I spent 30 days eating at exclusively at gas stations to prove that you can eat out and be healthy.
After losing approximately 80 pounds in my mid-twenties, I became tuned-in to the discussion about what it means to live a healthy life. And I noticed something: eating out is frequently treated as if it’s ‘part of the problem’—especially with regard to weight-gain.
But there’s just one problem: that’s not true.
What we eat is more important than where we get it, and a person can be completely unhealthy even while shopping at upscale grocery stores and health-markets—if they buy the wrong things.
Gas stations? Fast-food? Restaurants? They’re no different. You really can eat there and be healthy.
I should know, because I traveled 4-5 days each week around the United States for work. I had to eat on-the-go, and I was simply unable to cook my own food.
That’s when I designed the “30 Days of Gas Station Food” experiment. If I, as an active endurance athlete (who was 30 at the time), could spend one month eating exclusively at gas stations and emerge unscathed, then perhaps that would empower people. Perhaps they’d stop beating themselves up for that trip to the restaurant with coworkers or that quick visit to a local gas station while taking the kids to soccer practice.
Maybe they’d realize that personal choices really are the problem and the solution.
TELL ME MORE
Breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks—for thirty days, it all came from gas stations. I traveled across 9 states and visited more than 200 convenience stores. You can read more about my motivations and why it matters. Or read my feature article for the October 2016 issue of NACS Magazine.
WHAT DID YOU DO, EXACTLY?
I tracked everything on MyFitnessPal (scroll below for links) and shared photos on my Instagram account @30daysofgasstationfood.
I was successful if:
- I didn’t gain more than five pounds. I began at a healthy weight of 163lbs.
- I felt great at the end of my journey. After all, it doesn’t matter what the scale says if we don’t feel healthy.
Full transparency and documentation:
I logged everything on MyFitnessPal, and I wrote daily diaries for Reddit’s /r/loseit. I also posted pictures on Instagram @30daysofgasstationfood and generated news coverage through multiple local newspapers and NBC affiliates. I’ve also received attention from NACS Daily, NACS Magazine, and other c-store industry publications.
Most recently, I’ve taken the message nationwide and spoken at the 2016 NACS Show in Atlanta.
Did you feel sick?
No, not even close! I felt fantastic! I even manged to lose six pounds even though I didn’t need to lose weight. 163 to 157.
I’ve since visited more than 1,000 convenience stores in 24 states. I’ve become an in-demand speaker for a range of topics beyond the “30 Days” experiment, and I’ve spoken to industry leaders such as Harbor Wholesale Foods and Core-Mark. I also presented at the 2016 NACS Show in Atlanta and have spread the word in-person on local news. I continue to post pictures on Instagram of innovative c-stores and healthful products, and I’ve written feature articles for NACS Magazine and been a guest on the Convenience Matters podcast.
I’m always looking to expand my professional speaking/consulting/writing portfolio and work with new organizations. If you’re interested in collaborating, contact me through this form.
Updates on Reddit’s /r/loseit:
- Day 1
- Days 2 & 3
- Days 4 & 5
- Days 6 & 7
- Days 8 & 9
- Days 10 & 11
- Days 12, 13, & 14
- Days 15, 16, 17, &18
- Days 19, 20, 21, & 22
- Days 23 & 24
- Days 25 & 26
- Days 27 & 28
- Days 29 & 30…and 31, 32, and 33