Fast Food

There are times when I forget that I lived in the US for a year. It's probably because the year was a strange mix of brilliant events and experiences and also some maddenginly dark moments. I also forget about it because it's just one of those things that happened. I mean, I forget all the time that I have been to Italy. It was just one of those things that happened. But... there is one thing that hangs over me from that time.

Food.

Let it be said that I do enjoy fast food. The problem I have is that ever since I went to Texas, which is the home of the fast food emporium (nay all of North America), I have had an affliciton that has meant that I probably have ate more fast food that I should have done. When I came back from Texas I had put a bit of weight on and struggled to an extent to remove it again. I did so by commuting to and from work by foot, and if you haven't noticed I am not cycling to and from work to something similar.

Don't for one minute think that I am saying America and Canada shouldn't have fast food - that's a totally different arguement that is for a different time. I actually reveled in the sheer choice. Off the top of my head, here's a list of places I liked in Texas - Whataburger, Jimmy Johns, Five Guys, Wendy's, Subway, McDonalds, Burger King and the breakfast places - IHOP and Waffle House. There was Fuddrucker's, Freddy's, Sam's Deli, Cracker Barrel, Lupe Pinto's... and that is just a quick skim of my memory. The choice is mental, and doesn't even take into account the coffee places like Starbucks, Einstein Brothers and Schlotzky's... and many many more.

I once met an American from Kansas who said he'd never been to McDonald's in his life. I found that incredible. The highways of the US are rolling screen backdrops, like a old school cartoon, where the same fifteen fast food outlets repeat every mile - one road, Westhemier in Houston, is this ad nuseaum from downtown to mmy apartment for around 12 miles.

There are so many reasons why it is a terrible thing in the US for all of this to be so readily available, and is certainly why obesity is such an issue there and why I came home heavier than when I went there. And I loved it. I had a Whataburger and it blew my mind. Jimmy Johns' is easily the most lamented place that Connie and I miss. I was so excited when I went to Ready easrlier in the year that there was a Five Guys there and literally fist pumped the air when I learned that there was not one but TWO opening in Glasgow in the coming months.

Fast Food is cheap, convenient, and a short term answer that speaks to almost everything that makes humans terrible - we don't consider the problems that it causes into the future for an easy fix right now. And you know what? I don't really care. I am healthy in so many other ways - drinking is at a minimum (almost non-existant actually) and I get more that the reccomended exercise for a week each day, and I do maximse my healthy easting everywhere else sticking to home made meals, non-processed foods, drinking plenty of water and not snacking. I let my self have a treat of fast food.

But there is a limit to what you should be eating. Like drinking, all of the above only works if you're in moderation, and living in the UK there are a few advantages to this - the first being that the selection that I so love about the Us and Canada is nearly limited to just three choices - KFC, McDonald's and Burger King (with SUbway a light based fourth since it's basically just a sandwich I'd make myself). As such, a limit on the fast food and sugary drinks that I eat has been place on us as a method to enable more healthy living.

There is one deep exception to this rule - Tim Hortons' donuts and breakfast sandwiches, because of course there is. Come on.