“How many pancake restaurants does this town need?” I exclaimed as we drove through Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.
Apparently they need 16.
And that’s within a 10-mile stretch of Hwy 71. That’s a pancake house every 2/3rds of a mile. Breaking up the 16 pancake establishments were 11 mini-golf attractions and seven go-kart facilities. If I hadn’t just left Smoky Mountain National Park, I would have sworn I was in Myrtle Beach. Or maybe Daytona.
Since we’re all about sampling the local culture, we asked about the best pancake restaurant and checked it out.
Amanda, my 13-year-old, indulged in this concoction. Chocolate filled crepes with Oreo cookies crumbled on top, bathed in raspberry syrup, topped with whipped cream and sprinkled with chocolate syrup. It wasn’t breakfast. It was dessert. Even her, a hormonally charged pre-teen, could only stomach a third of it before she pushed it aside.
After departing the pancake capital of the world, we went to my mother’s house in Lake Lure, North Carolina.
I love my mom. She’s the nicest lady you’d ever want to meet. But health food isn’t her thing. She likes sugary treats and she’s from Wisconsin, so cheese and butter are the foundation for almost every meal.
By the end our weeklong spring break I had eaten my share of unhealthy meals. Yes I could have restrained myself. But when other people are scarfing down pancakes, burgers, fries, Chex mix, and those pretzels she makes with the oil and the seasoning…I mean, I’m only human!
So I indulged.
Upon returning home I felt the after affects of my diet—sluggishness, bloat and the sensation that my entire body was covered in a thin layer of grease. Ick!
And this is my point. (I know, took me a while to get here.)
When people talk about why you should have a healthy diet they say it’s for disease prevention and weight loss. While those are worthy goals, what gets lost is the very significant benefit that healthy eating simply makes you feel good.
After a couple of days back on my normal diet of lean protein, fresh veggies and fruit, and limited refined carbohydrates, the greasy film covering my body disappeared, my energy level picked up and the sugar bloat went away.
It’s great to want to look good, but it’s even better to FEEL good.