My doctor told me I had to stop throwing intimate dinners for four unless there are three other people – Orson Wells
When I watched Super Size Me, I was highly dubious of filmmaker Morgan Spurlock’s claim that eating all his meals for a month at a fast-food restaurant had compromised his health. I mean, 30 days? Well, after 25 days and more than 100 road-food meals in diners, cafes and other affordable eateries in the western U.S., I’m not so sure.
In that time, I ate a lot of deep-fried potatoes, doughy pancakes, fatty burgers, processed meats and greasy cheese in dining establishments from Montana to Colorado and Wyoming to Idaho. Did I mention bacon, something I maybe eat once or twice a year at home but which graced my breakfast plate and seasoned my burgers more times than I’d like to remember?
There were not a lot of fresh vegetables or fruits during those 25 days. I kept meaning to order more salads, but somehow paninis and pizzas always seemed more alluring.
I also meant to run more between meals to work off some of those excess calories. But sometimes I was so stuffed that, even a couple of hours after eating, I had to slow the jog to a walk because my stomach hurt too much.
In the name of research efficiency, I sometimes ate a couple of extra meals; my record was six (smallish) meals in one day. In such cases, I tried to remember my sister’s advice that I didn’t have to finish all these meals, giving new meaning to “spitting instead of swallowing.” But that goes against the way I was brought up, i.e. finishing what’s on your plate. So I tended to hide any leftovers under a napkin or take the coward’s way out—leave with a doggy bag and then dump it in some garbage.
The bottom line is I wouldn’t want to eat that much fairly unhealthy food for such a long stretch again. The good news is I covered a hell of a lot of dining ground in less than a month on the road and had some fantastic meals and drinks. Hopefully, you readers will benefit from my research or at least enjoy the ride vicariously, without having to spit or swallow.
Because of its length and the number of meals consumed, this road trip will be presented in a number of installments over the coming weeks.