I left Dennis’ house on a Saturday morning and drove the few hours to small town Minnesota, to my older sister, Andrea’s house. As an unexpected surprise, my mom and all my sisters were there for the weekend. It was fun to get all the girls together one more time before I really left on my trip!!
All the girls in my family, from oldest to youngest, including my mom. (Aren’t we a happy looking bunch?)
Some of the things I am restricted from include: pork, beef, corn (including high fructose corn syrup, cornmeal, cornstarch, etc.), white flour, sugar, white potatoes, most dairy, yeast, cabbage, chili powder, pistachios, and peanuts. This was initially a little depressing for me, because I like bread, peanut butter, red meat, french fries, brownies… I could go on all day, listing foods that were suddenly on the “no-no” list. I have never been on any sort of diet before, so it was all new to me. (I take that back, slightly. One time, I think in about 7th or 8th grade, I went four months without eating chocolate. Think Hershey’s candy bars, chocolate milk, chocolate pudding, chocolate chip cookies, hot chocolate…. Pure torture! Don’t ever try it.)
Some of the things I can eat are plain yogurt, chicken, turkey, red potatoes, all other nuts, fruits, and most veggies. From this list and by racking our brains, we were able to come up with appetizing-sounding alternatives, and things didn’t seem so bad. The other hard part, though, was trying to figure out how to carry this diet out while traveling. It’s one thing if you have your own kitchen, complete with stove, fridge, and dishes. It’s another if all you have is a cooler in the back of your car and two tupperware containers.
One thing I ended up doing was buying bulk ingredients to create trail mix. Almonds, cashews, pecans, coconut, dried apples, raisins, sunflower seeds, banana chips. All went into a huge bowl, got mixed around, and doled out into sandwich ziplock bags, to be munched on during any sugar low. The great thing about this kind of trail mix is that it’s not only delicious by itself, but it also makes a great topping on salads, in oatmeal, or mixed in plain yogurt! (I bet it would also be good on ice cream, but I can’t have any right now.)
By mid-morning on Tuesday, I had packed all my things in my car and was ready to go. Finally, on the road, going solo where I’d never gone solo before, next destination: Glendive, Montana.
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