The Least Bad of the Worst

I’m always drawn to articles about healthy eating and choices, so when this article about healthy vending machine choices came up on Yahoo! naturally I checked it out.

Scrolling past the first section on terrible choices (I already know those are terrible!), I find that even the “healthy” choices are, generally, terrible. It’s all processed junk food, and in all but the most dire circumstances, I would never, ever eat any of those foods. I suppose that the popcorn or the peanuts might be something I would choose in an emergency but that is the operative phrase – an emergency.

Eating from a vending machine means that I have completely failed in planning, and that changes need to be made for my future plans to avoid the situation occurring ever again. In fact, I can remember the only time this year I’ve eaten from a vending machine – I was on a work trip, stuck in an office building, and there had been a misunderstanding about lunch. I thought there would be food brought in and there wasn’t, but we’d worked through lunch so the cafeteria was closed. That is the only time I’ve had to eat from a vending machine this year. I recall that I opted for a granola bar, because there wasn’t a microwave available to me for popcorn and peanuts weren’t in the machine. I wasn’t happy about it, but Hungry Laina is a terrible thing to have in a meeting, so it was the lesser of two bad choices.

The point I’m trying to make is not to gloat that I’m such a great planner – I make mistakes all the time – the point I’m trying to make is that these sorts of experiences have shaped my planning skills over the years so that I can avoid having to eat unsupportive emergency foods. I make sure I’ve packed a banana in my laptop bag, I buy fruit almost compulsively when I’m traveling, I grab yogurt cups when I see them, I pack a protein bar in my purse. It doesn’t even feel like planning anymore, it’s mostly habitual to make sure I never have an emergency and have to choose the lesser of several very bad choices.

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4 Responses to “The Least Bad of the Worst”

  1. Yoko Olsgaard Says:

    Laina, I also do exactly the same thing. I always head for the boiled eggs, yogurt and bananas from the breakfast buffet when I travel for work. I can’t trust much else and it is so helpful when I am visiting the customer and they think they are doing me a big favor by ordering in pizza for lunch. The order a Caesar salad drenched in dressing and cheese and wonder why I can’t eat it. “It’s a salad, isn’t it?” And yes, I also keep a Luna bar in my laptop bag for emergencies. At work, I have boiled eggs and lite string cheeses in the fridge. I have even kept veggie bags in the ice bucket over night to have something to take to the customer site. I always travel with ziplocs and snag carrot sticks and celery sticks from the happy hour bar. They can all eat the buffalo wings! I have also found that people don’t always have calorie friendly dressings, so have taken to packing packets of weight watcher dressing or a bottle of rice vinegar. But, God forbid, what to do when your planning fails! I eat the best option in the vending machine and adjust eating later to compensate. So if I have to eat a bad thing for lunch, I eat a very good thing for dinner. I just got back from a trip and gained some weight but it’s all gone now 3 days after I got back. Phew! Thanks for posting your comments about planning. You are so right!

  2. Elizabeth Says:

    My back-up is beef jerky I keep in my backpack. Beats hitting the ol’ vending machine that stares me down invitingly…

  3. Princess Dieter Says:

    I feel the same way: If I have to resort to wretched choices (vending machines, quickie places), I didn’t plan properly. I’m in the habit of, if I’m gonna be out of the house for hours or most of the day, to have an idea of where I can eat (safe eateries) and I take snacks in my bag and usually a bottle of water (though those are easy to buy around town). I carry Starbucks instant decaf and green tea in my purse cause water is easy to come by in eateries or someone’s house. I carry nuts and Larabars. I sometimes take string cheese and apples or other easy to carry fruit.

    Being ready is a good strategy. Hubby carries stuff, too, now, cause it’s good to always have SOMETHING, just in case. This society is loaded with crap stuff to eat….so one has to be “armed” with solid choices. 😀

    Wish I liked that paleo beef jerky stuff, cause that would be easy, too. But, bleh.

  4. Jen Says:

    I keep TJs fruit leather in the pointless zipper pocket in the flap of my purse (What is that for, anyway?). 40 calories emergency fruit.


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