Hack my weekend mess!

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created June 25, 2012 at 6:09 PM

Every other weekend I visit family a few hours away for the weekend, and every time I find myself in a bit of a mess. Before I leave I'll feed myself clean, and sometimes I get a chance to order "the next best thing" of meat (+etc) the fast-way, but this can be costly and add up, both financially and health-wise. Sometimes I'm not even sure where I'll be staying, so I can't count on having a kitchen to cook in. Thus, I find myself eating w family - whatever they choose to eat since they usually go out to eat, and later upset about sabotaging my routine.

What can I do to somewhat prepare for the weekend without counting on the chance to cook for myself?

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5 Answers



on June 25, 2012
at 06:57 PM

Not being guaranteed to have a kitchen can make it tough. I would bring a bunch of hard boiled pastured eggs. Relatively easy and inexpensive to prepare in large quantities, they can last the weekend in a cooler, and you can eat them cold. If you end up getting a bulk of your calories from the eggs, then you might discard some of the whites so you don't overdo the protein.

You could also bring any kind of cooked meat in the cooler and eat it cold. If you do dairy, eat it with some slices of cheese.

You could do a decent amount of fruit (e.g., bananas, grapefruit) unless you are low carb. Also, if have access to a microwave (or a campfire), then you could do white potatoes and sweet potatoes. If you want more palatable then put some pastured butter and/or sour cream in your cooler to add to them.

If you're a little more ambitious, you could make some homemade beef jerky.

You can bring avocados with a knife and spoon.

I think a couple days with no kitchen shouldn't be a huge problem as long as you have a little time to prepare.


on June 25, 2012
at 08:55 PM

A big +1 to everything Mike T suggested. And if you do take a cooler, get a big one, not a little Playmate-size. Make ice blocks by filling gallon ziplock freezer bags with water (leaving some headspace for expansion) and freezing them. It takes several days for them to freeze solid, but they take much longer to melt than cubes or ice packs, and can be frozen and re-used many times. Put your food in plastic containers inside the cooler, with ice blocks on top, and it will stay chilled without getting soaked.

If you're usually going out to eat, try to find things on the menu that do the least amount of "damage." It may not be 100% paleo, or even 50%, but on an every-other-weekend basis? I, personally, wouldn't worry about it. Just do the best you can.

I was a longtime low-carber before I started paleo, so I've survived a lot of restaurant food. Salads, with lemon wedges or just vinegar, rather than sugary, seed-oil dressings are what I turn to when the whole menu is crap. But I'll also eat roasted chicken or fish, prime rib, grilled steaks or burgers (minus the bun), steamed clams and mussels, and steamed or raw veggies. Baked potatoes or roasted root vegetables are fine if you're eating higher carb. Look for stuff that's prepared without added oils, or if you can't avoid them, the least amount possible.

I really try to avoid seed oils, so for breakfast out I might have poached eggs with bacon, and maybe some fruit if they offer it. A lot of cheaper chain restaurants add pancake batter to their omelets as a cheap way to make them big and fluffy--I know Denny's and IHOP both do--so unless I can watch the cooks at work and see what goes into my food, I don't order them.

Mostly, it comes down to trade-offs, deciding which ingredient is the best of a sub-optimal lot. For me, if it's a choice between eating seed oils or wheat, I'll go with the oil because wheat spikes my blood sugar and triggers cravings--for me, wheat is by far the bigger evil; it's actually worse than sugar. Despite being low-carb, I'll eat baked or roasted potatoes or white rice if my other options are that limited. I go ahead and eat the industrial meat and eggs, and eat more cheese than usual if that makes it easier to avoid foods I personally find more troublesome. What you choose for yourself, will no doubt be different, depending on your needs.

But yeah--what Mike T said. That'll be your first line of defense, right there.



on June 25, 2012
at 08:07 PM

Adding to what Mike T said, if you find yourself eating out with your family, order the safest thing on the menu. Most of the time, I find it to be salad without dressing, with some grilled chicken, beef, or seafood, and if you consume dairy, cheese.



on June 25, 2012
at 11:23 PM

Would your family be receptive to you cooking for everyone instead of going out to eat? Roast or grill some meat, add veg and sweet potato and voila! It takes a bit of planning ahead, but cooking is so much better and cheaper than eating out. Just another option- I come from a family of great cooks. To me cooking for 15 is way more fun than a mediocre resturant meal.


on June 25, 2012
at 06:24 PM

you could fast, it wouldn't hurt

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