Hey guys! It's so nice to be back on the blog and connecting with all of you. I feel as though the summer is flying by - in truth, most summers feel that way to me, ha! I'm such a summer girl - I never want the warm weather to end.
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So I finally took my first real vacation since being self employed for nearly 3 years and it felt amazing! We decided to go camping - my first time ever! And I honestly had so much fun being outdoors and connecting to nature. It definitely took me a second to unwind and get into vacation mode but when I finally shut it all down - the experience was unforgettable.
Now, I'm in now way claiming to be a camping expert - like I said, it was my first time but I really wanted to share my experience, some of my meal plan/snacks, food prep tips and some extras that were definitely beneficial. If you're planning a camping trip soon or enjoy camping - read on!
A few days in the great outdoors can offer many health benefits - both physically and mentally. It’s a great way to incorporate more physical movement such as hiking, swimming and canoeing. Even simply being surrounded by nature (the greenery, fresh air, sunshine and natural vitamin D) can help reduce stress levels and improve our mental state. While time spent in nature can do wonders for our health and wellness it can also make it much more difficult to maintain healthy habits and make good food choices. Whether you’re car camping, portaging, or taking the bare essentials while hiking - packing food to maintain health and energy levels takes a little planning - especially if you have little campers with you!
Common camp foods include hot dogs, s’mores, instant oatmeal and other overly processed foods that bear little resemblance to real food. We are drawn to the woods because we want to disconnect from our busy lives and slow down! We want to decompress and recharge our batteries. This is so important for overall wellness! However, eating processed convenience foods (filled with sugar, sodium, artificial colors/flavors and other toxic preservatives) does very little to support our bodies and in fact is incredibly taxing on our systems. These non-foods will certainly not fuel you or your kiddies for all of the incredible camping activities you have planned and will definitely lead to energy crashes, meltdowns & tantrums for those of you taking little campers with you.
Luckily, it’s possible to eat real, whole foods while camping with just a little preparation! Use my ideas here as a jumping off point to set you up for success while you venture into the great outdoors for a little R & R.
Now, please keep in mind that whether certain recipes or ideas will work for your particular camping trip will depend on which appliances and kitchen tools you plan on bringing with you. If all you're taking is a back pack - you may have to do a little more food prep in advance than those of you car camping or taking your camper. Either way - you got this!
- Free run organic eggs with organic chicken sausage (we had a little stove top with burners and a grill and we brought a frying pan with us)
- Nature's Path instant Qi'a Superseeds & grains topped with raw nuts/seeds & fresh or dried fruit. All you would need to do is boil some water.
- Green Smoothies - if you're taking a camper and can bring your Magic Bullet or Vitamix then do so! This would be my go-to most mornings.
- Yogurt Parfaits made with YOSO coconut yogurt, fresh fruit and topped with raw nuts/seeds, granola (optional). You would have to pack the yogurt & fruit in a cooler and store your nuts/seeds and even granola in mason jars.
- Sprouted grain bread, english muffins or pitas topped with nut butters & sliced bananas. At Nature's Emporium you can buy the little individual sized packets of nut butters which are super convenient for traveling.
- Chia Seed Pudding - prep this the day before and store in a sealed mason jar in a cooler. Give it a stir and top it off with fresh fruit. This also doubles as a high protein snack.
- Homemade trail mix is a MUST! In a large storage container mix together the following: 3 cups whole grain pretzels, 1/4 cup each raw almonds and cashews, 1 cup each raw pumpkin and sunflower seeds, 1 cup dried fruit (cranberries, goji berries, mango slices), 1 cup sweet raw cacao nibs or dairy free chocolate chips (I like Enjoy Life brand).
- Solar Raw kale chips
- Banana Bread - bake this ahead of time, slice and store.
- Fresh fruit - we loved roasting apple chunks over the fire with a drizzle of raw honey after.
- Raw veggies - washed, sliced and stored ahead of time. Serve with hummus & Mary's Crackers.
Lunch & Dinner Ideas
- 3 Bean Veggie Chili - we threw everything into a pot over the fire and let it simmer until it was done!
- Veggie Burgers - Cook these on a burner instead of baking them or prep them at home and store them in a cooler.
- Power Up Protein Stir-Fry - Prep this at home in advance. It's really nice warmed up or served cold.
- Wraps - bring whole grain wraps and stuff your wraps with sliced peppers, onions, cucumber, tomato, lettuce and top with hummus, olives and feta (optional). Prep the veggies in advance and store in a cooler.
- Lots of water - we brought tons of spring water with us.
- Coconut water for the electrolytes.
- Herbal teas are great and really easy to make on site.
- Emergen-C packets when you feel like you need a little extra boost.
- We enjoyed Kicking Horse organic coffee in our french press early mornings with a little fire to warm up to (one of my favourite parts!). Aside from the coffee all you need is some boiling water.
- An all natural bug repellent: I mixed Terrashield blend with some water, witch hazel and fractionated coconut oil in a stainless steel bottle. I would spray the tent and our clothes to keep the mosquitos away.
- Bring a non-toxic sunscreen such as Green Beaver or Goddess Garden.
- A hammock! Tie it up to a couple of trees, curl up with a good book and a cup of herbal tea :):)
I wanna know, what meals/snacks do you prepare in advance for camping?