Camping, to me, means hot coffee, eggs and sausage in the morning followed by cheesy melty goodness over the campfire for lunch and probably dinner too. It means that, when evening hits, its tradition to stoke up the fire and slow roast marshmallows to make S’mores. Mmm.. doesn’t that sound good? I can almost taste it as I type. So it may leave you wondering.. is it possible to go camping while on the Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) diet?
The smells, the food, the sounds. It all plays a major role in the overall experience of camping. But when you’re on the AIP diet, all the traditional food choices get thrown out the window. So what do you do? One thing is for certain, you don’t get to take a vacation from potential autoimmune disease flare ups due to deviating from the diet.
It would be amazing if I could set my Hypothyroidism aside for a weekend but that’s simply not the case.
The good news is, it is possible to still enjoy yourself and still feel all the energy of a positive camping experience without partaking in foods that sabotage your health as long are you plan and prepare properly.
In this post, I’d like to share a few helpful tips on how to go camping while on the Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) diet.
Buena Vista, Colorado, is one of the most beautiful, post-card like towns that exists, I’m just sure of it. Last September, I was fortunate to run a half marathon through the mountains there, which was my first experience with that area of Colorado, but just this past week, my husband and I took our family camping right outside of BV with our incredibly fun 1985 Coleman pop-up camper. It was absolutely gorgeous!
7 Tips on How to Go Camping While on the Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) Diet
#1 Buy compliant road snacks a head of time.
It’s important not to rely on gas stations to provide compliant snacks during travel! Simply purchase your munchies ahead of time to avoid the hassle and frustration of scouring the store shelves. Not only will this keep you on track but it could even save you quite a bit of money by avoiding gas station prices. 😉
I took with me some sparkling water, freeze dried fruit and some sweet potato chips with guac.
#2 Select easy, versatile yet delicious meal recipes.
This one is pretty straight forward. If you don’t like something at home, you won’t like it in the woods either. Only pack meals that excite you, otherwise you’ll find yourself tempted by the food of others.
I whipped up a batch of juicy meatballs to go along with this delicious Spinach Cream Sauce recipe but also to pair with fruit for breakfast. Essentially, the meat balls were a staple at nearly every meal but I would simply pair something different with them each time I ate. They were versatile and easy… and GOOD!
#3 Make the recipes at home before leaving.
The day before we departed, I spent a couple hours preparing my meals. No actual cooking was left for the woods! The only thing to do when we got to our campsite was to simply warm my food back up. Doing this cut down on having to pack a ton of ingredients but also time, stress and dishes. We used our camper’s propane stove since Colorado is currently under a stage 3 fire ban – no campfires allowed!
- Beverage: Spindrift Grapefruit Sparkling Water
- Beverage: Celestial Seasonings Organic Herbal Tea
- Beverage: Kroger Brand Purified Water (Gallons)
- Snack: So Natural Dehydrated Peaches
- Snack: Jackson’s Honest Sweet Potato Chips
- Snack: Wholesome Guacamole Organic Minis
- Breakfast: Meatballs, Chopped Pineapple & Herbal Tea
- Lunch: Tuna Salad & Sweet Potato Chips
- Dinner: Meatballs, Spinach Cream Sauce & Chopped Zucchini
- Dessert: Coconut Macaroons
We were only there for three days so having repeat meals didn’t bother me. Had we camped for any longer, I would have packed a couple more recipes for the variety. 🙂 You may want to consider also packing olive oil or coconut oil and salt. I’m so glad I remembered those extra items!
#4 Freeze prepped food in Mason jars.
The seal on a Mason jar lid is much tighter than plastic-ware so I felt my food would not become contaminated this way. Chopped fruit in one Mason jar, chopped zucchini in another, sauce in yet another and so on and so forth. I even used the mini Mason jars to portion out my tuna salad!
Since I made everything the day before we left, I stuck the jarred meatballs and sauce in the freezer over night to ensure it was thoroughly frozen before leaving. (I didn’t think the pineapple, zucchini and tuna salad would be good after it was frozen so I kept that in the refrigerator.)
Having frozen food in the cooler ensured everything stayed cold during the 6 hours of drive time we had Thursday, the over night stay at a friends house that night, then two more hours of drive time Friday morning to the campsite. When I opened the cooler up, everything was thawing but the cooler was still cold.
The last thing I wanted is for my carefully prepared Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) food to go bad.
#5 Add a bag of ice to the cooler right before arriving at the camp site.
Buena Vista was about 40 minutes from our campsite so our friends purchased ice for their cooler there and kindly grabbed one for us too! With the cool mountain air, that bag of ice managed to stay frozen from Friday morning to Sunday afternoon. So if possible, add a bag of ice to your cooler shortly before arriving at your campsite. It will ensure your food temperatures don’t increase to a dangerous level and therefore risk it all going bad.
#6 Take out only what is needed per meal.
There’s no sense in warming too much up only to have to throw it out or attempt to cool it back down by sticking it back in the cooler so it’s wise to only use what is needed per meal. For me, I’d take out a couple meatballs, scoop out some sauce or whatever else and warm a single sized portion up (my family is not currently on the Autoimmune Protocol diet). It was pretty simple, really.
#7 Pack a sweet, guilt-free treat to enjoy.
To keep the feelings of being deprived at bay, pack yourself a dessert! I brought a container of macaroons – yum! There’s so many other Autoimmune Protocol friendly dessert recipes on Pinterest too. It’s amazing how creative some people are in the kitchen with limited ingredients! 😉 Bringing a dessert ensures you’re able to participate in the fun while others are enjoying their treats as well. Doing what you can to impact your time camping will only produce a more positive experience! It’s worth the little bit of extra effort to pack a compliant dessert.
From my family to yours, happy camping!
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