The other day I was at the train station waiting to board the train for a six hour ride. I needed to grab dinner while on the go and was in search of something healthy, so I browsed the food court only to find stalls serving ribs, hot dogs, pizza, soft pretzels, donuts, and the dreaded McDonald’s. I found myself walking in circles reading each menu to see if a salad was an option anywhere, but wasn’t having any luck.
After 10 minutes of walking aimlessly looking for an option to appear, I decided to suck it up and go to McDonald’s knowing they definitely had a salad on the menu. So I walked up to the register and ordered a salad with grilled chicken. I paid and walked over to wait for my food to be ready. While waiting I was told it would be a 10-minute wait for the grilled chicken but they could gladly top the salad with fried chicken immediately.
I laughed and told them that I didn’t have time to wait for the grilled chicken since my train was scheduled to leave in 20 minutes and I wouldn’t eat the fried chicken. They shrugged and said they could give me a refund. At this point I was thinking about my other options and felt that a salad was still the best option compared to everything else on offer. Therefore, I asked if they could top my salad with a hamburger patty instead, which is the solution we came to.
I wanted to share this experience because sometimes it’s necessary to make the best decision you can based on what you’re given. You aren’t always going to be able to eat the way you want to and in those circumstances it’s ideal to do the best you can and feel confident with the decision you did make. One meal does not define you or your diet and viewing each meal as a clean slate can be helpful.
Laura B. Folkes is a graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN) and is a Certified Holistic Health Coach. She supports busy adults to take back control of their eating, successfully navigate life with food intolerances, reduce cravings and/or make sustainable changes without deprivation. After successfully losing 60 pounds and working through her own emotional relationship with food, Laura recognizes there are many factors keeping individuals from sticking to what they know works but it’s her mission to help others overcome these factors to become healthier and happier.