Amtrak is a culinary wasteland

I am blogging to you all from the comfort of the freezing cold, air-conditioned Acela car en route to our nation’s lovely capital (and my hometown) of Washington, D.C.  Though I am shivering now, I know that the minute I step outside it will be 90 degrees and wiltingly hot.  This morning, I think my brain was somewhere else.  I awoke in a total haze, made some coffee, started to pack up my stuff and make a salad to bring on the train.  I was so excited because the salad I made was absolutely delicious and totally healthy – spinach with red peppers, cherry tomatoes, avocado, some apple slices and lentils and a low-fat wasabi-miso dressing to top it off.  Mmmmm I am still dreaming about it now.

I guess it was just one of those days where it wasn’t really in the cards for anything to go my way.  The elevator took FOREVER and when it finally arrived it was totally full and I got pushed up next to some people with bikes.  Then, the cabdriver was literally the slowest, most unagrressive cabbie in New York and I wanted to tear my hair out (or offer to take over the driving…).   I finally make it to my seat on the train with a woman sitting next to me who thought it was a super idea to use my space as well as hers…  I can feel my stomach grumbling, and I reach down into my bag to find…NOTHING.  NOTHING!!!  I left my salad on the counter at home!  And I didn’t even realize this soon enough to grab something at Penn Station.  I am close to crying or having a conniption fit.  I try to calm down and think about a game plan.  I could try to wait until I get home at 2:30…but I only had coffee this morning in my rush (I know…not a good idea) and I don’t think I can make it that long without my hunger morphing me into the Hulk (you won’t like me when I’m angry!).

I decide that the best plan of action is to check out the Acela car to see what the options are.  Of course, they have the normal things – hot dogs, hamburgers, some sort of cheese breakfast sandwich, and a turkey sandwich on honey wheat with swiss.  I thank my lucky stars that there is something remotely appealing on the menu and grab the sandwich and a bunch of mustard packets – my favorite/and surprisingly low-cal condiment.  The sandwich was the size of my face…so I took off the top slices of bread, spread a tiny bit of mayo and a huge amount of mustard on it all and had an OK lunch – nothing great, the turkey was super dry but at least the bread was kind of yummy.  And of course they had bananas and apples and other decent fare if I needed something extra (I decided I would wait until I got home).  The moral of the story?  You always have healthy options even when you think you don’t – don’t freak out if you’re somewhere and STARVING and you don’t know what to pick.  Regroup, and think of a game plan and you’ll be just fine!


  1. Abby Peck says:

    Hello, Ms. Sarah! Congrats on the blog! Here’s a nutrition question for you – I’m currently doing Weight Watchers and counting points. I also, as you know, have a lap band, so eating items like bread aren’t possible. I need to find a good healthy breakfast that’s high in protein, low in points – and can get through my band. Anything crunchy is good. Any ideas? xoxoxox, Abby


    • sgelman says:

      I would recommend something like Greek yogurt, and sprinkling a tiny bit lowfat/low sugar granola on top to get some crunchiness and sweetness. 1 cup of greek yogurt has about 15 g of protein which is pretty great! Can you eat rice cereal? That is also a good mix-in for yogurt and is relatively low fat and crunchy. I love greek yogurt and I eat it almost every day — really good with different kinds of fruit like blueberries, strawberries and banana.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: