Amy Meets America: The Food

20121229-195212.jpgOne of the biggest challenges with travelling is eating well. I learned that the hard way last time I travelled, gaining a solid 5+ kg in the month that I was away.

This time around I’m trying to strike a balance between trying what’s recommended, and what people suggest is an “Amercian” diet, with what I know is healthy. Not preparing my own meals, this is hard.

I’ve eaten far more burgers in the 6 days I’ve been here than I would in a month at home. Three (and counting, I’m sure). My burgers per day (“BPD”) is smack-bang on 0.5 at the moment. I’m going to make sure it doesn’t go any higher than that.

Stopping right here, I want to point out my excessive consumption of burgers is not the fault of the country, but the consumer. Don’t want to eat crap? Don’t buy it! Simple.

But I want your thoughts on the matter, too. In my attempt to pull an all-nighter to catch my plane at 5 am, I wrote the following pro/con list. Have a read, then chip in with your 2c!

The Good:

– Food is very easy to find, and quick to obtain. Your day of sightseeing and general tourist-wonder doesn’t need to be planned around where/ when you’re going to eat (but it can, if you want to).

– A lot of the menus I’ve seen provide calorie information on the items available. It has been really helpful when choosing between items at some places.

– The places I’ve been staying so far have provided good, free, filtered water to guests. This makes it a lot easier to avoid.

– A damn fine steak was not difficult to find.

The Bad:

– Calorie information is often displayed, showing you just how ridiculous some of the ‘food’ you’re consuming is for you.

– Everything comes in such huge serves! I have yet to finish a meal, and I’ve probably still eaten twice what I should have. The portions are completely distorted.

– In the city, apples would set me back 99c each. Granted, I know they’d be much cheaper if I was at a proper grocery store, but without access to a car (or the time to mission to one in each city via public transport) this just isn’t an option.

– A salad that wasn’t smothered in a creamy sauce, or packed with bacon and croutons, has been very difficult to find. But – success – I was able to find one to take back to the hostel for dinner to tonight!

The Ugly:

– “Would you like fries with that?”. Oh, go on – it’s only $1. For another 50c, you can get a soda too!

So – your thoughts?

13 thoughts on “Amy Meets America: The Food

  1. You’re right – on all of it. The Standard American Diet (with the wonderful acronym of SAD) is full of large portions, heavily processed “food-like substances” (I believe Michael Pollan coined that term), and all of it slathered in gravies, sauces, and who knows what else. And a side of vegetables cost more than a side of fries. SMH. On the bright side, I love my local farmer’s market, and if I go out to eat, the left overs I bring home can easily last for one or two more meals. Traveling is a wole other issue, though. Good luck to you!! ~ Yuri

  2. The portions and types of foods in America are huge and loaded with bad things! Lol the things that taste the best are probably the worst for us! Ha ha and it is so hard to diet in this country because so much of our culture and activities are based all around eating. Especially in the city I live, Pittsburgh. We are loaded with bars that serve delicious fried goodies and with the weather being crappy here so many just go out to eat! So when u are dieting u tend to feel a bit left out and alone at times. :-/

    • The social aspect, and feeling left out, is the same back home – the options just aren’t as polarised I guess.

      The challenge is finding a ‘way’ that balances both!

  3. You’re on the pro’s con’s and ugly’s… But when you order ask for no dressing, no sauce, no fries, no fizzy drink etc.. And ask for a Doggy bag to feed your whole family once you’re home! 🙂
    Or do what I do,,, Order from the children’s menu which is about the ‘normal’ size an adult should be eating.

  4. No extras, order lighter dressings, no croutons, etc. I have a lot of food allergies, so when I eat out I tend to be very annoying, but the food I end up getting is usually healthier because it isn’t so full of greasy garbage.

  5. I always draw a line down the middle of my plate when eating out and ask for a to-go box right away. I then put half the meal in the to-go box and eat the rest. That’s the only way I don’t over-eat here in the USA. I also try to order anything grilled or baked. Anything fried or blackened is cooked in the worst way possible. And I agree with others–dressing on the side, etc. Good luck!

  6. Pingback: Amy Meets America: New Orleans on Foot | peonut

  7. Pingback: Amy Meets America: The Food Pt II | peonut

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