There are so many times when Real Food Blends isn't just a convenience but a necessity when I'm away from home. The importance of this product in my life was recently highlighted during our extended vacation last month.
That first night of our trip, we stopped at a tiny Air Force base outside Riverside, California. We didn't have a car, so we walked to base lodging and then on to our room. There were no restaurants on base and the base grocery store was closed. Betsy walked over a mile to get to a fast food place outside the gate to get something for her and Grace. What could I eat? Our room didn't have a kitchen, and it's not like I had anything to cook anyway. Trying to blend up a burger and fries from Carl's Jr. would not have been ideal. Sure, my wife and child were forced to eat crap food, but me?!?
Any type of formula would've made me nauseous. Breaking out the Vitamix to blend fast food and having to clean it in the bathtub would've been extremely time consuming and inconvenient. The only thing I could eat was a Real Food Blend. An awesome bonus for RFB is that it's a shelf-stable product that doesn't need refrigeration. I had about eight meals in my suitcase ready to go.
Then, of course, there was the plane ride to Hawaii. We were at the back of a KC-135 air refueler, sitting on mesh jump seats. It was extremely noisy, uncomfortable, long (the California to Hawaii leg alone was 7 hours) and very cold at our cruise altitude. Yet, it was awesome. We could walk around freely. The plane wasn't too full so we could stretch out. The best part: we got to watch F-16s maneuver in behind the aircraft to get refueled the whole time.
But, what could I eat on this long flight? Two or three nausea-producing Ensures? That would've made the trip so much less enjoyable. Instead, I was treated to a Real Food Blend administered by my wife:
That meal completely satisfied me. It didn't feel like I'd just swallowed a brick and incapacitate me while I tried to avoid puking in the uncomfortable, unregulated climate. It gave me a full stomach and the ability to weather the rest of the journey without gnawing hunger.
The whole reason we went to Hawaii was the beaches--mostly because my daughter wanted to bury me in the sand. The only problem is, how could I eat lunch? Breakfast was no problem. Half the time we were in Hawaii, we stayed at places that included a small kitchen. So, I could make eggs and bacon and add fresh fruit and nuts from the grocery store to my blends. For dinner, we typically went out to eat and I could have the chefs mix up my meal in the Vitamix (if we go again, it is much more cost effective to make our dinner). What about lunch?
In the middle of the day, we were normally at the beach, or visiting a waterfall, or touring the Polynesian Cultural Center or the pineapple plantation. This was no place to break out the Vitamix and I certainly didn't want Ensure-induced nausea to slow me down when my daughter was jumping around the waves. Real Food Blends saved me once again. We were in Hawaii so long that I used up my store of the delicious packaged meals. Luckily, I knew another tubie in Honolulu, Jesse Jones, and he gave me some of his meals (actually, he brought them to my hotel on his trike because he is racing 100 miles next month and he's a badass).
The lesson from the past few months? I cannot go on long trips without Real Food Blends.
I cannot go camping without Real Food Blends.
I cannot go hiking without Real Food Blends.
Basically, I cannot go on any daytime outing without Real Food Blends.
Here's another little fact in RFB's favor. A bottle of milk chocolate Ensure Plus has 22 grams of sugar. Seven bottles a day (what my nutritionist initially wanted me to drink) gives me 154 grams of sugar every day. That's around 40 teaspoons, almost a full cup of sugar every day. According to the American Heart Association (AHA), how much sugar should I eat in a day? 37.5 grams, or 9 teaspoons. How much sugar is in my favorite Salmon, Oats & Squash Real Food Blend? Nine grams (two teaspoons). Unlike Ensure, this is not added sugar (Ensure Plus' 3rd ingredient is sugar). It is naturally occurring sugar in the meal's few ingredients (water, squash, salmon, pomegranate juice, rolled oats, and flaxseed oil). Natural sugars are not a concern to the AHA. They are not associated with obesity, type II diabetes, cardiovascular disease, certain cancers, tooth decay, and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
If you're a tubie or the caretaker of a tubie, you need to seriously consider switching from formula to Real Food Blends, not just for the long trips and family outings, but for your daily meals. I expect to be making full use of their meals for the rest of my life.