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I’m going to interrupt my normal talk about beans and my menu planning to share something else I’m excited about.

VACATION!
Granted, vacation is still several months away but I’m already in full planning mode. I have to admit that I enjoy the planning part of things (does that surprise anyone that I’m a planner?) and sometimes get a little carried away in the details. I have to force myself not to over plan too much and leave a few things to chance.
One thing that I do not want to leave too much to chance is our food while on vacation. Our ‘dietary systems’ are pretty used to the way we eat. We try to eat real food at home. Real food to us is food that starts in as natural a state as possible (unprocessed), it should be nutrient dense, provide ‘good’ things our bodies need like probiotics, and taste good. I figure that if 80% of the food we eat meets our standards then the other 20% I don’t worry too much about. But when we are away from home it would be easy just to let those standards go. However, I ate to think how physically miserable we would feel. We’ve done that before, it was not good. Not good at all.
Wardeh did a post a couple of days ago on Nutrient-Dense Food for the Road. Wardeh’s husband had to go out of town for a few days and she sent along some supplemental food items to help round out his other meal choices. I love this article and wanted to share my own thoughts with the planning that I have been doing.
Taking food along on a trip is not a new concept for me. In the past it had been strictly a cost effective choice but now the nutrition aspect (maybe a better term would be ‘avoid a tummy ache’ aspect) is added in. Obviously the choices of foods has changed over the years. I did a post back in 2009 when we were preparing for a very quick road trip in which I discussed some of the things we were taking along. That actually went very well. But that was only for a 4 day trip (to Oregon and back in four days is not something I would recommend. Especially when one of those days is spent loading up a moving truck) with no real activities involved.
The vacation that we are planning for will be 10 days. My oldest daughter is graduating from college. GRADUATING FROM COLLEGE! It is very exciting.
We’ll drive through the night to get there (18+ hours) and then stay a couple of nights with family and then we’ll be camping for 5 nights for sure and the last two nights are still undecided but looking like a motel room.
Here are a few things I’m planning food-wise so far:
We like snacks for the car especially when we will be in it for an insane amount of time (like 18 hours) so I’ll take along snacks that are not too messy. I’m thinking of sourdough crackers, crispy nuts/trail mix style thing, sliced cheese, dried fruit, and homemade cookies. We also plan to stop for a picnic supper that night and a picnic breakfast the next morning. Oh and that first lunch will be a picnic also. A cooler full of picnic meals will be needed.

I’m leaning toward make ahead wraps for the main dish for supper and lunch (using one of my home grown chickens as the meat) and having the side be . For breakfast I’ll make muffins or sweet bread, boiled eggs and I might snag Wardeh’s Baked Oatmeal idea too. We love baked oatmeal, I just hadn’t thought of it as portable before. A quart or two of real milk will also be going along and either water kefir or kombucha (maybe both depending on space). I’m toying with taking along my dairy kefir grains. We won’t have access to real (raw) milk but kefiring store milk at least puts a few good things back into it.

I was inspired by a video from the GNOWFGLINS eCourse- Sourdough Camping (September 2010)– where Erin shared her camping road trip. She took along her sourdough starter and made pancakes a few times. I loved the tips she offered. I think I’ll copy her and take along some of my starter too. And a waffle iron since we will have electricity at some of our campsites. Plus one place we will be staying in Joe’s grandma’s and I would love to treat her to scrumptious sourdough waffles for breakfast.

Here is where I could use a little help from all of you.

What kinds of things would you make if you were going to be camping?

I’ll be able to go to the grocery store to restock but probably just a regular store not a health food or specialty store. I am okay with buying ground buffalo or organic ground beef and beef steaks/roast and lamb at the grocery store (but not chicken) and we love fish (but not shell fish). I have a few ideas but to be honest, my list looks very boring. I should add we will be eating S’Mores at least one night. I’m thinking that if we make the effort that we should still come close to our 80/20 motto and the S’Mores fall into the 20 (that is my story and I am sticking with it).

And for a few more ideas…

What if you were going to spend a night or two in a motel? What would you do about your food options?

I’ll have my waffle iron that I already mentioned but do you think I should plan for anything else or just bite the bullet and count on dining out? I did read an article called How to Cook Food in a Hotel Room but in my opinion those ideas are a bit disturbing so I won’t be using the coffee maker to cook eggs as suggested. Blech. I’m leaning more toward cooking a few extra things on our last camping night that can be eaten cold. Ideas?

I look forward to reading your suggestions!

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