The Primal Life: Paleo Eating And The Great Outdoors

Over the weekend, Mike and I went LARPing. While initially it was a bit intimidating to attempt to stick with the primal eating over a weekend that typically involves little to no time for cooking, as with most things, a little planning goes a long way.

My food stash for the weekend included thin-sliced chicken breasts, and strips of sirloin steak (both of which I cooked on hot-dog forks over the fire) for meat. I also took unsalted pistachios, paleo granola and unsweetened almond milk, pepperoni sicks (these were not STRICTLY within the diet, but they were gluten-free and lactose free, and lean) and some fruits and veggies.

The pepperoni, pistachios, and pre-cut veggies were awesome for tiding me over when there wasn’t time to build a fire. I ate the meat in quantity when I DID have a chance to cook, and the granola with milk was perfect for a no-fuss breakfast before running off to adventure.

Oddly, the hardest part was remembering Mike’s food when I was planning. I was rather wrapped up in my own meal planning, and then I was all “Oh wait, I guess he needs to eat too”. In the end, he probably DID go hungry a little, because I wasn’t quite on the ball when it came to cooking for him, but I will be more aware in the future.

I didn’t slip up (much) and stuck to the plan all weekend, save for a half cup of coffee late Saturday night, a chocolate chip cookie, and there may or may not have been a cinnamon bun in there somewhere. Oh well, I am really happy with how I did overall, because there was LOADS of delicious treats (our house had cupcakes, candies, cookies, and lots of tasty carbs being passed around) and I didn’t slip as much as I feared I would.

Camping shouldn’t be a problem when it comes to primal eating, it’s backpacking I am really worried about. I can make jerky, dried fruits, and pack nuts, but I will be limited in the amount of fresh foods I can take. I guess I have all winter to learn recipes and start putting together meals that fit the bill.

I will cross that bridge when I come to it.

Over the past week I’ve felt just ok. Not tired, but not energetic. I am hoping my energy picks up after the first two weeks are over. I’ve lost some weight already too. I shed three pounds of water weight right away, and since then I’ve lost two pounds of “real weight”. So I guess we will say five pounds down in the first week. Not too bad!

After getting home from our weekend, I came down with a cold, so I am fighting that off, but hopefully it doesn’t last long. I’m really not that hungry, so I am only eating when I really feel like it and not forcing myself. That’s another thing about the primal life that I love. I find I naturally gravitate towards grazing throughout the day, and then eating a meal in the evening. I don’t have to think about any of this too much, which makes it so easy. Prehistoric man didn’t sit down for three squares a day. Most likely, they ate small amounts of food as they foraged, and then returned to a larger meal at their residence in the evening, particularly if there had been a successful hunt that day.

I am not struggling to follow this plan. I allow myself TWO “get-out-of-jail-free cards” each week (I actually made some cards, with some encouraging words on them) so that I can still enjoy going out with friends, or a special dinner. However, I don’t find that I am freaking out about all of the things that I can’t have. Maybe because I love meat, so I don’t feel deprived really. Yes, I can still have chocolate cake sometimes, but only if it’s really worth it.

I look forward to seeing the longer-term results of this change in lifestyle.

About the author

Mike & Cal have been backpacking around Alberta for the past decade. This site is where they share trip reports, photos, and tips and tricks for getting outside.

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