I’m wandering through the aisles of your average, run-of-the-mill supermarket. I’m also losing my mind.
Back and forth, back and forth. I make my rounds through the aptly named ‘Breakfast’ frozen foods section, mentally waving at the waffles (‘Hi waffles!’) as I meander by for the fifth time since I arrived.
How long have I been here? 30 minutes? 40? How is it that I don’t have a single thing in my basket?
I know where stuff is, that’s not the difficult part. The problem is that it’s been two months since I left New Zealand, the last place I had a home base, and since then I’ve been on the road, zooming around the United States, living on energy drinks and junk food (and the odd salad when I had the chance…I seldom did).
What I’m realizing now, in these hallowed, frozen halls, is that I have no idea what I eat. My habits have completely deteriorated, and with them the reflexes I remember having mere months before when I would enter a grocery store.
I can remember what some of these habits were, they just don’t seem to apply now. I’d grab pasta and some kind of sauce, but they don’t have the kind of pasta here that I would get in New Zealand, so that’s a wash. Energy drinks! I buy those! Oh wait, that was just a tic I picked up on this road trip. Shit. Hot Pockets? Ice cream? Nope. No thank you.
I wander a bit more, starting at the beginning, thinking what I need for where and who I am now.
‘Well, my diet has sucked for these past two months, so I should get something light. I’m really focusing on working out before I leave for Thailand, so I need a lot of vitamins and protein, and as little fat as possible.’
This in mind, I snag some nuts, some puffed-something-or-other health food snack, and a water (not a vitaminwater), knowing that soon I’ll have new habits in place, and going grocery shopping won’t be such a chore.
Habits grow quickly, so make sure that you plant the right seeds. It’s much easier than trying to uproot the trees that will grow from them.
Update: January 26, 2017
Man it’s weird reading these posts in which I recount how terrible my diet has been during portions of my travels. I remember thinking, even in the midst of the worst energy drink binges, that doing so didn’t really feel right. It didn’t seem to suit me. And that though I didn’t like coffee, it would probably turn out to be a better fit for me someday.
Turns out I was right, and after I started drinking black coffee, replacing all other types of caffeine from my diet, I felt more like myself than every before.
And at the time I’m writing this, I’ve spent the last six months cooking every meal I’ve eaten, which means I look at the grocery store far differently than ever before. It’s a much more exciting place, far more packed with possibility, when you know what to do with all those ingredients you otherwise walk right by.