Tuesday, July 24, 2012

cholesterol watch on vacation

Last week we went to Yellowstone and a family reunion in Idaho.  Watching my cholesterol at home is hard enough.  I was worried about being away from my kitchen and eating at restaurants. So my solution was to bring most of our food with us.  We had access to kitchens in both places we stayed.  In total, we ate at a restaurant twice the entire trip.  This was nice for our wallets too. Here's what we did.

Breakfasts: Homemade cereal bars. The picture below is my son helping to form the bars.  Despite his expression, he was having fun.  Really.  


Recipe: This recipe is an extremely modified version of this. I liked this version but it took way too long to make for 12 little cereal bars. I also removed the butter.

Apple Cinnamon Bars
2 c. oats
1c. whole wheat flour
1 c. white flour
1 c. brown sugar
2 t. cinnamon
1/2 c. olive oil
1 c. apple sauce
1 t. vanilla

Pulse oats in food processor until a coarse flour.  Add remaining ingredients. Process until it forms a thick dough. Add flour or applesauce for right consistency.  Form into bars.  Bake @ 350 for 20 min (or longer if you like it crunchy)

These bars are pretty dense and moist and traveled really well.  I kept them in a ziplock container.



Homemade cereal


The first time I made this cereal, it came out crunchy, but slightly burned.  The second time it was too soft. It tasted right, but we like it crunchy. I'll post a recipe when I figure out the happy medium.

Smoothies


I froze the smoothies, along with everything else that could be frozen, before we left.  I  packed them with our frozen water bottles and they stayed frozen for the entire five hour drive.  Our little cabin at Mack's Inn had a refrigerator so we put all the cold food away as soon as we arrived.  The big smoothies were for me and had spinach, yogurt, and a variety of fruit.  The smaller smoothies were for my kids and had milk and fruit. I put the smoothies in the fridge to thaw the night before, but the fridge was too cold so we ended up packing them in the cooler and drinking them for lunches in Yellowstone.  I had it figured out by the time we got to the reunion at the May Family Ranch and had them for breakfast there.

We also brought regular cold cereal for my husband and the kids. I brought milk with us since I wasn't sure if we could find a store.  It did great surrounded by frozen smoothies.

Here's one of my favorite shots in Yellowstone


For lunches we brought nitrate free lunch meat (my boys get migraines from nitrates) and peanut butter for sandwiches, fruit cups packed in juice (not syrup), apple sauce, and I caved and brought cookies.  You have to indulge a little, right? 

On the second day, we realized we hadn't packed the cheese to go with the ham sandwiches. (I was planning on peanut butter) So we had lunch at Mammoth Hot Springs.  I ordered a salad and had them leave off the cheese. They had the most delicious poppy seed dressing.  If anyone has that recipe, I would love it.

Dinner:
Monday - I brought chicken, potatoes from our garden, onion from our garden, carrots from the store because I got crappy seeds that didn't grow, sea salt, and olive oil. I packed them in tinfoil, baked them for an hour, and discovered that our oven didn't work very well.  Then I cooked them in a little frying pan and we had a late dinner. It was delicious.

Tuesday - We did a everyone gets-what-they-want meal.  My husband and daughter had KFC, my boys had Arby's, and I had a subway sandwich. It was the chicken breast sandwich.  I left off the cheese and piled on the the veggies.  Yummy.

Wednesday - We did restaurant food for lunch so we ate sandwiches at the cabin for dinner.

Thursday - This was the day we traveled 5 hours to the family reunion at the May Family Ranch in  Clayton Idaho.  Here's a shot of the water slide.

We also went to a museum town where the kids panned for gold.  They even found some. (Real gold!)


Dinner Thursday night was nitrate free hot dogs cooked over a fire with fruit and potato chips.  After driving all day, I didn't really care what I was eating.  The chips don't have cholesterol but they do contain saturated fats, which I should also avoid.  One thing I decided when I chose to watch my diet instead of taking meds was that I wasn't going to deny myself the foods I love as long as I use moderation.  I can have some saturated fats as long as I overindulge.

My sister cooked dutch oven chicken Friday night.  It was so good. I stuck with one piece of chicken. (I was soooo tempted to get more.) We also had green salad, fruit, and beans.  Beans are high in iron and fiber.  I'll be eating a lot more beans.  The only problem is the canned beans contain a lot of sodium so I'll have to learn to use dry beans.

We drove home on Saturday and, with very little food in the house, had spaghetti - without meat.   I didn't miss the meat at all and my kids didn't either. We also had salad from the garden.  The lettuce still hasn't bolted so I cut up a zucchini and an onion and mixed it with the lettuce.

By bringing most of our food with us, I was able to control what we were eating.  We did have a nice lunch at Mammoth, and my daughter will tell you that her favorite part of the meal was her brownie sundae.  She told me about it often enough. I didn't have any dessert and I love brownie sundaes. My favorite part was that poppy seed dressing.  I really must find the recipe.

Here's a shot of my whole family in Yellowstone.
My youngest child was very tired.  That's the only explanation I can think of for the look on his face.  

This last picture is a place near Mack's Inn called Big Springs.  It's beautiful there.

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