RULE: Bring it with You

I recently passed a car on the highway, beach bound, with 13 bikes, 44 suit cases and 2 grandparents strapped to the roof.

We, as Americans like to bring loads of stuff with us, to whatever the event.

My little brothers have a ridiculous tailgating set up. Somehow they’ve embedded a full-sized kegerator and tap into the bed of their pick-up truck, which pulls a large trailer, which hauls a grill that could accommodate a wildabeast, a tent that could host a Kardashian wedding, various flags and flag poles, as well as numerous tailgating pastimes (ladder ball, corn hole, and a mud wrestling baby pool).  The trailer, once unpacked, is actually an astroturf replica of a football field, complete with uprights. They Bring It. And you should to.

Now, arriving at a vacation week with a refrigerated truckload of food that beeps when it backs up may be excessive, but consider bringing something delicious and healthy to supplement the host’s spread.

That way you can guarantee there’ll be real food at any gathering.

You may occasionally encounter the persnickety hostess who glares at your delicious hormone free, high fructose corn syrup free, additive and dye free offering as a threat to her fatty, chemical laden, nutrient deficient buffet. But F-it. this is your health we’re talking about.

Just tell her how trim she looks in her new fuchsia coolots and ask her what she’s been eating and she’ll forever be an ally. Plus maybe you’ll motivate her to do better!

You may be the only one who chooses to eat what you brought along, or you may find others are relieved to find something healthy on offer. Either way, you won’t go hungry and can still make social events without succumbing to unhealthy eating.

Bring it with you. On road trips, to work, while out and about, on flights, Post-work out, WHENEVER!  You’ll save time, money, slash calories and give your body the good stuff it needs.

ROAD TRIPS: Count how many billboards in a single mile there are for food stops…while eating your already packed lunch.  I asked my husband what his ideal road trip snack would be. He replied “McDonald’s” and followed that with a dreamy “I love the way it tastes.” He also uses 14 paper towels to wipe up 2 drops of coffee and seems to collect the unnecessary plastic bags store clerks give by default. But he’s learning.  He, too, is a physician, which highlights the fact that intellect does not equate to healthy eating.

OUT AND ABOUT: While running errands I always have an apple, a bag of nuts, a string cheese or a Raw Revolution Bar and a bottle of water in my bag.  You never know when hunger will strike, and you don’t want it to be while driving past Krispy Kreme. (though everyone should taste the true delight of a Hot-N-Now Krispy Kreme doughnut at some point in their life)

WORK: Because the pizza bar at the Cafeteria literally calls my name out (“Madeleine! EatMe! Please pick me! Pick me, I’m hot, cheesy and delicious”  like you like your men– JK), I pack a lunch and avoid the oh-so-tempting cafeteria all together.  I’ll bring last night’s leftovers, make a salad the night before, or keep a stash of frozen Kashi dinners in the freezer at work.  (At times I, admittedly, will eat my lunch AND several servings of the pound cake a co-worker brought)

AIRPORT: Unless you enjoy paying $19 for a soggy sandwich and $6 for a bottle of water, go ahead and pack your own sammy, a bag of grapes, a string cheese and empty water bottle in your carry on. Unless you enjoy the TSA pat-down, fill your water bottle up after going through security.

Bringing your own food with you keeps you from buying impulsively, eating junk, and ensures you are ingesting foods you know to be real.  You’ve already bought the food in your fridge, so BRING IT.

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Madeleine Vanstory attended Duke University and began her post-graduate journey at The Elaine Clark Center working with special needs children. She went on to work as a Clinical Research Scientist running clinical trials for the CDC and developing medical devices for Welsh Allen, Abbot Labs, Roche and Johnson & Jonhson Her work included non-invansive cervical cancer detection, continuous diabetic glucose monitoring, non-harmful infant bilirubin level detection and studying Vitamin C's anti-aging effects on the skin. Madeleine attended Medical school at The Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University and completed a residency in Family Medicine at Moses Cone Hospital in Greensboro NC. Dr. Madeleine Vanstory is a board certified Family Physician who has practiced all over the world. She has lead medical missions in Kenya and Honduras. She has participated with Operation Smile in Russia, she has patients in North Carolina, Maine, Oregon and New Zealand. Dr. Vanstory has worked the medical tents in the Marine Corps marathon in Washington DC and at the Kona Ironman World Championships. And Dr. Vanstory has marched with the Surgeon General promoting "Exercise is Medicine" at the World Congress Sports Medicine Conference. Disillusioned by the current health care system and armed with the realization that culture, nutrition and emotional well-being have a profound impact on health, Dr. Vanstory now motivates clients and patients to discover the healthiest versions of themselves through humor, counseling in her "Upgrade Your Health" Wellness Program.

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