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Four days on the Washington coast with friends and family. I love spending time in the Olympic National Forest, and this was our first trip to Kalaloch. The kids had a fantastic time playing in the ocean and I exploring the tide pools. I could have done with less wind as I was cold for most of the trip, finally getting warm only when I double or triple-layered before climbing into my sleeping bag. It was definitely a memorable experience.

I continue to be asked about traveling with special dietary needs, or just without the usual processed junk food. A few have even asked how I could go camping without s’mores. To this last I reply, “who says we do?” Just because we prefer to eat healthy most of the time and avoid gluten, dairy and soy does not mean that we never splurge or that we don’t find great alternatives to these favorite foods. Dietitians often refer to this as the 80/20 Rule. The theory is that if you eat well 80% of the time you can splurge or have “cheat days.”

Those who know me will tell you how much I dislike math, so I prefer to skip the equations. We eat well at home. Soy is not allowed in this house and my husband is the only one who eats gluten. When we are out, I relax a little in order to preserve my mental health. I have discovered that obsessing over every ingredient 24/7 makes me a little crazy (and really ticks off the grandparents).  We all have to do what is best for our families and sometimes that means bending rules.

For this camping trip I had fantastic intentions that involved homemade salsa (a favorite of my husband) and homemade marshmallows and “graham” crackers for s’mores. Reality involved my newly installed laminate floors needing to be ripped up and reinstalled. I spent the night before and morning of our camping trip moving furniture (again).  You can guess what happened to some of my intentions.  The gluten-free “graham” crackers got made, but I bought salsa and marshmallows. Life happens.

We also collaborated on meals with friends we were camping with. For this to work, everyone has to be willing to bend a little. We did so joyfully as community is at least as important to health as nutritional choices.

We had a terrific trip, plenty of community, outdoors, learning, laughter, and good food. I this constitutes a successful vacation.

I won’t describe all of these points, but I will share our menus here to, hopefully, inspire you on your next adventure.

Friday lunch: take out from our favorite Indian curry restaurant eaten beside a lake halfway to the

Friday dinner (collaboration): Taco salads/nachos IMG_9175

Saturday breakfast (collaboration): hashbrowns, scrambled eggs, sausage patties, and gluten-free          carrot-zucchini muffins

Saturday lunch: pb and j sandwiches on gluten-free bread, carrot sticks, snap peas, and fruit

Saturday dinner: Applegate hot dogs, spinach, potato salad, and s’mores IMG_9301

Sunday breakfast: muffins, sausage patties, and hard-boiled eggs

Sunday lunch – pb and j sandwiches, carrot sticks, snap peas, and fruit

Sunday dinner – chicken sausages, pre-roasted sweet potatoes and cauliflower, and the last of the spinach and potato salad

Monday breakfast – oatmeal or hard-boiled eggs and an energy bar IMG_9322

Monday lunch – pb and j sandwiches, vegetable chips, and fruit

Monday dinner – we stopped at a restaurant in Aberdeen as we were late getting home thanks to a 4 mile hike at Lake Quinault.

What are your favorite camping foods/recipes? Please share in the comments below.

Camping Series – Part 2
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