Tuesday, January 19, 2010

I Love The Outdoors!

This past weekend I was so quiet because we went camping with our girl scout troop and I did not bring my computer!

I do love camping and have been doing it for almost 13 years now.  For those of you who do not know, I also have a website all about camping, Your Camping Guidebook.

Besides just loving nature and the outdoors, and in South Florida this being the perfect weather to be outdoors, I also love that I have complete control of what I eat on my campouts and can remain healthy while out there!

Before I get into the food though I thought I would break away and share a little of what we enjoyed this weekend!

We stayed at Billie Swamp Safari which is located right on the Big Cypress Indian Reservation.  Even though this is only a couple  of hours away from me I have never been here before!

Instead of tents, we slept in these chickee dorms!  They had bunk beds inside and slept about 12 people.  FabPreteen slept in one  with all of the girl scouts while I stayed in another one with FabHubs and FabStepson!

These dorms were right on the edge of the park so we were able to walk around and look at the animals that were in the park after the park had closed for the day!  That was very cool!


Our dorm was right next to the venomous snake house and the alligator pit!  Not so cool!  I was really hoping nothing would escape!!!!!

This chickee hut had a big round table in it and we would sit here to eat our meals.DSCF8185 This was the view of the beautiful  Everglades from outside the chickee dorms.  You can see some more of the 2-person dorms in the background!DSCF8053 There was a lot to do while we were here!  We saw a couple of animal shows.DSCF8061 Then we went on an airboat ride through the swamp!  Billie Swamp Safari has 2200 acres of nature preserve so we saw a lot of animals.   Not all of them were Florida natives though.DSCF8066 Obviously these guys are!DSCF8088 DSCF8093 DSCF8107 After the airboat ride we went on a swamp buggy ride.  We actually did two of these…one during the day…and then one at night.  DSCF8134

DSCF8131  DSCF8157 DSCF8166

The night ride was AMAZING!  We saw a lot of animals then as well. At one point we pulled up to a fence post and there was a gorgeous barred owl sitting right on the post! 

I hadn’t taken my camera out before since I figured I couldn’t get any good shots at night and boy was I sorry!!!!  He  sat there for a few minutes looking at us look at him…but then he flew away while I frantically dug in my bag for my camera.

An ostrich egg!  It is dead though :(

DSCF8180 A few more Florida natives!  Cuter I think than the last pair of natives I showed you above!DSCF8181

This weekend I packed perfectly foodwise and loved everything I brought!

Other than one meal at the campground's cafe (at which FabPreteen and I ordered the veggie burger) we ate Friday’s dinner and Saturday and Sunday’s breakfasts and lunches from our cooler.

As usual, the key to eating healthy, especially when eating out, is in the planning, so Thursday I made up a little menu and went grocery shopping.

While we do have a full camping kitchen setup, I didn’t think it would be easy to use at this campground so I planned meals that did not need cooking.  That turned out to be a very wise choice!

Friday night I cooked a big pot of rice, and then opened a couple  of cans of black beans for the rest of the family.   I set out toppings of sour cream, chopped green onions, and shredded cheddar for them.  

For me, I had an eggplant that needed to be used up so I made this quick, easy, and delicious Moroccan-style eggplant and chickpea stew that I put over rice and topped with cashews and golden raisins.   YUMMMMM!

DSCF8052 I took four plastic Gladware containers and divided the rice between them…more for FabHubs of course…and then put the beans on three of them and the eggplant stew on the fourth.  I let everybody top theirs with what they wanted, added a spoon and four bottles of water, and everybody ate in the car when we hit the road!

Dinner solved without resorting to drive through!!!!

I  also quickly threw together in the blender some hummus which came together really fast and was so delicious!  I don’t think I will go back to store bought again if  I can avoid it.   No picture though!!  I planned on using this for snacks and lunch on Saturday.

I also packed cut carrot sticks and celery; cheese sticks and Laughing Cow cheese; some tortilla chips; pretzels; granola; almond milk; bananas;  yogurt; crackers; bread; peanut butter; almond butter; strawberry preserves; apples; pears; clementines; cucumber; halvah;  and probably other stuff I can’t remember at the moment!

I also packed a few cans of tuna and some mayo…but I wanted to try and get FabHubs to eat the hummus instead.

I did a lousy job of taking pictures of food the rest of the weekend though!

Breakfast on both days was the granola and almond milk with sliced bananas.  We also had the clementines.

Lunch was PB&J for the kids and yes, the hummus and cucumber sandwiches for FabHubs and me!  The tuna was going to be a pain to make out there so FabHubs decided to give the ole’ hummus a try.  Before a few months ago he had never eaten  the stuff in his life!

Everybody also had either pretzels or chips (a rare buy for me!) and they had to eat some carrots and celery.   The hummus turned out soooo good!  FabHubs asked several times, “You made this?”

We all also had fruit and some halvah, and then some chocolate covered pomegranate I had gotten from Costco. 

FabHubs was surprised he was able to be full.  He is still not totally converted to this meatless lifestyle!

Dinner at the cafe was pretty lousy!  The group had to choose sides and drink as a group and I was pretty disappointed.  Macaroni and cheese and corn!   I sorely missed my salad and fresh veggies.  But worst of all was the drink!  We had to choose from iced tea, lemonade, and fruit punch.  I had thought we would each get to choose our own and had instructed the kids they were NOT to choose that red-colored sugar water formally known as fruit punch.…but turns out there was one choice for the group and they had chosen, yep…the fruit punch!  SIGH! 

So we bravely took a few sips (there was no water either!).   Of course FabStepson (my sugar addict) and FabHubs had no problem with it…but FabPreteen and I ended up hunting down some water.  It was too much for us!

Lunch on the way home was a free for all  from the cooler!  We snacked all the way home on cheese/chips/crackers/carrots and celery/hummus/fruit!!!!  And it was so good!

I know this post turned very long-winded!  I will end it here but I do have some exciting news from the scale to report…..I will do that in another post though!

Hope you all had a great weekend as well!!!

1 comment:

Karilynn said...

Love all the pics! You have the most amazing adventures and awesome food ideas! :o) Tell me how to cook eggplant... I'm very interested but have no clue...