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Eating paleo in the air force?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created May 06, 2013 at 3:03 AM

I'm thinking about joining the air force, I did really well on the ASVAB, but I'm wondering what the food is like? Can I expect to have a Lean protein, non-grain carb source (fruit,tuber,dairy, or at least whole grain (brown rice)) and veggie source (broccoli, cabbage or something) at basically every meal? Or would I be signing up for 4 years of refined white grains, breaded fried meats and scarce vegetables? I expect it's somewhere in between! But I'd really love to get some input on this from people who know for sure.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on May 06, 2013
at 05:56 PM

Can you tell them you are dairy and gluten intolerant? Then you can be Perfect Health for a while.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on May 06, 2013
at 03:47 PM

Thank you Aaron, this response was very helpful.

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5 Answers

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1
4b18bf5e538c54dc3b2c1a1dc0431aa9

on May 06, 2013
at 02:02 PM

I am in the Army, but having eaten at all the services DFACs all over the world, you will be all right. You aren't going to get grassfed or pasteured meat and will get the lowest bidder produce on everything (organic is not on the menu), but you at least generally have a choice of whole foods and vegetables with every meal, including breakfast.

Deployment food is often better than homestation food as far as DFACs go, particularly if you stay on the airfields or large bases which the Air Force generally does.

Breakfast will be eggs and fruit for the most part for choices. Otherwise it is breads and questionable breakfast meats (I would stay away from them as they definitely are not 100% anything).

Lunch and dinner will generally have at least one meat without breading, some cooked vegatbles, and some sort of salads (usually a sald bar is available). Safe starches will generally be potatoes or white rice, but again stay away from the mashed and french fries as they are not all potatoes. They serve sweet potatoes a lot now, but they glaze them which basically defeats the purpose.

Like CD said, if you are only going to get MREs, you will have a problem. I generally throw some sardines, figs, and grassfed jerky in the bag so I don't have to eat MREs, but there may be stretches where that is all you get (less likely in the Air Force).

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on May 06, 2013
at 03:47 PM

Thank you Aaron, this response was very helpful.

3
C0c5b12ae0a8b998d61ac0688d6dd261

on May 06, 2013
at 05:52 AM

I was in the Air Force and for the most part, you can definitely stick to a paleo-style diet. You'll eat in the dining facilities (DFAC) a lot at first, but after basic you can supplement that with your own food and be a little more choosy. During basic, it'll be nearly impossible. You'll get a lean protein and some veggies of course, but you'll need to be willing to eat some grains or starches for their caloric density. You'll have roughly two and half minutes per meal. Most people also tend to supplement their intake with peanut butter. There also is some field training where you'll have to eat MREs, and they are mostly starches and carbs. If you're required to eat MREs in deployments, you can order things like paleo MREs from Steve's Paleo Snax. The DFAC after basic will be much easier for you to navigate paleo!

3
00f984ecf328f5ff86f6e75ec9f66d31

on May 06, 2013
at 03:17 AM

During deployments you are going to be left somewhat to chance, as you will during basic training. In between you will have more options but I believe there will still be a kitchen or cafeteria you'll eat at regularly on base. I'm in the Navy and the food is TERRIBLE. The Air Force is the way to go man!

2
1c67bc28f4e44bbb8770b86df0463df3

on May 06, 2013
at 03:46 AM

Very easy to do in the Airforce from what I have seen in the Army. Do it.

1
3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on May 06, 2013
at 12:32 PM

Military will make special accommodations for people with health/ religious dietary restrictions. You may want to check with the medical review board to see how that needs to be documented.

From what I can remember, and this was pre-paleo, there was always fruits and vegetables, mostly fresh or flash frozen and there is always protein (rarely deep fried). Potatoes and rice are a staple, not always brown rice, and you can ditch the dinner roll and no one will care. Might be hard going grass-fed, organic...

Only times it might be a problem are spaghetti night, and if you are on MREs for some reason or another.

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