Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Think About It Thursday

What is it about certain activities and places that makes us feel like we need to eat or drink immediately?

In my day job as a flight attendant I see this all the time. People get on a 30m flight and right away they NEED a soda (the full can please) and they just MUST have a snack. God forbid they are informed that 30m is just too short a time to safely feed and water a full aircraft.

This is definitely not a rant about my day job. I like my work. It's fun, totally different and can be very rewarding. No, this post is asking why we have so trained ourselves to associate certain activities and places with food. Airplanes are one example, but it's true for movies (popcorn and soda, candy), sporting events (beer, nachos, hotdogs), birthdays (cakes, drinks, indulgent foods), holidays (see birthdays), even going for a coffee, a food related activity already, seems to require a pastry or cookie.

Interestingly, we don't seem to immediately associate any activities or places with fruits and veggies. Air travel is a chance to have soda, chips and candy and perhaps a high calorie restaurant meal while you wait. No one ever says "oh I just can't board my plane without my veggie tray!" Or "I can not watch a movie without fruit salad!". It's always the junky food that gets connected to certain activities. I think partly it's boredom and partly it's habit. Airplanes used to give us peanuts, now they don't so we feel the need to board with the giant duty free bag of peanut M&Ms. Movies have always had popcorn so it's just not a movie without it.

Now I'm not saying avoid indulgences of all kinds all the time. Movies without some popcorn aren't the same (but I do bring my own air popped popcorn with coconut butter or opt for one of the great theaters with a full menu so at least the indulgence is a full meal). But killing time at the airport or eating the whole road trip is just boredom eating. And if you have to boredom eat (and who doesn't occasionally), it's probably best to do it with veggies, fruits, lean meats and a few nuts. Not chocolate, candy, chips and processed airport crap.

So think about it - are you really hungry? Would eating a healthy option truly detract from the experience? Have you really searched out a healthy option before settling for junk?

No comments:

Post a Comment