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Wish List Wursday… Commuting and Eating Out

This week’s Wish List Wednesday deals with 2 things that I probably will never see me in my lifetime. But heres hoping for something close.

My running wish is…..

I wish I could run commute….

Set up- A Soul Sucking Drive

Any regular reader of my blog will know that I despise my current commute for a number of reasons. Its 40 miles and 45 minutes long and 40 miles and 45 minutes of gas. It drains my bank account, my time and my energy. Even if I start the day feeling good, Im lethargic after my lengthy drive to work. Even if I end the end the day on a high, it wont last the soul sucking drive back home. The commute means the best time in the morning to run is 5 am, because I then need time to get ready and drive to work. 5 am running has its benefits, but by Friday it starts to take a toll. If my commute wasnt that long, I wouldnt need to do this. I might get that extra sleep I need as well. I was thinking though, wouldnt it be ideal if I could just run to and from work? Kill 2 birds with one stone? Get my morning run in and get to work? Save gas and help the environment, and all that stuff.

I hate my morning and afternoon commute. It zaps the life out of me.

The Ideal Wish- Morning Runs with Purpose

That I lived 4 miles away or so from where I worked with a route I could vary to 8 or more. That I could find a way to leave clothes/food at my job, get my various runs in on the way to work in the morning (fartlek, tempo, interval, speed), do my job, and then jog it out back home. That I could build my mileage during the work week by running to work. That I would not have to drive unless I truly needed a day off or due to weather. That I could save myself immense amount of gas and save my poor car. That I could enjoy my morning runs even more than normal by giving them a specific purpose beyond training.

I wish my morning runs not only had a specific running purpose but a specific life purpose.

The Reality- Not happening

40 miles and 45 minutes away. No run commuting, because Im not a Tamahumara or an ancient Asian marathon monk. Do I need to say more?

The Possible- A test run

My situation may change in a short time, and I may be run commuting to class if possible, so there is that. Or that could not happen at all, it depends on a lot to still be determined. What could I try for now? A test run commute to and from my parents who live 10 to 15 miles away (depending on route). I could take one early weekend before school ends, run to the parents house in the morning and jog back at night. My parents would be more than happy to feed and hydrate  during the downtime in between the runs. Best of all, no work in between. I think this would be a fun test to see how enjoyable this experience would be. Not to mention, save some gas and some wear and tear on my car

I would have to run commute to my parents off of Bruce B Downs BLVD in Tampa, it has a ton of construction on it which would add to the challenge

Now onto my nutrition wish….

I wish I could healthy when I eat out…..

Set up-  Real Nutritious Food Please

I know there are healthier restaurants out there that cater specifically to people looking for a more nutritious bite. However most people dont eat at those places when they go out, and more specifically my friends and family dont. They eat at places like Fridays, Chilis, Ruby Tuesdays, or other popular chains and restaurants. So that is where I eat. It is nearly impossible to find a healthy, semi-low calorie meal at those places. Screw salads first of all. Im not sitting for an hour of meal and a conversation and having a salad.  I just want a plate of nutritious food that has some taste of it so I can sit with friends/family and enjoy, while they enjoy their pulled pork sandwich or burger or whatever. Im not above any of that stuff, I love a lot of it but honestly sometimes when I get invited out to eat Im not always in the mood for something “fat-tastic” or greasy. I dont want to portion control either. I have seen where people are advised to just take half of their helping and pack it away in a box for future consumption as a means of healthy eating out. I hate this for a variety of reasons. It seems rude to me, reheated food lacks quality, and it defeats the purpose of eating out. I just want to be able to sit at one of those restaurants and enjoy a terrific healthy bite. So why isnt it really offered? Why is only pseudo healthy food offered?

I enjoy a nice rack of ribs as much as the next guy. In fact those are making me hungry right now, but what about when I want to head out with friends and have something tasty thats not a calorie party?

The Ideal Wish- Eat out, eat happy, eat healthy

That I could could get that random invite from my friend “Hey lets head out to -insert chain or standard restaurant- here and have a bite” and I wouldnt cringe knowing that I will have to chose between 1300 to 1500 calorie plates in one meal. That I can say yes and go out and pick a nice plate of chicken/fish/turkey/vegetable centered food, eat it, feel satisfied from a taste/fullness point of view and not consume over 600 to 900 calories. That the healthiest item on the menu woulnt be a salad. That I could sit with friends and enjoy my low calorie plate of food while they chow down on whatever makes them happy. That I could be social, eat out when it comes up, and still eat healthy. That the culnary wizards who run these places-  who can devise delicious and amazing bites of food – could spend a little time, thinking of delicious and amazing bites of HEALTHY food for when you are not always looking to indulge.

It is hard to “eat smart” when you eat out. Choices are so limited, if you are not digging a salad

The Reality- A Calorie Fest

I sat with my Dad yesterday and we both attempted to order healthy plates of food for lunch at an American chain restaurant. He ordered the Turkey Club and I had the Flounder. My dish was a Parmesan Crusted Pan Seared Flounder with a vegetable medley on the side and a Jasmine rice pilaf. Doesnt that sound that bad right? Calorically it adds up to a whopping 1380/1390 calories. Im not that stingy about calories since I exercise a considerable amount but thats a lot for one sitting. My fathers turkey club came with bacon, and would have come with mayo had he not had it removed. All he wanted was a nice turkey sandwich. Eating out and eating healthy is impossibly hard. You have to do a ton of research beforehand and this precludes spur of the moment trips. Im all about planning ahead, but would it kill restaurants to offer one or two truly healthy meals on their menu? Instead of meals that are designed to appear healthy and arent even close. Applebees 550 calorie menu is touted, and I have had one of those meals and they are are sodium loaded and un-appetizing. Is it an admirable step or a way to half ass something to draw in some dieting customers? Im betting on #2. I dont want to eat salads when I eat out. I want to eat meals and it fairly pisses me off that a real nutritious option is near impossible to find.

Without the sauce, the Pan Seared Parmesan Flounder on the left is what made up of the core of my lunch yesterday, not totally unhealthy since it is fish but 940 calories is a lot nonetheless

The Possible- Not a lot of options

I hate portion sizing when Im out as much as I hate salads. When I read various columns about eating smart when I eat out, these are the 2 most common suggestions. If I am capable of providing nutritious healthy meals for myself with mild flavor then why cant restaurants? I have no utterly no hope of expecting them to change their menu in a way reflective of normal sized food with flavor and nutritional content. When I know Im going out, I can order my eating appropriately so that it is not huge problem. When it is spur of the moment? Just make the best choice you can really. I have a fairly good idea of what is healthy and what is not. I guess the other thing to do would be to suggest a more healthy friendly eating spot. None of these are great options to me for a variety of reasons, so the whole thing kind of aggravates me.

I dont even need it that fast. I just want a real healthy option when Im out, instead of fakes.

Enjoy Your Run. Enjoy Your Day :0

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