Hi friends! I wanted to put out a short post about keeping a healthy diet while camping in very cold weather. It's a little bit tricky, because most pre-packaged foods are full of additives, chemicals or unnecessary ingredients. And a lot of foods freeze (I freeze-tested all of these!). Having a few days worth of food at a time generally warrants a bit of variety, so I've been testing out various options. My goal is to find things that are practical for backpacking, macro-friendly, "clean" with minimal processing and yummy. A big bonus: high nutrient density. While I don't have tons of experience with living outside, I do have tons of experience with nutrition and healthy living. I plan to write up entries like this after trying new recipes and products. Keep your eyes open for the next one if this tickles your fancy (gross). And send me recipes and recommendations you have! I would love to try new things. Enough with this intro, here's what you should be eating the next time you find yourself in the woods for a few days!
Pink salmon in a pouch is a super easy protein source. It's not a highly nutritious salmon, but it is wild caught and a change from tuna. You can eat it from the pouch or cook it over a fire, which is pretty damn delicious. This doesn't freeze, at least not easily. If it were to freeze, you could just sit it in some boiling water for a few minutes.
Oatmega bars are a great choice if you need a quick snack. They're gluten-free, non-gmo and use grass-fed whey. Generally, I would consider this a little high in the carb department, but when you're living out in the cold, carbs are exactly whatcha need! They're a tasty treat and trust me. Sometimes the one thing that can keep morale up is a tasty treat. They come in a bunch of flavors, but this is the only one I've tried. Scrumptious.
Organic quick cooking oats mixed with protein powder and a splash of MCT oil is probably the best dinner in the world. Pre-mix this stuff in some ziplocks and shake in some cinnamon and any other things that sound good- dried fruit or nuts, what have you. You're hitting all of your macros here. Again, high, HIGH in carbs, but you need it. Another really great option for organic oats would be to pre-bag it with various herbs and spices, such as basil and rosemary, with a splash of EVOO. Maybe some freeze dried veggies. And then...salmon pouch! Savory oats for dinner with a macro profile from Brodin himself. Ummm. You could also add plain protein powder. Fucking rad. Anyways, to make oats in either way, you just add about equal amounts boiling water to oat recipe and let it sit for around five minutes. Give it a stir half way through.
Good To-Go Thai curry is absolutely delicious. My goal is to not have to eat many dehydrated meals, but sometimes you have to. And really, this is very good. I've tried a handful of different meals and haven't like them much or the sodium has been outrageous or they are just chemical garbage. This one however, is about as perfectly wholesome as processed food can get. There are a few different brands I plan to try in the next couple trips that claim to be paleo-friendly. One thing about this type of meal I'd like to point out is that if you want quality, they're pretty expensive. The one I have shown is a single serving and it was around $8.50. They do make double servings for around $12.00. If you can eat a decent amount and plan to have a big dinner, go double serving. It's not that big.
Krave jerky comes in a bunch of taste sensations and has pretty clean ingredients...for a jerky. Macros on point, cost effective and easy to find. Krave tends to be softer than most jerky brands. This makes it really great for not freezing. I don't have much else to say about this. When camping I eat about a bag per day. Who doesn't like this kinda thing?!
The Complete Cookie. It isn't gluten free. It has some ingredients that I don't like to eat. But it has protein and fiber and tastes like a cookie. Plus it's huge. A huge cookie that is sort of good for you. The desperate-healthy person's version of a snickers, shall we say? The thing that's great about these is that they don't freeze. The problem I encountered with almost every gluten free bar is that within a very short period of time exposed to cold air, they become too hard to bite. Even some of the gf oat based bars. So you could definitely skip this one, but it's not too shabby and my body has had no adverse reactions to them. They come in a buuunch of varieties and are the average price of a protein bar. GNC or Vitamin Shop are typically cheaper than Amazon, because at any given time one of those stores is have a buy 3 get one free sale. You can also mix and match up in there. Pro-tip.
Bumble Bars are extremely nostalgic for me. They have few ingredients, good macros, low sodium and taste like what they are. They come in various flavors, but I'd stick to original or almond. They come in small and normal sizes. I like the small size because it's a great couple of bites and fits into any pocket. These sort of freeze, but they're rolled very thin, which means they just get crisp like a cracker. Like how people freeze candy and fucking love it. That's how these are. Enhanced by winter magic. I'm not super stoked about these, but they're excellent for some quick energy and a bit of nutrition.
Something I didn't think of until the Porcupine Mountain trip is to bring tea with :) It's such a simple pleasure and it feels incredible on chilly evenings. And chilly mornings. And during the day too. It's also tasty to add a splash of whisky to your tea. If that's your thing. These are the choices that can make tea-time extra fancy and fun!
"To poke a wood fire is more solid enjoyment than almost anything else in the world." -Charles Dudley Warner