For many Canadians, the Victoria Day long weekend marks the annual inaugural camping trip. In this case, my husband, Travis, and I are like most Canadians. This is the weekend we get to stretch our campers legs after a long winter of hibernation, dust off our go-to camping flannels, stand in line for an hour with half of the town in the grocery store, and, if you camp in the Cariboo of British Columbia like we do, wake up to a fresh blanket of snow…
Before learning I was living with the enemy (a.k.a. Cancer, the big “C”, “C”), my pre-camping trip grocery list looked quite a bit different than it does now. After receiving my diagnosis in December 2015, one of the first things I did was shift my diet from a healthy version of the SAD (standard american diet) to an unstoppable raw food/vegan combo, and I haven’t looked back! However, when you think of a camping grocery list what comes to mind – maybe chips, hot dogs, smores, jiffy pop pop corn or soda? Yes, these items may have appeared in our camper cupboards pre-veganizing, but I am here to share with you that, not only is it possible, but it is EASY to eat healthFULLY while enjoying the outdoors, campfires and the odd adult beverage 🙂
Before stepping foot into that soda-containing, chip-full, candy-ridden grocery store though, you must have a plan. Plan your meals, but most importantly, plan your snacks, too!
I discovered the powerful utility of an already-cooked-and-ready-to-go pot of beans in your camping fridge/cooler this past weekend. I have long been a lover of this magical fruit, but am even more of a fan after seeing just how versatile it can be. At the breakfast table, I was easily able to substitute bacon for my magical beans, and paired with a few organic and free range eggs, homemade salsa and fresh avocado slices, I was saying’ “bacon and eggs who!?”. On that note, a new eggcellent tip I recently learnt is that duck eggs are alkaline producing foods, while chicken eggs are acid forming foods. This may be of importance to you if you are fighting CANcer or if you are at risk for cancer, heart disease or infection, to name a few. Acidic environments promote the proliferation of cancer cells and other anaerobic pathogens, whereas alkaline, or oxygen-rich, environments starve these cells and pathogens. A plant-based diet will create an internal alkaline environment, whereas animal products and “junk foods” will create an acidic environment, where these unwelcome diseases will grow and spread readily and happily.
So, let’s just all be completely honest with each other and acknowledge the fact that one of the main reasons we go camping is to EAT! So next up is snack time!
Your magic pot of beans can be used once again here in a five-layer dip by pairing them with some guacamole, fresh chives, salsa, olives and corn chips. Or, if you’re all about those animal products (hey, I don’t blame yah!) throw in some yummy aged cheddar and sour cream for the classic seven-layer version. You can really get your money’s (and fridge space) worth outa those beans if you want to sub out your chicken or beef in some soft shell tacos for dinner! Some pre-made and marinating fruit salsa would complete the perfect headlining duo for your taste buds here.
One more quick tip I recently learnt is regarding my dear friends, Salt and Vinegar. You would expect it from flavours like sour cream or cheddar, but many brands of salt and vinegar chips actually contain milk products. If you are avoiding or limiting your intake of animal products due to the aforementioned reasons, I am sorry to say that you may want to take a closer look at the nutrition labels of your potato chips. I certainly have not looked into every brand of chips, but all you fellow vegans can go ahead and eat both salt and vinegar and BBQ flavours of Lays chips, as they should not contain milk products (Sadly, my beloved Miss Vickies Sea Salt and Vinegar chips are not on the vegan-friendly list).
I sincerely wish for an adventure-full, but also healthFULL and just plain old FULL summer of camping, fishing or doing whatever it is that you love and look forward to. I mentioned only a few healthful tips and tricks for keeping your diet on track while enjoying your summer activities, but hopefully it will inspire you to take a peek “out of the box” and try some new green things while exploring, dining and nourishing your soul within Mother Nature’s great playground.
***Big shout out to my Travis for the fantastic and playful title and inspiration for this blog post. MUAH!