Monday, January 17, 2011

Sixteen Days - Away from home

Why did this never make it out In August???  Who knows but I thought better late than never eh?  I'm not even going to read it through for errors - just put it out there... have fun reading!

We recently returned from our annual two week end of summer vacation.  I thought I would catch-up by writing about our vacation.  We went to the Northwestern United States, I literally mean about all of them.  We left Nebraska for South Dakota - all the way through South Dakota to Montana, and Glacier National Park - then to Idaho for a family reunion - out to Washington and the Oregon Coast (Amazing!) - then we headed back through Oregon and Utah (Salt Lake City) and Wyoming - then all the way through Nebraska to Omaha.  Over 4,000 miles!!!

The map of our approximate trip route
This is the third year that we have taken a family trip with all of our children and my parents.  After going this distance I could write about many things, planning, food prep, travel with children or parents, etc...  But this is about our journey of eating better.
The husband and darling children looking out
into a valley in Glacier National Park

One of the first things my husband said was "No foofoo food on this trip!"  and he meant it.  He made sure that we had no special gluten / casein free food with us.  Except for the box of Will's favorite cereal Gorilla Munch that we managed to sneak in.

To prepare for the trip we made a menu of the things that we thought were pretty easy meals; breakfast, lunch, dinner, and some snack items.  We did this for the first few days thinking that we could get to a grocery store while we were on the road.  We planned each meal individually, thought of all the things we would need for each (including spices, food prep and cooking items, or anything special), and decided if anything could be prepared ahead of time.  For example - we patted out and seasoned hamburger patties, browned some hamburger for some other dishes, etc.

We really are loving Costco, with many organic and natural items it is quickly becoming our favorite place to buy food.  So we started our shopping at Costco, and after two other trips to two different grocery stores our little camper fridge and freezer were both full.

I was grateful that we bought food that didn't contain preservatives, and added colorings.  We have gotten pretty good at knowing which foods are ladened with additives and which ones are better.  Sometimes you just look quickly at the label and you see a large list of words, mostly that you can not pronounce, you know it is not something you want to eat.  If the ingredient list is short, or things that we recognize, it is something that we consider.  While planning to be away for this long we had to have some processed foods; cereal, breads, chips for quick lunches, real maple syrup, and simple items.  Of course we also stocked up on things like apples, carrots, celery, and plenty of salad fixings.

In an effort to be as convenient as possible we bought several jars of real fruit in fruit juice by Dole (I think).  These are supper handy and easy.  The only problem is the limited choice.  Why can't the food companies make things that are good for us?

The week of preparation and the hours of thought that went into preparing for this trip made it better than our first.  The food meal plan worked really well. We had everything we needed and the meals were all delicious.  In fact we didn't eat out for almost a week into our trip, pretty amazing!  Our only issue was that I forgot to bring the baggies of the gluten free pancake mix.  We had to eat regular pancakes... Oh well.

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