A Tale of Traveling

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.

–Mark Twain

So now I am out of Asia and back in America, and I would like to report on the continued success of the Anti-Jet Lag Diet.

I think I should call my regular consumption of food by this name.

For one thing, everyone always wants to know EXACTLY what the diet is called. This has become almost mildly irritating. When the person insists on a name (or says “ohsoyourdoing _____” as soon as you start talking) the nearly inevitable result is that they just tune out completely.

 

They don’t actually listen to anything you say. If you make the mistake of saying something to the effect of “Well, it’s sort of like Atkins but” they hear nothing that comes after the “but.” They have a preconceived notion of what Atkins is, so they filter everything they hear through this. This may manifest in one way (they run off and eat nothing but processed deli meats and bacon and throw away all their salads) or the other (they start explaining to you in an angry or condescending manner that Atkins will kill you.)

 

For this reason, I now always try to actually explain it before mentioning any names. This only sometimes works, so I’ve decided the Anti-Jet Lag Diet is a good name. We could also call it the What People Ate Before They Got Fat and Started Dying of Cancer Diet. Or the Now You Feel A Lot Better Diet. But I like the jet lag one.

 

I followed normal procedure on this trip. I ate a very large meal of only fat and protein before I left. Then I didn’t eat again until I was well over the trip.

 

This means I skipped the dinner service, which comes pretty standard on those long-haul international flights. The dinner seemed to consist of three possible choices. At least, that’s what they stated on the menus they passed out an hour before dinner. One of the choices was actually roast chicken accompanied by varies types of junk and no doubt covered in mystery sauce. But still: I could maybe eat the chicken. But when they actually came around to serve, that choice was no longer on there. There were two now, both of which were breaded and, it turns out, rather scary looking. The one I decided to investigate came with mashed potatoes, steamed tasteless vegetables, a very suspiciously old-looking salad, a roll and some kind of completely unidentifiable dessert. The dessert was a perfect square of something concerning.

 

So I ate nothing.

 

Then comes “snack.” The purpose of snack is to get everyone’s blood sugar back up so the passengers don’t start hurling themselves, other people, or other people’s children out the emergency doors. Snack on this trip was a “sandwich” consisting of an enormous piece of bread, which hid a small round of greenish meat. Accompanying this was a cheap Chinese Krispy bar knock-off and some crackers.

 

So I ate nothing.

 

I didn’t even bother with breakfast. Western bun or Chinese bun: it’s all wheat. And it’s wheat that doesn’t even have the redeeming quality of tasting good. I mean, it’s not like we’re talking about some kind of delightful French pastry or an authentic New York bagel. They were both disgusting even in their menu description. They came with Sugar Drink, Pretend Sugar Yogurt, and some kind of half-dead fruit slice.

 

So I ate nothing.

 

Once again, as last time, the longer the flight went the better I felt. I was a little sleepy by the end, sure. But once I got off and was moving around, the forty minutes between disembarking and getting in the car were pleasant. Plenty of energy, and I wasn’t hungry or anything.

 

Two hours later I ate some ham and bacon and went to sleep. Things have been fine since.

 

Will this necessarily be exactly the same for everyone? Not necessarily. It all depends on what causes jet leg exactly and how that effects you. But I think I can safely promise you that while no one can guarantee you exactly as good a result as mine when it comes to fighting jet lag, you can’t possibly hurt yourself by giving it a try. And even if it doesn’t give you complete and total freedom from jet lag, it will absolutely be better for you than eating the junk on the plane, punctuated by snacks at the airport full of sugar and wheat.

 

So what’s the diet plan, exactly?

 

1. For the week before you leave, don’t eat any sugar or grain. If it makes you happy to eat salads and fruit, fine.

 

2. The day you leave, don’t touch a carb. And make sure you eat plenty of fat.

 

3. On the plane, eat nothing. If you stop in any airports, don’t eat unless you’re absolutely starving and must. Which is unlikely. And then, eat only fat and protein. Beware of things like cheap scrambled eggs and sausages, many of which actually contain wheat.

Voilà.

 

 

Plato says he’s hungry

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