Don’t put away the tents, sleeping bags and coolers just yet — there are still a few weeks of prime camping season left!
We think of ourselves more as backpackers, but nothing beats kicking back around a campfire for the weekend with friends, eating, talking, playing games, swimming, hiking and generally enjoying the outdoors.
When planning meals and snacks for a camping trip, most of us think of s’mores, chips and beer. But much as we like to use it as an excuse to abandon our otherwise healthy lifestyles for a weekend, camping doesn’t have to mean junk food.
We recently took a trip out to the remote Squaw Lakes with some friends and family. And although we packed some indulgent snacks, we also challenged ourselves to see just how healthy we could make our meals. We even went the extra mile to make some of the meals do double-duty. For example, we made kebabs for lunch one day, and made enough of them so that we were able to use the leftovers the next morning in an egg scramble. Genius, right?! The credit for that idea goes to our friend Brigid, who also happens to have been our O.G. customer service rep.
Here was our meal plan:
Dinner 1: Stuffed peppers, wrapped in aluminum foil for campfire roasting
Breakfast 1: Egg scramble with leftover meat stuffing from the peppers
Lunch 1: Meat and veggie kebabs on salad greens
Dinner 2: Shepherd’s Pie
Breakfast 2: Egg scramble with leftover kebab meat and veggies
Lunch 2: Sandwich wraps
Obviously several of these dishes aren’t inherently good for you — it’s all in how you make them, and what ingredients you put in them. To make things easier, we prepped most of the meat and vegetables at home before we left and bagged them up in the cooler.
For our stuffed peppers, we got grass-fed ground beef and stir-fried it with some diced squash and onions, pearl quinoa, Bare Bones Classic Beef Bone Broth and a delicious, clean Italian seasoning we got from Naturally Free (not a sponsored mention; we’re just sharing it because we love it).
The egg scrambles were made with local pastured eggs that we receive fresh weekly from our CSA.
The kebabs were loaded with freshly picked, local, organic vegetables and high-quality beef. The salad greens were also from our CSA.
The Shepherd’s Pie was made with high-quality organic beef, real potatoes instead of boxed ones, and also included diced carrots and green peas for added nutrients.
It’s easy for most of us to eat well when the conditions are perfect. It’s when we’re busy and on the go, having fun and around other people who aren’t as committed to a healthy lifestyle, that the excuses abound. But real health and wellness comes when you find ways to adapt your healthy lifestyle to any situation. You don’t have to let social norms and status quo tell you how you should eat around a campfire. And shoot, you might even find you enjoy camp food more if you don’t. We loved coming back from that weekend feeling refreshed and recharged in every way, instead of weighed down by our food choices.