Meal Prep For Your Summer Plans

Posted On Jun 7, 2018 By Erin Kuh, MBA, RD

Meal Prep For Your Summer Plans

“I just want to be normal and feel healthy again.” Have you ever thought this?

I’ve found this thought running through my head frequently over the past 2 months since I finally got a diagnosis on symptoms I’ve been dealing with for 2 ½ years. A long 2 ½ years of debilitating fatigue, relentless headaches, all day nausea (similar to morning sickness where I wished I would throw up so there would be some level of relief, if only temporary), and reoccurring sore throats.

The diagnosis (at least for now) is multiple infections in my gut causing these systemic issues. What a relief to finally have an answer, an answer that isn’t life threatening but definitely “quality of life” threatening. The prescription: a long list of supplements (so long in fact that I made myself a daily spreadsheet to keep track of them), two rounds of different prescription medications to help kill off the infections, prioritizing self-care, and the most restrictive diet I know of as a dietitian: The Candida Diet plus additional restrictions due to food sensitivities I’ve developed as part of the infections. The point of this blog is not to delve into my personal health history but give you a little background on the reason behind this blog series. Yes, I’m a dietitian and personal trainer, and even I felt lost, frustrated, self-pity, and in utter disbelief at embarking upon my journey back to health.

Over the next four posts I’m going to share with you how to navigate a low-sugar grain-free dairy-free alcohol-free (goodbye my wine for now) egg-free diet while on an 8-day roadtrip and maintain your sanity. If you or someone you know must follow a restrictive, low-sugar, or anti-inflammatory diet, this blog series is for you. If you’re simply looking for healthy camping/road-trip tips and tricks, this blog series is for you.

In addition to meal ideas, food product gems (there are a few!), and simple recipes, I’ll also cover how to stay on track while feeding a family that doesn’t require ANY restrictions, and navigating eating out. Along with all of this, we cannot overlook two essential ingredients that often get pushed aside when the busyness of life takes over: proper planning and mindset.

Let’s start with proper planning since as I’m writing this I’m T minus 48 hours until departure.

  1. Meal plan

    Just how I do at home (and recommend to EVERY client I work with regardless of goals), I’ve typed up a meal plan for our entire 8-day trip. This is the roadmap for your eating plan. Without this, you’ll never reach your destination and you’ll either find yourself scrambling through fast food or gas station fare or completely deviating from your eating plan. I find the most challenging meal to be lunch, since we’ll be hiking, driving, or sight-seeing around noontime. While everyone else can have a “normal” lunch of sandwiches, fruit, and maybe some raw veggies, I’ve had to brainstorm alternatives that are easy to pack (see below for a few options and more coming later in this blog series).

  2. Grocery Shopping

    I know what stores carry products safe for me to eat that will make meal prep easier, such as salsas, seed-based crackers, roasted fava beans, chicken brats, and uncured turkey bacon that I splurge on occasionally. Shopping ahead of time ensures adherence to your meal plan whether you’re eating at home or on the road.

  3. Snack Box for the kids and hubby

    Trail mix, peanut butter crackers, homemade energy bars, wasabi peas, Cutie oranges, raisins, pecans (my kids’ favorite) and applesauce pouches.

  4. My own snack box

    pre-portioned single servings of macadamia nuts, sprouted seeds, Fawen drinkable soups, and Primal Thin bars. If you’re simply doing low-sugar, you could include other types of nuts, lower-sugar fruit like apples and berries, and beef jerky.

  5. Dry Food Box

    Includes canned pinto beans, single serving packets of salmon for my lunch, no-sugar salsa (my current go-to in place of salad dressing), sweet potatoes, and a bag of my no-sugar yogurt mix-in (recipe coming next week) for breakfast.

  6. Food Prep
    1. Grilled chicken and a ton of vegetables (peppers, onions, zucchini, and mushrooms)

      Make several days’ worth of lunches for myself to make sure I’m getting enough vegetables. For me, this is key to staying healthy and on track. Grilled vegetables are easy to eat cold or at room temperature yet give some variety so I don’t feel like I’m always munching on rabbit food. Also, roasted cauliflower and butternut squash are two of my personal favs. Again, I can eat them at room temperature and they’re delicious, satisfying, and nourishing. I’ll make up single serving containers of chicken and grilled vegetables with separate containers for butternut squash and roasted cauliflower for lunches or to supplement dinner.

    2. Raw Veggies and Pre-made Salad

      My kids prefer raw vegetables and having a container to pull out at both lunch and dinner ensures we’re all getting enough vegetables, which is hard to do on a camping trip. It’s also a perfect solution to help hold kids over until dinner without filling their tummies too much. I include jicama, mini sweet peppers, cherry tomatoes, celery, and cucumbers. I’ll also throw in a large Ziploc bag of a simple salad with mixed greens, chopped cabbage, and shredded carrots.

With proper planning, keeping a positive mindset and staying motivated become much easier. You’re laying the foundation. Make sure it’s solid, practical, and tastes decent!

Next post, I’ll be covering breakfast options while on the road, both for me and my dietary restrictions and what the rest of my family is eating. Until then, happing prepping!

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