one week to go

It’s not that I dislike this whole Paleo thing, it’s just that after three weeks, it has started getting a little, well, old. Maybe this isĀ  because I just spent six days living out of a car, hotel fridge, and whatever small-town American diners I could get my hands on. That would tire anyone out, rookie Paleo forager or not.

In my last post, I shared how I got by en route to Utah, but once those snacks were gone, I had to work a little harder. If I were to choose this as a way of life, I would have to be much better prepared. I’ve said that a lot, I know. Am I just lazy?!

I also think it would also be easier to do Paleo on the road if I’d been solo. I enjoy eating with my husband–it’s something we share–and it’s hard to enjoy a mini vacation when “doing breakfast” means sitting at a grocery store deli table eating cold cuts. Yeah, no. So here’s a little glimpse of the foods that helped me get by, with the help of Flickr’s Creative Commons for all but the Grind salad. I kinda forgot about the blog this weekend. It was a busy one!

Photo by inazakira

We arrived Thursday afternoon and hit up a Mexican place, were I managed to order a decent salad with chicken. Thankfully, there was a grocery store right across from our hotel for Thursday’s dinner: yay for rotisserie chicken eaten with your hands in your hotel room. Now that’s entertainment.

On Friday morning, I passed up fake eggs and greasy sausage patties care of Best Western, and we headed to a Grind cafe in Cedar City for breakfast and a few hours of work. Their spinach salad (above) came Paleo-fied with eggs and bacon. That evening we tried out the local BBQ joint Sonny Boy’s, channeling our Dinosaur BBQ love. It was good, but didn’t hold a candle to the Syracuse mainstay. I had brisket, ribs, a side salad, and their fried cauliflower. Not exactly what you see in the picture, but more or less.

Photo by VirtualErn

Saturday, race day, I cheated. Though I did manage to do Paleo for breakfast at a local diner. This we count as our Utah dining disaster #1: cold coffee and an omelette that took so long we were on our way out the door when it finally arrived. Just your basic ham and veggie omelette, nothing to write about here. But during the intensely difficult 100k/61m trail ride that took me the better part of the day, I just couldn’t stick to my Paleo plan. Gels? Yeah right. Give me chunky trail bars, gummy worms and pb&j. (Click here to read about my full experience at this awesome new race.) I cheated after the race and had a pulled pork sandwich, but after a few bites the bun didn’t really appeal to me and I just pulled all the meat out. That night, I indulged in two beers (paid for it at altitude with a nasty headache) and Thai food, of which two of the dishes were Paleo. Not bad, I say.

On Sunday morning we hit up a really cute local diner, the only place that was open. I had an avocado bacon tomato omelette that was quite delicious, and got it with sweet potato fries (Paleo!) instead of the toast and hash browns. It didn’t look exactly like this one (ie: no cheese), but you get the idea.

photo by Jinx McCombs

Then we were off to Hurricane, Utah, just 45 minutes away and our home base for exploring Zion National Park. We couldn’t check in until 3 and we arrived at noon, so we spend a couple hours in McDonald’s using they’re internet and drinking best-you’re-gonna-get coffee. It cracks me up that the three times I’ve been there in the last oh, five years, have been to use their Internet. “Lunch” was random Paleo snacks and fruit, and for dinner in Hurricane we hit a ghetto Chinese place. I had a greasy chicken and vegetable dish that looked kinda like this, sans the black beans and with more vegetables. We hit up the movie Horrible Bosses in the evening, and bought strawberries from the local grocery store for a mid-movie snack.

Photo by FotosVanRobin

Monday, hiking day, I had cauliflower, carrots, and broccoli from the grocery store (with Craisins) in the hotel breakfast nook while Mark enjoyed some toast and Froot Loops. I think I got some weird looks on that one. I managed to subsist on nuts, and dried and fresh fruit for the duration of our 6 hour hike, but boy was I ravenous when we finally hit up Oscar’s Cafe in cute little Sprindale. I had their “Maui Burger” without a bun, which was a (slightly overcooked) beef patty topped with a slice of grilled pineapple. Our server didn’t charge me to replace the fries with a garden salad, which was nice. I snuck a few fries though, to dip in the delicious chipotle-aioli sauce.

Photo by Jennifer Chong

That night, I caved and we got frozen yogurt. Sometimes little things happen in life that only food can fix. Because of our broken air conditioning, we left Hurricane at 4 a.m. to beat the heat, and I enjoyed a mushoom and spinach egg-white omelette at Denny’s, served with turkey bacon and fruit. Not bad, Paleo peeps, not bad. We got home around 10:30, napped, and then it was back to work. Mark grilled up some fresh Ono and roasted some broccoli, mushrooms and red onion for dinner, rounding out a “work-cation” (my new term) that was, except for a few minor deviations, mostly Paleo.

So it’s true, you can do Paleo on the road. You just have to be prepared to spend a lot unless you’re prepared, and start developing a taste for packet tuna. It was a great trip of new endurance feats, and I’m sore and tired to tell the stories. Happy to be back in gorgeous San Diego where the market is only a stone’s throw away and our fridge is always stocked with good things.

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