On Duty for Disaster Relief (and what to eat?)

I’ve been on duty now for over a week in the Texas Army National Guard as part of the disaster relief efforts for Hurricane Harvey. I have been fortunate; I work in a tactical operations center out of my home armory while the rest of my unit is in the Beaumont area rescuing people, providing food and water, and assisting with logistics. My job, while not as exciting, is to make sure all those soldiers out in the field doing there job are able to do so with materiel support. We have been working behind the scenes to support them and make their successes possible.

One area that has been interesting to tackle has been my diet. The food here is good; we have been getting amazing support from local food establishments like Pappasito’s, Lupe Tortilla, Fuddrucker’s, and others. That makes my food choices easy: lots of meat, and it’s easy to cut out the grains. Other choices, like the Domino’s pizza, have presented interesting issues. Our logistics NCO has been getting gluten-free options for me, even though this often means the food has grains in it. To be polite, I have been eating these items. So far, that includes a sandwich made with gluten-free bread and pizza made with gluten-free dough. Normally, I would avoid these, but since he’s going out of his way to try to accommodate me, I have partaken in eating them. So far, there haven’t been any serious ill effects from eating these foods, but I have not been able to weigh myself to see what the real damage has been.

Two out of the three meals I eat every day are meat with some vegetables. The other meal? I substitute whatever everyone else is eating with some of the meat left-overs. That’s allowed me to eat pretty-much Paleo the entire time I’ve been on active duty. The only area I’ve been failing in is quantity.

I’ve been eating a lot more than usual. Not because I’m hungrier, but because it’s available. Normally, Sherry is pretty good with controlling our portions, and when I eat at home, I am careful not to eat too much because Sherry only makes enough for the number of people eating. It’d be rude for me to eat more. Here? I can eat as much as I want, and a few times now, I’ve eaten too much.

I do have opportunities to exercise, which is good, but as we know, there’s no substitute for eating right and in the right amount. I will continue to work on that, as I have today, and I will reduce my portion sizes. I’ve been fortunate to not be snacking all day like some people have been. I still feel like I haven’t gained much weight, and as my wedding ring still slips off my finger comfortably, I think that I’m on the right track.

Eating right can be difficult to do when you’re out of your comfort zone. It’s important to keep your attention to your diet, the amount you eat as well as the content of what you eat. You can’t be perfect all the time when out of your home area or when the food is not all within your control, and you can’t starve yourself. Sometimes, it just comes down to being polite, and not eating what’s offered is rude. I’m eating well, I’m eating healthy foods, and I’m getting exercise. When the food I eat isn’t Paleo, I try to limit my portion sizes. Except for that small pizza. I ate the whole thing. And it was delicious.

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