Challenge met: eating Paleo (ish) at Burning Man

Do you eat Paleo? Maybe even Keto, or some form of AIP (Anti-Inflammatory Protocol)? Even if not, you may be able to imagine how tough it can be when the list of foods you can eat are restricted. Last summer I wrote about eating Paleo (ish) at Burning Man, and created a list of things I was packing as well as foods that were recommended by other attendees. (“How to eat Paleo (ish) at Burning Man and other camping trips”). I was determined to eat healthier (with full knowledge I would have to be flexible about sticking to the regimen.) I think I met the challenge of eating Paleo (ish) at Burning Man, and maybe my lessons will help you in whatever situations you face with eating healthy anywhere!

Keeping an eye out for things I can eat

The other night I came across a new product (a freeze dried pack for making fruit and superfood smoothies called Everipe) at my local yoga studio. While speaking with the representative, I said this would be great for camping. But since you need a blender, it’s better for glamping. As I laughed, I thought to myself – I have to try this and see if it’s worth lugging a blender out to have another healthy meal option…and then remembered the good & the bad foods I brought last year.

Kerry, from Everipe, was handing out samples and discussing how the freeze dried veggies & superfoods make easy smoothies.

WILD ZORA

Wild Zora ready-to-eat paleo meals were great at Burning Man
I was so excited to receive this box of goodies from Wild Zora, with a personal thank you note. They know how to make a life-long fan!

In the article I wrote last summer, I mentioned wanting to try some MRE (military term for “Meals Ready to Eat) by Wild Zora. My friend had tried them before and highly recommended them. So, I put them in the”things to try” part of my story, since I couldn’t find them at my local stores.

I always say “Adventures build upon Adventures.” After publishing that article, the people at Wild Zora contacted me! They were happy I mentioned them, as they are a young company. They asked if it would be okay to send me a thank you gift, which also included some new Paleo Meals To Go packets. This was so unexpected! The package arrived just before it was time for me to get my Burning Man bins to the shipping container (how east coasters get a lot of the important gear out to Nevada). Just to be clear, this was a thank you – I am not an affiliate partner nor paid in any way for promoting their product.

Success

Eating Paleo while preparing to go to Burning Man
Photo bombed at an In-N-Out Burger where I ordered the “Protein Burger” off the so-called Secret Menu. I was happy to share this classic West Coast experience with my East Coast friends prior to heading out to the desert.
Fixing my paleo meals at Burning Man
Our fancy dining set up for dining at Burning Man. Yes, dust gets everywhere! It’s entirely possible we ate our share of dust, but by this time we were accustomed to dust storms and fully appreciated eating (and breathing) in clean air.
An electric water heater next to my paleo hot oatmeal on top of a yellow top bin at Burning Man
Borrowing a friend’s water heater to make my Pineapple Mango porridge. Next year I will make sure to pack mine, as it beats out those little element-heating sticks by far!

Looking back, one needs to remember the successes, the not-so-bad and the failures of what was planned, so that you can improve for the future. Same thing can be applied for my big plans for eating better while camping.

Surprisingly Excellent!

The Wild Zora Meals To Go were really great.  They had choices for breakfast, and others that are more meals.  Since we were offered dinner every night in my camp, the meals were not a priority.  I ate the breakfast ones first.  Since they are a hearty hot oatmeal “substitute” they were perfect for the cold desert mornings.  I did run out of the breakfast packs! (Note to self: buy more to make sure I have one for every day.) I tried their savory chicken and beef stew ones at breakfast time and enjoyed it. 

Besides eating paleo, I also am not supposed to eat nightshades (potato, eggplant, tomatoes etc.)  These meals are night-shade free…and delicious.  I was surprised how good the meats tasted – very moist.  The best thing I can think of to say about these convenient meals is that it’s not about what I can’t eat, but to keep the focus on how tasty what I can eat can be!

Awww Nuts!

I was right on with my snacks.  Nuts never failed me.  I never got around to eating pistachios, but am glad I brought the unshelled ones in case the craving showed up.  The Made in Nature Nutter & Jelly Figgy Pops were yummy, but the huge bag of them were a bit much for me alone. I made a lot of my campmates happy when I shared them.  Who wouldn’t like portable PB&J (without the peanuts and bread)?

A paleo breakfast at Burning Man
One of my breakfasts: A protein shake and grain-free granola with coconut water. Filling and decent flavors. I didn’t bring coconut milk, as that would spoil too fast. I guess when out camping, things that don’t taste great normally, are fine in these kind of circumstances.

FAILURES

Herbal infusion set up
Items for my herbal infusions. The herbs (such as Nettle or Comfrey) would be placed in the large container with water, to soak for 4-6 hours or overnight. Then strained into another container. The infusion is normally drunk within 3 days.

“Take chances. Make mistakes. Get messy!” so says Ms. Frizzle from the Scholastic series Magic School Bus. I took a chance bringing the parts for making my own healthy herbal infusions. Boy, did I make a mistake and was this infusion process messy! At Burning Man, there isn’t a lot of water to clean out stubborn herb leaves from a big jar. Cleaning ended up with leaves all over the ground that picked up (see Leave No Trace Principal). While a good idea in theory, especially nutrient-wise, not good in practice. Maybe next year I will stick with easy to use tea bags.

Golden Milk Mistake

Speaking of tea, another nutrient rich beverage I thought I would make a lot of was Turmeric tea, aka “Golden Milk.” The problem was, I didn’t bring coconut milk and the flavor of the mix is too strong for me to drink with water. Turmeric also has a habit of staining things yellow, and I didn’t need another messy item on my hands!

Thinking Ahead

While Burning Man is about 7 months away, it takes a lot of planning. With registering for access to tickets, and many new people wondering what’s it like to attend this amazing event. For me, it will be my 6th year. I still need to plan, as every year is so different from the ones before – which keeps making it a huge adventure!

Reviewing what works, what didn’t work and finding new things to try, are all part of the eating Paleo (ish) at Burning Man challenge. Make planning fun. Enjoy investigating alternatives. Most of all, celebrate that eating healthy is an excellent adventure to pursue – no matter if you’re camping, glamping or just going to the park!

Stacey and Stacey the Pirate Puppet drinking champagne at Burning Man
Champagne isn’t paleo, but sometimes you just gotta celebrate!

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