The final day of my non-stop fast food frenzy takes a healthier turn, maybe, as I switch to Subway. But is it already too late for my palate?
Breakfast: Look Mum, No Vegetables
Subway is actually the takeaway joint I use most often when I’m on the road. Provided you avoid the fattier combinations, it’s a healthy choice, there’s plenty of vegetables on offer, and if you stick to the $5/$7 menu, it’s also inexpensive. But one thing I’d never done before is try the breakfast option. Today’s the first time I’ve been exposed to a Subway meal that wasn’t fundamentally salad, bread and a side meat.
The Breakfast sub is filling, but the sight of the premade omelette that gets whacked in the middle of it is, frankly, a little off-putting. It was a cold morning in Melbourne, and a toasted sandwich was welcome no matter how it looks during preparation. But I’d have to say it’s my least favourite thing I’ve eaten over the four-day period.
Lunch: Split Decision
Once again, a frantic schedule got in the way of my original plans. By the time it came around to purchasing lunch on St Kilda Road, it was clear to me that I was barely going to have time to grab that meal, and wouldn’t really have time to dash out for dinner. The solution was obvious, if repetitive: purchase a footlong sub, eat one half for lunch, and the other half later on. So that’s what I did, going for my combo of choice (multigrain roll, ham, cheddar cheese, all the salads, and honey mustard dressing).
When I placed my order, a new staff member was being trained, so I got a more in-depth insight into the process of constructing a sub than usual as the employee (or “sandwich artisan”) had the details explained. “Make sure they only get eight pieces of ham,” he was told. Well, quite.
Dinner: Subway Rests Well
I suspect some readers are thinking “wow, if you eat Subway several hours after it’s made, it’s going to be dry/soggy/a tasteless mess/all of the above”. I must say I didn’t find this to be so when I got to dinner. The only precaution I took was re-wrapping the half-sub in paper, and it held up just fine. There were the usual risks if you get a fully loaded sub — that is, grated carrot ends up all over the place — but I was more than happy to eat it.
The Unpleasant Lesson I Learned
Despite the dire predictions of some readers, I didn’t come out of this mini-experiment feeling bloated or grease-overloaded or bored. There are far nastier fates than having to eat takeaway food for a few days. (And yes, on that level, describing the experience as torture is gross hyperbole.)
What did disturb me was the realisation of just how readily I can sink into the habit of eating the same food all the time. There was no fundamental reason why I couldn’t have had entirely different goods every time I hit one of those stores. But in fact, every single day I ended up repeating a meal at least once. With McDonald’s, that was my own stupid fault for not placing a specific order for dinner; in most other cases, my schedule made repeated visits difficult. So it might not have been avoidable, but I can’t say it ever struck me as a problem until I wrote it all down.
One of our constant themes here at Lifehacker is that dietary variety is good for you. I understand why that is, but it seems I don’t take much convincing to abandon that principle. I’m going to have to work on that.