O.K., I need to give a shout out here to my dear father, the man who taught me how to pack food for traveling. And what a useful skill this has turned out to be in my life!
Growing up a vegetarian/whole foods/traveling family in the 1980’s meant that we always carried bags, baskets, and coolers of food with us in the car or plane or train. And processed food was unheard of, unless you count Knudsen Spritzers and brown rice cakes.
Now, as an adult, I sometimes feel a little obsessive as I shop, chop, cook, and wrap up food in prep for a trip. But all this prep always pays off. This morning on the train, as everyone around us was eating instant noodles, Tate and I had a delicious breakfast of puffed wheat, yogurt, banana, and a bit of peanuts thrown on top for good measure. Lunch was an awesome cucumber and tomato salad, straight up with just a dash of salt, a bowl of noodle soup that I spruced up by snapping green beans in before adding the hot water so they steamed a bit and topped off with a generous pile of soy nuts for more protein. You should have seen the looks the locals were giving me while I was breaking up green beans for my soup, they literally laughed, pointed, and called over their friends to point and laugh! As far as instant noodles go these ones are great, they are vermicelli made from sweet potatoes and the broth doesn’t have any MSG, hydrogenated oils, or meat powders. It comes with a little freeze-dried veg packet, a broth packet, and a chili oil packet, which I only added about half of because otherwise it gets a layer of oil on the top and that is kinda greasy tasting. I am not really a big fan of noodles and I only ended up eating about half the noodles but the broth, soy nuts, and green beans were delicious!
One thing we learned in South America is that Tupperware is an indispensible travel item. Now that we always carry Tupperware we can easily eat cereal, pack salads, chopped fruit, or leftovers for the buses or trains. Packing food definitely takes a bit of forethought and time but in the end it save me the stress and frustration of being at the mercy of bus station/train station/airport/gas station options (i.e. white bread, fried food, and sugar, especially as a vegetarian!).
I really had to talk myself into exercising today, “come on Faith, you have all day on the train, just 15 minutes is all I am asking of you!” I managed 5 sets of 40 crunches (various types) and 30 seconds of plank, a total of 200 crunches and 2.5 minutes of plank…in my top train bunk! Turns out plank is a very efficient train bed exercise, the rocking of the train makes it even more challenging!
As usual, when I finished my “bed abs” I was feeling good and my body wanted more so I found some space away from the smokers and soup slurpers and did 50 lunges each leg and 50 plie squats. And then promptly returned to the cabin to start drinking beer. Everything in balance, isn’t that what life’s all about?