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Some of the most unhealthy food in existence, here for your viewing pleasure

November 10, 2008

We had a four-day weekend, which the swim team spent on an away trip in Bloomington, IL for a giant swim meet. The meet itself was pretty fun– PRd on my 50 free but NOT my 100 breast! I don’t understand… It seems like the more I think about the stroke itself, the slower I go. I need to just feel the motion in my body and go. We still have a week till Sectionals, and our coach announced that this week we’ll really be perfecting our stroke and cooling down… AKA NO MORE SHOES! EVER! Well, at least for the rest of this season! ALSO: Friday I get to shave, finally! Apparently shaving (this is all psychological) your legs right before your most important meet will make you glide more smoothly and quickly in the water.
Anyways, back to the food. The trip itself was only 2 days, but the food we ate… we ate so much crap I could hardly believe it. I did the best I could, and was happy to see that I no longer beat myself up about things beyond my control. I must say though, it was an interesting experience for me, considering my family never goes on road trips, to the suburbs, or to diners. I’m pretty happy I don’t live in Bloomington.
Before we left for Bloomington, we stopped for lunch at Jimmy John’s. Since roughly half our team is vegetarian, we all ordered the Gourmet Veggie: avocado spread, double provolone, sliced cucumber, alfalfa sprouts, lettuce, and tomato. I ordered mine on whole wheat without mayo, plus hot peppers and a pickle. They wrapped everything individually, including the pickle, which is a huge waste of packaging, but was really cute.
As for the sandwich… I wasn’t aware that “double provolone” was code for “Try to compensate for lack of meet by piling as much cheese on the sandwich as you would turkey.” There must have been 10 slices of cheese on that thing! I took off roughly 8 of those slices. It isn’t even that I don’t like cheese, but that much is just unnecessary, and I’m not a provolone fan because it doesn’t seem to have any taste.
The peppers were HOT, and I mean really hot. I ate everything, but I was definitely feeling the lack of protein, since I had gotten rid of almost all the cheese. I was still starving by the time we got back on the bus and had to eat the bag of nuts, dried apricots and Kashi crackers that I’d packed (no photo).
We arrived in Bloomington approximately 2 hours later, after a long bus ride of crazy hairstyles (here we see me at my most Asian).

