Our Trip to Southern California

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To visit family, my wife and I drove from the San  Francisco Bay Area in Northern California to Del Mar in Southern California, a drive that would take about 7 hours. Our plan was to avoid the dreaded LA traffic, a grid-lock anyone ever experienced could tell you is nothing more than humanity’s terrible constipation.

Other than for coffee, we would not stop for food. So we decided to IF on the drive. No nuts, no fruits, no nothing in a zip-lock bag. Just a couple bottles of water and a quick stop for some Americano.

The no-food-focus drive made the trip simple. We talked, listened to music, took turn driving while the other read, and then we talked some more. Without stopping to eat food, the travel was streamlined and the experience more immediate. It was like traveling without baggage.

While in Southern California with family, we took our 4-year-old niece to Disney Land. Here I was reminded of my childhood in which theme parks were as much about food as they were rides — in fact, if we were not standing in line for rides, we were standing in line for food.

As a kid, I spent summers with friends at theme parks. And I specifically remember that food and eating filled our thoughts constantly: funnel cake, corn dog, churros, chili-cheese fries, pizza, turkey leg, and — who can forget — cotton candy.

Those days are long gone.

While walking my little niece through Disney Land, the onslaught of food aroma brought back memories of funnel cake and corn dogs, but not once did I consider pulling out half-crumbled bills just for deep-fried food made with cheap processed ingredients.

I did promise my wife, though, that we’d search for delicious candy apples. And we did. We shared a caramel candied apple, holding my wife’s hand as her hand held the apple up for me to take bites. I may no longer eat theme-park food mindlessly, but I still enjoy the finer things in life.

This morning we went with the family to a popular breakfast place called Potato Shack Cafe in Encinitas. We’re talking man-hole-cover-sized pancakes. I mean, hash browns made from giant potatoes. They don’t just put cheese in your omelet, they put a side of beef in it.

While others ordered pancakes and french toast and breakfast burritos, Lori and I decided to share a vegetable omelet with (a lot) of steamed broccoli on the side. To our omelet we added every kind of vegetables they offered, and asked for it all to be cooked in real butter.

That was one hell of a delicious omelet that even my brother in-law, who has a natural aversion to anything resembling health, enjoyed a bite.

Although Lori and I almost never eat pancakes, we actually did order their man-hole-cover-sized pancake. With blueberries in it. Just to say we tried it. And we did, a few bites each.

We still enjoy the finer things in life… in this case, the gigantic things in life.

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13 Responses to Our Trip to Southern California

  1. Jordan says:

    I’m no business expert, but I wonder if a restaurant will ever come along and offer moderate amounts of food as a selling point. “Hey, the entire meal is only 750 calories!” Instead of just the appetizer, or just the main course, or just the dessert being 750 calories or more. If there’s no market for that in this country, it’s truly a testament to just how bad things are….

    • Johnny says:

      Hi Jordan,

      As you already, the concept of smaller meal portions for lower price was killed by the dollar from bigger portions. Then hyper-flavor in refined food becomes a drug. What a great combo for food capitalism!

      I agree with you — a larger social move toward smaller meal items at smaller price will be a good step in the right direction.

      Just curious: Would you (or others) become a patron of a restaurant/cafe that sells high-quality food at 50% the current portion for 25% less cost?

      Best,
      Johnny

  2. Was just referred to your website. Your attitude about being paleo but understanding that calories do matter is something I very much align with.

    Having spent a significant amount of time at the Oakland airport recently, it’s a wonderful thing to be able to fast and not worry about muscle falling off or any of that nonsense.

    Best,
    Skyler

    • Johnny says:

      Thanks for visiting, Tyler. I have been enjoying your blog, too.

      I believe a lot of people who switch from the Standard American Diet to the Paleo diet feel better and healthier, and observe an initial drop in body weight… which, as you know, are merely the cause of changing to whole food, probably new-found motivation, and other confounding factors (replacing soda with water, etc).

      But ultimately, to achieve percent body fat in the single digit for men (low to mid teens for women), calorie intake must be controlled.

      Best,
      Johnny

  3. Marc says:

    @Skyler,
    Had a feeling you’d appreciate Johnny. Cool!

    Johnny,
    My parents used to have a house in Carlsbad (Lacosta)
    I’ve been to the potato shack. Crazy portions.
    Del Mar is a great little town too.

    Marc

    • Johnny says:

      Marc,

      This is a fantastic place! I love Del Mar. And yesterday we sat at some breakfast place along 101/Highway 1 in the town of Encinitas, watching motorcycles, old Carmen Ghias, scooters, and old-school muscle car drive slowly by.

      My wife and I even agreed that we can live here. We’ll chart it down for a potential future!

      Sadly, we leave today. The weather has been spectacular.

      Best,
      Johnny

  4. Jordan says:

    I think I would, especially over the weekend. Right now I’m in the process of cutting back over the weekend. Over the last few weeks, I’ve basically been losing weight from Monday to Thursday, and maintaining or slightly gaining from Friday night to Sunday night. Not good enough. I feel like I’m losing half the week. I’m not gorging, I’m just not creating a deficit.

    So if there was some restaurant food that I could eat here and there, especially over the weekend, that didn’t kill me calorie-wise, and cost a little more, I would buy it. I just can’t eat socially without ruining my deficit for half the week. I still have 50-60 pounds to lose, and I want to lose that weight relatively quickly, so I refuse to be patient enough to settle for losing weight for half the week.

    Restaurant food is only appropriate for maintenance. 😦

    • Johnny says:

      Hi Jordan,

      I’m generally thrifty and have an eye on value. More stuff for less money.

      But I’m willing to spend more money for less food, as long as it’s quality. I consider this exchange an investment in not just taste but also in a lean and healthy body.

      All good things,
      Johnny

  5. Terri T Clason says:

    Hi Johnny, great blogsite! This post in particular speaks to me. I’ve always been paranoid about finding “the right food” when traveling, but never considered just fasting. It’s funny that I strive for fat loss by worrying about eating, rather than simply not eating and not worrying!

    Since I found your blog, I was able to find other blogs and info on intermittent fasting, and this eating pattern has made my fat loss SOOO much easier… so far, 8.5 kg!!

    Thanks and I visit all the time now. Looking forward to your next posting.

    • Johnny says:

      Congratulations, Terri, on your 8.5 kg (18.7 pounds) weight loss!

      When the circumstance isn’t optimal, the option of not eating is very empowering. And you will be better and healthier for it.

      Best,
      Johnny

  6. brianne says:

    hi johnny, i just read your site from cover to cover – LOVE what you have to say. i noticed in a post (maybe a comment section, though) re: IF for pregnant women. you had said you may look into it because you and your wife were thinking about conceiving – did you ever read/hear anything? i’m not currently pregnant but trying to conceive and still eating mostly paleo and IF…just wondering if i can continue : ) thanks again for the effort you put into this blog.

    • Johnny says:

      Hi Brianne,

      Thank you for reading and for your kind words.

      Regarding fasting during pregnancy, I recently looked into this for my wife, Lori. Studies in this area are mostly based on pregnancy fasting during the period of Ramadan. There also studies on fasting and pregnancy in general. It’s interesting info.

      Considering that in the past two weeks, 3 people have approached me on this topic (and now including your question), I will make this topic my next post.

      Thank you for the question and I hope you keep visiting!

      Best,
      Johnny

  7. Pingback: Fasting While Pregnant? « The Lean Saloon

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