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    August 8, 2003    PAGE TWO      
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          Camping Low Carb by Tracey Haider-Sprague

Tracey Haider-Sprague Tracey Haider-Sprague, a homeschooling mother of two, is also the Training Director for Small Beginnings, a Lay Ministry Training Organization in Seattle, Washington where she researches, writes, teaches and counsels. She, along with her entire family, began their low-carb lifestyle in April 2003.

Tracey posts as ‘Mamasita’ on the Talking Low Carb Forums, where she shares her experiences, preparations, and menus for her recent camping adventure.

She proves that no realm is impossible to take on as a dedicated on-plan low carber. And as you'll see, by the end of her sojourn, she'd learned a few things about herself. Thanks, Tracey... you're an inspiration for us all!


This summer, our family wanted to do more than take in an occasional movie with the kids or rent videos. Over the last few years, Steve, my husband, would take our two boys camping and fishing, but I would have to stay home as my father suffered a major stroke and could not be left alone. This year, a dear friend (and fellow low-carber), offered to look in on him and warm up his meals, so that I could be with my family and do something fun.

Our whole family has been on Atkins since late April 2003 and we have all had success. My husband has lost 25 pounds, my son, Andrew, has lost 13, my 75 year old father has lost 20 and I've lost 19. We were determined to stay on plan no matter what. As the date for the camping trip got closer, I began to panic inwardly wondering, what on earth, I was going to pack for our meals? In the past, we would slap some sandwiches together or have buns for our hot dogs and hamburgers. How could we sit around the campfire without those decadent S'Mores and roasted marshmallows?

Steve (a wonderful man) took the job of making the menu and he and I prepped the food needed. Turns out we had more than enough food and not once did we stray from the plan. It can be done! Now that we've done it once, I'm going to keep a list so that next time it won't be such a brain buster.

Here is our menu:

 

          DAY ONE:
  DINNER:
  • BBQ'd Chicken
  • Salad
  DESSERT:
  • Low Carb Sugar Free Milk Chocolate Bar
    (Broken into four pieces and shared)


 

          DAY TWO:
  BREAKFAST:
  • Steve's Low Carb Pancakes
  • Link Sausage
  • Log Cabin Sugar Free Syrup
  LUNCH:
  • BBQ'd Hot Dogs wrapped in Low Carb Bread
  • Salad
  • Berries
  • Estee SF Ketchup
  • Ranch Dressing
  DINNER:
  • BBQ'd Cheeseburgers (without bun)
  • Broccoli
  • Estee SF Ketchup
  DESSERT:
  • Low Carb Sugar Free Milk Chocolate Bar
    or
  • Hot Chocolate


 

          DAY THREE:
  BREAKFAST:
  • Scrambled Eggs
  • Bacon
  • Atkins Muffins
  LUNCH:
  • Leftover BBQ'd Chicken
  • Hebrew National Salami
  • Cheese Slices
  • Hard Boiled Eggs
  • Various snacks
    (peanut butter, olives, nuts, berries)

We barbequed lots of boneless chicken breasts before we left for camp. This way we only had to heat them up, and there was very little danger of salmonella poisoning.

I also baked some Atkins muffins, froze them in a Ziplock bag and took them in a cooler. They thawed in time for breakfast. I hard boiled eggs, sliced up salami, celery, and cheddar cheese — putting everything in baggies.

We prepared lettuce for salads by washing and tearing up Romaine leaves and placing them in a towel lined gallon size Ziplock bag. I bought cherry tomatoes (so we didn't have to bother slicing them for the salad.)

Steve made the dry portion of his low carb pancake recipe, keeping it separate from the oil and Sugar Free DaVinci Vanilla syrup in a container. That way all he had to do in the morning, was mix it up and make the pancakes.

We took a store container of strawberries with us. But be careful — don't let them drop into icy water in the cooler or they'll turn bad really fast!

We took various kinds of nuts in little packages for the kids. Around the campfire, we drank hot chocolate made from DaVinci SF Chocolate Sauce, heavy cream, and hot water. The kids loved the hot chocolate and I made mochas for me in the morning when my forty-year-old bones were creaking from getting up out of my sleeping bag.

At first, as I was preparing the food and Steve was barbequing on our back patio, I was thinking how much work it all was for just a couple of days of camping. I felt like we had to major on the minors and think about food, food, food. I have spent my life obsessed with food in one way or another and it seemed like here was the beginning of another obsession...

But as we camped, I had a little revelation. The food tasted good. The kids weren't begging for the next meal. And I don't think we ever felt hungry. The work was all worth it so that we could enjoy camping instead of cooking all the time…or worse yet... cleaning dishes constantly. Yes, take paper plates and plastic ware!

We swam in a beautiful clear lake, hiked on a path that followed a river, and listened to my husband play guitar around the campfire. Walking late at night, our flashlights in hand, we went to the beach to lay on a blanket and looked up at the host of stars in a vast black sky. We even got to see the Milky Way.

I also got a wake up call on my perspective of myself. As we prepared to go swimming, (something I usually only do under extreme duress due to the extreme dread of being seen in a swimsuit) I exited the tent with these familiar words, "Ugh! I am so fat!" while very quickly slipping on a huge cotton shirt to cover up as much as possible. My two boys heard this. With horrified looks they said, "You're not fat! You're pretty! Let's go swimming!"

They didn't care what I looked like. They were just thrilled that Mom was actually going to go in the water with them and their Dad. Now if only I can think like that. To live and enjoy life rather than being worried all the time about what I look like.

There is one caveat to the beauty of camping in the great outdoors... what many low-carbers experience — the late night bathroom run. It's not ideal to get up in the cold, and fumble around in the dark when nature is calling... no... screaming in your ears. But it can be done!

I think that once I've learned how to manage this new way of living as a low-carber in many different situations, it will continue to get easier. Then it will truly be second nature for our family.

                                                          


                 photos

             
             
             
                                       


Castus

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