Day 1 of Ninja Camp: Foraging

I’m training out at a women’s grappling camp in California this week, so the Stumpblog is comin’ atcha from Big John McCarthy’s Ultimate Training Academy.

Boy is it hard to eat well when traveling in the US. It’s very possible, but it definitely takes a lot of forethought, commitment and preparation. It seems like everything conspires against the conscientious eater.

The food on the airlines is shockingly bad: potato chips, Twizzlers, cookies, sugary drinks, trans-fat-laden crackers. Walking into a US grocery store, I’m astounded by how atrocious some of the food choices are. I really feel for you guys. Everything has sugar in it! Salad dressings. Smoked fish. Even the spices have sugar! I had to hunt for a solid five minutes in the spice aisle to find pepper without sugar! What the hell!?

But on the plus side, most consumers in the US can still access a pretty decent selection of lean protein, good fats, and fresh fruits and vegetables if they know where to look. Generally it’s all as close as the local grocery store.

Here’s what we did:

1. Rented a hotel room with a kitchenette. Actually, cheaper than a regular hotel. Who knew?
2. Hit up the local Wal-Mart (yes, yes, I know, bear with me) for a $15 crockpot, ziploc bags, and some $1 tupperware.
3. Grocery store for shopping as normal: unprocessed meats, fresh veggies and fruits, nuts/seeds, a few basic flavourings: olive and toasted sesame oil, spice mix, salt/pepper, soy sauce. I also know where there’s a little Mexican market so we can pick up fun stuff like cactus.
4. Farmer’s market for fresh veggies — you are so lucky here in CA to have this amazing abundance! The avocadoes alone are worth the price of admission.
5. Cook, prep food in advance for each day. Store in containers in fridge and freezer. Veggies and smaller things go in ziplocs.
6. We packed a mini-blender for protein shakes and brought a small container of protein powder as well. The blender’s small enough to be thrown into our backpacks for a quick shake at the gym.

So far, enjoy vastly reduced food bill, lots of energy for workouts, “real food”, and happy, garbage-free tummies.