Published FCAA, January 2018
Author: Hector Diaz
HEALTHY STREET PAINTING
If you are a street painter, muralist or any kind of street artist, chances are you have done some
traveling to perform your craft. For some, nutrition on the road is not a concern, but for others
like myself, with Type 2 diabetes, who are vegetarian or just like to eat healthy, the choices on
the road may seem limited if not challenging at times and may lead to poor choices. It has
become the unfortunate norm for most Americans, that eating on the road means eating fast food,
but that does not have to be the case. Making better food choices while at a festival or on the
road is not impossible and here are some tips to help you stay on track.
WHERE YOU EAT WILL SEVERELY INFLUENCE WHAT YOU EAT.
The first one may seem obvious but it is often overlooked. If you go to McDonalds because it is
easy, convenient and cheap…it will also limit your choices. Most hotels have a mini fridge in
the rooms or offer to have one put in your room during your stay for a small nominal fee. If that
is the case, it is better to get into the habit of stopping at Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s or any or
grocery store chain, when you first arrive at your destination, where you can pick up salads,
fruits, veggies, hummus or any number of healthier foods that you can store in your room. BUT,
if you still find yourself at McDonalds, make the right choice and get the salad and bottled water
and not that Big Mac, fries and a Coke.
SNACKING NOW…BETTER LUCH CHOICES LATER
Ok, so you’ve been to the store and you’ve stocked up on plenty of healthy choices, now what?
Make sure that some of those choices don’t need to stay in the cold all day and pack them to take
with you out to the job site so that you can snack, and snack often. If you bring healthy snacks
with you and you fuel yourself throughout the day, you are less likely to be craving food, feel
major hunger sensations and just generally make better choices at lunch time. Face it, if you are
starving and haven’t eaten all morning, you will not hesitate to grab whatever calorie heavy,
dripping in carb sauce with a side of heart attack food product that they put in front of you. You
will most definitely eat with your eyes and not with your head. If you snack healthy periodically
throughout the morning, instead you will feel a sense of satisfaction that will help curb your
hunger and cravings throughout the day, allowing you to make a healthier choice at lunch and
you will have more energy overall. Studies have also shown that healthy snacking keeps your
blood sugar under control and will help prevent you from experiencing headaches,
lightheadedness or dizziness while working in the hot outdoors.
HYDRATE, HYDRATE, HYDRATE!
I can’t stress this one enough. I get it. You are in the zone, chalking or painting away. You tend
to forget this one. We all do, but it’s probably the most important tip to keeping healthy while
out there in the hot sun. Now the gross statistics. Your body can sweat out about 2-3 gallons in
the course of the day when working out in the heat. You need to replenish this with your water
intake. But what if you aren’t thirsty? Well, in most cases, you can’t wait for your body to tell
you to hydrate. If you feel thirsty, you may already be dehydrated. Its best to get into the habit
of drinking water in smaller amounts and more frequently. A good rule of thumb is about 5-7
ounces about every 30 minutes or so. And if you have a hard time remembering to stop and
hydrate, just set an alarm on your phone to remind you so that you don’t lose track of time.
CONGRATULATIONS! YOU DID IT.
You made it to the end of the event. You made good food choices. You kept yourself hydrated.
Give yourself a pat on the back, high five your neighbor on the pavement and pack your stuff up,
its Miller time. Just don’t blow all of your healthy hard work with high carb beers and keep
making those healthy choices.
Chalk Artist, West Palm Beach FL