Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Camping: How to do it Gluten-Free Part 1

Over the summer, my cousin & I went up to Tuolomne Meadows for a week. This was a true test: I had gorgey new hiking boots and a body that hadn't been put through serious exercise (aside from running around after campers) in months. And I was stoked. Naturally, I didn't want to be the girl in the group with major digestive distress, or the high-maintenance girl that sits there moping about what she can and can't eat while everyone makes s'mores. Because really, who wants to be in a tent (or tentcabin, I'm really not the most woodsy person) with THAT girl? Please.

There's only one rule when it comes to pulling off a feat like this. Have a sense of humor! Really, you're going to be among pb&j sandwiches, CLIF bars, graham crackers, hot dog and hamburger buns, and probably a million pounds of crackers. You might as well take it in stride! 

How to Survive a Week of Camping and Hiking Without Major Health Meltdowns:
(catchy title, right? I thought so.)
  1. Explain your situation ahead of time. I told my aunt and my cousin my situation, and that I would be bringing my own specialty items, about a week before the trip. This let them pack for themselves and not have to worry about what I would like or wouldn't be able to eat. I ate my food, they ate theirs. Simple, and they don't go broke trying to accomodate me!
  2. Load up on fruits and vegetables! This one was huge, because fruits and vegetables are my body's favorite, and they bulked up every meal! Salads, check. Fruit in my cereal, check. Quick sugars, check. Easy side dishes, check. Do itttt.
  3. BYOFF. Bring Your Own Freak Food (I mean freak in the most loving way, as I'm referring to my own diet). Want to enjoy s'mores? Bring your own graham crackers. Need trail food? Stock up on GF energy bars. I took NUGO Free bars, which I wasn't too impressed with. The tastes were good; I tried the carrot cake and dark chocolate varieties, but the texture didn't suit. Too chewy, too rice-krispy treat-y, but soggy if that makes sense. I guess I should have spent more time planning that part out.
    1. Cereal, Bread, and Graham Crackers: I took gluten-free cereal with me: Nature's Path Crunch Vanilla Sunrise. Definitely a winner, but I don't eat cereal often. In terms of bread, I took millet and LOVED it (thank you Fitnessista!). Tasted rather like a scone, and scones are my ultimate weakness! Finally, the crucial parts. S'more ingredients. I searched Whole Paycheck long and hard, and ended up settling on Healthy Valley Rice Bran Crackers. Not graham-y, really, but they did the trick and I adored the taste! I could have made my own, a la Lauren, but I didn't have the time or the ingredients on hand. Oh well, next time!
  4. Go Anti-OPF. Unless you can be certain that what you are offered is gluten-free, stay away from Other People's Food. Exceptions: fruits, vegetables, water, most chocolate. It just makes things a lot easier.
Since this is definitely a lot of information to handle at once, I'm going to cut it here and come back later with a Part 2! Happy Tuesday? Sleepless nights are no fun :(
Elizabeth Lake, where the fish are so excited that they jump at you!

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