When planning menus for the best camping and hiking foods, there are two major considerations that have become part of my DNA. Maintaining a focus on healthy living and sugar levels are our non-negotiables. I (Darlin’) need to always be mindful of my sugar issues. Specifically, I have Reactive Hypoglycemia and sugars are my worst enemy. For those who do not know, RH is the exact opposite of diabetes. In ‘normal’ people, if you pick your finger and test your blood with a glucometer, your number should be 80-120. Someone with diabetes may test their number and score 230. If this is the case, they may take insulin or drink some orange juice to decrease their number to normal range. Those of us with chronic RH have the opposite issue. Our numbers drop below 80. When this happens, you know it too. In fact, ‘normal’ people may have experienced symptoms of hypoglycemia – like when someone becomes “hangry” when they have not eaten for a long time. Our pancreas over produces insulin so having sugar would spike our glucometer number up but soon after crash it even lower. Therefore, sugar is our enemy. So, we need to focus on eating no/low sugar, high protein and veggies, with any carbs being the ones that are rich in protein.
Yep, our bodies are chemistry experiments. So the recipes I save or create not only for hiking and camping, but everyday, are thoughtfully examined, chosen and planned. Let’s start with the fact that I gravitate to Paleo sites for our meals.
My favorite Paleo Experts are:
- Mark Sisson of Mark’s Daily Apple, This was the first and maybe the only website that I found when my doctor suggested I research “Paleo”. Great entry point to learning more.
- Melissa Joulwan. Let’s just say, her Well Fed cookbooks are the best ever produced. You seriously need to check out her format and style. I really do not understand why more cookbook authors do not follow her style. She’s rockin’it! I have 5 cookbooks on my kitchen counter for easy access – Well Fed & Well Fed 2 are there. Honestly, during the week, when stuck on ‘what to make’ I go to these books first.
- Diane Sanfilippo & Liz Wolfe. My friend Cathi introduced me to these two gurus via their Podcast: Balanced Bites. Listening to them feels like hanging out with two close friends. I totally fell in love with them both when went to their workshop at CrossFit in Rochester, NY a few years ago. Diane sat with me afterwards and we discussed RH at great length. Her passion for living a healthy life is genuine.
My best camping and hiking foods to include on a ‘camping-out’ menu would include smart planning & shopping (yes, I am one who needs to be very purposeful and focused for this one!), using organic/natural ingredients locally grown near our destination, with clever and unique serving ideas (I love planning with a theme in mind). Then I wake up and realize I must be off my rocker – these are ambitious plans even for the most organized over achiever. Then once reality sets in, aka budget and time, well…you will see what I mean in due time. So, here is a collection of foods to cook and enjoy while on the road or in the woods. Some are elaborate, some are full of shortcuts or cheaters, but the bottom line is they are not just edible or pretty to serve, but delicious too!