Taking the Stress Out of AIP Vacation Cooking

Vacation’s while on AIP can seem counterproductive, I mean how do you relax & focus on stress management while thinking about how to eat and stay compliant? How can you take the stress out of AIP  vacation cooking?

Wanting to spend as much time on the beach and with family as possible, there was no way that this cook wanted to be spending time navigating menus in restaurants with levels of stress being generated that impacted on my food absorption, or tied to a kitchen, for that matter.  While it was important to be staying in a location where I could cook, and cook safely – I wanted to ENJOY my vacation, and it was essential for my health that I had a focus of taking the stress OUT of AIP vacation cooking.  Cost was a factor, too! Eating out for 4 people in England is expensive, so it was very important that we kept to an economical budget. This has been a quest in the past too, but this year, my Mum and I nailed it, by doing the following:

 

aip vacation cooking - prepareStep 1 : Plan the Menus BEFORE you leave home – think through if you can batch cook to ease the pressure even while on holiday.

Step 2 : Make some liver paté, and freeze it for easy transport

Step 3 : Pack core seasonings, salt,  black pepper (*R), dried herbs and spices (oregano, sage, cilantro/coriander, garlic salt, turmeric, cinnamon)

Step 4 : Pack measuring cups, a measuring jug and any utensiils you may need, such as rolling pin or tortilla press, or ziplock bags, etc.

Step 5 : Plan a grocery shop at the closest LARGE grocery store / supermarket before you arrive at your destination.  This way your produce and proteins will be fresh.

 

aip vacation cooking - meal plan

Cars in England aren’t huge. We had a roof mounted cargo rack, or top box as its known in England, and the trunk/boot of a VW Estate/Station Wagon (are you loving the translations having to happen here?), and we needed to take all our bedding, boogie boards, crabbing gear; not to mention clothes, so minimum space for food/equipment and stopping at the grocery store was key.  Being shrewd on the cut of meats was also key. As an example, in the US I would typically use a pork shoulder, however in England, you can’t buy a joint of meat that could be used for multiple meals. A Pork Loin is cheaper and a larger size, could be used for two meals (Friday, Sunday). Due to the best before dates on the cuts of meat, we actually moved around some of the dishes from our planned meals, so that we used the proteins with the shorter best before dates first.  All veggies were purchased PRE-PREPARED, something I typically don’t do in the US. But, with limited kitchen space and 3 adults who wanted to be in the kitchen at the same time,  it was much easier to buy bags of pre-prepped veggies. Examples were : Rutabaga/Swede, Carrot, Parsnip, Soup Blend bags with Onions, Carrots, I was very impressed that Sainsburys (large grocery chain) had Butternut Squash Lasagne Sheets.

So, if you read last weeks blog post, Investing in yourself, you will know that I had done some research before heading to our destination to find a childhood favorite food. the “Cornish Pasty”, that was gluten/dairy AND nightshade free… Shout out to Made Marion Gluten Free Bakery for reigniting that memory for me!  Again if you are ever in England, I urge you to get your hands on them, mail order an option, too! So, they were part of our menu planning.

Monday (Travel Day) 
  • Breakfast : Bacon, Fresh Fruit
  • Lunch : Liver Pate, Sliced Apples, Plantain Chips
  • Dinner : Cornish Pasties, Veggie Hash
Tuesday
  • Breakfast : Bacon, Scrambled Eggs (R), Mushrooms
  • Lunch : Liver Pate, Sliced Apple, Roasted Veggie Chips (Store Bought)
  • Dinner :  Instant Pot Large Ham Joint / Gammon Joint, (1 cup of water, on trivet, 40 minutes) Sweet Potato Hash & Kale
Wednesday
  • Breakfast : Bacon, Avocado, Green Salad
  • Lunch : Cold Ham, Green Salad, Left over hash
  • Dinner : Cracklin’ Chicken, Veggie Hash, with Beets & Kale
Thursday
  • Breakfast : Liver Pate, Apple Slices
  • Lunch : Cold Ham, Green Salad, Avocado
  • Dinner : Ropa Veja  Rice, Green Salad, Avocado
Friday
  • Breakfast : Liver Pate, Apple Slices
  • Lunch : Cold Ham, Green Salad, Avocado
  • Dinner : Pork Carnita’s –  Using half of large 4lb Pork Loin, using Slow Cooker Setting on Instant Pot (NORMAL MODE) , Cassava Flour Tortillas & Kale, Beet & Rutabaga Hash
Saturday
  • Breakfast : Bacon, Egg (R), Mushrooms
  • Lunch : Smoked Mackerel, Green Salad,  Left over Veggie Hash
  • Dinner : Marinated Chicken Breasts, Veggie Hash (Cauliflower, Leeks, Beets, Sweet Potatoes)
Sunday
  • Breakfast : Bacon, Egg (R), Mushrooms
  • Lunch : Smoked Mackerel, Left over Hash & Green Salad
  • Dinner : Pork Teriyaki, Rice (R), Kale, Broccoli

aip vacation cooking - quote

As you can see the Ham Joint on Tuesday evening lasted us for lunches for a further 4 days, I cooked the veggie hashes in volume so we could have left overs for lunch, kale was added to pretty much everything, and nutrient density was kept higher by cooking liver pate ahead of time and bringing it frozen in portions for consumption daily.  Using the Instant Pot was key to our success, not wanting to have to cook the moment I got back from the beach, dishes were prepared in the morning, and put into the Instant Pot using Stew or Poultry Modes or by following instructions in recipes.  On the day that I cooked the Carnitas I prefer those done using the slow cooker/crock pot mode so that was cooking for 7hrs while we were at the beach walking into the caravan to dinner being ready was a true joy, meaning that I could jump in the shower, get the sand out of places that it shouldn’t go and then sit down and enjoy the view, without stressing…

Final bonus of this stress free meal planning was that as I was the main cook, the rest of the family did the dishes!

I will share that I’m totally convinced and I doubt there will be any argument from my family that we may just repeat the same winning menus next year! We were down to just left overs to bring on our journey home, my Dad who was packing the car was very grateful for that!

(R) equals reintroduction food.

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