Eating clean in the middle of nowhere (hint: pack a cooler)

TDL, the husband, is in a one year accelerated nursing program. At Northern Arizona University that means a frantic dash all over the state of Arizona in an attempt to complete the clinical hours of four years in 12 months. Right now, he is somewhere on the Navajo Reservation, on the border of New Mexico. There is a hospital (where he’ll be), one hotel (with bed bugs! Only $100 a night!), and fast food. That is all. Well, there are also some pretty rocks, as you can see in the picture below that he sent me. Packing clean eats for his 2 nights and 3 days on the Rez was complicated enough that I thought I would do a quick post, in case you happen to be headed into the great unknown, with nothing but a cooler…


Breakfast: it was important that this was filling, so we made an intense frittata from bon appetit. I am not kidding, this thing was huge! We left out the cheese, used venison sausage, and used 20 oz of spinach. If you are anti-white potato, I am sure sweet potato would be great.



Snacks: he will be driving 3 1/2 hours each way, and left straight from class, so he needed some snacks. We packed up a nice selection: Primal pacs– the most tender jerky without soy or sugar, sprouted nuts and love bites from Blue Mountain Organics, and Paleonola– grain-free granola. (You will notice in the picture below that my slow cooker is on my “dining room” table. Yes, my kitchen is so small that when we use our big, beautiful slow cooker, we have to place it outside the kitchen, otherwise there would be no counter space. We say it is training for living on a sailboat.)


Lunch: he will be eating his lunches at the hospital, so we opted for a salad that he will top with smoked wild salmon (no refrigerator necessary!). I made a simple dressing with our new oil obsession: avocado oil. Basically I used white wine vinegar, avocado oil, penzey’s spice blends, and salt.



Dinner: despite the disturbingly gross picture, this is yet another fantastical recipe from Well Fed, citrus carnitas. I like to serve carnitas on top of a slaw inspired by this recipe in Smitten Kitchen. I shred purple cabbage, slice jalapeños and green onions, and mix it with The Food Lovers’ nut mayonnaise. TDL will mix the mayo and shredded slaw before eating, so the veggies stay crisp.


I think eating clean on the go can be really easy, even when you are surrounded with unhealthy options and 500 miles from the closest Whole Foods. It just takes a shitload of planning and prep work :). Which is worth it to me! How about you? Have you ever had a situation when you have had to spend a couple days (or years) in a food desert?

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