Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Camping and Clean Eating

Eating away from home is the largest threat to clean eating. Attractive appy's, entrees and drinks at hot restuarants with clients, and comfort-food at family gatherings aside, camping is proving to be a challenge. Camping as a kid was always the one time a year we could have 'sugary cereal' growing up; you know what I mean- those small boxes you cut apart and pour the milk right into. The trouble is that they came in an 8 pack, and there were only 2 fruit loops and 2 corn pops and the rest were rice krispies and raisin bran...I digress. It was also roasting marshmallows over the fire, banana splits on the grill, steaks, potatoes, chips, candy, pop, and as we got older, liquor! Nothing has changed about camping, except the reluctance to put that crap into my body while doing it.
So, here's my game plan for this long weekend camping trip:
1. Cook egg white and oatmeal pancakes ahead of time, enough for each morning away. Re-warm them on the grill in the morning as everyone else packs in bacon and eggs. I'll enjoy mine with pb (a treat in itself!)
2. Chop massive amounts of vegetables- there is always a shortage of clean, fresh vegetables on camping trips- how ironic since we are striving to be so close to nature in our tents. Pack enough so you can have a cup of veggies every 2-3 hours for every day you are away. Yes, this could mean 4 green peppers, 3 cucumbers and an entire bag of carrots chopped into fun sticks or disks- it's a time consuming task- but worth it. For suppers these can be mixed and matched in foil packets on the grill with garlic and S&P. And don't be surprised if others around you start chowing down on your greens- they get sick of junk too.
3. Buy a huge case of bottled water in addition to packing your huge water jug for cooking/drinking etc. I'm not an advocate of bottled water at all- the waste created in bottling it is stupid and our tap water is of much higher quality in most cases (Yay Canada!). Have a bottle of water in your hand at all times- no kidding. Then you can be drinking while others are having a beer, and you won't get dehydrated. If you're like me and spend most of your time camping on a boat or beach and find there's water everywhere, but none to drink- you'll need a ton of bottled water. Make sure you recycle when you get home. Don't forget to keep a couple bottles for the drive to and from the site.
3a. Don't drink liquor; there is no sense dehydrating yourself- the stuff usually doesn't taste good pulled warm from a cooler they have been in all day after the ice has melted.
4. Pre-cook turkey burgers, chicken breasts or even the chickpea patties from my previous post and bring ziploc bags with you. Grab a handful of veggies and a pattie and you've got your meal done- no reason to stray from your meal plan.
5. Make sure you eat! It's too common when camping to eat a huge breakfast, then nothing but junk throughout the day and then a huge supper. Stop it! Be consistent or you will feel like crap outside of your eating schedule.
6. Take advantage of being outdoors and go for a trail hike, walk or run. Why else would you be in the great wilderness if you don't take action to enjoy it. Bring a camera, take some pictures- make it fun.
7. Sleep! You are on holidays aren't you?
8. Be wary of granola, trail mix and bars- keep them handy for emergencies only, but don't have more than 1/2c trail mix or granola while you are out, and don't eat more than 1 bar.
9. Explore the area for farmers markets- grab some fresh berries, or other seasonal fruit as a treat.
10. Indulge in a treat once this weekend- if you love s'mores have one! There are very few opportunities to have a real, fire-roasted marshmallow on chocolate and graham crackers. Choose your treat wisely, make sure it's your craving and choice and indulge.
You're going to look great and feel great as you lay in the sun in all your glowing glory! Put on that swimsuit and rock it- you're clean.

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