The hotel was pretty nice! Our original plan was to see a movie, but since nobody could agree on anything we decided to hang around until dinner time. For dinner, we went to Avanti’s, your typical Italian-American pizza/pasta joint, which was perfect for pre-meet carbo-loading.
I ordered the veggie lasagna with marinara instead of al fredo and a house salad. One of the girls at my table is a really picky eater as well as a vegetarian.
Her: can I have cheese ravioli with no sauce?
Waiter: No sauce? Are you sure?
Her: yes…
Him: Not even on the side on a little plate?
Her: No, I really hate sauce.
Him: Okay. Do you want salad or soup?
Her: salad.
Him: what kind of dressing.
Her: None, please.
Check out those lonesome ravioli with only the white bread to keep them company.
The lasagna was good in that airplane food kind of way. It was extremely rich and creamy on the inside, but once again, didn’t fill me up! I ended up having to eat some of the pasta that had come with my (gluten-free) friend’s chicken tenders. I don’t know what was wrong with me that day, but it seemed like I just had to keep eating.
Even worse, after dinner we went to DQ! DQ as in Dairy Queen… when was the last time I even went there? I think it was back when I lived in China when I was 7 and there was a DQ at my favorite ice skating rink… I remembered getting the vanilla soft-serve dipped in chocolate… delicious. That was what I had planned on getting (DAIRY OVERDOSE THAT DAY) until I saw the giant sign advertising their PUMPKIN PIE BLIZZARD. The second I saw the word “pumpkin” I knew I was done for. I had to order one, despite how dense people said blizzards were (believe it or not, I had never had one before!). But if it makes you any happier, I ordered it with no whipped cream. The “small” was approximately a pint of soft, pumpkiny-goodness, tasting of nutmeg embedded with crunchy pieces of graham cracker crust. I asked Page to split it with me, but she loved it so much she had to get her own. I regret none of it. It was so extremely delicious– granted, I didn’t eat all of it– I shared it with various people and then ate the rest.
UGH, check it out: DQ uses LIQUID PEANUT BUTTER… whatever that is.
THE NEXT DAY… Breakfast at Bob Evans, your classic greasy-spoon breakfast joint. I was probably the only one who was excited to go to a breakfast place with huge portions. Not many people are breakfast people. At first, I thought I should just get oats, but I realized how stupid that was, since I have them every day. Even though I knew it would be a huge amount of food, I ordered the multigrain hotcakes with apple topping and a fruit cup. Is it true that people from the city talk more softly in restaurants than suburbanites? I don’t see why that would be the case, but since Page said so and the waitress couldn’t seem to be able to hear me, maybe it’s true.
Page was feeling really sick and ended up having to go home and not swim! She ordered grits and that was it.
The other people at my table ordered blueberry crepes (CRAYPS, according to our waitress) and French toast. People at other tables were even more decadent, ordering hot chocolate, cinnamon buns, sausages, biscuits, eggs, gravy, you name it.
As for my fruit dish, it contained approximately 4 pieces of fruit. I relished it.
The hot cakes… well, I completely regret that apple topping. It was so disgusting that I couldn’t stop eating it, if it makes any sense. It was basically corn starch, cinnamon, and a few pieces of apple dispersed throughout the gluey mess. when I poked it with my fork, it WRINKLED!
The pancakes were good, and definitely whole grain, which I suppose made me a bit happy. I tried to eat them slowly, since there were three pancakes the size of a trash can lid. I ended up eating 2 OF THEM. YES, 2. And while I didn’t even feel too full, I felt incredibly nauseous. So did the entire swim team. All of us were moaning in the car on the way to the pool, since we had to warm up directly afterwards and all of us stumbled to the bathroom and felt terrible. We felt okay eventually but wow. Our coach said we should just “relish the fatness after eating a Bob Evans meal.”
The meet was huge (8 schools), so it was about 4 or 5 hours. Check out the awesome signs we made for our school!
My sign:

We didn’t eat lunch, and while none of us thought we would ever be able to eat again, of course we were hungry when it was over. We went to STEAK N’ SHAKE. I wanted to go just to say I had been inside one. Being there was pretty funny… I knew I had to have some kind of shake, but I wasn’t up for a real milkshake, so I ordered a strawberry-banana yogurt one instead (PS, I know that none of these things are actually healthy, but I was searching for a protein source and I scooped off all the whipped cream), a chicken salad without the chicken, and a side of cottage cheese. The cottage cheese, which arrived first, was topped with a canned pineapple ring and made us all laugh. My coach said, “did you honestly order cottage cheese?” It made me think of back when the vegetarianism movement was a novelty and all restaurants could serve their vegetarian patrons was cottage cheese and pineapple.
The salad was fine: it had apples, grapes, iceberg lettuce, sugary walnuts and a raspberry vinaigrette.
The shake was great, and definitely not lowfat, since it was so rich I would have thought it was a milkshake if I hadn’t known.
Actually, that’s not true. When I sampled the various milkshakes that people had ordered (vanilla-mocha, cookies and cream, even turtle), I could taste the difference.

I know you’re probably thinking, who is this person? Since when does Lida eat food like this, or have tons of nibbles of other peoples’ food? But we had just had a meet, we were all together and feeling like a team, and this was no time to be a health freak loser. But as you can see, I did what I could in the given situation.
By the time we got home it was around 8, and while I wasn’t really that hungry, my mom had roasted brussel sprouts, and a medley of onions and root vegetables (sweet potatoes, pumpkin, turnips, and celery root). That was all I wanted to fulfill my vegetable requirements for the day. I had a big plate of vegetables and I relished it with every fiber (pardon the pun) of my being. I couldn’t wait until the next day when things would be back to normal.

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