Rational Meals for Attendees
by Claudine Roselle Puente (crpsaiyan @ yahoo dot com)
At every anime convention, there is always an attendee who will not eat a “decent” meal. We’ve seen everything from Cup O Noodles, to beef jerky, to top ramen, and yes, even Pocky. The most commonly consumed “dish” is either instant ramen or Cup O Noodles, because they cost anywhere from 75¢ to $1.00, with just one ingredient –- hot water, and ba-da-bing! You have a meal, right? WRONG!
What most attendees don’t realize is that these two items are extremely high in sodium, which can raise your blood pressure. For those who already have high blood pressure, and rely on meals high in sodium, they might as well check themselves straight into a cemetery. If your body is consuming more than 4,000 milligrams of sodium each day, you’re more at risk for heart disease, stroke, and kidney damage. It might not seem like a big deal right now, but as you get older you find out that your body chemistry is changing, and not for the better, unfortunately.
Now, most attendees can argue that they’re on a budget and that they can only afford so much. I find this statement strange, considering that certain anime fans will spend anywhere from $25 to $300 in the dealers room. I guess that just goes to show you that they prefer material possessions over their own health. On the other hand, there are some attendees who are on a strict budget, that even the dealers room is off limits for them. With that said, allow me to share some ideas for a proper meal:
1) Peanut Butter & “Jam” Sandwiches: Okay, so it’s a little Elementary schoolish, but our parents thought it was good for us. It has about 10% Vitamin E, which is known to improve your immune function, not to mention brain function, and it reduces your risk of heart disease. Oh, and the jam part, jelly only consists of the fruit juice, while jam has both the fruit and the juice. Also jam tastes much better in my opinion.
2) Cold Cut Sandwiches: I’ve been attending anime cons for over eight years, and I see so many people bringing gigantic coolers, and yet they’re only filled with soda or liquor, but nothing else. I’m sure there’s plenty of room in those coolers for packets of cold cuts, considering how slim they are.
3) Spaghetti with Pesto Sauce: If you have enough room to pack a small rice cooker, I highly recommend it. As for the pesto sauce, what you do is make it at home, pour it into a jar or plastic container, freeze it overnight, and pack it in your cooler the next day. Don’t worry about defrosting the pesto sauce; the pasta in the rice cooker will be nice and hot. With a spoon, scrape as much pesto as you can, and add it to the cooked spaghetti.
4) Yogurt: When I was in college, I rarely ate breakfast at home, because I was always in a hurry to get to my first period classes. Not that I left home going hungry, mind you. I knew that I would be getting my vitamins and my calcium by eating yogurt. It’s inexpensive, it’s nutritious, and it’s easy to carry around. I say, “give it a whirl”.
Bottom line, these meals are much better than ramen.