Wow, some great comments on my last post! Just some notes:
I do not mean to bash grains. I love grains. I think whole grains are a healthy food. I don't even think white bread is going to kill you. Millions of Frenchmen and women (who eat croissants), can't be wrong, right? I think most foods belong in a healthy diet (in moderation), but we have to figure out what "in moderation" is? (Note: it's probably not daily.)
In fact, one of my favorite recent reads is The Blue Zones that chronicles the diet and lifestyle of the areas of the world with the most centenarians. Several of the areas eat whole grains. Corn tortillas, brown rice.
You will probably never see me go full-on Paleo or Primal because I love grains and beans. I've been very nearly vegetarian on many occasions. I have a shelf full of vegetarian and vegan cookbooks.
The issue I have is the Food Pyramid, and it's specification that we eat 6 servings (6-11 actually) of grains per day. Prior to it's release, we had "Basic 4". Well, for the last 20+ years, that's what I've based by eating habits around. Okay, to be honest, I didn't think much about what I ate until I woke up one day at 31 weighing 182 pounds. But that year, 2002, I put a lot of effort into losing weight via Weight Watchers, and have done really well maintaining that weight loss since. (With two excursions due to having babies.)
Over the years I've "control-checked" my diet with weight watchers, a dietitian, my fitness pal. or the USDA website, The thing they have in common is the Food Pyramid.
When I was younger, it was no problem.
When I was nearing 40 and training for races (half marathons), it was no problem.
When I had a baby at 42, and had a couple of years of lack of sleep, plus stress (layoffs at work), plus injuries (cannot do high impact exercise anymore) = problem.
I'm coming to terms with the fact that I cannot eat that much grain anymore, and still lose weight. I am not giving up grain - still eating 2 servings per day - generally a piece of toast for breakfast and perhaps 1/2 c. rice or quinoa for dinner, or maybe crackers in my soup.
What I find interesting about the whole thing is how personal it becomes. Some people never have a weight problem, and I find it's hard for them to understand. Several years ago I read Refuse to Regain by Dr. Barbara Berkeley (an obesity doctor). One thing that she has learned in her work is that people who are FOW (formerly overweight) metabolize food differently than people who were NOW (never overweight). Particularly carbs. So her recommendation for people to maintain their weight loss is to restrict carbohydrates. If you've been overweight, your body stores them more efficiently - you permanently changed how your body works. (Depressing, huh?)
When I read the book I was happily maintaining my weight loss (this is pre baby#2), so I figured that I was never hugely obese, so I didn't need to restrict carbs like that. I had some inklings however - I had one friend who I walked a lot with on weekends. When she was about 62 I noted how trim she'd always been. She said "I don't really eat that many carbs". She has oatmeal for breakfast and maybe the occasional bit of rice or potato for dinner.
Just last year I attended a women's retreat run by a personal chef and a personal trainer. The chef, who is 60, said "well once you are over 40, if you want to maintain a healthy weight, you cannot eat more than X number of carbs per day" (I wrote it down, but do not remember the number.) I ignored her, of course, because - Food Pyramid.
I have been very resistant to the idea of restricting carbs - but in reality, I'm not really "restricting". I still eat 2 cups of fruit per day. Yogurt. Lots of vegetables. Beans several times per week. Grains and/or potatoes 2 times a day. I've just now started to realize that 6 servings a day, at my exercise level and age, is not doable. And I've also found out that 6 servings a day is a MADE UP NUMBER BASED ON NO SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE.
Okay, on to the camping review. We camped 2 nights nearby - El Capitan SB. We booked in June and there was literally ONE site available. Man, we got a GREAT one! One neighbor, lots of shade, lots of space for the kids to run, not TOO close to the RR tracks (but let's face it, the whole campground is near the RR tracks), not near the ocean/cliffs/creek/roads (I have a toddler).
The kids had a great time sleeping in the tent (though the 2 year old slept with me a LOT), eating at a picnic table, and playing at the beach and in the waves. We used our new campstove that heats water for coffee WAY faster.
And the big hits foodwise? Nachos (tortilla chips, shredded cheese, and canned chili on top, with guacamole), and hard boiled eggs. We ran out of eggs.
Zucchini bread and instant coffee
Our picnic basket which is GREAT for camping
Inside of the basket