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Lighten up! Choose salad for lunch

What's the first thing that'll happen after you devour that mid-shift Philly Cheesesteak sandwich and fries? Yep, foot pursuit.

During a ride-along I did recently with a large Bay Area agency, two cars (including mine, obviously) brought chow back to the company. Three of us had big salads--the fourth had a variation on the abovementioned "fried meat on jumbo roll with a heaping pile of fries."

Back in our car, the guy I was riding with said something to the effect of, "I can't do that [heavy meals on shift] anymore. With my luck, I’d get into a track meet with some 16-year-old bolt of lightning right after lunch."

I was reminded of this just last week when after spending some quality time on the 200-yard range with two officers from another Bay Area agency. Packing up our gear, we unanimously voted for lunch at one of those "Fresh Choice" type places. We left well-fed, but light on our feet and ready for anything the afternoon might bring.

Eating light in the mid-day has a bevy of benefits, but for our purposes let's remember just these two:

1.) In the short term, you will be better able to perform the type of short-burst, high-intensity physical activity that is central to a patrol officer’s daily experience.
2.) In the long term, you will very probably shed any unnecessary fat that makes for excess body weight, and lower your cholesterol levels, preventing heart attacks.

It’s untrue that "the only thing that can 'eat light' is an interstellar black hole." Coppers (and police website editors) can reap healthy rewards by choosing the soup and salad option as often as it’s made available.

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