Thursday, July 1, 2010

Packing healthy

Hello everyone!! Oh how I have missed you. We finally came back home on Monday and its taken me this long to get back into the swing of things. To be honest....not 100% but nether the less i'm here! The family and  I took a 8 day driving trip from Oregon to South Dakota and back. Some would say its a bit crazy for a family of 6 to drive that far.  I would have to agree with you there. What were we thinking? We made it back alive so we did something right.

Last time we took a vacation was a few years ago and before we went mostly organic. I saved all my freebie goodies that came in the mail for about 3 months. This would include free samples, coupons for free products, and freebies I was able to score with coupons and sales. This time it would be a little harder because I do not receive so many freebies anymore and do not buy prepackaged anything. I was stressing up until the day we left.

I also wanted to be disposable free on this vacation. See where the crazy comes in? I was hell bent on doing this vacation as healthy and Eco friendly as I could. So I did what I could, bartered, and did the best I could. Here's what I ended up bringing along with us.

Mayo-in sm mason jar bought from Whole Foods
Mustard-Whole Foods
peanut butter-in sm mason jar(azurestandard)
Lunch Meat-packed in Tupperware from Winco
Cheese-packed in Tupperware (found in mark downs for $1 whahoo! Stored in freezer.
Organic Fruit-seasonal fruit from Marks-NW-Fresh-Produce
Burritos from Winco-I needed lots of them and found some sorta healthy ones...Budget friendly too
Boca Burgers-Costco packed in Tupperware
Angus Burgers-Costco packed in Tupperware
Oatmeal Packs-Guilty of not healthy. Ugg. But made mornings oh so easy.
String Cheese from Winco-Beth i'm horrible and guilty of this one. Sorry! I did recycle them!
Organic Tortilla Chips-From Costco
2 cans of vegetarian baked beans-Winco
2 packs of Whole Wheat Buns (once again Sorry Beth!)

Bread-This was one thing we dreaded. I make my own bread at home which is oh so yummy. Because I make my own fresh bread it will only last a day or so. So whats a girl to do? Just suck it up and buy some bread. Store bought bread is so tasteless compared to homemade bread.  I found some whole wheat healthy bread and told the kids we had no choice. They were not thrilled at all. All plastic from bread, buns and cheese were saved and taken home to recycle.

Lots of water! I scored 2 Sigg kids reusable water bottles from Whole Foods for only $4.99 each the week before we left. I waited until they were marked down to at least 50% or more off. Never in my mind did I think I would get them that cheap. We also brought along a 3 pack of stainless steel water bottles I found at Costco for only $9.99. We have used these for months now and love them! Although if you wash them in your dishwasher, the color comes off the sides. DISLIKE! But they work and our water tasted great.
I usually buy frozen juice with no HFCS but for this trip I had to buy 2 jugs of already mixed, no HFCS  and ready to drink juice. Again this was recycled when done with it.  Thinking back on it now I could of used the frozen kind and put it into a water jug. But this takes up a big space in our one cooler we brought with us. Space was limited so I think I did pretty well.

Granola Bars-Budget friendly and healthy ones from Winco
Nuts-Bulk purchase from Winco and packed in Tupperware
Dried Apple Rings-Winco bulk purchase. Packed in Tupperware
Dried Mangos-I dried them just for this trip! Large mango's were 2/$1 at Marks-NW-Fresh-Produce

I think I packed pretty well and towards the end of the trip we had made a pretty good team when it came to making food on the go. My husband would pull over our Eurovan, we would drag out the cooler (each time we had to pull our hitch shelf off the hitch. This thing weighed over 100 lbs!). I would pull out the sandwich items and lay them out in the back of our Eurovan. I would sit on our cooler and start the assembly line. My husband would take the newly made sandwich and run it to the kids to eat. We would refill the waters, pack up and go. Towards the end of our trip lunch only took 5 minutes. Whahoo!

One thing I thought I planned well was our coffee habit. I purchased 6 Starbucks Via Packets  thinking this would be enough. Boy was I wrong! We were driving for 5-6 hrs a day and those only lasted us 3 days. So I am ashamed to say I bought disposable coffee. I KNOW!!! I'm horrible! But I had to survive! 4 kids in tow for 8 days really can tire you and we needed to be fully awake parents. The last few days of our trip was in hotels which provided us with coffee each morning. Free coffee helped our budget but not my inner Eco. Each place had Styrofoam cups, plastic wrapped coffee pods, and paper single packets of creamer. YUCK! Any other time I would of turned these down but I was desperate. 

The food I packed lasted us for about 5 days before I had to stop to buy anything. Most tiny little towns do not carry organic items and are priced sky high because they know only desperate people would be stopping there and would pay the price. I ended up getting jelly, bread, and a few snacks along the way. We did eat out but only 2-3 times mostly for the kids. We wanted them to have a memorable trip and they love going out to eat. They had fun but quickly realized how unhealthy these places were. From processed cheese, white bread, and soda being the only option. We would discuss these things with them and they realize that we eat healthy but not everyone else does and thats okay.

All in all I think we did a pretty good job. I learned that no matter how much you plan, things can still go wrong. You may think your awesome in your own town but just wait till you get out of your own territory.  Stay tuned for more ups and downs of our trip.

Okay so now you know my dark secrets of our trip.

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