I was speaking with a client on Saturday when he asked me a question I get fairly often “Do you ever eat bad stuff?” “Well,” I said, “Last night I went with a friend to Off the Grid Fort Mason where a friend and I shared: A pork belly sandwich, a bowl of ramen, a tray of poutine and a s’mores cupcake. And when I say share I mean she had a few bites and I ate the rest.”
He thought this was pretty funny but also surprising. I generally try to convey to my clients the belief that you have to enjoy life, and eating is a big part of that. It’s extremely important to eat healthy and make good decisions on a regular basis, but it’s OK to splurge here and there as long as you are smart about it and you are getting in enough exercise to somewhat counteract it. The big thing is that if you are going to eat something unhealthy it should be something that you are really looking forward to and you should thoroughly enjoy it. What you should avoid is eating junk food because you are bored, because you are in a rush or because you’re sad/depressed. In my case I had been looking forward to trying out the food truck festival since arriving in SF two months ago. The afternoon before I went I was at Dogpatch Boulders indoor climbing for about three hours so I burned off a lot of calories in preparation.
On Sunday I decided to do another activity I’ve wanted to do since arriving in SF, and jog/hike the Dipsea Trail. This famous trail stretches 7 extremely hilly miles from Mill Valley to Stinson beach with unbelievable views and varied terrain. It’s 14 miles if you do it as an out and back (the only option unless you do the race or shuttle cars). The fact that we never ran this trail back when I was a pro runner living down on the Peninsula is mind boggling. It’s so good and so tough. Sure some of the hills are so steep you almost have to walk up and it does have a lot of stairs but those are good things in my eyes. Plus it’s rolling hills unlike the normal up for halfway and down for halfway long run.
I highly recommend this trail as a hike, even if you’re not a trail runner, you just need to make sure you prepare for it. I brought a small backpack for car keys, wallet, phone. A long sleeve shirt and running pants which turned out to be blatantly unnecessary as it was about 80 degrees the whole way. A 1 liter water bottle with Gatorade packets to add to the water you can get from faucets along the way, which turned out to be outstandingly necessary as it was about 80 degrees the whole way. I also brought a headlamp and a granola bar as I try to always have one of each when out hiking.
The last couple miles of the run I started getting hungry, I thought about what sounded good, remembered that there was an In’n’out burger in Mill Valley and for the last three miles that’s what I was thinking about. I love In n’ Out, it’s one of my weaknesses. As far as fast food goes you could do worse. In N Out peels its own potatoes and uses fresh beef, and it does not use microwaves, heat lamps or freezers. In the book Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser he tears apart every national fast food chain except In n Out saying ”It isn’t health food, but it’s food with integrity. It’s the real deal,”. I got a double-double, fries and a chocolate shake, so good.
I realized that last week out was out climbing at Mickeys Beach near Stinson and went this same In n Out, so that’s two weekends in a row.
Here’s a pic from that weekend just because I really like it. This is my friend Wayne on Endless Bummer 5.13b.
I guess the point of this article is trifold. 1. It’s ok to occasionally eat unhealthy. 2. When you do, try to make sure you get good exercise before or after. 3. Find ways to really enjoy both. Don’t eat dessert just because it’s something you do. Savor it. Try to pick exercises you are going to really enjoy and you’ll be more likely to keep doing them. Finally, get outside in the sunshine and experience some nature.
More pics from the hike.