An Interesting Look at Food Options

I am not going to claim that I am the best person to ask for advice on nutrition. I suffer with it a lot, and I make a lot of bad choices. I am a slave to things that simply taste good.

That said, I had to make a choice this morning in regards to my breakfast. I feel like sharing how I made this choice, because maybe someone has to make the same choice somewhere else - and it's always comforting to know someone else has been there.

Normally, I make breakfast at home and pack it up to bring to work to eat after CrossFit. Sometimes it's scrambled eggs and chicken sausage (one of my favorites!), and if I am running short on time, I keep a box of instant oatmeal at home. (I do realize that instant oatmeal is not the BEST option, but it is a BETTER option than say, pop tarts!)

I am all about convenience when it comes to breakfast. I don't like cereal for breakfast because having to pack the cereal and milk separately and bring a bowl and a spoon to eat it with just isn't convenient. Lazy may even be a better word, but there you have it. I like foods that I can pop in the microwave for a moment and eat, or like with the instant oatmeal, simply put it into a cup and add some hot water and drink. (I like my oatmeal fairly liquid, it's like a slushie!)

This morning, I failed on two counts. I did not prepare my scrambled eggs and sausage because I overslept (and also did not make it to Crossfit this morning, something I need to remedy this afternoon), and I mistakenly thought I had an extra oatmeal packet at my office and did not grab one as I ran out the door.

When I got to my office and realized I didn't have anything for breakfast - my first reaction was 'this means I get to eat out! yay!'.

For so long, I realize, I have been looking for a reason to justify my fast food purchases. I immediately wanted to go out and get a chicken, egg, and cheese bagel from Chick-Fil-A. Just thinking about it made my mouth water for that wonderful, awful sandwich.

That wonderful bagel that would cost me gas to drive there (and at $3.89 a gallon, I am not looking to drive more than I need to!), the $3 for the bagel, then 490 calories and 1230 grams of salt. Yes, it does have 28g of protein (and I do try to eat a lot of protein)... and I had a coworker with a box of instant oatmeal here, willing to give me a packet for nothing.

I admit I spent more time mulling over this choice than I am proud of. The oatmeal. Bland, boring oatmeal, only 130 calories, free, and right there - or this awesome chicken bagel! Is this what I've become? Such a slave to fast food that I view as a treat? Is it really that good?

Remember I don't count calories anymore, so that value doesn't hold as much importance as the salt content to me. I try to limit my salt intake as much as possible, and 1230 g is 51% of my daily recommended intake. That is a lot of salt in one tasty little bagel.

Still, the craving was there. I wanted it so bad. I had to take the time to talk myself out of it (which is even harder, when you actually are hungry), and take that oatmeal packet and eat it.

It was not as tasty as the bagel would have been. Maybe even the bagel wouldn't have been as tasty as I imagine it.

I'm sure a lot of people who are reading this are wondering why am I bothering to make such a big deal out of something as stupid as a bagel for breakfast. I'm sure many of my friends wonder that too - and I still am a little baffled by the whole thing myself.

I'm fighting hard to keep myself healthy, to eat right, and to lose weight. These little choices are key in that fight - one bad choice won't destroy me, but letting myself get away with it time and time again? That's how I got here in the first place.

So dear bagel, as much as I love you, and you will remain one of my favorite breakfast items of my past life, I say goodbye to you.

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