Traveling and HFCS

>> Monday, October 6, 2008

We're back! We had a wonderful trip back to visit family and friends in Mississippi, where it's still warm and green and fresh produce is still plentiful. I thought I'd share my experience with HFCS while we traveled.

Traveling on a HFCS-free diet, while possible, is hard. To be honest, we didn't even try. We laid aside our no-HFCS rule for the trip to save our sanity. While traveling to and from in the car and plane, our diet went down the drain. Snacks from convenience stores (after we ran out of the healthier snacks I brought), meals at McDonalds (they're often the only fast and kid-friendly option around). Seems that everything in McDonalds has HFCS in it. Buns. Salad dressing. Drinks. (Though you can get brewed tea that doesn't have HFCS at McDonalds.) And we won't even think about the fat content. The kids really dig the playgrounds and Happy Meal toys at McDonalds, but happily are not all that crazy about the food - yet. It's amazing how different fast food tastes when you haven't eaten it for a long time. You can feel the fat coating your throat for a long time after eating. Bleh.

Flying was no better. Better buy a drink before you board the plane because unless you get their nasty, bacteria-laden water, your drink almost certainly will have HFCS in it. I got a canned tea and was amazed to see HFCS as the second ingredient.

HFCS-free options are just not the norm in stores catering to travelers. First, most travelers are looking for something fast that still tastes good without caring a bit about how healthy the food is. Second, most establishments catering to travelers are looking to maximize their profit margins. HFCS-containing junk food does that.

Our diet was considerably better while we were at
our destination. Our parents are not on the same HFCS-free journey that we are, but they're healthy eaters in general. Best of all, we found out that a couple of our friends are on the same health journey that we are - further along, in fact.

We had a wonderful vacation, but it's good to be back. It's good to be back on track.

Thanks to all of my guest posters! I thoroughly enjoyed reading all of the guest posts. I must apologize for the funky formatting, though. I did all of the guest posts as pre-posts, and the preview that Blogger showed didn't match what the final post looked like in most cases.


m October 6, 2008 at 10:01 AM  

Nice post! Glad you had a wonderful trip! What a challenge to eat healthy while on a trip...yikes! Thanks for sharing!

JC October 6, 2008 at 11:49 AM  

It's hard to maintain a decent diet while traveling. I haven't flown in a while, but you bring up an interesting point about the lack of options. If we can't even bring our own water or drinks on board, we're really stuck. What do we do, give our kids coffee? (Just kidding.)

Blake October 6, 2008 at 11:52 AM  

welcome back. thanks for the opportunity to guest post. always hard to eat good while traveling. glad you had a good time

Super Healthy Kids October 6, 2008 at 1:47 PM  

So glad you are back. Healthy eating is hard on trips, especially if you are in small towns without many options.

James Hubbard, M.D,, M.P.H. October 6, 2008 at 5:23 PM  

I am from northeast Mississippi and those photos bring back fond memories.


MizFit October 7, 2008 at 5:23 AM  

isnt it amazing one you are uberclean (and I mean one :) as I should be more vigilant about the HFC) that even those who eat reasonably healthy are vastly different from your 'regular diet'

glad the trip was a fun one...

Lori October 7, 2008 at 9:27 AM  

Beautiful pictures! Traveling is tough. I try to stick to healthy eating, but I also feel there is a time to just let it go and give yourself some room to be flexible.

Thanks for telling us about your travel experiences. Glad you are back!

Anya October 8, 2008 at 8:33 AM  

I just got back from a road trip to Florida, and you're right, snacking healthy on the road is so hard. Especially when you're with beloved family members who adore McDonald's and Taco Bell. Or when your father eats all your Kashi bars in an hour and wants to know what else you have stashed in your bag for the next 18 hours of the trip, LOL.

cathy October 9, 2008 at 6:52 AM  

James - I grew up on the Mississippi coast and did undergrad at Ole Miss. Our parents live in central and northern Mississippi now, so that's where we go when we visit. I love living in Wyoming (and loved Colorado when we lived there many years ago too), but I need my yearly Southern fix!

gtoschi January 13, 2010 at 6:41 PM  

Hello! I am from Italy /live in the USA. We took the kids to Italy again this Xmas. My son has had tics, that are much better thanks to staying away from artificial food clorings, artificial ingredients in general, and HFCS. When in Italy I went to the store and looked at labels. The result: no HFCS at all in anything (i don't think it exists) and no artificial dyes (like "red #40" etc). The nutritionist at the store told me they are NOT allowed in Europe, and as a result, only natural coloring is OK, and food for kids is less colorful, but I think much better in general. Can anybody tell me why we are poisoning ourself and our children in this country????? take care..... Giulia

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