Meal Prep, FODMAP, and the woes of eating in the forest

This last weekend I went camping and it had its ups and its downs. We took all the kids and lots of it was exactly what we needed. But there was one major hiccup.

Food.

meal prep

Do you remember that special new protocol I am on to keep me feeling like my best self? It’s called the FODMAP Diet, although I hate the word diet because it is in no way related to weight loss. Monash University describes FODMAP as this…

What are FODMAPs?

Put simply, FODMAPs are a collection of short-chain carbohydrates (sugars) that aren’t absorbed properly in the gut, which can trigger symptoms in people with IBS. FODMAPs are found naturally in many foods and food additives.

It stands for Fermentable Oligosaccharides Disaccharides Monosaccharides and Polyols. This cuts out gluten, dairy, legumes, fermented foods (I may have cried over kimchi), garlic, onions, honey, high fructose corn syrup, and a variety of fruits and vegetables. For more information go here.

This makes all food a challenge for me, but it makes eating while camping/hiking even more challenging. Many of my go-to foods have now been cut out of my life.

When I first started eating this way, I would literally open up my refrigerator, look at the contents, and cry.

I had no idea what to eat, how to make it, or if anything would taste good. When I go to events, most of the time I cannot eat anything there which makes me feel unsociable and isolated. It is a constant difficulty even now.

Cut to this weekend and my amazing husband went to buy all the food for our camping adventure. He worked so hard to find food I could eat, many things still ended up being non-compliant for me. Part of it is that, even after 8 months or more of doing this, it’s still hard to remember all the items I cannot have! I have an app that I can search in to help me because even I have trouble sometimes, especially with food I do not eat often.

So get to camp and guess who does not have enough food? It’s me in case you missed that.

eggs

Praise the Lord for eggs or I would have just been hungry (on top of freezing).

So I am going to begin sharing new and improved recipes on here for how to take your dietary needs camping. Here’s just a first look at one recipe:

Camp Chili

1lb beef
1lb spicy ground pork (because sausage is out now)
No beans
Cumin, Chili Powder, Paprika, Parsley, Basil (let’s be honest I do this by feel/smell)
1 Tbsp Cocoa Powder
2 cans Tomato Sauce
1 can Tomato Paste
Water
1 Carrot (ground to a pulp and tossed in – you can’t taste it)
1 handful of Spinach (ground to a pulp and tossed in – you can’t taste it)
1 Baked Potato (to pour it on)

Directions:
Brown the meat and add a small portion of the spices until it is fragrant and slightly colorful. Add cocoa powder and stir. Add all the tomato products at once. You can also use Rotel here if there is nothing it that bothers you. I like the chunks but it says “spice” and since I do not know what that means, I steer clear.
Now I fill up 1 can of tomato sauce (now that it’s empty) with water and pour that in. You can always add more later if needed.
Grind up the vegetables in the food processor, blender, or chop it up if you want and throw it in.
Bring everything to a boil then let it simmer, covered, for 1-2 hours. (after about 30-40 minutes, test it and adjust seasonings as needed)

You can box this and take it camping, or you can make this in a cast iron dutch oven over a fire which will mean maneuvering it reduce the heat when needed.

Only YOU can decide when you’re chilly is done. I prefer mine pretty thick and very fragrant. Stir it every now and then until it is the consistency you want.

Are you vegan? Take out the meat (obviously) and add in any beans you want! I used to love making this with kidney beans and pinto beans, but black beans are tasty here as well despite being less common in this variety of chili. Consider pouring your chili over rice instead of potatoes if you are worried about getting that complete protein here, but you know yourself and what you need. Also, consider sprinkling nutritional yeast over the top instead of the cheese others prefer to get a similar flavor. I love the stuff! (if only it was cheaper! Do you hear me, Sprouts??)

Enjoy and See You Outside!

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